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Steve at Barton (Hampshire)
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Humax HDR-1800T 320GB Freeview Receiver with HD
Humax HDR-1800T 320GB Freeview Receiver with HD
Offered by TPS1996
Price: £149.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe how good this is!, 16 April 2015
Have had my Humax HDR-1800T 320GB Freeview HD recorder for just three days now, not very long I know, but I am so impressed with it that I wanted to write about it straight away. For the record, I got a refurbished one from eBay, from a seller I have used before and trust, and paid £80 including Parcelforce 24 delivery. When it arrived it was in the proper box, everything was there, and it looked absolutely brand new.

Anyway, it was very easy to set up, I didn't even read the manual (typical bloke!). I did find though that it has two standby settings, and on the powersave option the aerial throughfeed to the TV is disabled until the Humax is switched on. So, I have put it onto "normal" standby which presumably uses a tad more power, but does allow the TV to be used independently.

Setting recordings is easy, you just highlight the program in the guide, hit the OK button, confirm that you want to record it, job done. The guide seems to load very quickly, unlike some, but it does only cover 8 days so you can't set recordings beyond this using the guide. However, you can set a recording manually, via the yellow button once the guide is on screen, and this is also very simple. So far, the recordings I have made have been very good, and importantly they seem to be adjusted for early/late start and end times, although whether this will apply to all channels I have yet to find out. However, if necessary you can set the machine to "pad" the start and end times of all recordings by anything from one minute up to ten minutes to overcome this, or if you prefer you can edit individual scheduled recordings to add a few extra minutes if you want.

Watching recordings is simple, hit the "Media" button, and there they all are in a list, which shows a thumbnail picture of the recording, the title, the start time and date, duration, and the TV channel it was on. Just press the "Play" button and away you go. When it is finished the screen goes back to the list, and you can delete the recording via the "OPT+" button.

OK, there are a couple of minus points so far:
1) It soes not have WiFi capability so if you want to connnect it to the internet you either need an ethernet cable to your modem, or you can buy a USB dongle, although this has to be a very specific type with a Ralink RT3070 chipset as the Humax is preprogrammed with the driver for this, and there is no way to install an alernative driver. This is not an issue for me, I don't intend to use it on my home network, so the only reason I can see that I would need to connect it to the internet is to update the software. If/when I need to do this, I will just need to get a suitably long ethernet cable (5 metres in my case) which I can buy for well under a fiver, and just connect it temporarily.
2) Part of the hard drive appears to be "reserved" for some reason, so only about 89% of the 320GB is available for recording. I can only assume that this is something to do with the facility to rewind live TV. Again, not an issue as far as I am concerned, we tend to delete recordings as soon as we have watched them, so there is plenty of capacity anyway. If you want to spend more money, then this model also comes with either a 500GB or a 1TB hard drive.

Incidentally, when I did get round to looking at the manual, I though it was actually well written and helpful, not too much jargon, and a lot better than most.

Just a word of warning, this review is for the Freeview version of this machine, Humax also produce a YouView version which has different features, in particular I understand that it does not have a facility to manually schedule recordings or to pad recording times, and there will also presumably be other differences. Make sure you know what you are buying!

I hope this review has been useful. If appropriate I will update it at a later date with any additional info (good or bad).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2015 3:09 PM BST


Braun Cruzer 5 Rechargeable Foil Electric Shaver
Braun Cruzer 5 Rechargeable Foil Electric Shaver
Offered by Executivez
Price: £53.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive bit of kit, 8 Mar. 2015
Very happy with this shaver. I have tended to stick with Remingtons in the past, but decided to give Braun a try and it was a good choice. Have had this for just under three weeks now and it is still on its initial charge which took under two hours.

Being colour blind, I like the fact that there are two separate LEDs on the shaver to indicate the charging status, rather than a single one which just changes colour when it is finished. May sound like a small point but if you are colour blind then believe me it matters!

In use it is pretty quiet, and for me it gives a good close shave with little effort. The intercept cutter between the two foils is also quite efficient, and if necessary the separate pop-up trimmer is very easy to deploy. The shape and feel are also good, there are rubbery grips on the side which make quite a difference.

Cleaning is relatively easy, the whole foil assembly pops off and the two cutters can then be unclipped to make the job easier, although I did find that the foil assembly was a bit fiddly to get properly clean just using the supplied brush. However, one advantage of this shaver is that it can be cleaned under the tap, so a quick rinse, leave it to dry for a couple of hours, and it was job done. I didn't rinse the main unit as I managed to get it clean just using the brush. However, after I put it all back together I did notice that the rubbery grips had picked up some of the dust which I had to clean it off with a damp piece of kitchen roll, so maybe rinsing this as well might help. Time will tell.

No real drawbacks, there is no case supplied which is a pity, but my old Remington one was a good fit. The charging unit only has a two pin plug so you need either a special shaver socket or an adaptor, but that is pretty much the norm as far as I know. One word of warning, if you Google this, Braun also do a Cruzer 5 Beard Trimmer, which tends to be somewhat cheaper, so make sure you know which you are getting. It is certainly worth shopping around though, this particular model is currently being sold for up to £90 in some stores, I managed to find one at well under half that price including delivery ( but sorry, they have sold out now!).

Happy shaving.........
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2015 2:35 PM GMT


Seagate Expansion 500GB USB 3.0 portable 2.5 inch external hard drive
Seagate Expansion 500GB USB 3.0 portable 2.5 inch external hard drive
Price: £38.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly with my Smart TV, just what I wanted., 11 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Recently upgraded to a new Samsung Smart TV with two tuners so have been looking for a suitable hard drive to enable me to record via the TV itself. Looked at various options and decided to go for the Seagate based on other favourable reviews and also the manufacturers reputation. As we already have a separate HDD recorder, I went for the lowest capacity 500GB version as this would only be used as an extra means of recording when required.
The unit is basically just a small and unobtrusive black box, which is all I wanted as it is just going to sit behind the TV out of sight. It comes with a fairly short lead, about 18 inches long, which was about an inch too short to enable the unit to sit flat when connected up. However, I had already planned to stick it on the back of the TV with some velcro, so it was actually quite useful tht the lead was not too long. Once connected I turned the TV on and immediately got a message on screen saying that a new device had been detected, and asking if I wished to format it. Once I had confirmed this, the whole process was carried out automatically and took about two or three minutes to complete, and that was it. I imagine that this would be similar on other makes of TV. In use, the HDD seems to be performing perfectly, it loads up pretty much instantly when selected as a source, and does not seem to make any noise, so I am quite happy with it.


Melolin 10cm x 20cm (10 Dressings)
Melolin 10cm x 20cm (10 Dressings)
Offered by Medideals
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Genuine branded product, just at a much lower price, and with free delivery - arrived a couple of days after ordering. Why buy elsewhere?


Cuprinol 2.5L anti slip Decking Stain Boston Teak
Cuprinol 2.5L anti slip Decking Stain Boston Teak
Offered by Power Tools Direct
Price: £14.40

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked for me, and survived its first winter pretty well......, 9 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
UPDATED APRIL 2015 - see final paragraph.
Following a house move in 2012, I wanted something to work a miracle on an area of over 80 square yards of badly neglected softwood decking, which at a guess was around 15 years old, and had not been retreated for at least 10 years, if ever. Due to a combination of algae and mould, the surface was quite slippery even in the dry, and when it was wet it was lethal. In the winter it never really got a chance to dry out so was a no go area for most of the time.

After a lot of research, including looking at all the reviews on Amazon, I decided to try Cuprinol Ultra Tough Decking Stain, mainly because it was described as being non-slip.

To prepare the surface I applied a couple of treatments of an algae remover (can't remember the make) which I got from a local shop, but that didn't really make a lot of difference, so I resorted to the jet wash, which was extremely effective. It did leave a slightly rough surface, but I decided that this would probably provide a better key for the stain, so I didn't bother to do any sanding down.

When I opened the first tin I was rather alarmed at the colour which was very orangey, even after a thorough stirring, but went ahead anyway. It went on very easily using a 5 inch fence paint brush, which was the same width as the decking planks. It still looked very orangey once applied, but to my relief it did tone down quite a bit as it dried out. Applying the initial first coat I probably got about 25 square yards of coverage, way short of the claimed 20 square metres for two coats, but given the nature of the surface I was not really surprised. If applied to brand new decking it would obviously go a lot further. After applying a second coat the next day, I am pleased to report that the colour was pretty close to what it should have been (no trace of orange!) and also that the second coat went quite a bit further. Overall I probably managed to cover about 14 square yards per tin, based on two coats. And, most importantly, as there are little gritty particles in the stain, it does seem to live up to the non slip description even when wet.

After three months it still looks very smart, there is no sign of any lifting or deterioration, and the rain now sits on the top of the wood instead of soaking in. So, although I appreciate that it has yet to go through its first winter, I feel that the renovation has turned what was basically an eyesore into something I am very happy to live with, and would be more than happy to use this Cuprinol product again. Once it has been through its first winter I will update this review.

UPDATE APRIL 2015: Well, all in all the decking survived the winter pretty well, and it was much safer than before thanks to the non- slip properties of the product, even during periods when it was almost permanently wet. There are a few lighter patches which will need to be retreated but I suspect that is because the timber was probably a bit more porous in places, so the Cuprinol soaked in a but deeper. I will probably end up giving the whole of the decking a further coat when the weather is more suitable, just to keep the finish fairly uniform. So, I am pleased to report that I am still happy with my choice.


Brother DCP-J132W A4 All-In-One Colour Multifunction Wireless Inkjet Printer
Brother DCP-J132W A4 All-In-One Colour Multifunction Wireless Inkjet Printer
Offered by jj-pc-store
Price: £61.80

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I got this printer - so far............, 27 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After a lot of research (and dithering) I finally decided to get the Brother DCP-J132W printer, and so far I am glad I did. I will cover the set up procedure at the end of the review, as that is the most boring bit as far as I am concerned!

On the plus side, it is a nice looking uncluttered machine and is quite compact, the surface is a matt finish so unlike my previous extremely shiny Epson it doesn't show marks, and seems to attract less dust. The paper is loaded into an internal tray which slots into the front of the machine, so it avoids having a paper feed stuck up at the back. It uses four separate ink cartridges, which means you only have to replace them one at a time as each runs out, and the black cartridge is a bit bigger than the others, which seems sensible. Also, the cartridges are loaded into a compartment on the front of the machine so it is much easier to get at them. The machine can be left switched on permanently - after a few minutes it goes into a sleep mode, which allegedly uses almost no power, but means when you do want to print something it is ready almost instantly with none of the annoying and seemingly endless whirring and clattering noises that other machines make, until they decide to allow your print job to proceed, having wasted quantities of ink in the meantime. Printing itself is also comparatively quiet compared to my previous Epson, and the Canon that I had before that. All good so far.

On the downside, there is no automatic double sided printing option, so if you need this then think again - OK, you can print one page at a time and juggle with the paper tray which would be all right for very occasional use but not as a regular thing. On the same note, it would probably not be practical if you need to change the paper very often for printing photos, envelopes, etc. And for some reason the USB socket is inside the machine under the scanner bed - WHY???? It is not easy to find (even Brother seem to admit this, as they put a special sticker on the side of the machine to tell you where it is) and you then have to feed the USB lead out of the back via a special channel, so you might need a longer lead to allow for this (no USB lead is supplied by the way). SO, if a you might need to use a USB connection, beware. The only other adverse comment I have is that the lid for the scanner seems a bit wobbly and insecure when you open it, but this is because it has been designed to accept books for scanning if required, so a straightforward hinging mechanism would not be suitable. I now use both hands when opening the lid - problem sorted.

Now my thoughts about the set up procedure. Like almost any technological item now, the instructions are not particularly user friendly - do manufacturers ever road test their instructions on Joe Public before releasing them? You are provided with a Quick Start Guide which I actually found to be quite good as far as the mechanical stuff was concerned (unpacking, loading paper, loading cartridges etc). Once you have done all that, the machine goes into a cleaning process for several minutes (how did it get dirty in the first place?) and it then offers you a set-up wizard function on the LCD screen, so at that stage I abandoned the Quick Start Guide and went with the wizard. This takes you through various stages, like the date and time, and selecting your wireless network. Entering the password was a bit laborious as you only have a left or right arrow to select each character. It was then just a matter of installing the drivers as necessary. I have a laptop running on Windows 7 Professional, so went to that first as my other devices don't have a CD drive. In the end though I didn't use the CD but did a web search instead, in case the CD version had been updated. There was an option to make the printer available to all other devices on the network, which I selected. So, after about an hour all told, I was up and running, and printing from my laptop, MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone, all with no problem, and the print quality is good.

In summary then, I am very happy with this printer, but it might not suit if you want to use a USB connection, or to swap the paper supply regularly. I am still on the original supplied cartridges, but have got some non-Brother ones ready for when they run out - I will update this review once I have tried these out to confirm whether or not the printer accepted them.


Whitefurze G01RS30 34cm Milano Saucer - Forest Green
Whitefurze G01RS30 34cm Milano Saucer - Forest Green
Price: £1.45

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good looking and functional plant saucer, 26 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nothing fancy, just a nice looking and functional plant saucer. Seems fairly sturdy, although if you want to move pots around then it would probably be wise to move the pot and saucer separately rather than try and drag them together. The 34cm size refers to the overall diameter rim to rim, the actual recess for the pot is 24cm so make sure you allow for this if sizing is critical, although the recess is quite shallow.


Whitefurze G01RS21 24cm Milano Saucer - Forest Green
Whitefurze G01RS21 24cm Milano Saucer - Forest Green
Price: £0.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good looking and functional plant saucer, 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nothing fancy, just a nice looking and functional plant saucer. Seems fairly sturdy, although if you want to move pots around then it would probably be wise to move the pot and saucer separately rather than try and drag them together. The 24cm size refers to the overall diameter rim to rim, the actual recess for the pot is 17cm so make sure you allow for this if sizing is critical, although the recess is quite shallow.


Whitefurze G01RS25 29cm Milano Saucer - Forest Green
Whitefurze G01RS25 29cm Milano Saucer - Forest Green
Price: £1.20

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good looking and functional plant saucer, 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nothing fancy, just a nice looking and functional plant saucer. Seems fairly sturdy, although if you want to move pots around then it would probably be wise to move the pot and saucer separately rather than try and drag them together. The 29cm size refers to the overall diameter rim to rim, the actual recess for the pot is 20.5cm so make sure you allow for this if sizing is critical, although the recess is quite shallow.


6 ft (1829 mm) Alloy 1" (25 mm) Aerial Mast
6 ft (1829 mm) Alloy 1" (25 mm) Aerial Mast
Offered by Tektica
Price: £15.72

4.0 out of 5 stars Adequate for my purposes, 18 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Needed a mast to mount the anemometer for a weather station, so didn't want anything too over engineered, this seems just right. Not sure how it would be for a largish TV aerial, but OK for my purposes as the anemometer is quite small and light in weight.


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