Posts Tagged ‘tv’

Mass Effect 2 Issues Unfixable

February 8, 2010

It seems that those who’ve found that they have issues with Bioware’s phenomenally successful Mass Effect 2 on standard-definition TVs are out of luck, with the developer indicating that a fix is impossible.

For those who’ve been blissfully unaware of the trouble, it seems that anyone trying to play Mass Effect 2 on a TV that doesn’t display in some flavour of high-definition (it seems that 1080p isn’t a requirement, you should be fine with 720p) has been having trouble with text. The issue stems from the face that the text in Mass Effect 2 seems to have been sized with high-definition TVs in mind, meaning that it’s so small that it essentially becomes unreadable on older displays.

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TV Tech for 2010

February 2, 2010

Speaking as someone who, due to circumstances beyond my control (I’m poor), presently watches TV on a late ‘80s Panasonic behemoth that has outlasted Governments, wars, Glenroe and the Police Academy franchise, looking through the types of TV tech that will make a mark over the coming year became just a rolling series of me finding a product, going through the specs, and screaming ‘I want, I want, I want’.

Well small innit! The Kula TV

For now, I’ll have to stick with the Panasonic (a machine so sturdy I’m nearly certain it could survive a nuclear attack ala that fridge in Indiana Jones), but for those with a little change in their back pocket there’s some great options out there. For one, we can start well away from enormo-screens or 3D hype and take a look at the Kula TV, announced last week by US-based Sungale and available in March.

The little fella delivers up TV treats via a modest 4.3-inch LCD screen and Wi-Fi connectivity “The Kula is the next big thing that will revolutionize the way people watch TV,” enthused Sungale vice president of sales Gary Bennett. Though he remained tight-lipped over any model for usage fees, TheTechHerald did report however that, “Content will be offered to prospective users through a number of different packages, which include Basic, Kid and Grand. While both the Basic and Kid options provide free access to between 20 and 30 channels, the fee-based Grand package will have more than 300 channels to choose from.” A similar system should be reasonably easy to set up this side of the Atlantic.

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Special Offers – Week of February 1st

February 1, 2010

Good afternoon all, hopefully the return to work from the weekend hasn’t been too hard on you. Things are going quite well here, even the weather seems to have cheered up a little. Anyway, every Monday afternoon we post a list of our special offers for the week. It means you guys have as long as possible to check things out before deciding if you’d like to pick them up while they’re at a reduced price.

Anyway, this week we’ve got a few really nice bits and pieces on offer, including Intel’s X25 SSD, Belkin’s Gigabit Powerline HD starter kit, a Radeon 5670 and a Pioneer surround setup.

Intel X25:

For a very long time indeed, the SSD was a very expensive option indeed, but Intel has attempted to remedy that, offering solid-state storage on a wider scale for less-than-bankrupting sums… which is always nice.

Click through to see our page for Intel's X25 80GB SSD 🙂

Intel’s X25 is, in case anyone missed it, a solid-state drive. As with the vast majority of SSDs, it’s a 2.5-inch drive, so it should fit into a laptop without any real bother. Moreover, because it’s solid-state you’ll see faster read and write speeds than most standard hard-drives, which should mean a quicker boot… which is always nice. Your data will also be that bit more secure when it comes to the drive being knocked around a little in transit, thanks to the fact that the drive has no moving parts.

All in all, it’s a solid drive, and one that we’re genuinely pleased to be able to have on offer, because it’s attracted an awful lot of attention over the last couple of months.

Intel’s X25 80GB SSD is down to €199 this week, which isn’t bad at all when you consider the upsides of a nice SSD.

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The Future of TV: LPD, 3D and… Your Head

January 19, 2010

There was a time when innovation and TVs didn’t seem to quite mix, with the tried and tested old models reigning supreme for years – the ones that weighed a tonne, took up a few square metres in the living room and were tough enough to last a few generations. Innovation seemed to be confined to just having more TVs in the room than normal.

What's the next big thing for TV? Clue, it's not just stacking them on top of one another

If the movies are anything to go by, powerful executives (or drug dealers) from the 1980s liked to have a wall of TVs in their offices showing various images across a selection of news channels like one enormous Rubik’s Cube of information. The past decade has been different though with one new idea following another, from LCD to DLP to OLED and all manner of promises preceded by the letters H and D.

So after several years of rampaging progress, what’s next?

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YouTube Announces Spring Clean

January 13, 2010

YouTube has announced that it’s to run an early “Spring cleaning” project to help ensure that users have a more robust on-site experience with the video service.

According to a posting on the YouTube blog, the by no practically ubiquitous video service’s staff will be setting aside a significant proportion of if time to help tighten up the site’s design and overall user experience. Of course, there’s not too much to tell us just what we can expect to see out of YouTube’s upcoming shift, but it there are some hints to be had.

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What happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas

January 11, 2010

Several hundred jammy journalists no doubt woke up clutching that last $25 poker chip wondering where it all went wrong this morning; trying to recall something news worthy from their weekend in Las Vegas.

Skiff Reader may sound like a bad punk band, but the device is gorgeous 😉

They, like a few thousand industry heads, will have spent the past three or four days at the Consumer Electronic Show 2010 in that big neon bit in the middle of Nevada where, if initial reports are anything to go by, e-readers and all things 3D made the biggest impact on the visiting hordes.

Scrambling to get on board the Kindle train, the Guardian report that “dozens” of new ereaders were announced at the show with Samsung, Sony, and a wave of smaller names attempting to establish themselves as “ebook pioneers”, as GU put it.

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Democratic Daybreaker – Vote on a Discount

January 8, 2010

Good afternoon all, we’re just coming to the end of what they’re calling “the first week” of “the big freeze” and hoping it doesn’t get too much worse over the next couple of days. In the interim, we’re running a vote to see what product we discount next week as our Democratic Daybreaker.

For those who haven’t seen our Decomacatic Daybreaker before, every week we like to offer a group of products that people can vote on to see discounted the following week. The device that wins will end up being price dropped this coming Thursday for 24 hours. It’s nice and easy, all you guys have to do to vote is leave a comment with the name of the one you want discounted, drop us a line on Twitter or leave a post about it on our forum over at Boards.ie.

This week’s potential discounts are:

Samsung N110 netbook (white) – from €279 to €249

Samsung 40” LCD-TV LE40B550 – from €676.21 to €604.86

Vuzix iWear AV31Widescreen – from €158.34 to €149.69

Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 1GB – from €138.42 to €122.43

Sony Chief Exec Disturbingly Honest

November 17, 2009

Sony chief executive, Sir Howard Stringer, has been uncomfortably honest about the current state of the consumer electronics industry and the upswing many had predicted that essentially hasn’t really shown up.

Stringer has been widely quote for his speech in Italy’s Il Sore 24 Ore, which contained the phrase, “There hasn’t been that turning point that many had hoped for. We are waiting for a signal that hasn’t arrived.” It’s interesting to see that Stringer is so very open about the current state of the industry and Sony’s position in it, but at the same time, it’s hardly optimistic.

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Komplett Recommends – Best TVs for Your Money

November 11, 2009

Hey there all, hopefully the week has been kind to you so far, even though it’s been starting to get just a little cold. We’ve been asked to put together a bit of a guide for anyone considering picking up a new TV in the run up to Christmas. It’s something people seem to be a little reluctant to ask about, but the fact is that between LCD and LED TVs, there’s plenty of choice depending on what you’re looking for and how much you’d like to spend.

Of course, a lot of change amounts to an awful lot of study before you know just what you’re looking for. It’s a bit of a headache, so when a few people asked us about new TVs in the last week we figured you guys might appreciate a quick bit of a write up on getting what you want from a nice display.

Without going mad, we’ll go straight to our recommendations 🙂

Samsung 32” LCD-TV:

We’ve already said a few times on the blog how much we appreciate Samsung’s displays. There’s something about the combination of elegant design in the body of the devices themselves and the general high quality of Samsung displays that makes them eminently recommendable.

Samsung

Click through to see our page for the Samsung 32-inch LCD TV 🙂

This Samsung 32” has the usual Samsung flare, but given its low price point you likely won’t be surprised to hear that it’s a little less sleek than some of the more expensive models. The edges of the casing aren’t the same, bevelled finish as on some of the higher end models, while the bottom lacks the rose-glass finish, but the fact is that it’s still a solid display and it’s looks aren’t doing it any disservices.

It’ll handle high definition content at 720p and boasts an output resolution of 1366 x 768. Of course, the fact that its an LCD will mean that it boasts some advantages and disadvantages if you’re comparing it to other display technologies, namely that the blacks won’t be quite completely black. It’s not something that’s always noticeable, but if you’re at all into sci-fi or thrillers it can be a very real concern.

Still, that’s something people seem to have decided is a small price to pay considering the fact that with a plasma display you’re exposed to a certain amount of risk of burn-in… particularly for anyone interested in videogames, where persistent in-game elements can be a bit of an issue.

For those interested in checking it out in more detail there’s a very in depth breakdown of what it offers over at our detailed product page for it.

Despite any of the usual concerns around LCD TVs it’s worth noting that this is a 32” display for just €387, which makes it nice and cheap. Moreover, due to their popularity, we’re stocking this display at our Dublin Pickup Point, so if you’re interested in buying one then you can just drive out to us and pick it up, no need to order 🙂

Philips 32” LCD TV:

For those who are considering an LCD but would like something a little more elegant than the Samsung but in a similar form factor, there’s a similar Philips offering that’s also 32” and also boasts a reasonable price tag.

Philips 32

Click through to see our page for the Philips 32-inch LCD TV 🙂

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Samsung 32” and the Philips 32” is that the Philips outputs at 1080p (FullHD) rather than 720p (an output resolution of 1920 x 1080). This is something that’ll be most important to those who’ve already moved on to Blu-Ray or high-definition digital TV packages for the majority of their viewing. For those who are sticking with DVD for the moment, it’s less of an issue.

Similarly, those gamers among our readership will likely prize a 1080p output because, let’s face it, it’s something the games industry has been driving for for a very long time indeed. The fact is that there are an awful lot of games that benefit significantly from being played on something with a high enough resolution to handle them neatly, so for those who are into their games, the extra €120 to go for the Philips over the Samsung will likely be well worth it.

Technical specifications aside, Philips’ 32” LCD TV is a touch more pleasant, aesthetically, than the lower-end Samsung above. Between the combination of a nicer look and the fact that it offers 1080p, the Philips makes a reasonable case for dropping the extra money on it now, rather than regretting it later.

The Philips 32” LCD TV is €497, and there’s some video from Philips to intro the whole thing, if you’re interested enough to check it out, we’ve included it on our product page for the display.

Panasonic Viera 42” Plasma:

When you start looking at plasma based displays, you’ll probably need to be aware of two things. The first is that plasma tends to be reserved for bigger screens, if only because of the fact that it’s more suited to use as a cinematic display, rather than just for day-to-day stuff. The second ties into the first – plasma displays are heavy.

Panasonic Viera

Click through to see our page for the Panasonic Viera 42-inch plasma TV 🙂

Panasonic’s Viera is nice and big; at 42” it’s pretty much guaranteed to become a central feature of almost any room you care to put it into. Moreover, as we said above, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at fully 27KG; this isn’t a display you can expect to comfortably wall mount (Denis from RMA had an tragicomic story about a man who had tried to wall mount a Sony plasma display with disastrous results).

Aside from concerns about its size and weight, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Viera will handle 1080p, so you can get the most out of your various high-definition devices and channels.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that because this is a plasma display you’ll see better contrasts and darker blacks than on an LCD. While there is some risk of burn-in from a static image left on the screen, it’s something that’s far more widely reported than it is an actual problem with modern plasma displays.

Panasonic’s Viera 42” is €707 and looks absolutely gorgeous. If you’re at all interested in a plasma display you’d do well to check it out.

Samsung 40” LED TV:

It’s always nice to come full circle when you’re talking about a product range. Samsung has the pleasure of being both the cheapest of the low-end LCD TVs that we’ve recommended today and the most recommendable LED TV.

Samsung 40

Click through to see our page for the Samsung 40-inch LED TV 🙂

Whatever we might have said about the Samsung LCD’s appearance, its LED based display is absolutely gorgeous, tapering to a rose finish at the edges of the body, which gives the whole thing a nice, warm feel. For those who haven’t encountered an LED TV before, we should probably point out that they’re fantastically thin; the best reference point is probably offered by notebook displays, which are based on the same technologies.

LED TVs are generally seen to combine the best parts of LCD and plasma-based displays. They boast none of the burn-in risk or awkward weight of plasmas, and manage darker blacks through selectively dimming of LEDs than LCDs can offer. Of course, the tradeoff is that you’ll pay more for an LED display than for a comparable sized LCD/plasma, usually significantly more.

This LED TV is, as you might have guessed, capable of outputting in 1080p and weighs in at the €1,137 mark. If you’d like to check it out in more detail, then you should have a look at our product page for it, but it’s a gorgeous device, if you can justify the cost.

Stock at the PUP

November 6, 2009

Hey there all, from time to time we like to update people on items that we have in stock at our Dublin Pickup Point (or the PUP). Basically, if something is really popular and doesn’t take up a monumental amount of space, we try to have a couple in stock locally to save people the trouble of ordering it.

At the moment, we have some items that we think people might actually like, some are a bit cheaper than the price listed on our web page too… so if you decide to buy at the PUP you’ll not only save yourself the trouble of ordering online, but you can just show up now and pick it up, saving you delivery time too.

We were most happy to be able to sort one of our Twitter followers (the ever charming @Shiminay) out with a hard drive when he was in a bit of a pinch yesterday, so with any luck we’ll be able to do the same for more people by telling you guys what we have available at the PUP.

Battlestar

Click through to check out our Corsair Voyager page 🙂

At the moment we have Corsair’s Flash Voyager for €19.50, a USB stick that (thanks to the helpful @Feylya) we’ve come to know simply as “The Battlestar” for a combination of its shape and extreme durability. We can’t advise you to do nightmarish things to it, but it is water proof… white water rafting while transporting important data is at last a possibility.

It’s something people like to see as local stock because somehow there always seems to be a day when someone suddenly realises a need for some removable storage.

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