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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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SONY DSC-HX5V Compact Camera December 8, 2010

Posted by kewlhunter in camera, cool, Sony, tech, Technology.
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SONY DSC-HX5V Compact Camera

I got this marvel of photography just before my trip to the World Cup in South Africa, and it was the perfect travel camera. The quality of the images are just superb.

DSC-HX5V

DSC-HX5V

That’s not surprising as Sony DSC-HX5V features Sony’s largest Exmor-R sensor in a compact camera. The Exmor-R sensor has the circuitry on the back of the sensor, which allows the sensor to receive 30% more light, compared a standard sensor with circuitry  on the front, as used in other brands of cameras.
read full article here

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

SONY Z128-The Holy Grail of Laptops ? June 2, 2010

Posted by kewlhunter in Computer, cool, kewl, Laptop, Notebook, Sony, tech, Technology, Windows 7, XP.
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The Holy Grail of Laptops ?

SONY VAIO VPCZ128GGX (Australian model)(Now Z138)

Sony VAIO Z128 laptop

I have been selling computers for many years and its always been the case that what users wanted was a fast, powerful, light weight, laptop with great battery life. This has always been a contradiction as you could have great battery life but had to give up performance or you could have great performance at the cost of lightness and battery life. Well the Sony Z128 may have actually done the impossible and produced a laptop that is light weight, powerful and fast, and has awesome battery life.

SONY has delved deep into the exotic parts bin to do this, and that is reflected in the price. The Sony Z128 isn’t cheap, but that’s to be expected when you have components like Solid State drives, intels high end I7 processor, 8GB of fast DDR3 ram, and carbon composite/precision billet aluminium construction. The LED backlit LCD display is a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Sony VAIO Z128 design makes me think of a formula 1 car, as no part of the design has been compromised, and exotic parts are used when there is a benefit. This results in the Sony VAIO Z128 delivering in spades, in all areas of performance.

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SONY XEL-1 OLED Digital TV April 28, 2010

Posted by kewlhunter in cool, kewl, LED TV, Sony, tech, Technology, Television, TV.
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SONY XEL-1 OLED TV

Sony XEL-1 OLED Digital TV

Sony XEL-1 OLED Digital TV

I recently purchased this amazing little digital TV, and yes it is a small TV, with a screen that is 11.1 inch , butas it is for use on my bedside table, the size isn’t an issue. It is arguably the coolest TV on the planet and is the worlds first OLED TV.  This Digital TV uses OLED technology for the display. OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLED screens use organic materials that emit light when an electrical current is passed through them. This has several advantages over the more common LCD panels, most of us have as a TV or computer monitor. LCD screens rely on a backlight to generate the picture. This means the screens are lit from behind and can suffer from light leaking through and so they have trouble displaying a true deep black. OLED screens can turn off individual pixels to produce stunning blacks and brilliant contrast that no other display technology can match. It is also extremely energy efficient.

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SONY Playstation 3 July 28, 2009

Posted by kewlhunter in Gaming, Music, Playstation 3, PS3, Sony, Technology, Video.
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Playstation 3

PlayStation 3 120 GB

Well after much contemplation I finally got myself a PlayStation 3. I had been tossing up between it and an Xbox 360, and finally decided the PlayStation 3 was better suited to my needs. The built in Blu-ray player was a bonus, and for my needs really just for the advantages it brings gaming(larger capacity equaling bigger more detailed games), not as a movie player. I’m not sold on the push to HD(high definition) as I have an awesome Standard definition widescreen TV(a german Loewe) that I plan to have for many more years, and I don’t see a major difference between excellent SD and average HD. I can’t afford good HD and even then, its a subtle improvement at best. read full article here

SONY MZ-RH1 Minidisc April 15, 2009

Posted by kewlhunter in cool, Minidisc, Music, sound, sound production, Technology.
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SONY MZ-RH1 Minidisc

I bought this unit about 18 months ago, and  no doubt some will be thinking *why would anyone buy a minidisc these days?*, so I’ll explain. I also own a 20gb hdd sony NW-HD5 which I have owned for many years. I use this model(NW-HD5) because I found the ATRAC3plus 352kb lossless compression was the best at the time. I use the MW-HD5  unit as my main source of music in my car. Its like having my own radio station that just plays the music I love. read full article here