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Darren Grant (Oxford, UK)

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Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Premium Series Portable Inflatable Hot Tub
Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Premium Series Portable Inflatable Hot Tub

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected but does take some effort to use., 3 July 2014
To be honest I wasn't expecting much from this. I have seen them being sold for a while now and always considered it to be a gimmick, nothing more than big paddling pool, so resisted buying one. But with the good weather this summer we decided to give it a go as a proper spa is so much more expensive and we don't really have the space.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, it clearly doesn't compare to a spa with directable jets but it has a ring of air holes around the outer edge at the bottom and the pump is powerful enough to create reasonable bubbles to create an enjoyable experience. We have had fun with it and it performs well considering the price range.

Good points compared to a proper spa are ...
No plumbing required can be filled and emptied using a hose pipe.
No special electrical installation required plugs into a normal outlet.
Can be deflated and put away saving garden space when not needed.

Buying advice.
When you buy one make sure you get the chemical starter kit as you will need to add chemicals to it to ensure the water is safe, unlike a paddling pool that is cold water a spa has warm water that is an ideal breading ground for bacteria and the bubbles mean that if those bacteria are allowed to grow then they will be inhaled.

Also order some spare filters to go with it as you will have so much fun with it that you will be disappointed that you can't use it when the filters clog up.

Usage advice
No doubt you will be keen to jump in to your new spa, it is easy to set-up but ideally you will want to set it up the day before you want to use it. It takes 1000L of water and that takes a good 2 hours or more to fill and assuming cold water from the tap it will take about 12 hours to get up to temperature. Don't forget to put the lid on while it is heating up to keep the heat in.

You do have to be prepared to work out the right chemical balance and although it seems a bit of pain to start with once you get used to the right chemicals for your water it becomes easy to set the PH level when you fill it and then top up with chlorine each day. Multifunction chlorine tablets are a good option as you put them in the floating dispenser and let them dissolve.

Put the lid on as often as possible to reduce energy cost and stop debris and creatures getting in the water.

Remove jewellery and don't use swimwear with buckles or rhinestones as it can easily get punctured.

The Not so good points.
The filters are not cheap working out about 5 a time and they clog up quickly no matter how well you have showered before hand, they have to be washed after every use and washing them does not work very well. The filters are made of paper and tend to need replacing avery few days.
The manual suggest you change the water every 3 days! If you were to follow this advice it would cost you a fortune, heating 1000L of water is like boiling your kettle 1000 times. The advice is probably given because unlike a proper spa this only has a basic filter system, no ozone generator or similar water sterilisation method. They are probably being conservative in this advice to cover their backs. If you keep the chlorine levels up and shower before use then it is probably ok to keep the water in it for a week.

So the one thing I would like to see improved is the poor filter design. A better longer lasting filter design would be welcome or alternatively a very low cost disposable filter that could be changed very day for about 1.

Heavy Duty Garden Gazebo with Side Curtains
Heavy Duty Garden Gazebo with Side Curtains

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really heavy duty., 7 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this because it is described as Heavy Duty, having had many gazebos crumple in the slightest wind. I wouldn't exactly describe it as heavy duty though and the quality is questionable.

I thought that by heavy duty that perhaps the poles were made from a heavier grade metal but that is not the case. It is still made using the cheap thin metal of a low cost gazebo but the way it is designed is slightly different.

The upright poles have a wider diameter than the normal ones.
The horizontal poles joining the 4 corners are made from a pair of poles like a rail track.
The roof has 8 poles instead of the usual 4.
Everything is bolted together instead of using plastic joints.

This design is clearly intended to make it more sturdy but that does make it much more difficult to assemble and take down. As it is so difficult to take down it is likely that it is more likely it will get left out in bad weather so still get damaged by wind. I also found that the threaded inserts in the poles for the bolts to fit in did not align well with the holes for the bolts and some of them were not properly fixed in place so just turned in the hole when trying to screw the bolt in. This seemed to be because the metal was so thin and soft that the threaded inserts could not be held firmly, I fear that once it has been taken down a couple of times none of these inserts will work and the whole thing will be useless.

To answer other peoples question about the size it is a typical 3x3m gazebo.

So in short I wouldn't recommend it, it is marginally more sturdy than a basic one but unlikely to last more than one summer.

6 Month Subscription to LOVEFiLM - New Members Only [DVD]
6 Month Subscription to LOVEFiLM - New Members Only [DVD]

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Please turn the lights out after you leave., 12 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Love Film is a pretty poor effort.

Poor Streaming Support..
* Video's are all low quality, no HD streaming option.
* Very limited selection of streaming titles, less than 10% of tittles are available for streaming.
* Very limited platform support, no app for Panasonic TV's, XBMC or Apple products so limited to watching on a computer or forced to buy a new TV from a 'SELECTED' partner.
* Uses Silverlight meaning only Windows or Intel Mac support, no streaming on older Macs, Linux or Flash enabled Tablets.

Poor Website..
* There appears to be no queue system that lets you choose films you want to stream and watch them in the order you have placed them into a queue.
* Many titles do not have a trailer available to view.
* Where trailers are available they are very poor quality, poor picture and sound.

Many titles are not available at release time with LoveFilm when they are available from other places such as Blockbuster.
Customer service is nowhere near the standard received from Amazon. It would seem the same management that was responsible for the mess that Love Film go into in the first place are still there calling the shots. They have clearly failed to repair relationships with the film studios and instead of working to make their streaming service available on the widest range of smart TV's and media players that would bring them more customers they choose to make exclusive deals with select manufacturers.

The competition is heating up in the home entertainment business with the likes of Netflix coming along with broad support for many platforms LoveFilm is going to find itself left out in the cold very quickly. If Amazon wants this LoveFilm to succeed it is going to have to have a major shake-up, get rid of all the incompetent people there and bring in new management that can turn it into something that customers will want to buy into.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2012 6:51 PM BST

HDMI To HDMI Cable 1M Gold Plated - For Use With HD TV's,Xbox 360,PS3.
HDMI To HDMI Cable 1M Gold Plated - For Use With HD TV's,Xbox 360,PS3.
Offered by Gadgetsonline
Price: 1.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Complete rubbish, 19 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite the description stating that this cable is suitable for full HD and meets the HDMI specification it is not. The cable does not work with 1080p signals, my advice, don't waste your time with this look for something better. What a mistake it was trusting an unrated product. now it has the rating it deserves. Generally speaking a HDMI cable is a HDMI cable but clearly this one is sub standard and not worth considering. I have now ordered item HDMI to HDMI 1.2m Gold Plated Cable For Use With HD TV's / Xbox 360 / PS3 /SkyHD etc instead based on good reviews.

Apple TV (launched September 2010) (Old model)
Apple TV (launched September 2010) (Old model)

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless and Rubbish, 28 Jan 2011
The Apple TV looks like it could be a wonderful media center but alas it is nothing like it.

Hardware limited to only 720p so if you have a 1080p TV you have to rely on the TV's upscaler, generally pretty poor quality.
Bit depth of GPU is very poor causing lots of banding in picture.
Locked into iTunes, no way of playing your own content without iTunes and a Home Sharing account.
No way of playing BBC iPlayer or 4od so pretty useless to UK users.
Radio stations are limited to these listed in iTunes therefore excluding BBC radio.

Complete waste of time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2011 1:46 PM GMT

Agora [DVD] [2009]
Agora [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Rachel Weisz
Price: 4.00

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will we learn from the past ?, 12 Sep 2010
This review is from: Agora [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This film shows us the greatest threat to mankind, Religious fanaticism. Religion is used by bad people to lead good people to do bad things in the name of faith. This film shows how the faithful can be manipulated by those with evil intent and acts as a stark warning for our future. I sincerely hope people will see this film and learn from the mistakes of our past.

PHP/Architect's Guide to E-Commerce Programming with Magento
PHP/Architect's Guide to E-Commerce Programming with Magento
by Mark Kimsal
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for experts, 13 Dec 2009
Poor structure to this book makes it hard to follow and unless you are a hardcore developer that already knows the zend framework and all of the associated Magento terminology it is not worth getting.

Kylie Minogue - Kylie Live X2008 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Kylie Minogue - Kylie Live X2008 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Kylie Minogue
Price: 9.09

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 27 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
While kylie clearly does a great job at her live performance, I'm not overly impressed with the BluRay production quality. Pretty poor grainy picture quality that often starts out of focus and you can see the camera come into focus. It looks to me that it was taken from a distance with a zoom lens that is difficult to keep steady and lock focus. The DTS sound track sounds like it has been recorded on a mono tape recorder sat in front of a speaker. Probably the mix has to much ambient sound compared to live feed from the mixing desk and as a result sound lacks punch.

Pretty good if you are a kylie fan but not an outstanding example of high def quality to show off your blu-ray set-up. Can't say it is worth the asking price, wouldn't pay more than 10 for it.

The Very Best of Dad's Army - Volume Two [1968] [DVD]
The Very Best of Dad's Army - Volume Two [1968] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Arthur Lowe
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: 2.75

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always good fun., 14 April 2009
Dads army is an absolute classic TV series. If you have never seen any then these best of DVD's would be a good way to experience some of the best TV humor of the 60's. This is a selection of some of the better episodes from the series, that gives a a taster of the programme.

The only problem is that if you like Dads Army you will probably want to buy the complete collection rather than this Best of.

This is good as an introduction to Dads Army but little point buying it if you are intending to collect the whole original series.

The 1930s House Explained (England's Living History)
The 1930s House Explained (England's Living History)
by Trevor Yorke
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, 14 April 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Trevor Yorke clearly has a good understanding of the subject of housing design in the 1930's.

The book explains the various influences to the designs used and the social changes happening in the the 30's that prompted the new direction in house building. An interesting read for anyone interested in finding information about what features are original to a house of this period.

Seeing as how the choice of publications available on the subject is quite limited being such a specialist subject this publication is a fantastic effort, thank you Countryside books for publishing such an informative book.

The only reason I have given 4 stars instead of 5 is that the book is only 128 pages and I felt that Trevor Yorke probably has a lot more knowledge on the subject but has kept it a bit brief in places. So the only thing that would make the book better is a bit more of the same.

So in summary, this book is well worth buying if you are interested in the type of homes people lived in through the 1930's and during WW2 it provides an interesting history. Ideal for people restoring a house, trying to retain or replace original features.

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