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Denon AVR-2113 7.1 AV Network Surround Receiver - Black
Denon AVR-2113 7.1 AV Network Surround Receiver - Black

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its just so good, 14 Dec. 2011
Bought this to replace a £200 Onkyo unit which was less than two years old and just awful. I paid £800 from another high street retailer, but I've had it for 6 weeks now and,as the title suggests, its brilliant. Goes to show that if you going to do home cinema you may as well do it properly. Attached I've got 5 B&W M-1 speakers which I heartily recommend, and then Bluray, xbox, WD livehub, Sony DVR, ipod touch through airplay (and my laptop for that matter)... with 7 hdmi inputs you won't be running short for a while. I don't have a subwoofer as a) it only serves to annoy the neighbours and b) the B&W one I want costs another £600!

So, the initial setup.

Setup is simple and conducted through an onscreen gui. The microphone pictured to the left of the amp has a suitably long cable and was remarkable accurate - I used a tape measure to check the speaker distances as I have an unorthodox viewing angle and the measurements made by the microphone were correct within 10cm.

Use

I prefer using 'Direct' source ie without using the on board processing as that way you get a cleaner sound. That said music (more of which later) sounds better played using the dolby pro logic 2 driven through all five speakers as opposed to stereo. The sound is supremely good from all sources. Crisp, excellent definition. Just what you paid for, though quality speakers and cabling are very important too, and not those awful ones that come in an all in one package. Be sure to get advice on which speakers you partner with it. It may be that your current speakers may work better with a different brand altogether.

Remote control

Its ugly, but it is luminous, and not all the buttons are completely pointless. Like many remotes there's a special button which breaks it. Its the 'Amp' button in the middle. Press that by mistake and you can't enter the menu. Ho-hum. It has all the sources at the top, 12 in all, a direct source select button which displays everything on screen, then 4 handy quick select ones, including an ipod button, should you have connected through the ipod usb on the front.

Music/Airplay

As the amp is on my network, connected by LAN, Airplay just works. Switch on your wireless ipod and play music with no cables or dock or anything, or plug it into the front and it charges at the same time! All your artists, albums etc are displayed onscreen. Airplay is better than a wired connection as you can choose tracks with the ipod rather than using the remote control, which has a slower response time. Haven't tried the internet radio yet but I know it works as it was in the setup. Music through an ipod doesn't sound as good than BR/dvd etc due to the lower bitrate of ipod mp3s compared to full fat BR soundtracks. I'm going to dust down my CD player and see how that sounds. It won't as good as my amp and big speakers, but it has to better than the ipod.

Power button, the power button actually switches it off rather than putting it in standby.

Updates. There are frequent (but not too many) updates from Denon delivered through the LAN which means that they are actually investing post-sale attention in the product.

Everything else. There's so much more that this machine is capable of - multiple listening zones, sound settings etc which I haven't explored yet. The only minor gripe is that other than a setup paper manual, the actual manual is on a CDrom or downloadable from the website as a pdf. Now that is a minor gripe indeed.

I am hugely pleased with it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2012 11:56 PM GMT


Music For The Jilted Generation
Music For The Jilted Generation
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.27

5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark album, 24 Jun. 2011
Certainly the best Prod album by far. Second albums are traditionally 'difficult' but such was the changing face of dance music that the move away from the playschool house of Experience to the dirtier angrier side matched the rapidly progressive nature of early house music. The inside illustration depicting their attitude to the then Criminal Justice Bill reflects this,as does the track with the lyric F*ck them, and Their Law.On release the single No Good (Start the Dance) harkened back to Experience; Poison is in another direction altogether.

Following up a masterpiece like this was never going to be easy: The Fat of the Land's mediocrity illustrates how innovative Jilted was/is. That said, Oasis's Definitely Maybe was released in 1994 and Be Here Now was a 1997 release and we all know which one was better.


HTC Desire S Sim Free Mobile Phone
HTC Desire S Sim Free Mobile Phone
Offered by Prepaymania
Price: £150.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really good, 24 Jun. 2011
I bought this this phone about 3 weeks ago and I can't really fault it. Bought to replace an awful Nokia 6310 this is my first smartphone, and the first time I've bought a phone off contract. I didn't want an iphone as the actual telephone function, so I hear, isn't that great and I already have an ipod touch.

I've bought this phone primarily for calling, on the go maps, and sitting at home internet browsing (iplayer works a treat).

Being my first smartphone I can't really compare it to others on the market, but I can compare Android 2.3 to ios 4. Obviously they are different, and there's a bit of getting to know it, but essentially Android provides greater customisation than Apple. It works really well on this phone, with no lag as you flick pages, and of course it has flash which Apple still does not. The screen is very bright with vibrant colours and good blacks.

Android market is not as good as the itunes app store in terms of layout, but then you get better functionality with Adobe Flash 10, Air (for the iplayer) and Reader providing a proper pdf experience. You should download all these when you get the phone.

The camera is good though, with HD video, but the flash is quite harsh. It comes with a load of apps pre-installed - Facebook, Youtube etc. and various email clients too. The charger is a mini-usb cable which is great too, and it has an 8gb micro SD card.

Battery life is about what I expected - it lasts about two days, or should but I watch a lot of video on it and have lots of apps running - but I don't need to charge it every day. It is single core which I assume means it has a better battery life.

One thing, I found the internet browser preinstalled relatively slow. The Opera Mobile app (free) is very fast and I would highly recommend it.

Being at least £200 cheaper than a 32gb iphone 4, buying this was a complete no brainer and I have no regrets whatsoever.


Sony SVRHDT500B Freeview HD Personal Video Recorder with Twin Tuner (Old model)
Sony SVRHDT500B Freeview HD Personal Video Recorder with Twin Tuner (Old model)

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get a good aerial... maybe get a different box altogether, 3 May 2011
Before you buy one of these ensure you have a good aerial. I've got a Sony Bravia TV through which I get all the Freeview channels yet when I tuned in the Freeview HD box it didn't like the quality of the signal at all, and couldn't pick up the HD services.

As pointed out in other reviews the remote control doesn't have a Home button or the X Media Bar which is a really intuitive way of negotiating Sony's menu systems, so negotiating the menus is a bit of a hassle.

Other than those complaints this seems to be pretty good. I wrote the top part of this review 3 months ago and frankly, this is not a very good piece of kit and it in now way justifies its price.

Issues

1) The widely reported OTA (Other the Air) update in July rendered it useless. The problems that resulted have been rectified but I genuinely thought I'd bought a turkey

2) Only once has the machine missed the beginning of a program, and it wasn't important either

3) Compared to the seamless approach to menus you get with Sony TVs and Bluray players the menu here is not intuitive and particularly easy to use.

4) Fan noise isn't an issue for me as I keep it in a well ventilated cupboard under a TV

Pros: Formula 1 in 1080p HD (BBC broadcasts in 1080p, Sky broadcasts in 720p) with Digital surround sound is pretty awesome... soon to be a con come 2012.

In all honesty, I'm probably going to sell this. I only bought it for F1 in HD and it will be redundant come next year, when I'll have to get Sky.

Would I buy it again? No. Was it money well spent? Not really.

Is it a well thought out piece of technology? No it is not. I like Sony products but the haphazard menu, lack of channel ordering, decidedly moderate remote control and simplistic EPG suggest to me that when it comes to PVRs stick with brand leaders like Humax.


NETGEAR DG834GUK DG834G 54Mbps Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Firewall Router with 4-port 10/100 Switch
NETGEAR DG834GUK DG834G 54Mbps Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Firewall Router with 4-port 10/100 Switch
Offered by NETWORK LTD
Price: £63.97

1.0 out of 5 stars Great while it worked, 2 Feb. 2011
I've had the V5 version for a year. For the first 9 months it was great. Simple to install, clean online interface, easy to switch off NAT etc, with a fairly strong (not mindblowing) wireless signal. And then, inexplicably it started dropping the connection. So I downloaded and installed the latest firmware and that was no solution as it now drops at least once a day. Its been down twice now in the last eight hours.

What I want to know is this: Why do routers fail? This was a great product but it fails to perform its basic function.

I wouldn't recommend it at all. I mean, yes, it was great when it worked, but for it to die in the first year is ridiculous.

I've got one of those Netgear MIMO routers on another network which has been perfect for the last 3 years. My only assumption is that despite being a router and therefore designed to handle large quantities of data, it is simply incapable of doing so.


ASUS Eee PC 1215N 12.1 inch Netbook (Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz + ION2, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD, WLAN, BT 3.0, Webcam, Up to 7hrs battery life, Windows 7 Home Premium) - Black
ASUS Eee PC 1215N 12.1 inch Netbook (Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz + ION2, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD, WLAN, BT 3.0, Webcam, Up to 7hrs battery life, Windows 7 Home Premium) - Black

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very capable netbook, 5 Sept. 2010
It says a great deal about technology that a netbook as well specced as this model is indeed a netbook. It has all the hallmarks of being an ultra portable laptop, yet instead of costing a grand its just over £400. So is it any good? The answer is a resounding yes. And what makes it different to lesser priced Asus netbooks? Specifically the chips onboard. With a dual core Atom chip running at 1.8gigs any normal office and day-to-day tasks are a breeze. This is partly down to the speed of Windows 7, which is so much better than XP, and yet everything is quick to load and I haven't yet slowed it down. Coupled with the CPUs is the new Nvidia Ion 2 graphics processor. It has no problem playing 720p HD content; I've only played casual games but I doubt it would be up to much in the way of 3D gaming. The model I've got has 2gbs of RAM, which I'm pretty sure is expandable to 4gbs, not that it really needs it. I just like having lots of RAM. It has a great screen, chiclet keyboard which is great to type on, relatively good speakers (not great but good for a machine this size), and a big well defined touchpad. The plastic on the palm rest and lid is matte so doesn't show up fingerprints and isn't too hot either.
Downsides? There are a few but they're not game breakers and are par for the course on a netbook like this. First the buttons on the touchpad are quite stiff when you first buy it but they loosen up nicely after a few months. There's a bit of flex in the keyboard by the right shift key but its not a great problem for typing. The overall build quality is very high so I can forgive the flex which is a cosmetic problem. I do also find when typing that I do on occasion hit the Home and Page up/down keys which are to the right of the enter key but again, is a netbook as good as this this is forgiveable.
Since I bought it, BBC iplayer has had a new release and consequently the stuttery picture issues that it had are no longer evident. Unlike any other internet video, eg youtube etc, iplayer uses the CPU to process video rather than the dedicated video card which means that video was a problem. This is no longer the case either on this laptop or single core Atom chips (like the Acer Revo).

A cool feature I found when plugging the netbook into an HDMI TV was that the nvida software notifies you that if you so wish, just for that session you can make the TV the primary monitor, and by doing so, the netbook monitor will switch off and thus make the whole thing more powerful.
It also came with a starter edition of Office 2010 which is not a trial but a stripped down version with Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and is leagues ahead of Wordpad. But for the fact I already have Office 2007 I would use it. Rare to get quality bloatware.
Battery life is at least 7 hours - that's office applications and not video. The start-up from sleep is excellent - I'd say about 5-10 seconds.
In summary it is a great machine and well worth it.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2010 6:00 PM GMT


Threads [DVD] [1984]
Threads [DVD] [1984]
Dvd ~ Karen Meagher
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £24.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly terrifying, 25 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Threads [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
I first saw this when I was 11 and it had me profoundly terrified of a nuclear holocaust for a good three years. Set in Sheffield in the early 1980s it is a docu-drama of the old school. It is dry and cold, an exemplary example of no-holds barred TV. Important strategic data is given on the screen of why Sheffield would be a target, and through the use of background radio and television news we are given a solid and all too believable scenario of a build-up to a nuclear exchange between Nato and the USSR.
The film follows three families and their preparation towards, experience of, and survival (or not) of the devastastion and aftermath. Considering this is television the special effects are utterly convincing and the actual attack itself horrific. The viewer then experiences the immediate and long-term aftermath and the effect that this has on the population of the UK.
Essential viewing for all CND types, and as a period piece of the nuclear paranoia of the Brezhnev era. This was a period when, in the playground, the hot topic was, "what would you do if the 3 minute warning went?". If Threads is what it would have been like, then anything but survival would have been the best solution.


Rumours
Rumours
Price: £18.95

5.0 out of 5 stars As good as people have consistently said it is, 7 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Rumours (Audio CD)
I've just listened to Rumours two times in a row. It ended and I thought it was worth listening to again. This is the first time I've listened to it, and like many of the best albums its full of songs that one's heard before but never knew where they came from. I rarely listen to a new album twice in a row. I rarely get through most new albums I buy. I admit it was partly because I didn't feel like listening to anything else but it does say something of the quality of the music, production and composition that twice in a row was acceptable.
The best album in the world... ever? That would certainly be overstating it, but it really is a very good listen. You'd be doing a £5 note a disservice by spending it on a salad from Pret rather than a CD of Rumours.


No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb noise cancelling, 10 Jun. 2009
These are now essential for long-distance air travel. They completely drown out the rumble of the engines and the people around you. As with all air-travel tactical seating helps (in front of the wings) but these take all the noise out of it. Using them in the office is a joy. I can only barely hear my tapping on the keyboard. As a passenger in a car it is as though you are in a very quiet room.
I don't personally feel that they actually output the best sound. I mean the sound they put out is very good and they are exceptionally comfortable, its just that I find the sound a little bit muffled. The bass is well-defined but a little bit muddy. I put this down to the mechanism of the noise-cancelling which pumps white noise into you ears cancelling out the background noise picked up by the microphones in the cans. I think that this white noise (which is inaudible) interferes with the sound from an ipod. At the end of the day the bass is thumping and not what you'd expect to get from a headphone.
With the phones you get a big selection of cables, a plug, a spare rechargeable battery, a very handy carry case.
All in all these are excellent on long plane journeys, and comfortable to sleep with them on (when sitting up).


Water Drops On Burning Rocks [2000] [DVD]
Water Drops On Burning Rocks [2000] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bernard Giraudeau
Offered by Digizoneuk
Price: £34.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What used to be on Channel 4 before Big Brother came along, 26 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I saw this I think on BBC2 and, I'll be honest, I only bought it because the girl on the cover is hot and her clothes keep on falling off.
As I remember, it was quite amusing too.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2010 7:31 PM BST


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