LATEST ADDITIONS
Ed Selley  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments
No-thrills spinner Adrian Justins auditions an inexpensive, 3D-capable Blu-ray home theatre system and finds it lacking a little lustre

The art of designing AV kit to look contemporary and even attractive is a skill that seems to have passed Panasonic by – its designers refuse to match the exterior aesthetics or the menu systems of its products to the technological innovation that lies within their often dour exteriors.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 14, 2011  |  0 comments
An amp for life? Jim Hill finally finds a future-proofed AV receiver with the right number of HDMI inputs to suit high-end cinema and music needs

I’m weary of annually having to upgrade my AV receiver each time the HDMI standard changes, and gaining one more HDMI input with each new model. Why don’t the manufacturers understand that all AV sources use HDMI and, at this end of the market, accept we’re likely to need more than four?

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 14, 2011  |  0 comments

The Social Network might seem to be a film about the creation of Facebook, but once past the surface it’s so much more than that. Director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin have used Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires as the springboard for a rich and rewarding intellectual property battle-cum-morality play, albeit one that is almost indecently smart and quite probably plays a little fast and loose with the facts. While Fincher’s direction is as assured and fastidious as ever, it’s Sorkin’s script that is the real star this time around. Loaded with genuine wit and wisdom, it transforms what could be a dry and technical history lesson into one of the most engrossing and invigorating Hollywood films in ages.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 14, 2011  |  0 comments
A bit of a stretch Philips takes John Archer’s home cinema tastes to breaking point – in a good way – with its latest 21:9-ratio TV

Just as Spinal Tap’s amps go to 11, then Philips’ 58PFL9955H goes to 21. Or 21:9, to be precise. This is the much-anticipated sequel to the brand’s original, ground-breaking and seriously movie-friendly Cinema 21:9 – a TV which laughed in the piffling face of your usual 16:9-ratio TVs and stretched to embrace the extra girth of the ultra-wide CinemaScope aspect ratio still used on the majority of cinematically released films.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 14, 2011  |  0 comments
Panel beater Samsung has trumped its rivals in the size war by releasing a 65in 3D LED TV. Mark Craven gives his eyes a workout

Samsung’s UE65C8000 is the latest addition to the brand’s 3DTV range. At a gargantuan 65ins, it allows the manufacturer to stake a claim to producing the world’s largest 3D LED TV, superseding the 8000 series that peaked at 55ins.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 14, 2011  |  0 comments
Ullo John, gotta new flatscreen? HCC’s technology curator Martin Pipe takes a look at a Freeview HD TV with built-in media player. He thinks it’s not half bad

Anyone of a certain vintage will fondly recall the ‘Ullo Tosh’ ads of the mid-80s. Inspired by an Alexei Sayle comedy single and voiced by the much-missed Ian Dury, Toshiba’s ‘Blueprint Man’ would extol the virtues of the company’s midi systems and the latest in flatter, squarer TV sets. But none of the copywriters involved in this memorable ad campaign could have foreseen the sophistication that today’s TV sets would reach.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 14, 2011  |  0 comments
SXRD’s makeover Sony reinvents its exclusive SXRD wheel with its new projector and puts a big smile on John Archer’s face in the process

With JVC promising all sorts of high-level upgrades for its imminent series of new D-ILA projectors, Sony is under pressure as it rolls out its annual updates to its rival SXRD PJs.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 14, 2011  |  0 comments
Winning formula Expensive it may be, but Danny Phillips thinks this ultra-stylish 7.1-channel all-in-one system is worth saving the pennies for

Say ‘all-in-one system’ to most AV enthusiasts and they’ll recoil in horror. But the HT-C9950W is no ordinary one-box affair, it’s what happens when Samsung lets its imagination run wild, blissfully free from price constraints. It’s a 7.1-channel, 3D-capable home cinema system that boasts an impossibly generous feature list and, most significantly, an inventive new design.

RED
Anton van Beek  |  Feb 13, 2011  |  0 comments

RED stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich as a quartet of retired CIA agents who are forced to go on the run and fight for their lives when they’re targeted for termination by the organisation they used to work for. Based on a little-known comic book miniseries, this light-hearted action comedy coasts by on the chummy chemistry of its aging stars and the sheer pleasure you’ll find in watching a ‘classic’ actress like Helen Mirren whip out a machine gun and start blasting away at the baddies. So, while it’s far from perfect, RED knows exactly what it’s doing and in its curious, ambling way, delivers plenty of chuckles and some cracking action along the way.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 06, 2011  |  0 comments

Bambi is possibly Walt Disney’s crowning achievement in feature animation. Based on the popular book by Austrian author Felix Salten, this story of a young fawn and his woodland friends might boast a fairly sleight 70min running time, but into that it packs some of the most beautiful hand-drawn animation ever committed to celluloid, a simple yet effective narrative that set the template for countless animated films to follow and some heart-wrenching scenes that can still turn adults into a blubbering mess. Truly magical.

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