LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Analogue dream With its high-performance audio board, here's an HD disc spinner even stereo Luddites will appreciate. Steve May gets tweaky

If the Oppo BDP-83SE NuForce Edition looks familiar, it’s because it is. This is a Special Edition of Oppo’s long-lost European Blu-ray debutant, the BDP-83, with some additional pixie dust from NuForce.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Hi-def handyman recorder Martin Pipe is almost sold on this flexible media recorder

This slimline beauty can not only play DVDs and Blu-ray discs, but also records them. Thanks to DVB-T2 technology, HD and SD digital TV programmes alike can be captured by the 250GB HDD. There are two such tuners, and so you can record two different channels at the same time or watch one while another records. Good news if your HDTV lacks a Freeview HD tuner.

Danny Philips  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments

Most people wouldn’t expect to pay over £2K for a compact speaker system, but then Monitor Audio’s Apex is anything but average. It’s a slice of pure audio luxury, with each speaker housed in a precision-engineered enclosure and furnished with some of the best driver tech MA has to offer.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Full of promise Adrian Justins takes in all that this 3D-enabled plasma has to offer, but thinks there’s still room for improvement

The TX-P42VT20 is by no means the slimmest or most stylish TV on the market, but it makes up for that in the features department. Dual Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners; 3D compatibility; VieraCast internet video services; USB video recording; wireless networking and other multimedia skills headline its extensive spec sheet.

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.

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