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Product Reviews

12 (83% helpful)

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  1.  Not the best but cheap


    This kit consists of a Scart to RCA+SVHS (S-video) adapter, an SVHS cable and an RCA to 3.5mm stereo audio cable. The adapter is switchable for input or output. (Scart doesn't allow bi-directional SVHS.)

    The adapter looks cheap - which it was so I can't complain. It works but I don't think it'll stand up to hard use. Best to fit once and forget.

    A good SVHS cable should have two independently screened cables in it: one each for luma and chroma. This one looks like it's multi-core overall screened, just like most cheap (and some not so cheap) Scart cables. I wasn't about to cut it open to find out so I did some rough capacitance measurements: 480pF core to screen and 460pF core to core. The symmetry is enough to tell me that it's four core with a single screen. With a 75 ohm load on each end the cross coupling will become significant at about 9MHz. I can live with that but I wouldn't want to try the 10 metre version of this cable!

    The stereo audio cable is of somewhat better dquality than the rest though I still wouldn't subject it to too much hard use.

    Not having a PC card with SVHS, I tested the video side on an HDR-to-TV link, using a second, high-grade Scart adapter and separate RCA leads for the audio.

    My first attempt produced only monochrome but a little jiggling of the SVHS plug in my old adapter sorted that. The first test was with live digital TV from the HD recorder's tuner, It was a studio broadcast with a lurid red wall in the background. I thought TV producers avoided such troublesome decor but it was a good test because the red flared abominably. This was significantly reduced when I moved the new adapter from the DVD end to the TV end of the cable so it wasn't all down to sloppy TV production. (A quick check with an RGB connection reduced the flare a bit more but some remained.) 'Normal' video is acceptable; certainly better than CVBS.

    Verdict: This is a cheap kit which does as much as you can expect for £2-99p. Handle the plugs carefully, don't expect high grade video and avoid the longer versions.

  2.  Well thought out story about the man who becomes the Hulk


    Despite the many bad reviews, I really like this film. I first discovered the Incredible Hulk over forty years ago in a comic called Smash and he was my favourite superhero at the time. If my memory is correct, he drifted from place to place righting wrongs more by accident than design. He was never the bad guy.

    If you were hoping for more of the same then you'll likely be disappointed because this film is mostly about Bruce Banner rather than his green alter-ego. This is the story behind the Hulk so think of it as a 'prequel'. It's well done with some believable characters and a decent plot.

    There are a few unrealistic scenes in which tank and helicopter crews miraculously survive as the Hulk smashes their equipment like dinky toys but I'll let that pass. In the comics, the Hulk did a phenominal amount of damage but he never killed anybody - at least none who didn't deserve it - and the film sticks to this rule.

    When Bruce Banner does transform into the Hulk he spends most of his time being hunted by his traditional enemy, the well meaning but misguided US military, but he also gets to fight two villains: a megalomaniac human and a mutant. (Fans of those old comics might recognise the mutant as a copy of Crusher Creel who originally fought it out with the Mighty Thor.) I won't tell you any more because it'll spoil the plot.

  3.  Brilliant sci-fi comedy


    Forget the 12 certificate; there is nothing nasty in this film. The most lethal device the bad guys manage to come up with is a nail gun and nobody dies. This is comedy action all the way.

    The plot from the toys' point of view is a simple one. The Commando Elite have been programmed to hunt down and destroy the entirely peaceful Gorgonites. Why? Because soldiers need enemies and the Gorgonites are ugly! Meanwhile, the Gorgonites have been programmed to find Gorgon, learning what they can along the way. It's good guys against bad guys so there's never any doubt who's going to win.

    From the humans' point of view it's just as good. Aren't we all sick of adverts that show toy trucks popping up on the top of Mount Rushmore? Doesn't every kid want a toy that does exactly what they see on the adverts? Too right they do!

    What makes this film so good is that it's believable. Military research labs are working on real versions of the Commando Elite right now. The only bit that strains the limits is when they somehow bring a bunch of plastic dolls to life but I'll let that pass.

    I've watched this several times already and I never get tired of the final scene where the Gorgonites are found safe and sound, even though I could see it coming first time round. I won't tell you where they are because that would spoil the plot. You work it out. Watch it; you'll love it.

  4.  Classic Laurel and Hardy style comedy


    This is laugh a minute from start to finish. It's a story of two brothers who stumble from one comic disaster to the next, all because of a tiny little mouse - but this is no ordinary mouse!

    The only reason I don't give it five stars is because the plot is somewhat thin and some of the calamities are too far-fetched, especially the ending which is just not credible. Despite that, I've watched it three times now and I haven't got bored with it yet.

  5.  Excellent value for money


    This bag is much better than you could expect for £9-99p. It's well made and well padded. Large rubber pads on the rear edge take the wear and tear when you stand it upright. The main compartment has a single securing strap, offset to the left, and a single, adjustable divider which fits only from front to rear. It's obviously designed to take either a standard, 15.4" screen laptop or a smaller notebook turned through 90 degrees. My Dell Inspiron fits with an inch to spare at the end and two inches at the front.

    The second, external compartment is of generous size; easily big enough for a charger, a mouse and a lot of cables. There's a single, large pocket inside the lid and smaller ones for disks and a PCMCIA card. There are even slots for pens! Outside on the back is the usual document pocket.

    In common with many (most?) bags it lacks a rigid barrier between the main and front compartments. There's padding in there but that won't protect your laptop lid from the pins of a mains plug being forced down into it, cracking the screen from behind. It happens! I strongly recommend putting something inside the outer compartment to prevent this potential disaster. A piece of hardboard or thin ply is all you need.

    The shoulder strap is the one part of the bag that lives down to its price. It looks and feels cheap and the clips are plastic. On a more expensive bag I would knock a star off. The main handle is basic but up to the job.

  6.  A very useful cable that looks and feels solid.


    Scart offers composite video and stereo audio in both directions at the same time - but what if you want the input to come from one piece of equipment while the output goes to another? That's where you need a cable like this one.

    What you can't quite see from the picture is that the six coaxial cables can easily be peeled apart all the way back to the Scart plug. This is invaluable if you need the inputs and outputs to go off in different directions. A slight drawback is that they are liable to separate in use anyway. To get round this, put a cable tie or some lacing cord around them - but take care not to crush the coax.

    Mine had no markings on the RCA plugs to distinguish the inputs from the outputs. Was that just mine or are they all like that? If yours aren't marked, a little trial and error will soon sort them out. (Mine was actually worse in that two of the plugs were the wrong colour but the seller gave me a full refund so I'm not complaining.)

    "The Scart is Fully wired 21 pin."

    Anybody who knows Scart will realize that this is wrong. The RGB video and digital data pins aren't used in this cable.

  7.  Good fantasy adventure movie but not for the squeamish


    The 12 certificate is appropriate because this film will give younger children nightmares, especially if they like cats!

    On the one hand it's a classic children's fairytale of witches, werewolves and magic; but it's also a realistic depiction of life in early nineteenth century Europe: dirty, brutal and short! Fortunately there are no over-gratuitous torture scenes and only as much violence as the plot requires. There's also a comic streak to take the edge off. The plot is clever and, magical elements aside, entirely believable.

  8.  Light-hearted comedy drama for the whole family


    This is a tale of two families whose lives become entwined. Although it's called Fungus the Bogeyman after the book title, the principal bogey character is his young son Mould. The bogey world is an exact analogue of our own so Mould has to go through the same growing and learning processes and his antics lead to all sorts of trouble. The stock comic characters are here too, like his oh-so-good sister Mucus and his toffee-nosed aunt Septic.

    Meanwhile, 'up top' where the drycleaners live, a small-time newspaper reporter begins to suspect that bogeymen really exist. As the evidence mounts up he has to choose between making the scoop of the century and saving the bogeys from extermination. His teenage daughter, who's seen Bogeydom for herself, knows what he has to do but things get hilariously complicated when a rival journalist picks up the trail.

    Contrary to their fokelore reputation the bogeys are gentle creatures, unlike drycleaners who, as every bogey must learn, are the most dangerous species that ever lived! And so it is they who are terrified of us, an idea copied by Monsters Inc. The special effects are so good that you'll soon forget that bogeymen aren't real.

    If you're looking for laughs from the start you might be disappointed - this film is initially more light drama than comedy - but things pick up as the plot thickens and the end is pure slapstick. When you've finished you'll need to watch it all again to spot all the subtle details that you missed first time round.

  9.  An average film poorly adapted from a great book


    After the first three Harry Potter movies, this is a bit of a let-down. With the book being so long it was obvious that a lot would have to go but too much of the wrong stuff went. Harry, Ron and Hermione are all teenagers now and thus, in the normal way of teenagers, they're obsessed with sex but so what? This is supposed to be a magical adventure movie, not a half-baked love story!

    Vital chunks of the basic plot are missing, not least the dirty secret that Barty Crouch tries so hard to hide but ultimately fails - and what happened to Winky the house elf? I've given it three stars because it's still worth watching but it could, and should, have been so much better!

  10.  Classic comic book tale for children and adults alike


    This film, which could easily have been done with live actors and special effects, loses something by being a cartoon but I'll let them off. It's a story about Hogarth, a boy with a liking for comic books and unusual pets, and a huge, extra-terrestrial robot with the mind of a small child. After risking his life to save the giant robot from an uncertain fate, Hogarth has a new friend. The robot is crude and clunky and defies most of the known rules of engineering but I'll let them off that as well. This isn't science fiction; it's a comic book tale and that's why it works as a cartoon.

    By copying Hogarth and reading his comics, the robot, which is actually a sophisticated weapon stuffed with alien technology, learns to think for itself and wants to be a good guy. The bad guy is a shadowy 'special agent' who is convinced that the robot is a Russian weapon and is determined to destroy it at any cost. (You don't need to understand the mentality of Cold War America to enjoy this film but it helps.)

    In the end the good guys win. I hope I'm not giving too much away here. The robot declines to turn its awesome firepower against an incoming nuclear missile but chooses instead to charge it head-on in the manner of a super hero. Don't worry; there's a happy ending.