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MrGiles2

MrGiles2
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Member since: 20.09.2010

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    • Gladiator (Blu-ray) / Blu-Ray Movie / 9 Readings / 6 Ratings
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      23.10.2010 15:40

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      A Very good buy.

      When this Blu-Ray edition was first issued during the summer of 2009, there was much diappointment amongst many fans of this film as regarding the film transfer to Blu-Ray. The definition was not deemed to be much greater than the original DVD release prior to this one. However, I am pleased to report that this has now been retified and many fans have been able to exchange Disc One for an updated and much improved disc which has been provided by Universal Pictures based in London.

      The High Definition transfer is greatly improved with much enhanced detail especially during the battle scenes early in the film which were filmed at Farnham, Surrey. Moreover, the soundtrack is wide, expansive, with clear dialogue, a boon if you possess a Home Cinema System based on a 7:1 format. The plot is too well known for me to repeat here, but it remains compulsive even after numerous viewings. The characters come to life, many of them did exist at the time, although it is historically inaccurate. However, that does not matter since it is a human story of a man who defied an empire and an emporer after becoming a slave, then a gladiator. It certaily goes down as a great achievement in the history of film making and this Blu-Ray updated version does it justice. All the more reason to invest in Blu-Ray and a Home Cinema outfit.

      Disc One contains two versions of the film, the Theatrical Version and the Extended Version which contains about 15 minutes of extra footage.

      Disc Two contains all the extras, numerous documentaries, deleted scenes, abandoned sequences, and interviews with many of the crew who worked on the film. Also there are many location shots such as Malta and Morocco, and secrets of how Rome was digitised for the modern screen. Film technology has come a long way since the days of Quo Vadis and Ben-Hur.

      A fantastic buy.

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    • Sony BDP-S370 / Blu-Ray Player / 7 Readings / 6 Ratings
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      15.10.2010 09:51
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      Must Own Machine for Home Entertainment

      With prices of blu-ray players and discs coming down fast as the market becomes even more competitive, now is the time to have a look at this wonderful machine, the latest in a long line of Sony achievements.

      The machine, very easy to set up, attaching an HDMI lead to my Sony Bravia TV and an optical lead to my Yamaha Home Cinema amplifier, it is ready to be switched on in minutes. The first thing I noticed was the speed which it loaded a disc. It is the quickest I have ever come across, literally seconds. The second thing I noticed was the picture quality. Using a blu-ray disc, Terminator Salvation in this case, picture quality is absolutely stunning. Although I did use the Vivid Picture Mode on my Sony Bravia which does make colour and detail that much brighter and sharper. Some viewers may find this mode a little too bright for their taste, so you may have to adjust the mode for whatever suits you. There is no denying however, that picture is quite simply awesome. Moreover, ordinary DVDs are automatically upscaled and look pretty good too.

      As for sound, I use the Yamaha Amplifier which is capable of transmitting 7:1 sound, and it does not disappoint. The sound is expansive, sharp, with clear dialogue and good surround effects depending on the disc of course.

      The machine is also capable of playing Music CDs, and since I tend to listen to classical and opera music mainly, the sound is very good indeed.

      Now, the interesting bit. As technology advances, the ability to access Internet services becomes more accessible. There is an ethernet connection on the rear of the machine. I use Homeplugs Ethernet cables for Home Networking rather than wireless, (you can use a wireless dongle which is expensive though) and it works very well indeed. Since I am a member of Lovefilm I can access Lovefilm Library (you will be given a code which you will need to confirm online before you can download any films etc) and can pick and choose from quite a long list. Moreover, there are other internet channels such as YouTube and Sony Entertainment just to mention a couple which you can access without extra charge. Welcome to the world of Home Entertainment Online!!

      All told then, this is a marvellous machine to own. Prices are falling very quickly these days, so shop around because I am sure you will pick up this machine for around £150 or less in some places.

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      27.09.2010 22:30
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      A Very good buy.

      It is good to see Mel Gibson back on our screens again after being involved in directing these past few years.

      In this taut, exciting and entirely plausible thriller, he plays a Boston Cop whose daughter is shot dead on their own front porch. Believing him to be the intended victim, he struggles to come to terms with his loss. He then embarks on his own investigation which takes him into the world of murky corporate dealings which involves Nuclear Energy. Aided and abetted by a stranger (played by Ray Winstone in a superb performance) who may have an agenda of his own. He finally realises that his investigation has uncovered something far more sinister.

      Based on an original Television drama written by Troy kennedy Martin and first broadcast during the early 1980s, this version has been trimmed to a reasonable screen length and it works superbly.

      Skilfully directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) the pace rarely lets up. The blu-ray presentation is very good indeed, showing much detail in the night scenes. There are also numerous extras which will keep movie buffs entertained for hours. My only quibble is that the dialogue is sometimes difficult to hear. I use a Yamaha Surround Amplifier, so need to turn up the volume for the dialogue. Surround effects are very good though, so keep an ear for loud surrounds in case you dont wish to upset the neighbours. A Very good buy.

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    • Sony BDP-S350 / Blu-Ray Player / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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      24.09.2010 12:32
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      Pretty good machine and good value too.

      I have been an owner of this machine for more than a year now, and so far it hasn't given me any problems apart from one update required for software update.

      It is easy to set up, using HDMI Cable and I use an optical lead for surround sound which is attached to my Yamaha DSP-AX759SE 7:1 amplifier. Moreover, it starts much quicker than my older blu-ray player the Sony BDP-S500 which can take about three minutes just to load up.

      Playing ordinary DVD discs, picture being upscaled, it looks pretty good, enhancing the colouring and detail especially in darker scenes. Blu-Ray discs look really good, showing greater detail with deeper, warmer colours. Sound is very good too as long as you are using a proper Surround Sound System. I use the 7 Channel Stereo Mode on my amplifier to watch some of the older DVDs or DVDs which have been archived from TV Shows. Most Blu-Ray discs now use DTS HD Sound and it sounds remarkably well on this machine.

      One thing must be mentioned for those who may wish to access BD Live which is available on some Blu-Ray disc. It is not a Profile 2, so you may not be able to access all features. However, you can still access the internet because there is an ethernet connection at the rear of the machine which is useful in case of firmware updates.

      A very good buy for those who wish to enter the world of Blu-Ray and not having to spend a packet to do so. Shop around, prices of Blu-Ray players are falling pretty fast these days, so you should be able to snap one up for around £150.

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        23.09.2010 16:42
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        Good value DVD Recorder.

        I first bought this DVD Recorder about two years ago. Being a Movie Buff I liked to record a lot of movies to archive. Picture quality on VHS Video was beginning to decline and tapes were becoming obsolete. So, it made good sense to upgrade with this new technology which is now available.

        I found this machine very easy to set up indeed. Tuning was straighforward, and all Freeview Channels were found with ease. Even now, it still updates occasionaly once new channels become available.

        Attached to a Sony LCD HD TV via by scart and HDMI Lead, picture quality is very good indeed. Although obviously upscaled via HDMI it looks far superior to normal TV Broadcasts. The sound is transmitted via an Optical Lead which is attached to my 7:1 Yamaha Surround Amplifier. It sounds clear, and bright, although it does lack depth in the surrounds.

        As for recordings, the best way to record is via the EPG Menu where you can change the time if you wish to add ten minutes on at the end which is useful if the previous programme overruns. Recordings are very good, and if you record on SP Mode, you can transfer them to a blank disc if you wish to archive. Be warned though, on SP only 120 minutes will transfer to a blank disc, otherwise a warning notice will appear "Not Enough Space" on the disc. So, for longer programmes, use the LP Mode. Picture quality is still quite good even at LP.

        My only quibble about this machine is that it can take about a minute to switch on. Modern DVD Recorders are much quicker to load up once switched on. Moreover, you cannot watch one channel, and record another at the same time.

        Nevertheless, a very good machine to have. Its also pretty reliable, not having failed me once in over two years. Shop around, there are some good deals around at this time.

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