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Exclusive hands-on review of Epson EH-R4000 projector at Epson London Film Night

December 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

Epson EH-R4000

“We won’t launch a 3D projector until we think the time is right.” That’s the message from Epson UK’s Sue Burgess. Speaking at an exclusive brand takeover of the spectacular 85 Swains Lane property in London’s Highgate, Burgess added that with no appreciable 3D content in the market there was little incentive for the world’s biggest projector manufacturer to leap into the third dimension. Instead, Epson has thrown considerable R&D into what it claims is the most advanced LCD (2D )projector yet, the £6,600 EH-R4000.  My hands-on review follows after the jump…

→ No CommentsTags: Home cinema

Awards season: so who put on the best bash?

October 31st, 2010 · Comments Off on Awards season: so who put on the best bash?

If the recent round of industry Awards events is anything to go by, the UK consumer electronics industry is in surprisingly good health. The sheer scale of the recent T3 Gadget Awards was awe-inspiring. With 500 attendees, Stephen Fry and Jimmy Carr as hosts (the latter jumping in as a late replacement for a no-show) and Sky News in tow, it was quite some achievement. Along with everyone else in the room, I played Guess the category winner on my table. I came joint first, which was quietly pleasing if financially unrewarding.

Comments Off on Awards season: so who put on the best bash?Tags: Corporate

Why BT Vision’s Sky Sports event was more about boxing than soccer

July 3rd, 2010 · Comments Off on Why BT Vision’s Sky Sports event was more about boxing than soccer

Sky Sports on BT Vision a game-changer says boss, Freeview HD 3rd gen BTV box confirmed | Home Cinema Choice.
BT Vision Sky Sports launch
BT Vision’s press launch to celebrate its new Sky Sports Pay TV subscription bundles turned out to be rather more exciting than expected. The press corp at the event comprised a mix of the usual tech scribblers and sports journalists present to interview the three soccer stars featured in BT’s new TV ad campaign (Michael Owen and two others who I failed to recognise – look it’s sport, what do you expect?).

Comments Off on Why BT Vision’s Sky Sports event was more about boxing than soccerTags: Broadcasting

Legendary US AV chain Ken Cranes calls it quits

June 19th, 2010 · No Comments

Legendary US AV chain Ken Cranes goes down – Technology Forum | TechRadar UK.

Ken Cranes AV store

I was sad to hear about the demise of Ken Cranes AV stores in the US. The name will be very familiar to long in the tooth AV enthusiasts. Canes was a popular source of laser discs for UK and European AV fans back in the day, when all video was analogue and a 12inch silver platter was as good as it got.

The 62-year-old Californian store chain said it had been ‘powerfully affected by the nation’s unusually severe and continuing economic downturn… (and in) a steep, relentless decline in same-store sales activity led to the difficult decision.’

Even as the AV biz moved on from laser disc, the family business was a big retailer of home theatre and large screen TV on the West Coast. Company president Casey Crane

→ No CommentsTags: Home cinema · Trade

Eurovision 2010 – was HD picture quality compromised?

May 30th, 2010 · No Comments

Eurovision 2010 – was HD picture quality compromised? – Technology Forum | TechRadar UK.

Not only is Eurovision good fun, it’s historically been one of the best HD transmissions of the year. But I’m not so sure about last night. Sure it looked great, but I felt there was rather more noise and artifacts than previously. Is this an example of the BBC’s infamous HD bit-choking? My reservation is tempered though by the fact I was watching this on a different screen than 2009 – a Samsung 9000 Series 3D job. 

→ No CommentsTags: Broadcasting · High definition TV

The curious case of the upside-down 3D TV glasses

May 11th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Eating in 3D
I recently attended a fascinating briefing session organised by Samsung to provide background to the brand’s first range of 3D TVs and 3D Blu-ray player. R&D chief Simon Lee has been taking his team around Europe, doing similar sessions with various media. The event was notable for a couple of reasons.

In an effort to push the brand’s on-the-fly 2D-3D conversion technology, the engineers used the 2D release of Avatar on Blu-ray. We were shown long sequences of the world’s most famous 3D movie, released in flat-o-vision 2D, then dimensionalised back into faux 3D by Samsung. The convolution of the demonstration made my head spin.

→ 1 CommentTags: 3D · Home cinema

Celebrating Free Comic Book Day 2010

May 4th, 2010 · Comments Off on Celebrating Free Comic Book Day 2010

Kids looking through FCBD packs
Did you celebrate Free Comics Book Day this weekend? I sure did! I started my search for free comics by visiting my local library. Several years ago they made a half-hearted attempt to support the initiative which I thought was great. But I knew something was amiss when I went it. The place was as quiet as the grave with no FCBD books to be seen. When I enquired I received nothing but blank looks and eventually a glare of disdain.

Comments Off on Celebrating Free Comic Book Day 2010Tags: Comics

Will ITV HD wreck the launch of Blu-ray recorders?

May 13th, 2009 · Comments Off on Will ITV HD wreck the launch of Blu-ray recorders?

Panasonic Freesat Blu-ray deck is a jawdropper, exclusive hands-on review of DMR-BS850 | Home Cinema Choice

Could ITV scupper the launch of Blu-ray recorders in the UK? As I exclusively revealed in my review of Panasonic’s amazing new Freesat Blu-ray recorder, the DMR-BS850 (click the link above to read it), the broadcaster is still flagging its hi-def Freesat content as Copy Never. Unlike the BBC, which has moved all its transmissions to Copy Once (and is even promising to adopt a policy of Copy Always during the Summer), ITV material cannot be archived onto Blu-ray media. This even applies to old back catalogue movies.
Although ITV does not contribute a massive amount to the monthly HD content on Freesat, its co-operation is vital if Blu-ray recording is to take off in the UK. Consumers simply won’t understand or appreciate why it is possible to archive Last Of The Summer Wine from BBC HD but not a Martin Clunes documentary from ITV HD. They’ll simply decide “Blu-ray recorders don’t work” and move on.
David Preece, who heads up Panasonic’s AV marketing operation, acknowledges the situation, telling me “It’s too early to give a definitive answer” about ITV HD’s strategy, adding  “this doesn’t mean that there will be no change – simply it’s in progress of discussion.”
Panasonic continues to have discussions with Freesat on the matter. Watch this space.
DMR-BS850, Blu-ray

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