Entertainment

Smart brings 25 K-Pop acts closer to the Philippines with KCON:TACT 4U

+1 J-Pop group to complete the lineup

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KCONTACT 4U
OT12 LOONA comeback let's go!

Some people behind the GadgetMatch team (including me) are total fans of K-Pop. With this in mind, we’re here to give you the best news for any K-Pop fan out there!

Smart Communications Inc. is bringing back the most-awaited K-Event of the year. Lo and behold, the KCON:TACT 4U virtual festival that will be held from June 19 (Saturday) to June 27 (Sunday). All you have to do is to access gigafest.smart every 8PM (Philippine time) to access the online concert. For the best streaming experience, just register to Double GIGA Video on the GigaLife App.

There aren’t just one, two, not even just ten K-Pop acts. There are a total of 25 K-Pop acts ranging from female and male groups, plus one J-Pop boy group to make it a whole lot fun, sizzling, and entertaining. Here are all the acts you should watch out! (in no particular order).

Female Groups

LOONA

LOONA is gearing up for their latest comeback with the album [&]. Orbits shouldn’t feel too excited about “Paint The Town” as the song wouldn’t be released within the whole duration of the virtual festival. Instead, expect them to perform their latest hits “Why Not” and“Star” (or “Voice”, its Korean track counterpart).

fromis_9

You’ll go head over heels with fromis_9‘s visuals and vocals — especially with their latest summer bop WE GO”. This is one of (if not) the best 2021 summer releases out there.

OH MY GIRL

Another summer hit pop track in the list is OH MY GIRL’s “Dun Dun Dance” that will surely make you dance all day and all night long with its catchy tune and soothing vocals of each member.

EVERGLOW

EVERGLOW is also one of the latest girl groups to release a fresh new track last month. While it’s not as refreshing as other tracks, “FIRST” will totally make your heads and ears flip because of how powerful it is.

ITZY

Speaking of powerful, ITZY’s “M.A.F.I.A. In the morning” is one of the most streamed K-Pop tracks around. With thousands of MIDZYs in the Philippines, expect them to populate the viewer count once the virtual festival starts.

Weeekly

Weeekly is currently one of the most popular new generation of female idols. With the ever increasing attention among the girls and their 2021 hit track “After School” plus the release of their latest collaborative track “7 Days Tension”, these cute yet refreshing bops would definitely make a lot of fans sing along and giggle with their cuteness!

Weki Meki

Weki Meki is one of the most underrated girl groups out there that you should definitely check out. “COOL” may not be their latest track this 2021 but it’s totally catchy alongside their other releases such as “OOPSY” and “DAZZLE DAZZLE”.

Male Groups

SEVENTEEN

Just like LOONA, SEVENTEEN is one among the K-Pop acts in the lineup that’s also gearing up for their comeback. While “Ready To Love” isn’t confirmed to be in the performance list, “HOME;RUN” should definitely be performed by these 13 amazing boys.

Stray Kids (SKZ)

Stray Kids (also known as “SKZ”) are TWICE and ITZY’s brothers! Not to confuse you with the K-Drama, but they recently won the survival show Kingdom.  Expect them to perform hit tracks such as “Back Door” and more.

THE BOYZ (TBZ)

Another group in the list that participated in the survival show Kingdom was THE BOYZ (or TBZ). Recently, their song “The Stealer” is gaining rounds online — and that song should definitely be performed in this virtual festival.

SF9

Dubbed as FNC Entertainment’s “First Boy Dance Group”, SF9 will surely make a lot of FANTASYs swoon. Even non-fans would surely drool over them.

iKON

After so many years of dispute between Mnet and YG Entertainment, iKON is ready to amaze iKONICs with their amazing performances. They’re also one among the competitors in Kingdom. And yes, they’re BLACKPINK’s older brother group — and Lisa performed with them during their “Classy Savage” sing and dance craze. Love Scenario” in 2021, anyone?

BTOB

Another Kingdom competitor is none other than BTOB. Known for their angelic voices, they surely threw a punch in the survival show — even if they’re the oldest competing group out of the bunch. After years of hiatus, they’re finally back on track. Coincidence or not, they’re sub-unit BTOB 4U will make your eyes bawl with “Show Your Love”.

PENTAGON

BTOB’s younger group, PENTAGON is also set to perform in this year’s KCON:TACT. Other than their latest track “DO or NOT”, they’re also popular for their hit song “Shine”.

CNBLUE

If you’re one among the veteran K-Pop fans like I am, you’d know that CNBLUE is one among the classic boy bands out there. Known for their great vocals and musical instrument skills, you’d be delighted to see them again after years of hiatus. Who knows, they might perform their classic hits this 2021?

HIGHLIGHT

Other than CNBLUE, HIGHLIGHT is also one of the classic K-Pop groups in this list. TL:DR, they originally came from Cube Entertainment (yes, the sole agency of BTOB and PENTAGON) under the name BEAST. If it rings any bell, they’re that boy group who made a lot of fans cheer and roar for years. Their latest track surely proves it’s “Not The End” of their journey together.

ASTRO

From the same company as Weki Meki and other prominent actors in South Korea, ASTRO surely knows how to act hot and cool while singing and dancing in their latest track “One”. And for all Cha Eunwoo supremacists out there, you should know by now that he belongs to this group.

ONEUS

If you weren’t aware, this group comes from the same label as MAMAMOO and their latest group PURPLE KISS. While both weren’t included in this year’s KCON:TACT lineup, ONEUS will make viewers dance such to a groovy and psychedelic track.

ONF

ONF (pronounced as On and Off) is OH MY GIRL’s younger brother group! Not sure if “Dun Dun Dance” and “Ugly Dance” were both coincidental with their “dance” naming scheme, but this crazy awesome Cyberpunk-ish concept has continued from their last release “Beautiful Beautiful”.

Golden Child

Home of INFINITE, Lovelyz, ROCKET PUNCH, and DRIPPIN, Golden Child is one of the underrated groups that need to be recognized for their talent. While completely going with their concept, they still try other concepts that surely suit their group image — and “Breathe” is one of those tracks that deserve more recognition.

A.C.E

This 4-year-old group is also set to step their foot on KCON:TACT 4U. Among other acts in the list, A.C.E is also preparing for their upcoming comeback with the title track “Higher”. But don’t expect too much and just enjoy their latest released track, “Down” for now.

P1Harmony

The third group from FNC Entertainment in this list alongside CNBLUE and SF9 is none other than P1Harmony. Their ultra-catchy hip-popping track “Scared” makes them look and sound distinct from their brother groups.

VERIVERY

“Get Away” is just three months old, but Filipino VERRERs would actually want to hear this charismatic and sexy track live — even if it means of just watching it virtually this pandemic.

TO1

‘TO1’ was rebranded from ‘TOO’ and their latest comeback song surely proves how powerful they are as a group. TL:DR, they were also formed in a survival show called ‘To Be World Klass”.

BONUS: GHOST9

A group composed of popular members from the survival shows “MIXNINE” and “PRODUCE X 101”, GHOST9’s set to have a “cinematic live” segment instead of a live performance during this year’s festival. It might be their latest track “Up All Night” that will surely make you up all night.

Soloist

Ha Sung Woon

Haneuls would definitely stay online to watch Ha Sungwoon’s latest track ‘Sneakers’ especially with its refreshing summer song. If you’re still unaware, he’s one of the original members of WANNA ONE, a project group formed from the PRODUCE survival show series.

The only J-Pop act in the roster

JO1

They’re the only J-Pop act in the lineup. Also, they’re the only active group from the PRODUCE series franchise.

Not to be confused with the group ‘TO1’, JO1 hopes to be one of the most sought after J-Pop acts with amazing vocals and visuals on the line. Watching and listening to “Born To Be Wild” further proves that.

Here’s the full schedule lineup if you want to catch your faves!

KCONTACT 4U

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I’m missing the Olympics because I don’t have cable

And it sucks

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It’s 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is in full swing as of writing. However, as someone whose primary source of media entertainment all comes from streaming, there’s no easy and convenient way for me to watch the games. Major bummer.

I like to enjoy my media a certain way; I prefer to stream them on my TV. Which is why majority of the content I consume come from YouTube, Netflix, and the occasional Amazon Prime, HBO Go (Yep, not even HBO Max), and Apple TV.

I find it incredibly baffling that the stakeholders involved in bringing the games to the people failed to come to an agreement to make it easily accessible on the aforementioned platforms. It’s 2021. Why on earth am I not able to watch the greatest sporting event on the planet the way I want to?

Believe me, I hear the privilege in my words. Regardless, I still feel marginalized.

So how can you watch the Olympics right now?

I asked a friend who’s been covering the games. He watches through cable and had to pay a PhP 150 fee (around US$ 3/ SG$ 4) to avail of the Tokyo 2020 Premium from a particular cable provider.

Thing is, the whole Olympic coverage in the Philippines is locked to the MVP group of companies. You wanna follow the games, you’re gonna have to do it on one of their platforms.

Here’s an excerpt from their press release on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic coverage:

“Sports fans will have comprehensive access to the Olympic Games — from the Opening Ceremonies all the way to when the games conclude — on free to air via TV5 and One Sports. One Sports+ on Cignal TV will also dedicate a significant amount of their daily hours to broadcast the events, with Cignal also opening up two exclusive channels dedicated to broadcast the games 24/7. Cignal Play, in addition to live channels TV5, One Sports & One Sports+, will be offering exclusive channels broadcasting live updates to its subscribers, along with exclusive content not available on the TV broadcast. Cignal TV’s One News leads the group’s round-the-clock news coverage, featuring results, updates, and highlights.”

Comprehensive? Maybe. For platforms within the MVP group of companies. If you’re not subscribed to any of these, well, that’s just too bad. It’s good for business and I completely understand how the whole thing works. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The coverage also missed to televise or showcase Hidilyn Diaz’s historic gold medal win in the Weightlifting competition. If you’ve been following sports news, the Philippines was expected to get a medal in this event. Sadly, the moment was only known following updates from reporters on the ground.

How I wish it was handled

I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes into it in terms of TV and broadcasting rights, but we’re literally at an age where plenty of folks have decided to cut the cord and rely on streaming for content.

On YouTube, you can buy and/or rent movies and shows. The platform and structure exists for pay-to-watch content. They could have even made tiers or packages like charge a certain amount to gain access to all the games, a different and lower amount if you just want to follow a certain sport and/or a certain event.

Maybe the potential earnings to do so didn’t justify the costs to implement it. Whatever the case, it’s still incredibly frustrating.

Sure, I can go through the hoopla of setting up a VPN and look for streaming sites. But that’s more even more cumbersome. I don’t mind paying a convenience fee if it means that after a long day of work I can kick back, relax, and watch some damn sports.

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Entertainment

Netflix is reportedly producing a live-action Pokémon series

With Lucifer showrunner Joe Henderson

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Pokémon remains one of the most popular franchises today. From the ever-popular video game series to the still-ongoing anime series, the creature collector franchise still going strong. Even then, the franchise is reportedly working on another addition to its repertoire: a live-action Netflix series.

According to Variety, Netflix is in the early stages of an upcoming Pokémon series on the platform. Much like the widely successful film Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds, the series will star actual humans in a live-action format. Beyond that, the report does not go into detail into how the creatures will look like for the series.

Likewise, the report does not indicate when the series will launch.

Lucifer’s Joe Henderson is reportedly helming the series. He is also known for adapting Stephen King’s 11.22.63 for Hulu.

Over the past few years, Pokémon has tapped various segments besides gaming and anime fans. The company has tapped lifestyle with branded accessories and lifestyle-oriented apps. Adding a live-action series will tap into the thriving Netflix market.

For Netflix’s part, the popular streaming platform has considerably increased the variety of genres it is producing. Besides the live-action Pokémon series, Netflix is also releasing an anime version of its popular original, The Witcher.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the first open-world Pokémon game

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Entertainment

Netflix’s first games will be mobile-only first

Including Stranger Things titles

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Since the rise of its popularity years ago, Netflix has dominated the streaming services industry. Since then, the company has moved past just hosting content on its platform. They have also produced their own content including hit shows like Stranger Things. Now, they are going further than just films and TV series. Netflix is expanding to mobile games first.

Days ago, Netflix announced development towards gaming content. However, in their earnings report for the second quarter of this year, Netflix announced focus on mobile games first. To do so, the company has hired former EA official Mike Verdu for the project.

The company has also listed some properties that it is working on. The first game titles will include ones for Stranger Things. Further, Netflix subscribers will have free access to the games with their subscription. However, since the focus is still on mobile, only mobile users can access them when they come out.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Netflix tried interactive content. Recently, they released a special choose-your-own-adventure version of Black Mirror called Bandersnatch. Viewers were able to steer the film according to prompts on their screen, effectively making their own version of the film. Though the film never kickstarted the interactive film genre, it redefined how Netflix content can be enjoyed digitally.

Now, with whatever Netflix is planning, the company is likely continuing that trend.

SEE ALSO: What does your favorite Netflix genre say about you?

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