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Dark scenery, intense atmosphere and crazed people roaming the street around every corner. Welcome to the world of Condemned.
You play the part of an FBI detective, on the trail of a crazed serial killer.The graphics are good, the scenery especially. And this only adds to the very intense atmosphere. For example, you arrive to investigate a murder scene in an old empty building. There is no light other than that from your torch, and all you can hear is the pouring rain and people running on the floor boards above you.
The gameplay itself is good but can get a little tedious after a while of playing, hitting people with a plank of wood only entertains you for short time.
Yet another Tom Clancy game, with all the recent releases you would think they would run out of ideas. But it seems this is not the case.
This new Splinter Cell gives the gamer a completly new feel to the game. You play the part of and NSA agent, deep undercover within a terrorist organisation. This is where the fun starts, at times in the game you will have to decide which action to take! For example at one point you are assigned by the terrorists to assasinate some government official. The problem is, if you take him out, the NSA will lose faith in you and think you have gone over to the terrorist side, if you dont do it you may be uncovered as being a spy.
The graphics are great in this game and the number of different actions you can perform are countless making for a good in depth game. The only problem i found with this title, is sometimes i found it hard to actually know what i was supposed to do. For example, on one occassion i was walking down the street when suddenly a big gun fight began. I took cover and looked around but i wasn't really sure who was on my side and who wasnt, they all looked the same. Dont let this put you off however, if you like this kind of game then its a definate buy.
The Panasonic DMR-ES15, i would consider as the best DVD recorder in its price range. Panasonic recorders have always been amongst the best, and for around £150 you wont get better than this for a straight forward DVDR.
This recorder will allow you to record roughly 8 hours worth of high quality video. It has PAL progressive scan to give you a better playback quality.
It now comes with a DV input to make it much easier for connecting your camcorder to, making your life a lot easier when transferring your home videos to a DVD.
You also get the 'TimeSlip' capability which allows you to start watching something that you are recording, and the machine will continue to record the end of the program.
The only thing missing from this machine is a built in digital tuner. If you are wanting this option then you would need to spend a little more and get the Panasonic RES25.
The lexmark X5470 is in general a good printer. With a resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi, you will get a very good print. And it is also capable of printing 25 pages per minute in black and 18 per minute in colour.
On top of this it is also loaded with a 600 x 1200 scanner, 4 memory card readers, a PictBridge port and USB 2 capability. Making it a good all round printer for any home or small office. You can also use this unit as a fax machine with a speed dial option available to use.
The only two downsides to this printer is for one, in my experience lexmark printers tend to be un reliable. Secondly the cartridges are always more expensive on lexmark than almost any other brand. The cartrides that you need are the Lexmark No. 33 which is generally priced at £19.99 and the Lexmark 32 priced normally at £17.99.
To summarise, this is a good printer and a good price. But be warned that the running cost can be a little more expensive than a different brand of printer.
P.s dooyoo seems to think this is a phone, so ignore the rating of sound quality and battery talk time please :)
As some of you may know HD TV is here, along with HD DVD and BluRay formats. Due to both these DVD formats still being very new, the equipment is very expensive. So if you want to experience a better picture quality using just your old normal DVDs then this is what you need.
The Sony DVPNS76HS, looks very much like just another DVD player. However it is capable of upscaling your existing DVDS to a level thats close to High Definition. Connecting this DVD through an HDMI connection will give you a much sharper image, remember however these are not true HD so dont try and compare the two.
It is a region 2 DVD player which means you can only play discs that are from UK and Europe. It comes as standard with a remote control, 1 HDMI socket and 1 scart socket. It is also capable of playing back almost all DVD formats, as well as DIVX format for if you have any downloaded movies.
The price of these units are around £69, however you will also need to buy a HDMI cable which runs at about £20. There are other upscaling DVDs on the market, however the sony seems to give you a much sharper and smoother image.
The Pioneer PDP-507XD is by far one of the best 50' TV that is currently available on the market at present. Taking advantage of Pioneers Pure Black Plasma panel, and the Pure Black 2HD imaging technology and having integrated digital (log onto www.freeview.co.uk to check if you can recieve freeview) this TV certainly has everything you could need.
On top of all this the TV comes with Twin HDMI connectivity, which allow you the option to connect 2 different High Definition products to this TV.
The installation of this TV could not be easier, following the simple on screen menu systems, to find the auto install function. In terms of connecting the aerials on the back of the TV, the pioneer is slightly different to other sets. This is because in order to get the digital channels working, you have to connect your main aerial into a digital input, then using another RF lead, loop the signal from a digital output into an analogue input. This does not make the installation more difficult to any other TV, it is however slightly different.
If you are looking into running a High Definition signal through this TV dont be put off by it not being capable of reproducing a 1080 input, as at the moment there are no broadcasters transmitting in 1080 and wont be for a few more years.
The TV comes as standard with a table top stand, but can however be wall mounted.
This is an excellent TV, and perhaps the best 50' I have seen. With a price of around £2299 upwards it isnt cheap, but once you see it you will agree that it is worth every penny. Also make sure you shop around, as many store such as Currys will have offers on packages, suck as the Pioneer DSC 360 home cinema system (which i have also reviewed).
The pioneer DCS 360 home cinema system, is a great looking system and one that really delivers. This stylish design consists of the DVD player, sub woofer and 5 tall floor standing speakers with a black wooden design. All of which are magnetically shielded to decrease any interference on the signal quality caused by electrical supplies that maybe nearby.
With a total of 360W RMS it isnt the most powerful system on the market, however the quality of the sound it great. With Dolby Pro-Logic I and II available on this system, you are capable of getting the best sound from both pre recorded CD and DVDs you can also amplify the normal TV sound through all the speakers.
On top of all this the system comes with USB connectivity which allows you to connect your MP3 player to make use of the set as a home hi fi, this feature is enhanced by the built in FM/AM radio. You also have control to change the sound settings including the treble and the bass settings.
Perhaps the main feature however is the HDMI output, which allows you to connect this system to any TV that also has HDMI using just one simple cable. This will increases the picture qualitiy of your DVDs.
This is one of the best home cinema systems on the market at present, and pioneer have been well known for developing some of the best audio systems over the last 5 years. I would strongly recommend anyone that is considering purchasing a new home cinema system, to take this one into account.
Looking for a smaller screen for your bedroom or kitchen?
Boasting brilliant picture quality, this very smart looking TV wouldnt look lost in any room of the house. This model is also available in white.
This model has a 500:1 contrast ratio which for a TV of this size is very good, and uses a WXGA 1440 x 900 panel resolution. This means that the picture quality is of a very high standard. In terms of connectivity, there is 1 scart sockets and also a PC input, giving it the capability to double up as your PC monitor as well.
For installation it couldn't be easier, on the first time of using the TV will automatically go to the installation menu and begin to tune itself in.
There are two downsides to the set and it is the same for its bigger version, the sound quality can leave a lot to be desired, however it is generally considered of less importance on a second TV that only gets used in the bedroom or kitchen. It is a dis-advantage however all the same. The second may not be seen as a problem depending on your needs, but this set doesn't have Freeview built into it, meaning if you wanted to use this service you would need to purchase a seperate set top box.
Despite this you will struggle to find a TV of this size with the same picture quality and with prices at around £250 - £299 it is a very good all round second TV.
Over G Figthers, the only flight sim on the Xbox 360 as far as I am aware. I had be looking at this game for a while trying to decide if I should get it. I did eventually!
The graphics look ok, but that is perhaps the only good thing to say about this game. The gameplay is not that good and gets very tedious to play as it is the same missions all the time, which means after playing a few missions your ready to play a different game all togehter. The controls are average to say the least and the whole game is covered with music that sounds like its just trying to copy the music from the film Top Gun.
So in other words I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone unless you are desperate for a flight sim, and even then I would only buy it if you can get it at a very good price.
Sky HD is the latest generation of broadcast available in the UK. The main obvious feature of this is a vastly improved picture quality. With the sales of HD ready TVs at an all time high, this Sky package is perhaps one of the most anticapted releases for many years in the world of TV.
By subscribing to Sky HD you will recieve a new Sky + box which allows you to record your favourite programs onto the 120Gb Hard drive, and also allows you to record one Sky channel whilst watching a completley different channel. There are also other features made available by this, such as 'Series Link' which allows you to program your Sky + box to record your favourite series by simply pressing one button. The box still has all the program guides to make viewing easier.
Obviously you will need a High Definition Ready TV in order to be able to connect this Sky box up, this is due to the face that a TV but be able to reproduce a certain level of picture quality in order to be HD Ready, this is determined by the number of pixels that a screen has.
There are 2 types of HD transmission, the highest being called a 1080 transmission which is of an even higher quality, and again depends on if your TV can reproduce this level of pixels. However at this moment in time there are no programs being broadcast in 1080.
There are downside to this service however. One of which being the price, it is still quite expensive to actually get the new equipment (i will not state a price as different store do different offers) and you also have to pay a further £10 per month on your sky bill. The other downfall is that at present there are only around 15-20 channels actually broadcasting HD signals, this is due to a lack of programs being recorded in HD.
If you have a HD ready TV and are looking into this option then by all means do so, the picture quality is amazing. However make sure you shop around, as I stated before different retailers and sky themselves will give you different offers so find the one that suits you best.
If your looking for a good home cinema system for a good price then this is definatly worth considering.
The Philips HTS3115 looks good, delivers a great sound and on top of that is a great buy with prices running at around £150 - £180. Your rear speakers also come with floor standing speakers which means you dont have to have them sat on the floor or go out and buy ugly looking stands that dont match.
This unit offers 500W RMS output, giving you a great sound quality. And also has Dolby Pro-Logic II which is great for enhancing the sound from a normal TV signal, so you can watch all the movies etc that are on normal TV or sky with the sound being transmitted through all 5 speakers.
On top of this, other features include built in FM and AM radio, DivX and Jpeg compatability, allowing you to display all your photographs from a digital camera onto your TV from a DVD or CD. And it also offers you the option of a USB port, which allows you to connect your MP3 player to the system making this a great all round home entertainment unit.
This DVD player will also upgrade your normal DVD discs to a near High Definition Equivalent (this of course also depends on the TV you are connecting too) as the unit has HDMI output capability.
In terms of installation, as with all modern home cinema units, all the speaker cables are colour coded therefore making installation very quick and easy.
If your looking for a great looking stylish TV with good picture quality then this is definatly one to consider. The price has recently been dropping and you can now pick one up for around £550. However there are downsides that I will go into later.
The TV is HD Ready, integrated Freeview (log onto www.freeview.co.uk to check if you can recieve freeview), uses Samsungs SRS sound system and XT engine. In terms of connectivity is has HDMI, component, phono and 2 scarts as well as audio outputs. This is also a very easy TV to install, the first time you turn it on, the set automatically goes onto tuning itself in.
This TV is very good for using with an Xbox 360, as it also has a 'Gaming Mode' which is designed to show the fast moving images of a games console.
Despite the having good picture quality, I will say you should be careful when comparing the specifications of this TV against others, as this TV says it has a contrast ration of 5000:1, this is not a completly accurate figure, as that is taking into consideration the backlight as well as the screen. Most other TVs state the contrast ratio based only on the screen itself.
The other down side to this TV is the very poor sound quality. Due to the speakers being hidden away underneath the plastic casing along the bottom of the screen, you do get a very muffled sound no matter how much you turn it up, and the higher the volume the more distortion you get. In order to overcome this you really need to connect the TV to a Home Cinema System.
The Philips 42PF9831 is one of the best Large screen LCD televisions available at this moment in time. Apart from being able to show off the superb full Ambilight Technology, it also benefits from the excellent philips technology Pixel Plus 3.
This HD Ready TV is capable of displaying upto 720p resolution, and has a contrast ratio of 4500:1. The contrast ratio on any TV is the difference between light and dark colours. So for example any picture that is supposed to be black will be black, on tvs with a low contrast ratio will look more of a grey colour.
This TV also boasts Twin HDMI connectivity, 2 scart sockets, audio outputs and component inputs.
The Philips Ambilight Technology is a unique system that places coloured lights around all four sides of this particular TV, these lights change to mirror the most dominant colour on the screen (for example if your watching football, the lights will mainly show green). The reasons behind this system is it has be proven that you should have some form of light behind the TV when watching, this reduces eye strain. So by having the ambilight system it not only acts as a light source but it also enhances the viewing experience.
Pixel Plus 3 that is also unique to Philips, this systems improves the picture quality by adding roughly 30% more pixels to the screen which means that all the images look a lot smoother.
On top of this the TV also has built in Freeview. This is of course subject to availabilty dependant on where you live and also your own aerial compatability. To check if you can recieve freeview simply log onto www.freeview.co.uk.
This TV also comes with a table top stand, however you can wall mount it. A word of warning though, if you are wanting to wall mount this model you need to make sure you get the correct bracket, as philips generally wont fit onto a universal bracket.
The main disadvantage to this TV is the price. Although you get a very high quality TV packed with loads of features, with a price tag of generally between £2499 - £2999 you are paying a lot mainly for the design. So make sure you shop around first to make sure you find the best deal.