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N. Lowe "snoopy104" (UK)

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Samsung UE40D6100 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 3D 200Hz LED SMART Internet Television with Freeview HD
Samsung UE40D6100 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 3D 200Hz LED SMART Internet Television with Freeview HD

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing TV and an incredible price!, 21 Nov. 2011
I bought this TV because it was the only one which packed in all of the features I wanted for my budget and I am so pleased I went for this one. I actually bought this TV elsewhere as part of a Megamind package which included the TV (UE40D6100), a Samsung BD-D5500 3D Blu Ray player, 2 Pairs of Samsung SSG-3100GB 3D glasses and Megamind 3D on Blu Ray for around £650.

The TV itself is asthetically pleasing and is very thin and ideal for wall mounting. It also looks much smaller than it actually is because of the narrowness of the border around the screen compared to an equivalent LCD or Plasma TV.

Basic TV functions are impressive. The addition of Freeview HD is welcome and really shows off the capabilities of the LED screen, which is visually vibrant and crisp. The colours and detail are incredibly bold and lifelike thanks to the high contrast ratio achievable with LED technology.

This TV also has a PVR function which allows you to connect a USB hard drive directly to the TV for recording and pausing TV. I use a Western Digital Elements 1TB drive for this and it works well. You will need to bear in mind that the TV only has a single tuner though, so it isn't possible to record two things at the same time or something whilst watching another program. Its great for either recording something you are currently watching or recording something when you're out etc. Using the TV planner, you can set it to record programs at future dates and times. The TV will switch chanel to the one to be recorded beforehand. The record function works providing the TV is fully on or on standby. Upon connecting a USB drive, the TV will need to format it to a proprietary samsung format before it can be used, therefore a dedicated drive is a good idea. The files on the drive are unreadable on other devices and it is not possible to record anything other than programs available on the TV planner.

The Internet capebilities are great and very nice to use, This can be accessed via the Samsung Smarthub interface which is slick and easy to use. There are a range of apps already pre-installed plus the option to add additional ones for free from a menu. At the moment, the range of apps is fairly limited. The Youtube App is great but the search function can be a little teadious, relying on an on-screen keyboard and a cursor which you move with the arrow keys on the remote. The picture quality is great though, so for occasional use, its fine. The BBC IPlayer app is fantastic and one of my most frequently used apps. The Lovefilm app is also nice to use. I haven't used the Twitter or Facebook apps yet but I imagine they would use the same on-screen keyboard as Youtube, which might get a bit annoying after a lot of use. There are no internet browsing function on this TV, you'd need to step up to the next range up for this, having said that, for the difference in price between this and the higher end models in the Samsung range, you could probably get a nettop PC to connect to it, which would offer far more flexibility than an in-built browser anyway.

The TV can be connected via either an Ethernet cable or a USB Wi-Fi dongle which is an optional extra. I have mine connected via Ethernet because my broadband router is behind the TV anyway. The TV can be set to a static IP address if required, otherwise it will just pick one up from your router using DHCP. I have a broadband speed of around 6Mbps and find that all of the online content plays seamlessly. When you first connect up the TV, you might find that although the TV is on the network, the SmartHub won't work initially and will report a network error. This I found was because of a software update which is downloaded and applied upon first use. I thought it was a fault but then found it worked fine the following day and has done ever since.

I also use a 2TB Buffalo Linkstation Live NAS which I store films on in either AVI (XVID or DIVX) or MP4. The Allshare function in the Smarthub menu is DLNA compliant, allowing me to browse my films, music and pictures across the network and watch them directly on my TV without having to physically connect anything up to the TV. This also works for files stored on your PC or DLNA compliant device such as a smartphone too, providing they are on the network. The TV plays AVI and MP4 files perfectly. I haven't found one which hasn't played yet. However MKV files do not work.

Finally, the 3D. I wasn't too interested in 3D initially but this TV came with it and all of the other features I wanted so it was a nice bonus. There are fairly limited selection of 3D Blu rays actually worth watching but this list is steadily increasing. It is also possible to use this TV for playing 3D content on either PS3 and Xbox 360 games too (providing you are using HDMI for Xbox 360). The 3D effect is seriously impressive. This TV uses Active 3D glasses. The Samsung SSG-3100GB glasses I am using are the cheapest compatible glasses available and use one CR2025 battery in each pair. The glasses are controlled by the TV via Bluetooth. When using the glasses, they will need to be paired each time you use them and only when 3D content is available. Active 3D allows this TV to push out 1080P Full HD with its 3D images, as opposed to passive 3D (Like the Cinema glasses) which is 480P. The 3D is very impressive, combining the vibrant and crisp colour and detail of the LED screen with the incredible depth from the 3D effect. The further you are away from the TV, the more depth you experience. Some images appear as if they are literally popping out of the TV and in the middle of the room. This TV does not have the '2D TO 3D' feature of its bigger brothers, which is designed to convert 2D images to 3D, but its hardly an issue as the rest of the TV is superb.

Overall, An amazing TV for an amazing price and even better if you find one of the bundle deals available.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2012 10:55 AM GMT

Bloc Hawk Ski / Snowboard Goggle (Camo)
Bloc Hawk Ski / Snowboard Goggle (Camo)

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic goggles!, 28 July 2011
I bought these for snowboarding in preperation to a trip to Scotland in February. As I was just starting out, I didn't want to pay a fortune for high-end kit, but also wanted something of good quality that would do the job and last. I'm over the moon with these goggles and would reccomed them to anyone looking for quality at the right price. I have friends who use goggles from more expensive brands such as Oakley and Smith's, but I was at no disadvantage with these. They stayed clear and free from fogging for the entire time I used them and look awesome with the rest of my kit. One note though, the ones I recieved were a different colour scheme to these (More distinguished black and white cammo) but just as cool looking.

New Trent iMirror 6000mAh Heavy Duty 2A/1A Dual USB Ports External Battery Pack for the new iPad, iPad2, iPhone 5 4S 4 3Gs 3G, iPod Touch all versions, Samsung Galaxy Note, Nexus, S2, & S, HTC Sensation EVO Thunderbolt, LG Optimus V, Blackberry (Bold curve Torch), Motorola Razr & Bionic, Nokia Lumia (IMP60D Heavy Duty 5V/2A/1A high speed charger)
New Trent iMirror 6000mAh Heavy Duty 2A/1A Dual USB Ports External Battery Pack for the new iPad, iPad2, iPhone 5 4S 4 3Gs 3G, iPod Touch all versions, Samsung Galaxy Note, Nexus, S2, & S, HTC Sensation EVO Thunderbolt, LG Optimus V, Blackberry (Bold curve Torch), Motorola Razr & Bionic, Nokia Lumia (IMP60D Heavy Duty 5V/2A/1A high speed charger)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea and very useful but I got a dodgy one, 28 July 2011
I purchased this to charge my HTC Desire when I'm out and about, for the first few months it worked well. I only use it occasionally but now, it doesn't seem to hold its charge at all. If I leave it to charge up overnight, the lights stop flashing and remain permenantly on, indicating that it is fully charged. When I come to use it, I connect my phone to it and power it on. The four lights show for a few seconds and then go off and the phone stops charging. It seems that it is failing to hold charge around 9 months after I purchased it.

CBR Redrock Mens Mountain Bike - 26-Inch
CBR Redrock Mens Mountain Bike - 26-Inch

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Far too cheap for a full suspension for a reason, 18 May 2011
Way too cheap for a full suspension by a fair few hundred. A friend of mine had one of these, he bought it thinking it would be a good buy. However, as you'd expect for such a low price, its very heavy, the front suspension barely moves and just serves to add more excess weight. The rear suspension creates masses of pedal bob which saps energy, the wheels buckled easily and the brakes have almost no feedback...and the list of problems went on. After a couple of months of unpleasant riding, he finally accepted that you get what you pay for and settled for proper bike from a reputable bike shop instead. Although it cost a few times more than this flat pack rubbish, he has now fallen in love with cycling again and his new bike will offer him many years of reliable service. As for this? nobody wanted it, so it ended up as scrap 6 months from new, therefore very poor value for money.

Creative Zen Stone 1gb MP3 Player - Blue
Creative Zen Stone 1gb MP3 Player - Blue

5.0 out of 5 stars good solid and reliable, 24 Jan. 2011
I bought one of these around 3 years ago purely to be used in the gym. I bought the silicon arm band to go with it and some higher quality headphones and its been brilliant! No need for all of that Itunes faff, just nice and straight forward drag and drop. There's no screen on this but this probably means that the battery life is better and lets face it, who wants everyone else looking at what you're listening to anyway? 1GB is more than sufficient for a long gym session and the device is cheap enough to be replaceable if it gets broken. Having said that, its solidly built and light. I've dropped it dozens of times and its still going strong. The battery seems to last for weeks on a full charge, being used 3-5 hours a week. If you're looking for a fully featured entertainment device, look elsewhere. This is perfect as a basic MP3 player.

New Blue Waterproof Hard Camera Case for PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-TZ30 TZ25 TZ20,TZ18,TZ10,TZ8,TZ7,FS45 FS40 FS35,SZ1,SZ7 & other Slim Digital Cameras [BLUE]
New Blue Waterproof Hard Camera Case for PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-TZ30 TZ25 TZ20,TZ18,TZ10,TZ8,TZ7,FS45 FS40 FS35,SZ1,SZ7 & other Slim Digital Cameras [BLUE]

5.0 out of 5 stars Good case for Sony HX5-V, 6 Jan. 2011
I bought this for a Sony HX5-V because it is much cheaper than a branded sony one. My camera fits in it snugly and there is sufficient room for a spare battery and a few spare SD cards. The case isn't hard as such but i'm confident that it would protect my camera well if dropped from a table or similar height. It it advertised as being waterproof, which I'm sure it is but the Zip edges are material which aren't waterproof. Soon sorted that problem with some Fabsil though. The belt clip is great and because the case doesn't open really wide, it is possible to wear it on a belt with the case left open and use it almost like a pouch if you need quick and constant access. The belt loop is very tight at first though.

Bell Ukon Adult Sport Helmet
Bell Ukon Adult Sport Helmet

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great helmet for the price, 6 Jan. 2011
I bought one of these from my local bike shop a couple of years ago and it is still going strong. I had real difficulty telling what the differences were between this and helmets for around the £70 mark, it has the same style and meets the same safety regulations. This helmet has taped seams rather than welded, but that really doesn't matter. The ingenious Bell adjustment system means that this truly is one size fits all. I use this helmet for mountain biking at trail centres and it doesn't look out of place at all. Fantastic value for money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2011 2:33 PM BST

Onguard Pitbull Shackle Lock 115mm x 230mm Including Cable
Onguard Pitbull Shackle Lock 115mm x 230mm Including Cable
Offered by Y Frame Discounts Ltd
Price: £32.84

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sold Secure, 5 Jan. 2011
I have just bought this lock for a commuting bike I have bought. The lock is graded by Sold Secure as Sold Secure - grade Silver for Bicycles, which for most bicycle insurers is sufficient for bikes under £1,500 in replacement value.

No Title Available

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great boot for hiking, 16 Aug. 2010
I have just returned from hiking in the Dolomites and took these boots for the job. I have found them to be hard wearing and very comfortable from day one. I used these boots through hot weather and found them very cool and light to wear and also used them in torrential rain and mud. The boots remained watertight and warm throughout. The eVent fabric did a great job at keeping water out, but letting my feet breathe and the Vibram sole was brilliant at gripping the sticky loose mud and leafy mulch ground in the forests and also on wet grass but there were occasions where the boot slipped on wet rock which was easily rectified by being a little more careful under these circumstances. As another reviewer mentioned, the upper part of these boots are a little floppy and not overly supportive but this helped somewhat by allowing my ankle to move more efficiently across changing terrain. There are more supportive boots about and someone looking for more ankle support might be best off looking elsewhere. Another benefit of this boot compared to other makes is that it is a British brand and uses UK specification Lasts to mould the shape of the boot. Typically British people have on average broader feet that people in some other parts of the world. I myself have quite broad feet and usually find other footwear such as football boots very narrow. These boots fitted me perfectly. I'm usually a size 11 but tried these on in a shop and went for 10.5. Even these were fairly spacious inside but the reason for this is to allow room for thicker socks, which is great!. I would highly recommend these combined with some decent socks and maybe some nice soft memory foam insoles for anyone looking for a lightweight, breathable and waterproof hiking/trekking boot for light to medium duties. Great value for money. I paid from a high street retailer.

I have no doubt that these boots will last me a few years across various holidays but even after a few weeks of use during summer, they don't look new any more probably because they are fabric rather than leather. The eVent waterproof/breathable fabric (Similar to but better than Gore-Tex) lines the inside of the boot but the material on the outer part of the boot will soak up water and is difficult to clean. Not really an issue for me so far but I would imagine this might prove a problem if using them for consecutive days in the wet. They do take a while to dry out even on a hot day when soaked through despite the eVent fabric keeping my feet dry still. Anyone who is considering something more hardcore would be wise to consider something in leather. I'm considering a pair of
Meindl Burma Pro as a replacement for these boots when they die. They're nearly 3 times the price but should last for a long time and a leather boot is going to be easier to clean, polish and keep in good shape. Another quick word of warning: I have heard that Karrimor boot laces have a tendency to break if pulled too tight. Its only a small thing but it would be a good move to carry some spare laces or replace them from the start with some tougher aftermarket ones. A can of Odour Eaters antibacterial shoe deodorant is another must to keep these boots in good shape. I have considered using a waterproofing spray on these boots but I'm not sure how that would affect the breath-ability.

All things considered, you get a hell of the boot for the money with eVent technology making them breathable and dry and top quality Vibram soles for optimum grip but be aware that there are more upmarket boots available and if looking for a more long-term or hardcore workhorse you would be wise to shop around.
Can't fault for the price though!

Cyborg F.L.Y 5
Cyborg F.L.Y 5
Offered by Mad Catz Europe
Price: £49.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great joystick but usual Saitek drivers/software nonsense, 26 Oct. 2009
I bought this stick to play Microsoft Flight Simulator X and Tom Clancey's H.A.W.X.
On paper it seems to be the perfect solution, I intend to use the stick on my laptop so the base folding function and being able to unscrew the stick are useful for portability. The reviews certainly seemed good.

I unpacked the stick and plugged it into my laptop. I am currently running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit which according to the Saitek website is supported by this product. Windows detected it, recognized it as a Cyborg X and started downloading the drivers via windows update automatically. This took just a couple of minutes and then Windows told me that an error had occured in the installation. At this point, I checked device manager and found that it had the usual yellow exclamation mark alongside it. I placed the CD which came in the box and tried to update the drivers from there, first by asking it to find the drivers in the 64-bit folder and then by manually selecting the driver. Both of which failed. The Joystick then sat in device manager as an unknown device.

Frustrated with this, I went onto the Saitek website and double checked again that this was supported in Windows 7, which it was. I went to the support section and selected the Cyborg X driver for 'Windows 7 and Vista 64-bit'. The file failed to download a few times but after a couple of attempts, I got the executable in. When I ran it, I was told that it was corrupt...

The autorun on the CD seems to run the Saitek SST software which just sits there at 'Please plug your device in' with a greyed out next button and no amount of re-plugging it in, unplugging, relaunching and plugging in seems to change this.

I had the same ridiculous drama with a Saitek gaming keyboard I bought a few years ago for Windows XP and foolishly I had expected that after all this time, they may have been capable of writing drivers and software which just plain work, like a normal hardware vendor does
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2013 2:49 PM BST

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