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I havent put anything on here in a while, as Tony Stark says "Its good to be back"
As always in my reviews I try not to get too technical, I want everyone to benefit !
Right Down to business, Some background
All my home entertainment equipment is generally Sony that includes, DVD players, Hifi, Speakers, Home theatres, Televisions ETC..
with Sony I find their Products to be of a High Quality, Good looking and jammed packed with more features than you could shake a stick at. (even if the customer service is pretty crappy) topical! this is about a Television.....I must remember that and keep calm.........Lousy incompetants!
Back to the Television,
I wanted to replace the 40" HD Sony LCD TV I already had, again great tv, excellent 1920 x 1080 picture
however it was only 60hz, 450Watt PSU (fairly power hungry), 2 x HDMI etc etc.... but as everything is HDMI now I had to buy a HDMI adaptor for the set giving it more ports and this option was fairly expensive and takes up another power socket. Other influences on the decision to upgrade was the fact That I already owned the Sony BDP570 3D Bluray Player and the PS3.
After getting it home and unpacking the TV, the phyisical installation was not a problem due to the TV's weight and dimensions. I Instantly noticed the weight differential when I tried to move the 40" LCD that was being replaced I forgot that thing weighed a ton compared to the same screen size KDL 40EX723. After Initial Switch on, Sony;s setup wizard helps you get the television up and running quickly for the basics i.e watching digital terrestial tv. Its on screen help is extremely detailed, its pratically got its help manual built into the set itself which is great diagrams and all!
Appearence, Dimensions & Power
The bezel is extremely thin with a black brushed effect finish, Its physical dimensions are (w)94.3 x (h)58.6 x (d)4.2(cm) or 94.3 x 61.6 x 25.0(cm) including its stand. The Screen itself is LED, (Basically thats good for us as it means we get a Brighter clearer picture than that of an equivalent LCD TV at the same time using far less energy, In my case this TV uses around 96Watts, it uses a quarter of the power my old set used meaning its saving me on utility bills.) The TV carries the Sony ECCO range badge and gets an "A" rating on the E.U electrical appliance power consumption chart. Other green features include The Presence Sensor which temporarily turns off your TV picture to save energy when there is no movement in the room, the remote control has a sensor in it also so just picking the remote up is enough to bring the set out of power saving. Theres also Light Sensor which adjusts the pictures brightness according to the room's ambient light to save energy and reduce electricity bills.
Specifications and Connections!
Screen type : LCD
Backlight type : Edge LED
Resolution : 1920 x 1080
Screen size (inch) :40
Screen size (cm) : 102
Frames Per Second : 200 Hz
Aspect ratio :16:9
Full 3D : Transmitter buitin
Sony Active Shutter Glasses required (sold seperately)
Sony TDGBR100B 3D Active Shutter glasses (requires 2032 cell batteries)
Sony TDGBR250B 3D Active Shutter glasses (Rechargeable)
****Best place to buy is on amazon!*********
Using 3D, i.e From Playstation, Bluray or Sky Box
a high speed HDMI 1.4 spec cable is required per 3D device
Speaker type : Invisible speaker (with Sound Elevation)
Audio power output : 20W (10W x 2)
Sound mode settings : Dynamic / Standard / Clear Voice
Surround mode settings : Cinema / Sports / Music / Game
S-Force Front Surround + S-Force Front Surround 3D + S Master
Dolby® Digital / Dolby® Digital Plus / Dolby® Pulse
Input / Connections
4 x HDMI
1 x Scart
1 x Component
1 x PC (15 Pin VGA)
1 x Optical Digital out
1 x Standard RCA Video In
1 x Stereo RCA Audio In L/R
1 x Standard 3.5mm Stereo Jack Input
1 x Headphone Out
2 x USB
1 x PCMCIA
1 x COAX (Aerial) Input
1 x RJ45 Ethernet connection
Wifi capable, requires Sony UWABR100 USB dongle
SKYPE requires Optional Sony CMU-BR100 USB Video Camera with Mic
Features / Smart TV!
The TV's main interface has been updated, dropping the tradtional / simplistic PS3 / PSP menu system, enabling the viewer to still watch the television while they change the settings or look for media, Anyone familiar with any recent Sony product will instantly get to grips with the interface, again the help manuals are built in and are all accessible from the home screen as well as shortcut buttons.
The set has a built in web browser for surfing, at the moment with the current firmware the browser is unable to view videos embedded in webpages but thats a minor flaw, overall the web browser isnt too bad its not the fastest web experience but hey your surfing the internet on your tv whilst watching eastenders ! yes the set will do split screen enabling you to use your pc and watch tv at the same time. I hear you ask it must be painful typing in URL addresses without some kind of keyboard present, I agree with you thats true, the remote supplied although well made and functional does not have that facility but this is where your smart tv really comes into play, Sony working with Apple have developed a free application for iPAD and iPHONE users, using WIFI your mobile device becomes the full remote control including keyboard now searching through google is once again fun and simple! Im not sure if there is an app for other handsets but if there isnt im sure its coming. Failing that the set has USB ports, i havent tried this yet but simply plug in a USB Keyboard I dont see any reason why this wouldnt work.
Being a smart tv, you have access to Widgets & APPS like facebook, twitter & skype. You can watch tv and use facebook at the same time, not sure if thats a good thing as a lot of peeps I know are addicted to facebook LOL!
for skype you will need the sony camera (see specs above for details) However I will connect my Microsoft webcam to see if a generic camera can be used. It may be a long shot but if it works will of just saved £93 as
Sonys peripherals are quite expensive.
The TV has a whole host of Internet music and video options, Including services from Love film, Sony and you tube Not forgetting BBC iPlayer. However At present Channel 4 OD and ITV Player isnt available via the TV which is odd because I have them on My PS3 however Im sure they are coming.
The TV has builtin Free view HD, giving you BBC 1 HD, BBC HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD. The picture is good even with the poor aerial im using, thats also saved me upgrading my scart only sky digital box, saving me £10 a month on subscription fees!
Talking about USB, this tv really elimates the need for a VCR or Any type of hard drive based recorder
using the USB interface simply take an external USB flash drive (over 32Gb) or hard drive. Connect it to the main usb socket and via the home menu mount the drive for use with the tv, once that has been done your tv will record any digital tv program directly onto that storage. All recordings can be viewed or deleted via the home screen. The TV will support hard drives upto 1Tb. Please note it will reformat the drive so make sure its a spare disk as you cant share the disk with the TV and a PC etc. As always backup your stuff!. At present the TV will only record off the air, I tried to manually record something from the scart input but I wasnt allowed but again a minor issue.
other features include remote streaming of media from a windows PC, connect your media to the USB sockets for direct playback! i.e USB thumb drives, MP3 players and IPODs. However I havent had much success with track names connecting an ipod to the tv via usb as the tv just addresses the ipod as removable storage but im sure Sony will fix that in an upcoming firmware update.
The picture is very sharp, the blacks are pretty much spot on and the motion (200Hz) is fluid and very smooth,
makes fast moving pictures look much better, a problem that has plagued LCD tv;s since day 1.
Yes but what about 3D? its awesome anything to do with fish / wildlife!! amazing. I was lucky to of liberated a Sony 3D Demo bluray. I always play this to friends who havent experienced 3DTV yet it converts them!. I have to admit GRAN TURISMO 5 and WIPEOUT HD on the PS3 are amazing!!. Especially the depth from the cockpit views its very good.
I can go on and on about this TV as it is jammed with features, yes there are 2 main downers to this tv
The 3D glasses are expensive, well made but pricey and retail at £109 a pair and your gonna need atleast 2 pairs but if you shop at amazon you will find them for half of what currys ask for. The second is the built in Speakers, as the tv is thin/small so are the speakers therfore there isnt really any bass you will need a home theatre or the like to get the true A/V experience. Again Sony have made a Standalone speaker bar which can connect directly underneath the TV (making it one piece). That particular speaker bar is the Sony SA-40-SE this will probably cost around £250. Ideal if you dont have space for speakers or a home theatre kit.
Im gonna stop there!
Bottom line, Smart TV the revolution is here :)
Being a gadget lover I thought it would be handy to get something small that I could take anywhere and use on long public transport / plane journeys
without doing any research on netbooks
I bought one of these last christmas off the shelf from a Currys Superstore,
The Specs for such a small netbook are quite impressive even if they are standard now days, For the £250 I paid this is what I got
Atom N450 / 1.66 GHz - RAM 2GB - HDD 250 GB - Builtin Webcam + Microphone - WLAN : 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth - Win 7 Starter + Office 2010 - 10.1" Widescreen TFT 1024 x 600 WSVGA, USBs + SD Card Socket
I have to admit, out of the box unmodified, even with 2Gb ram the system under windows 7 responds poorly, surfing anything with the built in windows explorer is dire! Thank the lord for google chrome, which actually lets you surf the web as intended on a netbook. Windows 7 Starter itself is an extremely cut down version of MS flagship OS, under the EULA its considered illegal to have your windows desktop anything other than the windows logo, which i find extremely odd and microsoft have made sure to take out the option of changing or putting on your own wallpaper? theres apps out there that allow you to change the wallpaper but things like this make no sense to me, you can change the wallpaper on pretty much any device today why not on a netbook you own? good one microsoft!
The machine itself is well made as you would expect from Samsung and comes in a variety of colours, the Atom processor under windows 7 leaves alot to be desired. For the money is it worth it? If you shop around you can probably pick this little machine up for £150 and If you happen to have a spare copy + license for windows XP ! install it, Under Win XP pro this is a great netbook. But if you are unsure how to do it, download and install drivers etc maybe this isnt the netbook for you. General rule on laptops is, the smaller they are the more expensive they become however netbooks are designed to be offer a similiar experience just at a much lower cost, low cost = inferior / cheaper / lower power components (with the exception of Sony netbooks which seem to cost as much as most laptops). Either go for a slightly larger but infinitely better Laptop or Perhaps invest in an IPAD.
I still have the N150, its running at its max under win Xp, but I had to replace it with an IPAD. Which like most apple products is instantly usuable out of the box (after itunes activation ofcourse)
Nice machine, Shame about Windows 7 performance, Switch to XP Pro or consider something more powerful if you want to use windows 7
Last year I received a Latitude E6400 directly from Dell as a gift after attending one of their demonstrations on virtualisation.
The Laptop I have is comprised of a (vpro) intel Core 2 duo processor, 8Gb DDR2 memory, 500Gb Hard drive, 3G Modem, 14.1" LED 1440 x 960 screen, backlit keyboard, ABGN wifi, Bluetooth and DVD/RW optical drive. The casing is well made with a brushed all black finish DELL calls it as follows "Premium magnesium alloy construction, longer-lasting paint finishes and robust metal hinges, the new Latitude E6400 is more durable than ever". Durable to some extent yes, with everyday but still careful use I would definitely agree but if you were a BT engineer a who needs to use this out in the field a Panasonic Tough Book this isnt. Again its a well built quality laptop. This was designed with the business man in mind and this is reflected by the internal intel graphics card, it has a vga and display port output, which is not geared up for 3D or graphically intensive games or apps. This machine was probably available at somepoint with a more powerful Nvidia Quatro GPU which would of had its own onboard and faster video memory instead of the shared with system ram intel GPU like on the machine Im reviewing.
The machine itself is easier to work on / upgrade than the previous Latitude D series as the bottom part of the case completely lifts away after unscrewing a very small number of screws.
Once the case is off you have full access to all the upgradeable aspects of the laptop ie both DDR2 ram sockets, modem, 3G Modem etc. The SATA Hard Drive itself comes out very easily as well.
Windows 7 Pro 64Bit responds very well as does every aspect of the PC, The LED screen is very sharp & bright, reminds me of the screens found on the more expensive Sony VAIOs, and with a decent 4-5 hr battery life I do enjoy using this piece of kit!
The Inbuilt Intel VPRO technology enables you to remote directly into the hardware itself, for remote control, hardware auditing and system health, You can remote to this PC even if the hard drive has been taken out or if it has no software or windows on it what so ever! Genius!
As you can see from the specs below, the laptop is quite thin and fairly light with the standard battery attached.
Dimensions: 335 x 244 x 33mm (including feet about 2mm long) or 13.2" x 9.6" x 1.3"
Weight: Actual weight 2.31kg 5.1 lbs (w/ 6 cell battery)
I got an IPHONE back in 2007 it changed my smart phone world forever, This Phone definitely keeps up with that and Apples trend of Impressive yet easy easy to use technology. The Control method and IOS is extremely quick and simple to use.
First of all lets talk about the hardware itself,
The handset is sleek, nice to the touch and oozes with quality definitely a well thought out and manufactured device obviously with 1 exception but we will come to that later. The unit is Fingerprint-resistant made from an oleophobic coating on it front and back in other words toughend glass. Do be careful though the slightest drop on a concrete or hardened surface will almost certainly crack the device. Make sure you get a decent leather or toughened case for your device just incase. Repairs to this unit can be very costly via APPLE.
Technology was supposed to get smaller with age and advancements however due to the larger screens on smart phones, these handsets have gone the other way and got bigger, that can all be forgiven using the impressive 3.5 inch high resolution (960x640) multi touch retina display which is amazing the picture is crisp, text is sharp and the colour is vibrant. The Older IPHONE 3GS with its much lower resolution display, although still a great handset, is completely over taken by the retina display on the IPHONE 4.
IPhone 4 dimensions
Height: 115.2 mm (4.5 inches)
Width: 58.6 mm (2.31 inches)
Depth: 9.3 mm (0.37 inches)
Weight: 137 grams (4.8 ounces)
Key Mobile Technology Features
Quad Band, Allowing the Phone to operate in some extent in most if not all countries around the world
UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR wireless technology
The Phone packs too many features to mention but it literally has the potential to do anything, please visit http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/specs.html
for the full technical run down.
With Support from Apple, NIKE, Tom Tom etc, With Countless free and Paid apps available this isnt just a smart phone this is a tiny pocket sized computer capable of running your life, a replacement for your mobile games console and your mobile media player, you may find yourself lost without it.
Remember though, It still has to function as a mobile phone thats the only major flaw with this device and heres why. The aerials (gsm and wifi) are on the outside of the device depending on how you hold the IPHONE 4, you could create a short with your finger and this will cause the IPHONE to lose its GSM signal (if your on a call when this happens it will drop). Apple tried to prevent this by issuing the bumper cases but Im sure it will be addressed properly with the Next IPhone which will be out Nov 2011
The 32GB Model, which I currently use ,gives you plenty of memory space for all your apps and media
My phone is currently running
Videos (full length tv programs 30mins or more) 55
In Short, Its a great device, no other smart phone is its equal, Until the IPHONE 5 rears its head later this year.
Having been a big fan of marvel comics growing up Its safe to say I have been left deeply disappointed by most of their super hero outtings on the silver screen. Especially in the X-men and Hulk department.
I remember when I saw the original teaser trailer for 2008's Iron Man the first thought that came to mind was "Here we go another comic book to ruin" I have to admit watching Iron Man in the cinema literally blew me away. The acting was solid the casting was very good especially Downey Jr and Bridges, the relationship between Stark and Rhodes personified friendship and a deep mutual respect for each other even if Stark had none for himself, The revelation brought on by his condition while held captive and the interaction with his saviour Jensing was touching and the Story itself was great, the visuals and the sound track were spot on not forgetting the Gadgets..... its every boys dream to have a toy like that!!
I waited patiently for the sequel, looking at regular update sites and watching all the online featurettes I could find until the movie was realised, Although I enjoyed Iron Man 2 I felt it fell short of the original.
Ultimately The Story had a lot potential but it lacked the heart of its predessor, it became drawn out and some of the scenes became far fetched even for a comic book, the way Stark had to deal with the consequences of saying "I am Iron Man" as well as the ARC reactor in his chest slowly poisioning him all the while the U.S government is trying to procure the IRON MAN technology, with a direct competitor around every corner was well done with Stark taking the path of self destruction and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) trying to steal Tony's spotlight as the military's new defense contractor. The courtroom scene with Gary Shandling was classic Stark / Jr at his best gadgets and all. The Iron Man vs Whiplash Scene at the track in Monaco was one of the highlights of the movie but at the same time how Whiplash could even be a match for the Iron Man MK V armour still baffles me. Ok he some how used his whips to block the repulsors but when Iron Man Punched him in the face that should of killed him right? technicalities aside I felt that too much was crammed into this movie, Stark created a new element and the toxins in his blood vanished almost instantly, once again the main enemy became another IRON MAN style suit similiar to the IRON MONGER of the first movie. There was a lot of humour as well nods to the other avengers characters in this movie and the WAR MACHINE armour looked amazing but bottom line is there simply wasnt enough IRON MAN in the movie, the stakes never felt that high either it lacked the do or die attitude the original movie had especially in the captive scenes.
Its still a good pop corn flick which I proudly own on Blu Ray Disc but as a follow up to Iron Man (2008) its disappointing but definitely worth purchasing.