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R. A. Arthur
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The Hobbit Trilogy [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]
The Hobbit Trilogy [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Martin Freeman
Price: £30.00

112 of 230 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the extended box sets!, 21 Feb. 2015
I can not understand why people want to buy the theatrical box sets of the films when the extended version of all three films will be released later this year. They did the same thing with the Lord of the Rings. I know all studios like to milk the cash cow as much as possible. However, trying to sell us a Blu-Ray theatrical version is a cheesy way to try and rip money from people and then release the extended later in the year. The studio wants us to buy the theatrical and then the extended? No thank you. I do not fall for the consumer impatience, greed and rampant Capitalism of it all. I'll wait for the extended Blu-ray 3d and I suggest everyone else does the same unless you enjoy wasting your money.
Comment Comments (53) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2015 4:11 PM BST


Antonio Vivaldi Les Quatre saisons
Antonio Vivaldi Les Quatre saisons
Offered by nagiry
Price: £8.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding 5.1 sound, 25 Jan. 2015
The mix here is really very good. To clarify something, most blu- rays that have lossless audio are usually 24-bit 48kHz. This disc; however, has a sampling frequency of 88.2 kHz according to the case. On the audio information my Blu-ray player displays though it's showing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ch 96kHz.The point being is that not only does this disc have the lossless versions of Vivaldi's four seasons in 5.1 surround sound, but there's also the higher sampling frequency. Whether or not this has an audible difference remains to be seen. One would have to compare the same disc with a lower sampling frequency. DTS HD Master can actually support up to a maximum of 192 kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit depth samples to 2 to 5.1 channels and 96 kHz/24bit resolution up to 7.1 channels but I don't think there is any blu-rays yet with this. I haven't sampled the lossless stereo 2.0 also on this disc yet so I can't comment on this. However, to fully appreciate the quality of these recordings I would always go for the 5.1 :). Happy listening!


Sony BDPS7200 4K 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Super Wi-Fi and High Resolution Audio
Sony BDPS7200 4K 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Super Wi-Fi and High Resolution Audio
Price: £203.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bluray player... if you have the equipment to make the most of it, 1 Jan. 2015
I've owned one of these for nearly six months now so I've had some time to thoroughly test it out on Blurays (both 2d and 3d) as well as upscaling a few old DVDs. Being a big film fan, this was enjoyable to say the least. I'm not in with the 4k gang yet, so I can't comment on it's 4k capabilities. Also, I don't use any of the 'apps' that it has, Neflix and the like because I like to watch films in Bluray where they look and sound the best they possibly can (in 1080p and lossless audio).

Set up and Installation

For me, this was very straightforward. The unit does NOT come with an HDMI cable so you will need one (or more than one if you're not connecting straight to your TV). You will need an HDMI cable capable of carrying 3d and a 1080p signal (nearly all are now I think). I think it's version 1.4a or above now will do this. Never spend anything more than £10 on a HDMI cable unless you are running it over longer distances. It's a digital signal so you are wasting your money. Do some research online on this, don't take my word for it :). In my case, I use Monoprice HDMI cables (their quality is good and they're cheap to buy). I connected a short HDMI cable to my Pioneer VSX-324-K-P 5.1 receiver and the other end to the bluray player. Then I use a 15ft HDMI cable out from my receiver to the TV. Generally, it is accepted that this is the best way to connect AV equipment nowadays using HDMI. However, you will need to make sure that your receiver is capable of passing the signal (3d pass through and 4k pass through if you're using the 4k). On the back of the bluray player there is also a digital coax out which you could use for the audio. However, you will not be able to get any of the HD audio formats if you use this method. It will only pass standard DTS, PCM or Dolby Digital. To get any lossless audio format with this player you can only use HDMI.

When you're all connected, make sure you select the right inputs on your receiver for the bluray player and boot everything up. The bluray player will go through a set up wizard with you which is easy to follow and ask you for an internet connection. It's quite important you get it connected up to the net because it will probably need a firmware update. I used wi-fi and have had no problems with this. - I note other users have had internet connectivity issues but I can't comment on this.

Generally, in terms of the picture settings of the player you can leave most of these to auto. The player detects what sort of TV you have so will adjust itself accordingly. Obviously, if you notice some settings are incorrect you can change them manually. The two main things you will need to change is the screen size for 3d (if you're using 3d). You can adjust this in the menu settings. Also, under audio settings, BD AUDIO MIX SETTING you need to turn this off if you want the player to output HD audio signals (so lossless PCM, HD MA and Dolby HD) from the HDMI jack. If you leave this on, you won't get HD audio even if you select the HD track on the particular bluray you're watching.

Testing

This was my first bluray player. So upon testing this I can say that the picture through my Panasonic TXP42ST50B is stunning. A few blurays with near perfect transfers are Skyfall and the Hobbit Extended films in 3d if you want the full 3d experience. The picture is sharp and contrast levels are excellent. There is; however, some tweaking that you can do in the picture settings menu to further improve the picture. While watching a bluray, press options on the remote then go into video settings. The default picture quality setting is auto, but I would recommend selecting 'custom' and creating a new setting. Max out the 'Super resolution' and 'smoothing' options and leave everything else where it is. In my opinion, this gives a slightly sharper and improved picture. I have tried changing the other settings but I found this either did nothing to the picture or made it look worse. By all means, try tweaking the other picture settings yourself but I think it is often the case nowadays with this technology that the less you fiddle with it the more natural and better it looks.

When watching 3d blurays, you may sometimes find that the picture is a little darker than usual. This is normal especially if you have an active 3d and a plasma TV like I have. However, a good way to combat this is to change the 'contrast' setting in the picture quality options on the player. This brings out the image more so it's less gloomy. Contrary to popular belief, the 'brightness' setting doesn't actually make the image brighter as such, it just changes the black level. Again, it's worth researching this yourself on Google if you're interested on what all these settings do and how they effect the picture.

I have not tried many DVDs on this machine to see how the upscale as any DVDs I like I just tend to buy or rent the bluray version. However, I have tried a Kraftwerk DVD which isn't available in bluray and I thought the upscale was pretty good. Upscaling basically just fills out the pixels so it's 1080p. It won't add any detail that wasn't there before so an upconversion will never look as good as 1080p source material.

The unquestionable champion with this player is the audio quality. You will only really notice it though if you have, at a minimum, a well set up 5.1 system all connected up via HDMI and a receiver that can decode HD audio signals. I use 4 of the Q Acoustics 2020i satellite speakers and a Dali Zensor Centre channel all hooked up with some decent quality speaker cable to my receiver and the whole system has really become stellar.

So, to conclude, a great player but you need to have the correct AV equipment that can make the most of it. If you don't, I would not recommend spending so much money on a bluray player - buy something cheaper.

Feel free to comment on this review, I by no means claim to be an expert when it comes to the world of home cinema, but I do my best.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2015 8:24 PM GMT


eco LED Revolution Non-Dimmable 500+ Lumen GU10 6 watt COB (Chip On Board) LED. 2700k warm white is equivalent to the brightness and colour tones of a 50w - 60w halogen spotlight. Features new COB single point chip technology with 38 degree lens.
eco LED Revolution Non-Dimmable 500+ Lumen GU10 6 watt COB (Chip On Board) LED. 2700k warm white is equivalent to the brightness and colour tones of a 50w - 60w halogen spotlight. Features new COB single point chip technology with 38 degree lens.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but shame the business has gone under, 12 Mar. 2014
Had these for a nearly a year now. Great bulbs, pretty much the same as a halogen and sufficiently bright enough. The light is also warm unlike other LEDs. I tried to order some more recently but I've heard the business has gone under as they had no stock for a long time so they'll be no more of these lights ever again again : (
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 8, 2014 2:06 AM GMT


Dyson DC24 Multi Floor Ultra-lightweight Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson DC24 Multi Floor Ultra-lightweight Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum Cleaner

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nice design, but blocks all the time, pretty useless, 11 Mar. 2013
My mother ended up buying one of these as our ten year old Sebo hoover was starting to look very worse for wear. Still great suction, but our cleaner had dropped it down the stairs a few times over the last few years and so we were needing a new one. First impressions of the Dyson were positive, very small, compact, light weight, looked well designed. But the problem arises when you start to hoover, this thing blocks constantly! After five minutes of hovering, the suction packed up. So I phoned Dyson (their call centres are in the UK, not India praise the Lord) who were helpful in explaining how I would have to dismantle the hoover (pull plastic tubes off, get coat hangers down there etc) in unblocking it. I queried why it was blocking so easily, and the Dyson lady explained that the smaller models tend to block easily if you have dirty carpets and we should have gone for the big brother larger Dyson (DC25) I think it is if we wanted something that wouldn't require pulling apart every five minutes. This, I thought was a bit silly, as we are a phenomenally middle-class household and don't have a massively dirty household with cigarette ends and cans of Carling all over the floor that require hovering up. We do have slightly overweight ginger cat, and a puppy but neither of these animals do moult much and so it wasn't the pet hair that was blocking it. Although, funnily enough after a conversation with our cleaner she has informed me that the other Dyson's, DC25 aren't much better and are pretty useless. So basically, the conclusion is if you don't want this to block all the time, you have to sweep the floor first with a brush. - Someone is having a giraffe! The next problem that I wasn't very impressed by is that the suction isn't great. The suction is pretty good with hovering itself, but if you take the hose out to do the stairs or wherever it isn't very good. In fact, our half broken ten year old Sebo had far better suction, so in the end we went back to using this since it did a far better job of hovering our stairs and whilst didn't clean the carpets as well as the Dyson, it never blocks so went back to using our old hoover and have pawned the Dyson on eBay. I will end with a quote from James Dyson, which was in fact printed all over the box for the DC24 ''We all get frustrated when products don't work, our products are different'' - Ironic, ironic, ironic!


Reality
Reality

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four star material, five star sound, 9 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Reality (Audio CD)
I am quite surprised that no one has reviewed this version of the Reality album yet. Plenty of reviews for the normal CD version and the bonus disc version, but none whatsoever for this excellent duel disc edition. There are some on the American Amazon.com however. - All very positive. I wrote a review for the CD version of Reality back near when it was first released but having had a 5.1 setup for a while now I've started getting into music DVDs and have been searching for Bowie albums mastered in 5.1. Ended up reading on Wikipedia of all places that there was a duel disc version of Reality and here we are. I listened to the album for many years as a standard CD so you really hear the difference and hear new sounds when you listen to the 5.1. I recall a similar experience when picking up Queen Greatest hits 1 and 2 on DVD, had become so used to listening to the songs through a computer or a standard stereo as soon as you listen to a track in the remastered 5.1 it makes such a difference. Having said this, big fans of Queen may know that their Greatest Hits DVDs were released with a least compressed DTS 96/24 audio which sounded flawless throughout.

Reality Duel Disc however does come with a heavily compressed Dolby Digital soundtrack, though; nonetheless the sound is excellent and well mixed throughout. Sure it would have benefitted from a DTS track and there is room for it on the disc, but in every track the Dolby does well and I feel it breathes more easily than the standard CD. It isn't overly aggressive or vise versa, neither is it your typical 'bounce sound all over the place' 5.1 effort. Done by Bowie's producer Visconti who obviously knows what he's doing with the music. Having said this I do also own Reality Tour on DVD and the Dolby surround mix done for that (also by Visconti) was bloody awful and most people recognised this. But he has hit the nail on the head with this Duel Disc and I will be looking at more 5.1 material in the Bowie camp. Ziggy Stardust 40th Anniversary was released recently which features the full album remastered in DTS. Naturally, this is next on my shopping list as I hear excellent reviews.

The final thing to say is that there is other bonus material on the disc. Of most interest is the otherwise unavailable Reality film featuring full length videos of 'Never Get Old', 'The Loneliest Guy', 'Bring Me the Disco King', and 'New Killer Star'. In between these videos there's Bowie sort of 'interviewing himself' in videos. - Kind of difficult to explain and it's a little weird to watch (but not weird for Bowie) but all this including the music videos lasts about half an hour. I should say that this is also all in 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. There's other bonus stuff on the disc too, a biography section and lyrics. Some other stuff too I think but I've not looked at this yet.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2013 11:06 AM BST


Q Acoustics Q2000i Wal (Qa2502)
Q Acoustics Q2000i Wal (Qa2502)
Offered by Peter Tyson Online
Price: £99.95

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seamless, 2 Nov. 2012
I bought one of these centres as an upgrade from my Pioneer hpt-071 5.1 receiver system. The existing Pioneer centre was very good, and have since sold it on eBay, but I just wanted something with a little more power and higher sensitivity. With the Q Acoustics centre, it has 89db sensitivity (7db increase from my Pioneer centre) which can be noticed immediately when it's hooked up. You may find that you have to turn the centre down a little unless you like centre heavy films or music. The sound quality is excellent, very clear and plenty of bass. I'd recommend you set your receiver to the 'large' setting in speaker settings for the centre channel as this speaker can handle the bass frequencies that would normally be sent to the subwoofer. The speaker is also really quite large and heavy so one should check the dimensions required for their setup. I could not find many reviews for this centre so I would be interested to hear from anyone else whose purchased one of these? The only other thing to say is that I did not purchase through Amazon, I went into Superfi who were excellent and I'm sure they would demo it for people if you wanted to have a look and test before buying. I would advise visiting a reputable hifi retailer for those who are a little unsure on home cinema simply because online you don't always know what your getting. Walnut is also the nicest colour, good wood finish. The fact that you have to pay over £20 more for one of their 'gloss' finishes is quite frankly rediculous and most of all, chavy and for commoners.


Sony DVPSR160 DVD Player
Sony DVPSR160 DVD Player

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, great sound, 26 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've used quite a few different DVD players over the years. Had 3 Sony players and a few others from different brands. Sony always seems to offer the best picture and sound quality. I have a home cinema setup, and so connect the DVD player using the coaxial digital out to my speaker system. The picture is bright and vibrant, good contrast and sharpness. I like how you can tweak the picture to get it to your personalised setting (contrast, brightness etc). Some films are a little darker than others depending on how the transfer was done and so it's always good to be able to get your individual setting. It's a very simple player to setup, ideal for old people I'd say or people who are technology illiterate.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2012 12:07 AM GMT


Aloe Propolis Cream 113g
Aloe Propolis Cream 113g
Offered by Royal Beauty UK
Price: £21.00

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good cream but their products are very expensive for what you get, 28 May 2012
This review is from: Aloe Propolis Cream 113g (Misc.)
Self explanatory title really! This is a good cream, great for eczema if you have it. But it isn't really worth the excessive price tag as there are better creams out there for a cheaper price. I'd recommend Weleda, they are also natural products but much cheaper. Having said that, Forever's drink gels are worth the cash, taken their Freedom for years.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2013 8:27 PM BST


Quantum of Solace (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2008]
Quantum of Solace (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better on second viewing, 18 May 2012
Personally, I preferred Quantum of Solace to Casino Royale. Whilst I remember being pleased to see the reboot of Bond in Casino Royale, it just seem to remember falling asleep as the card scenes went on too long. Having said that, the film always impressed and Craig and Bond keeps you engaged.

Quantum of Solace seems to have frequent snippy bits of action throughout to keep engaged alongside a developing plot. It has to be said, and I agree with the other reviews that the big problem with this film is the heavy editing. Action sequences are far too edited and you need the second watch of this film to try and figure out what went on. I also agree that there is a lack of character build up towards the start. The film is only 1 hour 40 mins long which I think is a little short for a Bond movie anyway, thus adding some more build up scenes near the beginning and sorting out the over-editing bringing the runtime towards the 2 hour mark would have rectified many of this issues highlighted in this sequel.


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