33 posts • joined Monday 18th June 2007 07:54 GMT
Worth while for people with complex setups.
For anyone with a home cinema system these remotes are brilliant as they automate a lot of tasks for you without having to use multiple remotes. Mine controls Sky+, DVD, PS3 and 360 etc and changes the TV input, amplifier input, amplifier settings, HDMI switch input etc. If you just have a TV and a PVR then living with two remotes is fine.
I have a Harmony One and find the software is fairly easy to use - you tell it what you have and then it suggests some 'Activities' such as 'Watch TV' and then it automatically does a basic setup. It took me less than 30 minutes to get 9 devices setup.
Samsung Tab 7 an option?
I had a look at small tablets in a couple of retailers and the Nexus 7 was hard to read in shop light, let alone in sunlight. The Samsung Tab 2 7 next to it seemed to be far more readable to me.
But for ease of use and readability in direct sunlight the non touch Kindles are the best bet, Adding touch also adds a bit of a gloss surface. I have a non touch Kindle and it has been fine in the brightest of sunlight and even copes well on a yacht with the added reflections of the sun from the sea.
Thought it was just a gimmick but
My Windows 7.5 phone (HTC Mozart) received the update to the XBox companion software last night so I thought I would give it a quick go. It seems to be quite useful for general navigation of the XBox. It's very good for using with the new IE XBox functionality where it acts as a mouse and a keyboard.
So it's not just for Windows 8 as has been suggested and it seems quite good. I will probably end up just using it very occasionally to enter XBox Live codes as these are a pain using the normal controller. My usual phone is an Sensation which is waiting to be repaired so hopefully an Android release is in the pipeline, as was promised.
I would also like to know if it is confirmed anywhere that Sky have dropped using Sky Broadband as an Anytime+ requirement?
It still says here http://www.sky.com/shop/tv/anytime-plus/
"Not with Sky Broadband?
Not a problem – Sky Anytime+ will be available to you soon. Register your interest and we'll be in touch once it's available."
Poor sound quality with Netflix 5.1
I did not realise it was supposed to be DD Plus. Through the xbox client I watched Expendables and it looked impressive but the audio, I thought, sounded very poor - more like ProLogic than anything else. To me the audio is a very important part of a film and neither service seems to care.
Hope they have improved the delivery method
I had an evaluation SGI Iris Indigo and monitor turn up loose and unpackaged in a back of a white Ford Escort van. They were worth around £12k back in 1992. Lovely machine to use but not that quick with the software it was tested with.
The cheapest micro 4/3 camera is the Olympus E-PL1. It's available with the same lenses bundled with the E-PM1. Its a lot cheaper £250 (14-42mm lens kit), £350 (14-42mm and 40-150mm lens kit).
I bought the E-PL1 double lens kit in high street photography shop earlier in the week. It seems to be a camera you can use almost as easily as a compact but with the more advanced options available like those found on an SLR, if you want to use them.
I regulary get personally addressed mail from Virgin Media to sign up for the TV and broadband service. But if you put my postcode into their website check it says that no services are available where I live.
This has been happening for years and I would have thought by now that they would have connected up the postcode checking system with the mailing system.
I would stick with Sky anyway, never had any problems except the slightly dirty feeling about paying the owners. My previous experiences with NTL seem to be common problems with Virgin today - crap remotes, poor UI, poor customer service, incorrect billing etc. I was one of the first NTL digital customers and spent longer on hold on the customer support line than I had a working TV signal - and I am not exaggerating.
For broadband I have found that Plus have been good. The customer service was a bit iffy for a year or so but seems to have got back to its excellent levels. As they are owned by BT you get the BT products, including FTTC, but better customer service and an option for priority traffic for gaming etc.
Good luck to the SEM people in Lund
Sony never have seemed to be able to get the various parts of the company to work together, films, music, playstation and electronics all seem to work as totally independant companies. You would think with all the music and film ownership that it would have given them a great advantage in portable music devices, video devices and consoles.
Hopefully this won't mean too many job losses in Lund, Sweden where SEM are based.
Competition commission/ofcom last time ended up costing the consumer more
I am all for cheaper prices but when they forced Sky to split the football rights you ended up having to pay a lot more a month to have Setanta's awful service as well. This was if you wanted to watch all broadcast football matches available. Now its ESPN and they don't offer enough for me to want to pay for it.
At least Sky seems to give the customer decent sound and picture quality broadcasts and a large selection of film channels to choose from and they have vaguely decent customer support.
For me Sky is the only option as I live on an unmade road and Virgin won't therefore install to my house - even though they keep sending me literature offering me a TV package. Freeview is not an option as there is no reception in the area.
Do the BBC, Virgin, BT etc even bother to bid anymore for sport and film rights?
Sky may be part owned by an evil empire but for me they do provide a nice TV package. I'd like it to be cheaper but very much doubt the consumer will do well out of these investigations.
I'm not sure how useful this review is apart from for anyone who lives near the test sites.
At my home the winners would be O2 and Vodafone. I have no 3 or Orange coverage and very limited T-Mobile coverage. At work the winners would be O2 and Vodafone and 3 - no Orange or T-Mobile at all. Again this is totally useless information to everyone - except my neighbours and work collegues.
Plus the coverage maps are a waste of time as they are rarely accurate.
It did not help that it was released 'broken'
It was a good little player but the audio was all cocked up at launch and it took around 6 months for it to be fixed. It certainly put me off buying HD DVDs until it was fixed.
For userbility HD DVD won with ease, same with extra features that BluRay won't have until Profile 2.0. Only real plus point with BluRay was the capacity.
Everyone seems to think that neither format would win and the eventual HD winner would be downloaded content. Personally I think that DVD will continue to be the format of choice and that BluRay will just be a niche product. Eventually downloaded content will probably win but not until we see a significant speed improvement in domestic broadband.
Standalone BluRay players????
Who is buying them and where from? If you look on the various AV forums the usual new toy nutters are waiting for a decent standalone BluRay player that is going to work with the profile improvents in the future. Last time I looked only the PS3 was relatively future proof. Maybe its different in the USA?
Then if you look at the sales charts for sellers such as Play there seems to be little interest in standalone BluRay players - the HP30 and HP35 HD DVD players have been in the top 10 before and after the recent price cut.
Consumer choice? What about those happy with Sky?
Personally I'm already fed up with having to now pay Sky and Setanta because of improved 'consumer choice'.
Only people who seem to be complaining about the Sky monopoly are the TV companies - not the football fans.
Ofcom, as usual, have no interest in the consumer and how much their meddling costs the consumer.
@ Robbin Nichol
Sounds like you need something like Sky+ or Tivo so you can record everything you want and then forward the adverts.
The BBC is getting to be just as bad at the start of programs with its own channel idents and adverts for radio or TV programs. At least there is some variety with commerical adverts.
Is the BBC still seen as producing high quality programming? The evening schedules don't seem to reflect that opinion.
Upcoming 'cheap' HD DVD players as well
The cheaper PS3 should help the BluRay sales. But Toshiba have the EP30(£200 online) and EP35(£270 online) coming out next week which may also help HD DVD sales - both bundled with 7 HD DVDs.
BTW do these figures include the films that have been bundled free with players?
RE Zen Vision
The old Creative Xen Xtra 60GB worked fine. They came out four years or so ago and it synced perfectly even when full. The Creative software was far more flexible than iTunes is with syncing - multiple PCs, choice of sync direction etc.
It takes the PC version of iTunes 1 hour before it even starts syncing my current 80GB iPod - its a shame as the iPod itself is a far better player to use.
Maybe the increase in capacities will lead to more use and sale of lossless tracks and an increase in sound quality?
VS supported for non MS platforms for years.
Embedded developers have been using Visual Studio for non MS OS embedded platforms for many years, e.g. Phar Lap ETS. Phar Lap ETS has a tool chain that integrates into Visual Studio. As MS says its the SDK rules that have now changed.
Not really 'new' news
From the 18th: -
The Times article from the 19th goes into a bit more detail: -
HD DVD discs are supposed to be far cheaper to produce - and the initial costs are a lot cheaper. Some low volume producers such as the US porn makers have switched from supporting BluRay to HD DVD because of this.
As for the greater capacity of BluRay being used for increased bit rate it does not seem to be happening. Companies producing both formats seem to be using to the same Codecs and bitrate for both the HD DVD and BluRay versions so the video should be identical.
Neither format seems to have a major advantage either technically or in market share. I reckon whoever has the deepest pockets will win the 'war' but both were released far too early for either format to truely win the general public over. imo
You honestly couldn't make it up, Mark?
Apart from the £150 HD DVD price tag? It was £130 and is now £115 with 5 free films.
ICT was dead on arrival and has yet to be 'turned on'. Seems to be a common fanboy comment about the problem with ICT when it currently is not a problem and probably will never will be - at least for this generation of consoles.
When playing HD DVDs the 360 is fairly quiet - not noticable above the film soundtrack.
Plus the HD is £70 and not £100 - still a rip off for a 2.5" HD.
Maybe Apple have factored in a 50% failure rate for the iPhone? ;) That brings it back down to the 6.2% like the Razr - if you count replacement phones.
There are still quite a few people out there that will buy it just because its shiny and new or because of the Apple badge. Plus when it does launch in Europe it will probably be free or almost free on a contract.
Can you turn the backlight totally off?
A couple of others worth considering: -
iHome - you cannot turn the backlight off and the top buttons glow orange. Soyou have a blue room with an orange celing
JBL OnTime - required a downgrade to the iPod firmware otherwise it would only ever play the first track in the library - tested this at around Christmas so the may have fixed it by now. Sounded good.
The iLuv was the only one I could find that you could turn the backlight totally off and played where you left off on the iPod. Its around the same price and works well. Seemed a bit more solid than the iHome.
I also have been using Hotmail since around launch and most of the Hotmail users I know are also 'old hands'. Gmail is what the newbies seem to be using.
Why Hotmail? Simply because its very rarely down, unlike Gmail or Yahoo, and I don't get the 300 spam messages a month like I do with my Gmail account. Gmail may filter them out well but how can an account which I have never used to register with anything at all get onto the spammers list?