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Richard Mann
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few minor gripes but one of the best buys I've made, 17 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had thought of buying the first version of Call Blocker but delayed doing so because we have rather a lot of extensions in our larger than average house. Some of these are connected through an (Orchid PBX308+) exchange and some via DECT phones. This made it difficult to know where to put Call Blocker so that the' Block Now' button could be pressed during a nuisance call. The new (more expensive) V201 model fixes this problem because call blocking can be activated from extensions as well as from the base unit - simply by pressing hash 2 during any call that is not blocked by the pre-programmed numbers. I was a bit concerned that it might not work through the PBX but took a chance and was pleased to find that it does. When a call is blocked the extensions do give a couple of rings before stopping. This may be a function of the PBX or it may happen anyway. I haven't checked this.
Both versions of the Call Blocker come with 200 pre-programmed nuisance call numbers and over the three weeks since I installed it I have had only one unwanted call that I have had to block in addition to these. You can also choose to block a variety of different call types: Withheld Numbers; International Callers; VOIP calls; etc. Blocking these groups is Off by default but can be activated individually on set up. If you have regular callers who prefer to withhold their number (I have one) then they can still get through by prefacing their call with 1470.
On the negative side the V201 is a rather unattractive bit of kit with a big 'Block Now' push button reminiscent of US traffic sign. Not a problem to me but it might be in a more home elegant than ours. Another thing to be aware of is that the box in which the unit is packed has a compartment labelled 'Lift for cables and accessories'. In fact, when you lift it you find that all it contains is one lead about 9 inches long with an RJ11 plug at either end rather than the two, much longer RJ11/BT leads that I had expected. The instruction book shows a diagram in which the Call Blocker is plugged into an RJ11 Amercan style wall socket. Thinking I had been short changed I call the Customer Care Number and spoke to a very patient lady who pointed out that the instruction book indicates that you need to disconnect the RJ11/BT lead from your main phone and use that between the BT wall socket and the RJ11 socket on the Call Blocker, then use the very short RJ11/RJ11 lead supplied to connect it to the base unit of your master phone. This is fine if you are happy to have the Call Blocker and your master phone sitting side by side but not much use if your master phone happens to be one that has the keypad in the hand set and no base unit. For something costing nearly 60 I feel that the omission of the extra lead was a bit penny-pinching. Hence only 4 stars rather than a narrowly missed 5.
These are relatively trivial gripes however and, based on experience so far, I would say that Call Blocker is one of the best purchases I have ever made.
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2014 8:43 PM GMT


Refusal (Dick Francis Novel)
Refusal (Dick Francis Novel)
by Felix Francis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping up the standard - or so I'm told!, 27 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've never been a Dick (or Felix) Francis fan - but my wife is a huge one. Each year a new one comes out at about the time of her birthday, so that's one present fixed. I've only read one myself - way back - but my wife loves them and if she loves them so do I.


Chord CCM1 Condenser Microphone Studio / Live
Chord CCM1 Condenser Microphone Studio / Live
Offered by Inta-Audio
Price: 42.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent mic at a extrememely modest price, 27 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you buy a condenser studio microphone for around 50 you might expect its construction to be a bit tacky. However this microphone has nothing tacky about it. I bought one a couple of years back and have been very impressed with it natural sound and low noise. Its response pattern is not switchable but as a general purpose cardiod mic it has really excellent performance. I've just bought a second one to use for stereo recording of choirs and larger instrumental groups. I have no negative comments except a very trivial one: the clamp can be a little difficult to tighten sufficiently to stop the mic, which is quite heavy, from moving. If you don't have a thousand pounds plus to spend on a studio mic try this one and I doubt if you will be disappointed.


Brother HL3150CDW A4 Colour Laser Wireless Printer
Brother HL3150CDW A4 Colour Laser Wireless Printer
Price: 176.71

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star performance from a very modestly priced printer, 7 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace another make of colour laser which was a pain in the backside from day one. I chose the HL3150CDW on the basis of price and my experience with my trusty old Brother MFC-8820 mono laser which has given great service for many years . The HL is larger and heavier than expected but very solidly built. It feels like a lot of printer for the money. Setting up was a doddle - something I never fully achieved with the previous printer. I have not set up a wireless connection but USB and network connectivity were completely painless (on a Windows 7 64 bit PC). Print quality is really crisp on text (at 600x600) and colour rendering is also very good for a laser printer. So far I have run about 250 pages of colour on the cartridges supplied and the toner level monitor indicates that the colour cartridges are now around two thirds full and the black about half full - so not just a token amount supplied. Wake up from Deep Sleep is very fast and the page output speed is impressive even on auto-duplex. Toner cartridge replacement is very simple with access from the top of the machine.

This review is based on only a month's usage, without trying heavier paper on the straight-through path, but if it keeps going like I shall be a happy man.


StarTech.com 7.1 USB Audio Adapter External Sound Card with SPDIF Digital Audio
StarTech.com 7.1 USB Audio Adapter External Sound Card with SPDIF Digital Audio
Price: 24.50

5.0 out of 5 stars A great little box, 2 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After getting to grips with Nero SoundTrax in order to produce surround sound effects for am-dram productions I needed some way of outputting the SoundTrax files from a laptop. This little box was the ideal solution. It's inexpensive, it's small and well made; it takes its power from the laptop via USB and it outputs digital 5.1 or 7.1 via opto to feed directly into a Home Theatre system. Alternatively it outputs 5.1 or 7.1 audio via 4 x 3.5mm stereo jacks - RCA would have been preferred but jacks considerably reduce the box size. Installation on Windows 7 was a doddle. Highly recommended for all round value.


Karrimor Men's Mount Mid Weathertite Hiking Shoe Gunsmoke K159GNS153 8 UK
Karrimor Men's Mount Mid Weathertite Hiking Shoe Gunsmoke K159GNS153 8 UK

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent buy, 17 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At the price (27.50 for the first pair and, for some reason, 30 for the second) these boots are an excellent buy. Very comfortable, waterproof, easy to put on and lace, and, importantly when you are in your 70s, with plenty of height above the toes. My wife tried mine on prior to a week in Exmoor and decided she'd like pair, too. My only criticism regarding comfort was that they tended to cut in slightly around the the ankles but that is perhaps just because I seldom wear this kind of boot.


Panasonic DMR-EX79EB-K Freeview+ 250GB Hard Disc Drive 1080p Upscaling DVD Recorder
Panasonic DMR-EX79EB-K Freeview+ 250GB Hard Disc Drive 1080p Upscaling DVD Recorder

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Heavenly Trio, 21 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In an orgy of pre-VAT-increase spending on my new Amazon card I bought a Panasonic trio comprising a TX-L37G10B TV, an SC-BT20EB-K Blu-Ray home cinema system and a DMR-EX79EB. Overall I find this is a really great combination giving superb results. However, here are some comments: I know real men never read the user manuals and they would be forgiven for not doing so in this case because they all absolute tomes. That's not Panasonic's fault; there are so many bells and whistles on this kit that it all has to be covered somehow but it does make for pretty heavy reading. Best to take the male approach of setting it all up and then trying to find out why it doesn't work.

Turning to the TV, my only negative comment is that the sound is rubbish but then no one could expect it to be otherwise on a flat screen set. As I take its audio output via the optical link into the cinema system this isn't an issue. I really like the connectivity of the TV and use all 4 HDMI inputs as I also run a mini-PC at the back for BBC I-Player etc. One issue here however: in order to see the whole PC desktop I had to undo the default overscan on the TV display (you do need to read the manual for this!). I haven't tried the in-built satellite decoder as I use a Sky HD box as a source, but the Freeview receiver usually gives a decent picture on my very poor Freeview signal. Apart from that the TX-L37 is everything I could ever ask for - for now, at least.

As for the home cinema box, again I am pretty impressed. I do use a couple of proper Hi-Fi floor-standing speakers at the front but even the little boxes supplied give a decent sound. Picture quality is excellent both on Blu-Ray and DVD. My only real criticism is the user-friendliness of the control. It has a lot of buttons and switching to Blu-Ray/DVD can be a bit of a fiddle if you were previously watching TV. My grandchildren manage it fine but my wife needs to have it done for her (and she's no technical dumbo I hasten to add). You may also need to read the manual in order to set up the digital sound sources which take quite a long time (several seconds) to switch between input 1 (TV) and input 2 (Sky).

So far I haven't really put the DIGA recorder through its paces but it seems to be as least as good as the Pioneer box it replaced. I did make the mistake of taking the SkyHD output to the AV1 input of the recorder, which works but produces some artifacts. On reading the manual (!) I found I should have plugged into AV2. This solved the problem. I do have two negative comments, however. The Freeview sensitivity appears to be very low compared with that of the TV. With both devices being fed from the same source the TV, as noted above, gives a fairly reliable picture on most channels; the recorder gives zilch. With a good input signal this probably would not be an issue but on mine I might as well forget that the Freeview receiver is there. The other really irritating issue is the remote control- or controls. Panansonic have gone to some lengths to make each control do everything with its Viera link and this works well with just two boxes. However, the recorder remote also operates the cinema system so, if you are using the latter for the TV or DVD, say, then turning on the recorder switches off the cinema system or, in some cases, switches from the Blu-Ray disc you were watching to the output of the recorder. This may be something to do with the priority order of the HDMI inputs which I haven't yet investigated. If this is the case, however, I expect the problem would just be reversed if I switch the order. It's a small problem but one that could be avoided by giving the controls different codes for each box. It's not as though mine is an unusual combination of kit. If anyone has found a way of getting round this, please post the answer.

These small moans aside, I really think the title of my review sums up my feeling about the system as a whole: 'A Heavenly Trio'.


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