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Panasonic DMP-BDT220EB Smart Network 3D Blu-ray Player - Black
Panasonic DMP-BDT220EB Smart Network 3D Blu-ray Player - Black

5.0 out of 5 stars Great at what really matters...picture quality!, 10 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fantastic blu-ray player. The images that it produces when you insert a blu-ray disc are breathtakingly good, as close to the cinematic experience as you're likely to achieve on this budget; if your TV is up to it (obviously your TV will also have a huge impact on image quality). The only noise generated by the player is when you first start it up; but during normal operation it's extremely quiet. The online content is fair enough; although I can't see I'll use it often as I get iPlayer and the like through my Virgin box. I also haven't watched any 3D blu-rays as I don't have a 3D TV. My one and only gripe is that load times of discs are quite tedious. However, I understand that most players take some amount of time to load content; so I dare say the Panasonic is no worse than any other model on the market in this regard.

LG 42LS5600 42-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED TV with Freeview and DLNA (discontinued by manufacturer)
LG 42LS5600 42-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED TV with Freeview and DLNA (discontinued by manufacturer)

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good picture, not so good sound...a film buffs review, 3 Feb. 2013
***I'm approaching this review from the point of view of somebody who loves to watch Blu-ray movies and full HD content with the best possible image and sound quality.***

I've had this TV for a week now. Set up was simple...I have Virgin TV and connecting the Virgin box to the TV via a HDMI cable (purchased separately) was straight forward. I haven't scanned for Freeview channels because the TV is not connected to the aerial on the roof.

The most important aspect of purchasing a new TV for me was the ability to watch full HD content via the Playstation 3 (PS3) Blu-ray player; and the HD channels through my Virgin TV connection. I didn't want a 3D TV.

Out-of-the-box, the picture is good; but I really do recommend that you learn how to tweak the picture from within the settings menu. The more tech-savvie consumer will find this a breeze; if you're not that tech-savvie it might be a little daunting for you to change settings but the TV does come with a very good and easy to follow picture wizard option. I followed these steps and the resulting adjusted image is far superior to the out-of-the-box image. Blacks are inky black; lights are not washed out but well defined...lines and edges are crisp...colours look natural...the image has a richness, depth and balance to it which is very pleasing to the eye.

I must say that full HD content looks great. My only slight disappointment was that the PS3 Blu-ray image was not quite as amazing as I'd hoped. I soon realised, however, that due to the fact that the PS3 is a very old model (the first ever released) I was not getting the benefits of an up-to-date Blu-ray player and that this was probably affecting the image quality. There was nothing wrong with the image, but it just wasn't 'blowing me away'. As a film purist, I want the best possible image recreation from my Blu-ray discs.

With this in mind, I purchased a new Panasonic Blu-ray player (one that won the What Hi-fi 2012 award for best Blu-ray player in my price bracket) and have instantly noticed a significant difference in picture quality when playing Blu-ray discs. Now, the image really does 'sing'. I can pick out details that I hadn't previously noticed. Just watching The Dark Knight Rises was an absolute joy; from the sweeping detailed landscape shots to close ups of actors faces; you can pick out pores and wrinkles...stunning.

The weakest link in the TV is the sound. There's nothing wrong with the sound when watching normal TV; but you definitely notice less then perfect sound when watching a movie. In The Dark Knight Rises, for example, with the built-in TV speakers a lot of the bass sounds were very distorted and during loud scenes this distortion was even more noticeable.

This issue is rectified if you purchase separate speakers; but this of course means you're spending more money. I took the plunge and bought a 'soundbar' system (I didn't want surround sound because I don't want speakers placed around the room). The soundbar is just a long 'bar' of speakers which sits neatly under the TV (the TV is mounted to the inside 'wall' of a TV cabinet unit); and there is also a separate subwoofer speaker which I have standing on the floor. The soundbar is connected to the TV via a digital coaxial cable (purchased separately).

The sound is now very good indeed and when watching Blu-ray movies or normal TV you can appreciate details in the soundscape that you would not pick up on otherwise. I'd recommend getting separate speakers for sure.

A very good 2D TV for a reasonable price that really comes alive when you watch Blu-Ray or full HD TV content. Additional sound system is highly recommended as the built-in speakers are not brilliant for watching films.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2013 11:30 AM BST

The Sunshine Boys (La Pareja Chiflada) Spanish Import
The Sunshine Boys (La Pareja Chiflada) Spanish Import

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary comedy masterclass!, 28 Sept. 2012
You have to stick with Sunshine Boys; as it starts at a slow pace. That's not to say it isn't funny from the word go; as Matthau's first couple of scenes are funny and entertaining. Rather, it takes a little while before we get to the real meat of this film...the pairing up of Willy Clark (Matthau) and Al Lewis (Burns). But boy, oh boy; is it worth wait! With the exception, perhaps, of The Producers, The Odd Couple, Fawlty Towers and some Ayckbourn plays; I can't think of anything from the 70's which has actually caused me to have tears of laughter and left me short of breath.

If you liked the Odd Couple, then you'll like this; because Sunshine Boys is, even down to the casting of Matthau, baked from similar ingredients to that earlier Neil Simon masterpiece. The comic timing from the two leads is impeccable; the gags come thick and fast; and the characterisation is consummate. It's farce and as all great farcical writing; it sets up plot points and gags early on and pays each of them off beautifully as the narrative unfolds.

Unlike much modern comedy, Simon doesn't rely on shock value or crude toilet humour in order to mine comic potential from the situations he creates. It's a call back to gentler times perhaps; but that doesn't mean that the comedy is in anyway dumbed-down or 'old fashioned'. Indeed, whenever the comedy may verge on 'old school', it serves the plot well; as Lewis and Clark's vaudeville routine is a pitch-perfect throw back to a 'dead' style of entertainment. Perhaps it's testimony to Simon's talent that this 'Doctor sketch' seems like very familiar territory, reminiscent of The Producers, which, only seven years previously, had been seen as the cutting edge of comedy. Doubtless, this comparison is made ever the more striking with the appearance of Lee Meredith (the voluptuous Ulla from 'The Producers') as a busty, squeaky-voiced Nurse.

Perhaps the best comedy is tinted with pathos and, like other Simon scripts, The Sunshine Boys is laced with it. There's a sadness to the characters that underpins everything and the final Act puts the laughs to one side briefly to give drama centre stage. The piece as a whole is made all the more stronger thanks to these touches.

It's a shame that a UK version is not available. I ordered the Spanish import and, seeing as it's a region 2 disc, it works on UK players just fine. You can select the film to play in English, with subtitles turned off. If purchasing the Spanish import, the only minor adjustment you may have to make, if you're watching on a widescreen TV, is to select to watch it in 14:9; as the film did not automatically adjust itself to fill the screen; leaving the image stretched and with black bars along the top and bottom of the screen. Other than that, until a UK version is released; this DVD works just fine.

Prometheus - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital Copy) [Region Free]
Prometheus - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital Copy) [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Noomi Rapace

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but it's a GOOD film!, 14 Aug. 2012
What's with the passionate 1 star reviews???? Come on people, let's get a bit of perspective here. 1 star means something is TERRIBLE. So, if TERRIBLE is something like 'Batman and Robin'...just ask yourself 'can I in all honesty give Prometheus the same rating as Batman and Robin?' In my mind, it's totally irrational to give Prometheus 1 star. It FAR exceeds 1 star films...light years ahead of them in fact.

I think this was never going to satisfy the hardcore Alien fans. But, not being a HARDCORE fan myself...just a guy looking for a GOOD film...I have to say that I really liked Prometheus. Everything from the design, to the performances, to the concepts explored, are all excellent. Prometheus is even better when we consider what came before it. Let's recap shall we?:

Alien...good, if a little slow. Yes, that's right...SLOW!

James Cameron's Aliens was so overrated...it's basically a cheesy action film which really hasn't aged at all well. Horrible cheesy dialogue is supported by a ludicrous cast of characters and you want to talk about plot holes? I could fly a jumbo jet through Cameron's script so vast are the chasms in his plot.

Alien 3....I fell asleep. Need I say more?

Alien Resurrection...I didn't even bother watching it.

Prometheus...Easily the best Alien film since 'Alien'.

So again, I ask...what's so TERRIBLE about this film that is seems to have warranted such vile hatred from the fanboys? It was NEVER going to be what was in your dreams...because this film ISN'T your dream, it's Ridley Scott's. And I'm quite happy to go there with him.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2012 7:26 PM BST

Apple iPhone 4 / 4S Screen Protector, MediaDevil Magicscreen Crystal Clear (Invisible) Edition - (2 x Protectors)
Apple iPhone 4 / 4S Screen Protector, MediaDevil Magicscreen Crystal Clear (Invisible) Edition - (2 x Protectors)
Offered by MediaDevil
Price: £11.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 11 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The customer service from this company is absolutely excellent! The product is fantastic. Not a bad word to say. Highly recommended.

The Adjustment Bureau - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
The Adjustment Bureau - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Dvd ~ Matt Damon

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, if somewhat flawed, 7 Aug. 2011
It's nice to see a studio film which, on the surface, follows a fairly predictable love story plot; but shakes things up a bit with the inclusion of an interesting science fiction spin. Sometimes these genre-bending ideas can work very well ('Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' is still the best example of this) and at other times they fall short. 'Adjustment Bureau' comes in somewhere between the two. It's not as clever as 'Spotless Mind', or, for that matter; as original. And perhaps the comparison is a little unfair as this film clearly wanted to appeal to a more mainstream audience than 'Spotless Mind'. I won't give too much away; but the central chemistry between Damon and Blunt is probably the most successful thing about 'Adjustment'; and that alone will appeal greatly to many and will leave those same people satisfied come the end credits. The central ideas around fate, 'grand designs' (or the 'plan' as it's constantly referred to throughout the film) starts to smack a little bit of 'Invention of Lying' style in-your-face religious overtones and whilst I welcomed the intellectual element to this; it quickly gets tired. It also leads to all sorts of questions relating to these 'agents' whom act on influencing people's fates. The agents are supposed to be some sort of metaphor for angels; but they always feel rather as though they're working for the dark side, than for the goodness of humanity. The idea of the portal doors and the use of hats as key props is a nice touch; one of the more genuinely original flashes that comes out of the script.

Ultimately, it's compelling enough and light enough to keep you entertained for 2 hours; but I sense it's the kind of film you'll probably quite easily forget after you've seen it. Some good ideas, nice chemistry between the leads; but think about the logic of things for too long, and you'll start to pick holes in the plot fairly quickly. Decent Saturday night in fair.

Polar FT4F Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch - Brown
Polar FT4F Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch - Brown

323 of 339 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great basic heart rate monitor without the bells and whistles, 25 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a great HR monitor for the price. It obviously tells you your heart rate, but also tells you if you're training in the fat burning zone. This is a huge advantage to somebody like me who does cardio like running and skipping as it can tell you if you're pushing too hard or not hard enough. I now realise that for about 6 months I've been pushing too hard in the running and have actually been elevating my heart rate above the optimal needed for fat burning.

The sensor strap that comes with it, which you wear around your chest to monitor the actual heart rate (which then sends a signal to the watch) is comfortable and hasn't rubbed or irritated my skin at all. You do have to wet the sensors before putting it on and my advice is to use lukewarm water, because cold water can obviously be a little too cold when you first attach the strap.

What it does:

1) Tells you if you're in the target fat burning zone (the most useful info of the lot in my opinion).

2) Tells you how many calories you've burnt.

3) Tells you how long your exercise lasted for and how much of that time was spent in the fat burning zone.

4) It gives you a maximum heart rate for training period, as well as an average.

5) It also tells you the time of day.

What it doesn't do:

1) It doesn't tell you the distance you've covered.

2) It doesn't come with software that you can use to sync your results to your computer. However, you can go to the Polar training website and input your results manually, which is what I do; and you'll still get a record and chart of your results over a period of time.

So, a pretty good HR monitor and cheap considering the features you get. It's simple to use and takes 2 minutes when you first use it to input some basic details about yourself including age, weight and height. For this price I can live without fancy software to sync up with the computer; I don't mind manually entering my data results onto the Polar website. I can also live without features such as backlit watch face or dive-resistance. It would've been nice to have had results for distance covered; but I guess you can't have everything at this price level. You can always easily figure out how far you've run yourself anyway.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2016 3:25 PM GMT

De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red
De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 AND A HALF STARS...A present for Mum, 22 July 2011
We bought this as a present for my Mum, who is a coffee nut and she loves this machine. We bought the black version, although I think all of the range of colours look pretty good actually. It takes a little bit of practice at first to get the hang of making a cappuccino, which is what Mum will primarily use it for. It makes a little bit of a noise; but nothing overly distracting and you'll get used to it quickly.

I'm not sure how it will be with excessive use throughout the day. Mum uses it perhaps 4 or 5 times in the day so it doesn't feel like too much of a chore to use.

A couple of minor complaints at the moment:

1) Some of the plastic bits do look and feel a little cheap. True, for this money you wouldn't expect an all metal finish to every part, but it would've been nice to have had a stainless steel steam dispenser for example, which would have been easier to clean and probably more hygienic. But, as I said, you will get that sort of thing if you spend more money.

2) The coffee holder itself (the thing with the long black handle as seen in the picture above) is very stiff to turn and lock into place once it's got some coffee in it. You are supposed to turn it to the right until it is facing the front, as seen in the picture; but this proves extremely difficult. Maybe with a little more use it will get easier however. This is worth bearing in mind if you lack some strength, or you're considering buying it for perhaps an elderly, more frail, person.

All in all, decent so far. I can't compare it to other coffee machines as this is the first one we have owned. I'll update the review with more pros and/or cons as they come up.


Powerbar 2 No assembly Folds to just 30mm With New Design door frame protectors
Powerbar 2 No assembly Folds to just 30mm With New Design door frame protectors
Offered by RJH Product Development
Price: £24.48

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and fits the door very well, 12 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So far, so good. I've been using this for nearly a month now and it works very well. It fits inside the door frame as described and thus far hasn't caused any damage. I weigh 12.5 stone and holds my weight without any problems at all. I've also inspected closely for any marks that might have been left at pressure points, but there either are no marks at all or it's not noticeable.

So, I'm very happy with this. I think it would fit most standard doorways.

Gold's Gym Speed Rope
Gold's Gym Speed Rope
Offered by Maximum Supplements
Price: £6.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure if it's my technique, or if the rope is too short?!, 5 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gold's Gym Speed Rope (Sports)
It's well made and it doesn't get tangled and it feels nice to hold AND it's not too heavy. BUT...either my technique sucks (on longer ropes my technique works fine) or this rope is a little too short. It keeps catching my feet and it's rare that I can get a good rhythm going with it without having to stop and start again because the rope snagged on my feet. I find myself having to lower my arms a little and experimenting with shoulder width etc.

I may get better; so I can't justify completely that this is a fault with the product; but it just seems strange that I have no problems with a slightly longer rope.

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