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Samsung M8 Series 52 inch LE52M87BD HD 1080p Freeview Widescreen LCD TV
.............but it is still worth five stars!First the negatives:The factory settings for colour, contrast, brigntess etc etc will need tweaking to your own liking.The colour saturation is too much from out of the box. I had read that this TV can make skin tones look very orangey, however with some fine tuning I got an image that was much better than how it was from the factory.The menus are easy to navigate and I was able to get good colour settings without even reading the manual , and the menus are quite extensive with many tweaks to all sorts of settings to adjust the picture quality ( as far as colour and brightness etc go )Another downside is the sound quality from the TV, I used to own a Sony KV36FS70 and the sound on that was superb ( mainly due to the size of the TV the cabinet acted like a bass box! ). The Samsung is obviously slimmer than my old Sony, so I guess that has something to do with the quality of speakers that are fitted and will affect sound overall.Its more than adequate when watching a TV programme but with music I have to fire up the Mission speakers to compensate for the lack of depth to the built in speakers on the TV.Other problems include picture quality when receiving streaming video from VirginMedia ( but I think EVERY large LCD/Plasma will suffer from this ). I have V+ and the music on demand is quite poor in places - especially when videos contain lots of flashing lights ( example: Foo Fighters - I`ll Stick Around ) , there is plenty of `artifacting` and blockiness in the picture.
Good points are - the 1080p image when viewing from a true HD source is stunning. Watching some of the Blue Planet episodes from HD on demand just shows what the TV can do when given a decent input.The Wii looks great on there too, even though it doesnt support 1080p, XBOX 360 looks brilliant, very sharp image with vivid colours and deep blacks. Just waiting for the PS3 to drop in price a bit and that will become my BluRay player!.I also have a Pioneer DVD player that does 1080p upscaling, this has bought new life to my DVD collection and these look fantastic , certainly sharper than I remember them.All in all, a very good TV for the money - I doubt you will get a better 52" 1080p set without spending a good few grand more.
4Gamers Wii Remote Charging Stand
I`ve read on other reviews that the charger will not work unless the Wii is switched on. Rubbish!The Wii has three power modes: On - green light, Standby - orange light , Off - Red Light.If you press the power button on the console once, or hold it down on the Wii-mote, then the console goes into standby.This is the mode it uses when accessing the internet to distribute your Mii`s when you`re not using it. In this mode the charger will charge fine. The blue LEDs around the charger even operate to show it is getting power.There is a red LED next to each charging bay to show that the Wii-motes are charging. I assume this goes out when they are done, but mine havent finished fully charging yet.Anyway - the back of the box states that it stops charging once the batteries are full, so I guess the light does go out.I can also get the Wii-motes into the charger without removing the strap, you do have to lift up the bottom of the skin though ( if you have one ) , but that is no real problem.Great device , and has cool blue LEDs, and everyone loves blue LEDs!Get one today!
Star Wars: Chewbacca 28 Inch Soft Toy Doll
Gifts & Gadgets
This is the definitive Wookiee cuddly toy! Excellent quality, the fur is really fluffy and smooth, the toy has great character and is well made.It was bought for my 6 month old son for Christmas, but I think Dad may want another one to go on my movie memorabilia cabinet.Excellent, any self respecting wookiee fan should not be without this!
The Zombie Diaries
7 New from
Bit of a letdown really. Characters you dont care much about because the acting is pretty poor, not helped by lousy dialogue.But the biggest problem is the directors insistance on making us watch it `Blair Witch` style through the eyes of the handy-cam man.This worked with Blar Witch because it had better actors and there was a genuine reason for them filming it throughout.In `Zombie Diaries` we cover three groups of people - all who have camcorders and all who insist on filming everything. Because if they didnt you would miss out on major `character development`. I use quotes here because the characters dont really develop.This overused feature becomes irritating very soon, especially when the cameraman needs to be in shot, and conveniently places the camera in such a way that its still filming everything. The most ridiculous example of this is when the camera is on the car seat while the cameraman is driving.
As far as special effects go they were above average, some good zombie makeup , but below average gunshot effects.A nicely done torso only shot and some reasonable entrail munching. But this dont save the movie.If the actors had been better, and the script had been more intelligently written then it makes a good premise for a zombie film . I hope the `Lifeless` TV series succeeds where this has failed.
The funniest thing about the movie was that the 2nd diary was filmed just up the road from where I live. The countryside scenes were in Wilbury Hills near Letchworth and the town centre was Letchworth itself . They even used the small PC repair shop that is in the High Street. The actors stormed through the shop and into the guys repair room at the back!
Worth a watch if you want to know what NOT to do during a zombie holocaust.Save your money for 28 Weeks Later.
Spaceforce: Rogue Universe (Spaceforce 2)
3 New from
Alot of people seem to think this game is too hard. Either they have only played the demo ( which I really do think is harder than the finished game ) or they have overlooked the option in the game to select `easy` difficulty.This is the closet you will get to the old classic of `ELITE` from yesteryear!Not jaw dropping graphics, as the textures look a bit `lo-res` in places, however the space scenery is pretty and atmospheric. The dog-fights are satisfying enough, and although the story is pretty weak, there is an option for `free-roam` mode so you can forget the story and just `blast & trade & upgrade`A satisfying game for under £15 - cant grumble with that really.Oh, and if people still find the game hard, perhaps you should choose the `soldier` class when starting the game. This will give you an immediate weapon bonus and other attributes.
BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTX OC2 / 768MB / PCI Express / Graphics Card
..........1) The hassle I had getting it into the PC!I have a large Antec PC case and I had to move a hard drive out of the way so the card would fit in OK. It is looong! Really, check the measurements of your case, the card is 275mm long - I thought it would go in mine easily, but was wrong!Also , the card buffs up really tight against the memory slots. Meaning that to remove RAM you would have to remove the card first! Not sure if thats a fault of the card ( probably is, due to its length ) or my Gigabyte motherboard.
2) This one wont be so easy to spot by some people.Without boring you too much with numbers, the OC2 is supposed to run at 626mhz GPU clock, 2000mhz Memory, and 1450mhz pixel shader.HOWEVER, after I installed nTune from the nVidia website to monitor the card temperature. I discovered that the clock speeds were 600, 1800 and 1404 as opposed to the advertised speeds.This was an OC1 card in an OC1 box with stickers on stating it was OC2. It has obviously failed to have had the BIOS updated at the factory to make it faster.
To cut a long story short, I have contacted BFG - who are happy to exhange the card. Their support seems quite good, but slow.The other alternative is to flash the BIOS yourself. Warning - only do this if a) the card needs it and b) you know what you`re doing!
I`m yet to flash mine , but it should cure the problem.
Overall , the card is superb when running at the right speeds.I play Oblivion on MAX detail at 1600x1050 with 16x anisotopic filtering and 8x anti aliasing, plus numerous other features. The game only stutters slightly now and again when outside. In the dungeons it plays like a dream, the creatures look fantastic with the high res textures and shaders.
Cant wait for Crysis!
Great card, but beware of the problems listed above.
Official Xbox 360 Wired Controller
I prefer these controllers to the Playstation ones. They are also a huge improvement over the original Xbox controllers.Been able to use with a PC is also an added bonus.Windows detects the controller and configures it effortlessly. Which you would expect been as they are both Microsoft products.Also, most new games ( inc Spiderman 3 ) will detect the X360 controller and any `on screen prompts` to press certain buttons appear the same way they would in an X360 game.
Definately a worthwile purchase, the wireless controller would be best, but you need to get an extra piece of hardware for the PC to allow Windows to use the wireless ones.
The Wildhearts - CD
...........until Ginger & co release the next album!!!
Brilliant , brilliant album. I am slightly biased as The WiLDHEARTS are my favourite band. But, I`ll admit the last CD wasnt as `WiLDHEARTS` as it could have been.But, dont worry - this CD is back to the sort of sound that got me into them in the first place.More of a cross between PHUQ and Fishing For Luckies than Earth Vs ( although there is a riff lifted directly from `My Baby is a Head***k in one of the songs!
Overall a fantastic album, not one bad song on it ( IMO )Saw the band live at CoCos in Camden on Sunday , as always amazing live , only drawback was they only played two songs from the new CD!Going to see them at Milton Keynes again in a couple of weeks - I`d advise any fan of live music to do the same!
3 New from
Fantastic graphics, the animation on Spidey is exceptional! ( Try wall crawling whilst moving the camera around him - the level of detail is incredible! )The only downsides I can see so far are with a couple of the `Dragons Lair/God of War` type button pressing action scenes. Particularly the bomb ones. Seem too drawn out and tedious.The music seems a tad unsuitable at times ( drum & bass in a Spidey game!??! ) , also the sound mix is a bit out of kilter - regarding volume levels. Music seems to quiet in places.The character acting is also a bit suspect even though its the original cast! Toby McGuire doesnt seem to be giving it his all, especially when you hear Spidey taunting enemies during battles. Bruce Campbell is pretty amusing as the narrator though.Overall though first impressions make this a worthy purchase, you`re sure to have hours of fun swinging across the New York skyline.
Graphics 10/10Gameplay 8/10Audio 6/10
Oh, and a few gripes - why the `specials` on the Wii and PS3 version? ( Wii has two extra villains AND two handed swinging, PS3 has playable Goblin ). What does the 360 have? Nothing! Plain ol` vanilla Spidey!If you own a PS3 AND XBOX360 AND Wii then you have a tough choice about which version to get.But, it annoys me that some platforms get the `extras` just to encourage sales.