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IPTV on a SONY Bravia KDL46HX820 January 12, 2012

Posted by kewlhunter in 3D, 3D Glasses, 3D TV, Computer, cool, IPTV, kewl, LED LCD TV, Movies, Online, Sony, tech, Technology, Television, TV, Video.
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IPTV on a SONY Bravia KDL46HX820

Normally I go out and buy the stuff I review here, but this review is a little different. This time, the good people at Sony were incredibly generous, and loaned me a TV for a few weeks, to review the IPTV functionality (if I decided wanted too). The review is meant to be just about IPTV butI have to let you know about the TV too, as it was a fantastic piece of technology.

IPTV

I am guessing most people are thinking to themselves *what the heck is IPTV when it’s at home ?*  IPTV is just TV or Video content, that arrives via an internet stream, rather than over the air, like traditional *free to air* that we have had for years, arriving via an antenna on our roofs.

One thing that separates SONY’s IPTV from many other IPTV offerings from other brands, is the depth  of the content. Many brands of TV have IPTV functionality, but when you dig below the funky interface, there is little content. That’s a bit like having a great audio system but not having any music.

It’s very clear Sony have gone to  a lot of trouble to not only provide first rate IPTV functionality, but also to secure a lot of content. When I reviewed the TV I had access to well over 20 channels of IPTV content, and that list is growing all the time, with SONY planning to add more and more channels over time.

One of the great uses of IPTV is to provide catch up TV services(this is when a TV station makes programs that have already been aired, available to be streamed via the internet). I made use of these several times. When faced with typical Melbourne bad weather day, instead of being stuck with just Daytime TV to watch, I was able to stream some great Documentary’s, I had missed when they were broadcast on free to air TV in the weeks prior.

Now these same catch up TV services are often available directly on your computer, but SONY has done deals with the TV channels to get a higher quality streams, from different servers, that look great even on a massive 46″ TV, like SONY had loaned to me. These same services, when watched a on a small laptop screen, can often only be viewed in a small 3″ window, as going full screen can make them unwatchable.

SONY also has IPTV channels for everything from dining, travel, fashion, movie previews, to how to channels and even a wiggles channel for the kids. Some of these have a lot of content while some are a bit thin, but no doubt these will be added too, over time.

SONY also has what’s known as Video on demand services too. So when you want to watch a movie, instead of jumping in the car and heading to the video store, you simply select it from the screen(you can even preview it), and watch it in HD(high definition) or SD(standard definition). The HD movies are perfect but an SD movie I watch had  a little noise. It wasn’t a problem, and was perfectly watchable, but IMO it is worth paying the extra for the HD version.

THE TV

Well the first thing I have to say about this TV is WOW! This 200Hz LED/LCD TV has a stunning picture. The colours are incredibly faithful with really deep blacks and fantastic contrast. This TV uses SONY’s Opti-contrast LCD panel, and it is the one used in all their high end TV’s, and it is a clear step up from their entry level TV’s.

The TV has built in wi-fi, which is really handy for most people, to access not only IPTV content but also to the pictures, and video’s on you PC’s, on the same network. The technology behind this is called DLNA. DLNA is just a way for lots of devices to be able to share media across a network. These can be everything from TV’s, PC’s, audio systems, to HDD’s or mobile phones.

The TV is a 200Hz model, and although I am not convinced anyone can see any difference over 100Hz (unless you use a test disc), it certainly can’t do any harm. The TV is also 3D, and although many people aren’t that excited by 3D, the fact movie makers like Scorsese and Speilberg are now making 3D movies, suggests to me, it is here to stay. The TV even comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses.

If you are after a great TV then the HX820 is hard to go past, just in picture quality alone. The IPTV in this and most SONY TV’s is just icing on the cake, and really does give you a few more options of content to watch. IPTV clearly isn’t designed to replace free to air or cable TV but is a great adjunct to the services we already have, and well worth the effort SONY has clearly put into making it a success.

I could go into the technical features of the TV like local dimming etc but the great thing about this TV, is that you just need to look at the picture to see how good it really is. You don’t need to be an expert.

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Buying Cheap Bluray Discs online(from Australia) October 23, 2010

Posted by kewlhunter in 3D, 3D TV, 3DTV, BD, Bluray, kewl, LED LCD TV, Movies, Online, Shopping Online, Sony, Technology, Television, TV, Video.
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Buying Cheap Bluray Discs online(from Australia)

I have recently started sourcing my Bluray Discs from amazon.co.UK. There are very few outlets for Bluray Discs in Australia(well there are lots but only a few types ie chainstores) and they charge *premium* prices.  As the UK are the same Bluray region as Australia,  buying from the UK isn’t a problem(The US is a different region and the discs wont play on Aussie players. As far as I know you cannot get any Bluray players that aren’t region locked, but as there are only 3 regions, and the UK is the same as Australia, it does ge us the option of sourcing Discs from there. With the strength of the Australian Dollar, it really does work out a lot cheaper.

I buy several titles at once to maximise the benefit of a single shipping charge. I have also organised group buys with my work colleagues and friends. I have found several titles that just aren’t available here and many that haven’t been released yet. I have also found 3D titles which we just can’t buy in Australia. As I have just upgrade to a new Sony 3d TV, this is great.

Here are some of  the Titles I have purchased recently or am about to purchase

The Ultimate Bourne Collection [Blu-ray] [2002]

Planet Earth: Complete BBC Series [Blu-ray] [2006]

The Complete Matrix Trilogy [Blu-ray] [1999]

Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (Theatrical Version) [Blu-ray]

Blade Runner: The Final Cut [Blu-ray] [1982]

Inception Limited Edition – Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

2001 – A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray] [1968]

Iron Man 1 & 2 Double Pack [Blu-ray]

and some 3D titles we don’t have access to in Australia

Alice in Wonderland 3D [Blu-ray]

IMAX – Wild Ocean 3D [Blu-ray]

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D [Blu-ray]

IMAX – Journey Into Amazing Caves 3D [Blu-ray]

IMAX – Grand Canyon Adventures-River At Risk 3D [Blu-ray]

Bolt 3D [Blu-ray]

Monster House 3D [Blu-ray]

If you click any of the above links, they will take you to amazon UK, and if you buy anything on the site, once there, we will receive a small commission. It will not cost you anymore but will help keep this site up and running, and for that we thank you. It all helps

 

 

3DTV or Not to 3DTV, is that the Question? October 8, 2010

Posted by kewlhunter in 3D, 3D Glasses, 3D TV, 3DTV, cool, gadget, Gaming, Glasses, kewl, LED LCD TV, LED TV, Playstation 3, PS3, tech, Technology, Television, TV, Video.
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3D or Not to 3D, is that the Question?

Originally I had little to no interest in 3D TVs. I had never got around to seeing a movie at the cinema, in 3D, and so my initial exposure was a very brief demo of an early prototype,  and it left me wondering what all the fuss was about. As the demo was trying to show this pre-production prototype 3DTV to as many people as possible, I only got to view about 20 seconds of a 3D game. It suffered from whats known as cross talk(where the stereo images don’t align) making it fuzzy and blurred, and this also diminished the 3D effect. Not a good way to start.

Nothing had leaped out of the screen at me, and I walked away thinking *meh* why bother. My next exposure to 3D was on a proper production model, and it was a Revelation. All the crosstalk was gone and the image was razor sharp and in full 3D effect. Now I was thinking maybe there is something to this 3D thing. I think the industry hasn’t done itself any favors, by always  having things coming out of the TV (in advertising), when in reality, whats really cool about 3D is how deep into the TV the image goes. Sure you do get some things coming out of the TV screen, but what 3D does really well is the sense of depth you get into the TV screen.

read full article here

Samsung 32″ Series 6 LED LCD TV December 28, 2009

Posted by kewlhunter in cool, kewl, LED LCD TV, LED TV, Samsung, tech, Technology, Television, TV, Video.
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Samsung 32″ Series 6 LED LCD TV

Amazon.com Buy Samsung 32-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LED HDTV

Well my old TEAC CRT TV was giving up the ghost. It took about 20 attempts to get it turned on and then you couldn’t change channels for at least 2 minutes or it would shut down again. Clearly it was time for a new TV. I decided that due to space I have and the distance I sit from the TV, I couldn’t go bigger than a 32″. Unfortunately most brands only have their better technology in 40″ and above. This is a real pity as I am very fussy about picture quality, having sold TVs for over 15 years, I was quite happy to pay for a decent picture. read full article here