LATEST ADDITIONS
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
‘Daddy doesn’t get no rest...’ A networked music player with a screen? Martin Pipe wants it

There are plenty of ways of auditioning music stored on a PC. A plethora of networked media players balance quality with cost is, but most are, alas, not optimised for music and require your TV to be switched on, as tracks are selected by an onscreen menu. Welcome, then, to the latest version of the famous Squeezebox networked music player, which now has an added touchscreen.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
Webbed feat in the stream Sam Kieldsen gives the thumbs up to this 1080p media player

The VMP74 is Viewsonic’s second so-called ‘full HD Network Media Player’, and as the name suggests, it offers full 1080p output for video. The device itself is a small, lightweight and glossy plastic box that fits discreetly into a TV stand. It’s pretty unassuming with just a power indicator LED on the top. Around the back you’ll find an HDMI port for rigging the streamer to your HDTV or projector. This is the only option for hi-def video, although a 3.5mm AV port enables you to use fuzzy, old school composite video (alongside stereo audio). There’s also an optical digital output. On the non-audio/visual front, there’s an Ethernet socket for networking duties (no wi-fi option here), plus USB and eSATA ports for connecting external hard disks and other USB storage devices.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
No shrinking wallflower A wall-mounted Blu-ray player under a TV? Martin Pipe says 'hang it all'

The BD-C7500 is one of the most distinctive Blu-ray players currently available. With its ultra-slim form-factor, vertical orientation, glossy black finish and wall bracket, it’s crying out to be mounted under your flatscreen TV. Choose the desk stand at your peril; press the ‘eject’ button (on the remote, or the player’s touch-sensitive control strip) and as it reveals the disc compartment, the entire frontispiece motors leftwards knocking over any lesser objects in its path. You have been warned...

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
Thrills without frills What this costly deck lacks in features, it more than makes up for on picture and sound performance, especially for Pioneer fans, says Jim Hill

Pioneer’s pricey player offers none of the niceties that brands use to lure us to the next price point. Instead of 3D, wi-fi, universal playback or even a set of multichannel outputs, this step-up player trades purely on performance. It’s a high-risk strategy, given the impressive quality of this year’s budget offerings. Lucky then, that the picture quality is spanking.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
Bipolar expedition Adam Rayner's golden ears revel in the wide sound field delivered by these flatscreen-friendly floorstanders

In my time, I have reviewed some monstrous speakers. Whether this is as a result of my golden ears, or because I am big and ugly and can unpack big soundboxes, is moot. Some of the largest and most luxurious have been bipoles.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
Tuner three-pack Martin Pipe thinks light-emitting diodes give Panasonic the edge, but there are plenty more features to its first LED model

Panasonic is currently the king of plasma TV. So much so, that its LCD screens often get overlooked. Now, though, it’s joined the LED market, with a range of TVs from 19-42in. This set, the TX-L42D25B, is the biggest in its arsenal. Is it good enough to challenge the LED lineups of Samsung, Sony et al?

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
So nearly an LG legend John Archer finds a lot to like about this 50in plasma TV – and a couple of flaws, too

Proof of just how seriously LG is still taking plasma is abundantly clear in the brand’s latest flagship TV, the 50PK990. Thanks to its slim frame, single-layer finish and novel colour scheme, which subtly infuses a touch of blue into the stand and bezel, it certainly cuts a dash.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
3D for everyone John Archer is surprised to see a 3DTV for only £1,500, and wonders if there’s a catch

This 46in TV with full HD and frame sequential 3D playback costs just £1,500, not in excess of £2K like every other active 3D TV. In other words, it promises to be the set that brings 3D to the masses. Since it uses a standard CCFL backlight, it’s loads fatter than the wafer-thin delights of Samsung’s edge LED models. But it’s still fairly stylish for all that.

Anton van Beek  |  Nov 29, 2010  |  0 comments

When we last left Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) at the end of ...New Moon, they'd just returned from an exciting visit to Italy with the 110 year-old vampire agreeing to change his 18 year-old love interest into a vampire after they get married. Bella had also discovered that shirtless Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and his equally topless chums weren't part of some 'alternative lifestyle' branch of the Boy Scouts of America, but were actually a clan of werewolves who really don't like vampires and have the ability to transform into big cuddly CGI wolves whenever the budget can stretch to it.

Anton van Beek  |  Nov 26, 2010  |  0 comments

The A-Team is an extremely silly film – an over-the-top cavalcade of ludicrous action, broad humour and macho attitude that rarely ever stops for breath. But, what else were you really expecting from a movie remake of this particular ‘80s TV franchise?

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