TV & Home Cinema

By May 11, 2016 Read More →

How to bring the European football championship to life in the living room

276E7QDSW_ftl bk_LRWith just one month to go until the European football championship kicks off in Stade de France in Paris, football fans throughout Europe are making plans for a month-long football fest. A lucky few have tickets for the stadiums. The majority will be watching at home – and pre-tournament prep for most people is all about studying match schedules and planning their own fixtures in the form of get-togethers with friends and family. To maximise viewing pleasure, it is also worth making a technology upgrade part of the game plan. MMD, a leading technology company and brand license partner for Philips Monitors, highlights some display choices to enjoy an even more brilliant viewing experience in the many hours of football over the coming weeks.

For fans on a budget
A new display does not have to be a big-budget decision. Price-aware fans who are also short of space still want their football viewing to be a sociable experience, with plenty of people around to share the highs and lows. The 27-inch 276E7QDSW display from MMD fits the bill. The format is 16:9, with enhanced Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, which creates a widescreen picture with detailed imaging that works perfectly for fast-moving matches. Despite its modest dimensions, the display is clear and vivid – and thanks to the wide-angle panel technology (PLS), an entire group of people can gather round and still see the picture even when looking from virtually side-on. With Flicker-Free technology, the display eliminates flicker effects, keeping eyes fresh for hours of football. Viewers can expect crisp detail paired with brightness, incredible contrast and realistic colours for a true-to-life match experience.

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For technology fans with more cash to spend
It is not like having tickets to the real-life match. But even without passing through the stadium turnstiles, football fans can get closer to the action with an UltraWide screen, Quad HD resolution and one-billion-colour support. What makes the BDM3490UC special is its curvature: it wraps around the viewer’s line of vision to create a truly immersive, focused experience. The flicker-free, high resolution visuals (3440 x 1440 pixels) and smooth colour gradations are complemented by the 34-inch display’s integrated audio technology, the DTS™ sound enrichment suite that brings the unique stadium sound alive through integrated speakers. It all makes for totally captivating football!

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For non-fans (rumoured to exist)
Of course (dare we say it), not everyone relishes the prospect of a month-long football-only viewing diet. People who are not fans themselves but have one (or several) in the family should take a look at the 27-inch 275C5QHGSW display with Ambiglow Plus Base. Its special lighting effects are guaranteed to restore a good mood. Even when the display is off, the Ambiglow Plus technology shines a halo of light on and around the base that can be adjusted to create a unique room ambience. When the display is on, it can be programmed to synchronize colour and brightness with the display image (inevitably football) to create a more intense viewing experience that moves colour and vibrancy beyond the screen itself. The picture is also superb: AH-IPS widescreen visuals, vivid colours and contrast will keep the football fans happy too.

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In the new extended format, the championship is a 51-match tournament: more than ever before. All the more reason to get the right display for these extra viewing hours in time for the opening match on 10 June – and make the experience simply unforgettable.

By April 29, 2016 Read More →

Vivitek adds new model to bring sports and games alive

medium_Vivitek_H1060_FrontVivitek has announced the immediate availability of the H1060 projector.  With 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness and a contrast ratio of 15,000:1, the new H1060 is a perfect entry level projector for those who want to enjoy the upcoming Euro cup or the Olympic Games on a large screen in the comfort of their home.

The Texas Instruments’ DLP® and BrilliantColor™ technologies included ensure brilliant and rich digital picture quality with full colour saturation thanks to its 6-segment (GYRWCB) colour wheel. The Vivitek H1060 offers Full HD 3D directly via an HDMI port while its native 1080p resolution allows users to enjoy the top 3D and 2D video games.

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 ”With its attractive price positioning, the new H1060 perfectly complements our existing range of home cinema projectors. It delivers an unrivalled price-performance ratio at a smaller budget and boosts very modest operational costs as the H1060 is equipped with an energy efficient lamp. This allows the user to enjoy a great image for up to 10,000 hours making it the ideal solution for enjoying many great entertainment moments at home,” comments Holger Graeff, General Manager EMEA of Vivitek Corporation.

The new model features a complete set of connectivity options including dual HDMI v1.4 inputs to allow users to connect their cable/satellite receiver, Blu-Ray disc player or video gaming console. The H1060 provides MHL support for easy streaming of video and audio content from any compatible mobile device. It includes several additional I/O ports including an audio in port to use the built-in 2 watt speaker or audio out port to connect to the external sound system. Moreover, thanks to its new energy efficient lamp, the lamp lifetime in dynamic eco mode is extended up to 10,000 hours and its position on the top of the projector also facilitates easy replacement by the user. The compact size and weight of only 2.3 kg ensures that the H1060 is easy to store and carry in order to enjoy sports events or games sessions with friends everywhere.

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Positioned as an ideal projector for anyone who wants to enjoy the big picture, the H1060 is a great budget choice that complements the existing range of Full HD home theatre projectors launched last year which already includes the Vivitek H1186 and H1188.

Key features / Specifications of the Vivitek H1060

-          High definition 1080p resolution (1920×1080) for clear and crisp visuals

-          DLP® technology with BrilliantColor™ for vibrant and rich picture quality

-          Powerful 3,000 ANSI lumens brightness with a 15,000 high contrast ratio to display sharp images even when the lights are on

-          6-segment colour wheel for outstanding colour reproduction (GYRWCB)

-          A long lamp life up to 10,000 hours for low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

-          Compact and lightweight at only 2.3kg for easy portability

-          Audio ready with built-in 2 watt speaker and audio out port

-          Dual HDMI inputs and MHL compatibility for streaming of video and audio content from any compatible mobile device

Pricing and Availability

The Vivitek H1060 is immediately available and is priced at £629 including VAT. It benefits from a three year warranty on the projector and one year on the lamp (or 1,000 hours, whichever comes first).

By April 29, 2016 Read More →

Touching the Panasonic DX902

21371_TX_65DX902_1Recently I was  invited along to experience the new Panasonic DX902, a television that Panasonic are extremely proud of. Instead of getting distracted with all the latest Smart TV features Panasonic is focusing entirely on the best picture quality they can get from a panel. With the DX902 they are proud to point out it is receiving some of the best reviews across the Internet of any LED TV.

Previously Panasonic have spent a lot of time concentrating on plasma however they are having to keep up with the times as people are wanting thinner televisions with better power usage ratings. Pushing the LED technology as far as they can Panasonic has put in a vibrant 4K panel that handles HDR better than most. Additionally the Firefox TV operating system is in play here and gives a fast, responsive and easy to use experience for any TV user.

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Around the back of a panel are 4 HDMI ports with Audio Return Channel (ARC) and thankfully each of these is compliant with the high definition copy protocol (HDCP) 2.2 standard. Three USBs have been installed one of which is USB 3.0, and Panasonic have thankfully added set of optical audio outputs alongside the standard ethernet and tuner for Freeview and Freesat. As usual with the last few incarnations of Panasonic Viera TV’s we have two remote controls, a standard IR remote and a Bluetooth TouchPad that adds voice control.

The real star of the show year however is the new backlight technique Panasonic are employing, utilising local dimming. This screen is not lit from the edge, instead it uses a very specific structure with seven by seven clusters creating isolated areas of the screen to minimise any leakage. This allows the panel to have exceptionally deep blacks. We witnessed a test of Mad Max: Fury Road from a 4k disk and the results for stunning.

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What we’re seeing here is one of the first televisions with 10-bit HDR, a new standard supported by Ultra HD Blu-ray. The loss of detail and clipping is astonishing however Mad Max: Fury Road actually has dropped frames integrated into the original negative and some may mistaken this for performance problems. The DX902 has a new HCX+ (Hollywood Cinema eXperience plus) processing chipset, an improvement on the 4K Studio Master Processor, that helps produce pre-HDR Rec 709. This has earned 4K Certification from the renowned independent quality assurance group, THX.

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The Award-winning cinematographer Vanja Cernjul, known from TV series such as Marco Polo and Orange Is The New Black, noted: “I think when consumers see a 4K HDR image, they will get used to it very quickly, and then just start demanding it”. Panasonic utilised Vanja to create a cinematic short film to demonstrate Panasonic’s VIERA Ultra HD Premium TV’s ability to reproduce the director’s vision.

When all this is put together this TV really is one of the top TVs for the regular consumer,  certainly experts may be able to see problems however for the average customer the combination of outstanding colour, ease of use, to the point feature set and elegant look really make for a winner. Whilst pricey you really are getting what you pay for here and if you’re entertaining a 4K screen this summer then the DX902 is one to look at.

The DX902 comes in two sizes, 58-inch for around £2700 and 65-inch costing around £3200.

More information is available on Panasonic’s website.

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By January 22, 2016 Read More →

Panasonic Viera TX 50CX802B review #VieraVIPclub

downloadLast year we saw Panasonic putting out a pretty fantastic Viera television set the really blew  away the competition with a feature set that included some of the nicest looking Smart TV software experiences available at the time. This year Panasonic have changed their focus away from pushing a software feature set in favour of display technology where their heart really lies.

A new super bright LED panel featuring wide colour phosphor technology which combines LED back lighting with a new colour filter system has increased brightness significantly without increasing the power requirements. This keeps the television as a low power option whilst maintaining a fantastic picture quality. This year’s 4K set has proved to be better than we could have imagined featuring crisp Blu-ray images on the panel’s generous 8.3 million pixels.

Some folks may pass this by as it is an LCD screen, nowadays most are all about LED. Panasonic is managed to produce a picture from an LCD screen that truly resembles in many ways the picture they managed to get from the plasma technologies that they so dearly clung onto for the last few years. It is a crazy notion that a company uses older technologies to achieve the best however Panasonic are certainly getting close.

Major work has been done to avoid the glow effect LCD TV’s sometimes suffer from when trying to show black, Panasonic has spent a lot of R&D time eliminating this glow effect and delivered a sense of depth and realism in the brighter content, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Utilising clever light management Panasonic have been able to deliver deep blacks and can seemingly crush the bleed that can come from the side of the pixel affecting the next pixel. Each individual pixel seems to be able to offer its own degree of colour without affecting those surrounding it. An impressive technological feat that will probably be lost on the average viewer.

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The Tom Cruise movie Oblivion is widely considered to be one of the best test cases for a screen and Panasonic have no qualms about showing off this movie on one of their screens. This is primarily because the television can handle it easily, and if I can handle that movie I can handle any.

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The television itself is gorgeous with a minimal bezel surrounding the 50 inch screen. The stylish stand, admittedly that some may find impractical, possesses 3 HDMI sockets, 3 USB ports and an SD card slot alongside integrated Wi-Fi and wired network options. Changing from their in-house software the television now features Firefox OS as it’s main operating system. This has may concern some as recent news suggests that Firefox OS has become “a genuine open source project” and has been discontinued for smartphones. No word on the future of the television variant, and I hope that there is no plans to stop development as this it really works well. Minimal without being threadbare yet packing a lot of features that most TV manufacturers can’t manage to find a logical way to integrate without clustering of the user interface.

Functionality of this television is deeply impressive. We are given the option to simply be able to add frequently used features of the television to the main screen. I’m not talking about just a channel that is loved but a shortcut to your HDMI 3 instead of having to cycle through the TV/AV option on the remote control several times to get to HDMI 3. The helps greatly when wanting to use a Playstation or something a little more custom.

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As a cord cutter I was skeptical of the television’s ability as a smart TV to function without an aerial or satellite feed. Firefox OS has an app collection that covers the main basis of television viewing whilst not stretching the boundaries. This was to be expected given the infancy of the operating system. Whilst most people will probably not actually use the TV’s inbuilt  smart technology favouring Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, Android TV options for their streaming needs there are some who will find the television’s operating system’s life span a concern as apps may not be supported for the long. For now, all is fine and like any emerging platform, only time will tell.

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Panasonic are one of the first manufacturers to include a Freeview Play app. This app opens up the ability to view live television from all of the main UK terrestrial broadcasting platforms and integrate with their catch up platforms in a seamless experience to make up to the last month’s programming available at any time.

Adding to the Freeview Play option comes the Market. A diverse collection of content delivering apps that vary in quality however the main contenders are there. Wuaki, Youtube, Amazon, Vimeo and Netflix lead the way with around 100 others to flirt with. Catch up options are all pre-installed  and might only need an update before use. Honestly, Firefox OS is beautifully convenient for a TV operating system, it’s hard to get right, Amazon and Roku’s hardware could learn a lot from this simple setup. In testing the 4K however I found there to be a bit of a scarcity of material. YouTube, Vimeo and Amazon are the only apps that deliver 4K out of the box. Netflix have some however I would have to change my subscription for gain access, as a legacy subscriber I get the HD for £5.99 instead of £6.99, to get 4K this would have to change to £8.99.

However judging a television cannot solely be based on the smart technologies inside. Many users never touch TVs in built operating system outside of setting the TV up. The Panasonic Viera is a display first and foremost and a phenomenal one at that. This is a television that people will stand in awe looking at and when you tell them how much you paid for it they will be considering going to the same retailer as you and picking one up.

Panasonic have lost the IPS technology they used in last year’s model and we’ve actually seen a bit of a u-turn on the viewing angle however this allows for a more impressive contrast performance.This helps Panasonic achieve the 4K Studio Master process they’re very proud of. Panasonic are hoping to deliver a similar experience to that directors see when editing their movies in Hollywood, on the master screens. Whilst most will probably not be able to tell the difference they’re taking it almost as a personal goal for the company to create the best-looking colour representation on screen this year.

If there is anything negative to say about the television is that the 3D included really feels like unnecessary addition that they don’t really expect you to use. Case and point, there are no glasses included in the box. Unfortunately I was unable to test the 3D without glasses and  whilst content providers and exactly pushing 3D as much as they had been it’s likely someone who is actively going to purchase this television will have some 3D movies on amongst  a media collection. Plan ahead, know where to get glasses.

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Many will complain that they have too many remote controls in their living room, this Panasonic Viera will add two more. Oddly they both do pretty much the same thing. One controller is a standard long candy bar with the typical functions you would expect to find on a TV remote control save for a few shortcut buttons added in for convenience such as Netflix.

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The second controller is the more interesting of the two. Much like last year Panasonic have be working on touch and voice controls. Lacking backlit buttons and a somewhat slippery exterior this little controller was more difficult to use than it’s bigger brother and be completely honest somewhat unnecessary as the touch controls felt a little unnatural. Certainly it is great to show off and voice control on your television is a wonderful addition especially when done right as with Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku however Panasonic haven’t quite nail this yet.

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On the most cutting-edge television sound really isn’t taken seriously. The speakers here perform quite well however having the screen technology that is on display only makes sense that you plug-in a suitable system rather than relying on the inbuilt rear facing speakers. It seems a little crazy that it’s a given that people will purchase a surround sound system to go along with a television and the Panasonic Viera is no exception to this rule. If you want the most you will have to add something to it. The volume can go reasonably high and it renders voice is quite well. There was no noticeable disruption during noisy sequences however it just lacked that the immersive quality.

This TV is currently priced at £1,300 in Currys. Given that 4K TV’s can cost roughly doubt that this seems like an absolute bargain and if you purchase one you will be deeply pleased with your choice. Panasonic Viera maybe arguably slightly inferior to some of Samsung’s top offerings right now however Panasonic have a loyal customer base and those who are upgrading to this will be deeply impressed and thoroughly satisfied. Those who are not should really consider just why the loyal customers keep coming back to Panasonic.

 For more information and demonstrations please check out:

http://bit.ly/Panasonic_Viera_TVs  

 

 

 

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By January 17, 2016 Read More →

Qumi Q6 HD Pocket Projector Unboxing

vlcsnap-error179Vivitek have sent over their Q6 variant of the Qumi HD Pocket Projector. This is a modestly priced HD Projector designed to be thrown in your bag, pulled out at a moments notice and deliver a HD display on a wall or screen with minimal fuss.

From the initial impressions, it’s pretty awesome. Whilst not the smallest projector we have seen over the years the picture quality is up there with the best of them delivering a range of smart looking and heavily spec’d devices to meet most scenarios.

The Q6 is the pick of the crop as it features:

WXGA (1280 x 800) HD720p
800 ANSI Lumens
C.R.: 30,000:1
T.R.: 1.55:1
0.475 kg

 

The Q6 also braggs a stylist compact design that whilst not exactly pocket-able does manage to be lightweight and very easily transportable. 4GB of internal memory allows for a little bit of content without having to resort to the USB or HDMI in every time. Speaking of, there are actually two HDMI ports, one of which supports MHL for streaming video from a compatible smartphone or tablet. The Wi-Fi connectivity helps the EZ Media and EZCast Pro operate. A Connect to PC is available however this requires an uncommon USB Type A-to-USB Type A cable and there is not one provided, unfortunately.

The Qumi Q6 HD Pocket Projector can be purchase from various retailers, and there is a list of recommended sources on Vivitek’s website. Prices vary however Projectorshop24.co.uk list the Q6 at £688.80 +£8.99 shipping

http://www.vivitek.eu/Category/Pocket-Personal-Projectors/150/Qumi-Q6-

Also included in the video is the Vivitek Portable Battery Back Up Battery. This is a large 18,000mAh capacity battery and delivers 1.8 to 4.5 hours of use (lumens vary). There are various outputs including a DC 16v to 20v, DC 9v to 12v and a USB output to charge phones etc as well as a 19v input. Prices seem to settle around £120.

By December 15, 2015 Read More →

Win a new Panasonic Sound Bar worth £160

20138_SC-HTB485_angleTo champion the latest Viera TV range, we’ve teamed up with Panasonic to offer one lucky reader a brand new Panasonic Sound Bar worth xx. You’ll be able to enjoy watching your TV with the highest quality of sound.

Panasonic Viera TVs, which I got to see in IFA, Berlin, as part of the Viera VIP Club, produce stunning images and are packed with ‘4K Pro’ technology, allowing you to view TV in remarkable quality.

Many Viera TVs from this year’s line up now feature 4K pro technology as standard. 4K allows content to be viewed in four times as many pixels as Full-HD content. They have a shiny new Mozilla-powered user interface which allows navigating around so much easier. Not only that, but the new range is the first to host Freeview Play. This service allows the viewer to stream Freeview programmes from the internet which you may have missed using the familiar TV guide rewind facility.

The Panasonic SC-HTB485EBK Sound Bar is a 2.1-channel high-quality sound system which produces a rich sound field and crisp, clear dialogue. It comes with a wireless subwoofer and its Music Sound Mode optimises music listening. Without taking up too much space, you can enjoy movies, TV and music videos with lifelike acoustic ambiance and the clearest of sounds. 

To be in with a chance of winning a Panasonic Sound Bar, just answer the following question.

As usual we are going to make this very easy for you.

To enter, all you have to do is follow tracyandmatt on Twitter and retweet the following tweet: “RT I want to win a new Panasonic Sound Bar from @tracyandmatt and @PanasonicUK – You could too: http://wp.me/p3WUB6-fwL #vieravipclub” You can also click the retweet link below to save you copying and pasting the phrase. Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw.

 

RETWEET ME!

Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw. You’ll have to keep following us as we’ll notify winners via DM. 

Entry is open until midnight on the 28th December 2015 and the winner will be picked on the 3rd January. Will that be a lucky day for you?

We’ll contact the winner via twitter so make sure that you are still following us!

Good luck.

Click here to find out more about the Panasonic Viera TV range.

 

Terms & Conditions for [insert blog/website name]/Panasonic Competition

1. The promoter is: Tracy And Matt Ltd

2. Tracyandmatt.co.uk contributors, Panasonic and their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition including helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition. The competition is only open to residents of the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI), aged 18 years or over.

3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via http://wp.me/p3WUB6-fwL

5. Closing date for entry is 28/12/15. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted. Only one entry may be submitted per participant. Multiple entries will not be considered. Incomplete incorrect or otherwise invalid entries will not be considered. The Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of all participants. 6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

7. The prize for each winner are as follows: one Panasonic SC-HTB485EBK Sound Bar

8. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice and for any reason. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

10. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and the promotor reserves the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

11. Winners will be drawn at random by Tracyandmatt from all valid entries received

12. The winner will be notified by email and/or letter within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, the promotor reserves the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

13. The winner consents to their name, postal address and mobile contact number to be passed on to Panasonic in order to fulfil the prize.

14. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.15. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

16. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

17. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.

 

By October 25, 2015 Read More →

Whats new on Netflix 19-25th October

TWoNFLets take a look and see what has arrived on Netflix over the last week in the UK.

By October 25, 2015 Read More →

Whats new on Amazon Prime 19-25th October

Lets take a look and see what has arrived on Amazon Prime over the last week in the UK.TWoAP 4x5

By October 5, 2015 Read More →

Whats new on Netflix and Amazon Prime 28th Sept – 4 Oct?

TWoAP 4x5Gareth takes a light-hearted look at what new TV shows, movies and documentaries debuted over the last week on both Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

By September 27, 2015 Read More →

Whats new on Netflix and Amazon Prime?

vlcsnap-error237Here is a look at what debuted on both Netflix and Amazon Prime over the last week. Short simple and to the point, just the way we like it.