TV & Home Cinema

By June 20, 2017 Read More →

Benq W1090 Review

IMG_0413Size doesn’t matter. It’s quality over quantity. These are the things you tell yourself, but sometimes you have to face the fact that what you have just isn’t big enough, especially if you have a bunch of friends round and they all want to be able to see.

Thankfully the nice people in BenQ sent us their W1090 projector to play around with for a little while, so we can turn any large flat surface into a screen. Nice!

The unit itself is pretty large, but when you factor in the light output, the size of the lens and the cooling system, space is well used. It’s a decent looking device too, I like that BenQ didn’t just go for the “black box” approach, opting instead for a matte white finish. Basically, it’s not something you would object to having visible in your house.

The controls are readily accessible and well laid out but are not obtrusive and the W1090 can be fully controlled from the unit itself or the rather clean and simply styled remote. This is really handy if you want to make a hidden or fitted installation of the device or plan to mount it to the ceiling. It’s backlit too, so no fumbling around in the dark when using it.


Setup is an absolute doddle. There are plenty of input ports on the back of the unit including 2 HDMI ports. Plug in your source using an HDMI cable etc hit the power button and voila – you have a picture. Zooming and focusing are super easy thanks to the large controls on the unit and simple up and down buttons enable you to change the shape of the image to match the surface it’s being shown on and make it nice and square. You will spend more time faffing about with the 3 adjustable feet and position of the projector, perfecting the angle and ensuring that the image is exactly where you want it to be than you will with the actual setup. The feet screw in and out allowing you to angle and stabilise the unit, and although I would have preferred a bit more extension in them, you can always prop them up easily. Good job BenQ!

One of the main issues with projectors has always been the level of light they can produce. If you have an underpowered projector, your image will appear washed out and fuzzy, especially if you aren’t watching in complete darkness. I set the W1090 up in my loft man cave in the middle of the afternoon on a pretty bright day. I hung a cloth in front of the Velux window to cut out some of the light, and even though the room was far from dark, I was very pleasantly surprised at the results. Projected on the sloped ceiling, the W1090 produced an impressively strong, solid image. It does boast that it is capable of showing full 1080 HD as well as 3D (1 set of glasses are supplied with the unit), but to be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to look as good as a TV. Again, watching movies from the basic, bog-standard Blu-ray player I had plugged into it, I was pleasantly surprised at the sharp and well-contrasted image the BenQ was able to create. It’s not too noisy either, despite having two decent sized cooling fans in it.  Although be warned, it does blow out quite a bit of warm air! I would have loved to have created a back garden cinema to really see what the W1090 was capable off, but unfortunately, we had limited time with the projector and so were unable to fully explore the full extent of the device.

The only downside I would level at the W1090 is the in-built audio. It’s not terrible by any means, but the sound from the 10w speakers is a bit weedy. The thing is though, no one is actually going to be using them, so it’s a bit of a moot point. The projector will likely be set up above or behind you and you definitely won’t want the sound coming from there. Even if it’s positioned between you and the image, if you are going to the cost and effort of having a setup that enables you to watch a movie on a 12-foot screen, you are going to want audio to match. One thing to note if you are having it positioned in front of you, I did notice that light does leak from the sides of the unit slightly. No big deal, but there are people who will get distracted/annoyed by this.

The audio out option on the BenQ is a 3.5mm jack. I would have liked to have seen a few more options for connecting to external audio devices, especially given that the projector and speakers are likely to be a good distance apart.

At around the £600-650 range, it’s certainly not cheap, but when you put it into context and set it against its peers, it’s actually quite reasonably priced and you do get a lot of bang for your buck. Yes, you will have to change the bulb after a couple of thousand hours of use, but this is for movies, cup finals etc, not for watching Corrie on, so it’s going to take some time to wear out.

If you are in the market for a good quality projector and don’t want to spend a fortune on one of the high-end models, the BenQ W1090 is definitely worth your consideration. You can pick one up from Amazon here for around £555.

By May 3, 2017 Read More →

Sennheiser HD 569 Unboxing

Image49The closed HD 569 with around ear design brings a flexible option to the Home entertainment space. It provides a rich and clear bass, adding further flexibility by making it possible to enjoy the full personal experience without disturbing others. Featuring an Impedance of 23 Ω and a frequency response of 10- 28,000 Hz these will marry up very well to the Sennheiser Flex 5000 we looked at recently.

Grab yours from Amazon here.

 

By May 2, 2017 Read More →

Sennheiser Flex 5000 Unboxing

Image48Sennheiser is looking to improve your Tv watching experience and turn your wired headphones into wireless headphones. A sleek and elegant transmitter/receiver set brings Sennheiser audio expertise and leading edge digital wireless technology to those wishing to improve their TV viewing with a personalised listening experience.

With three different hearing profiles to enhance TV, movies or music, to choose from. Plus a unique Speech Intelligibility feature that reduces TV background noise for added clarity.

Grab yours from Amazon here.

By January 18, 2017 Read More →

Projector Room Show 6: 1980’s Action Films Special

midnightrunDownload Projector Room #6 (“Gareth Myles”,17/01/2017) manually (Size: 42MB, 59 minutes duration).

Projector Room Show Notes
Show 6: 1980’s Action Films Special
Ted Salmon and Steve Litchfield with Gareth Myles

Projector Room Community
Projector Room Google+ Community
Ted’s Top Ton – Ted’s 100 Favourite films!
John Campion on The OA and A Good Day to Die Hard
Ahmed Bebars on Blade Runner 2049 and The World’s Fastest Indian
Ian Barton on The Spy Who Came in from The Cold and Touching the Void
Roy Gardener on The Damned

1980’s Action Films Worth Watching
AliensMad Max 2For Your Eyes OnlyLicence to KillLethal Weapon
RoboCopLethal Weapon 2Exterminator 2Commando
Conan the BarbarianDeath Wish 2The TerminatorDeath Wish 3
First BloodCobraDie HardMissing in ActionPredatorRed Heat
NighthawksThe Running ManRaiders of the Lost ArkStakeout
Big Trouble in Little China48 Hrs.

What We’ve Been Watching
The AccountantDeepwater HorizonSully: Miracle on the HudsonFlight
Train to BusanThe ExorcistShades of BlueAsh Vs The Evil Dead
Lethal WeaponEddie the EagleInterstellarEight days a Week
Into the Grizzly Maze – Ted’s Review
The MartianTed’s Review
TranscendenceTed’s Review
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934 & 1956) – Ted’s Review
FleabagTed’s Review
The WidowerTed’s Review
The Way BackTed’s Review
The 33Ted’s Review
A Hologram for the KingTed’s Review
The ColonyTed’s Review
10 Cloverfield LaneTed’s Review
The Search PartyTed’s Review
The WalkTed’s Review

Against the SunTed’s Review

Film Picks

Midnight Run (buy on Amazon UK)

Batman

The Terminator

Links of Interest

PodHubUKChewing Gum for the EarsPhones Show ChatWhatever WorksAAWP

 

By October 1, 2016 Read More →

Projector Room Episode 2: Close To The Edge

projectorroom-300Listen using the player here:


Download Projector Room #2 (“Gareth Myles”,29/09/2016) manually (Size: 33MB, 46 minutes duration).

Projector Room

Show Notes – Show 2

Ted Salmon and Steve Litchfield with Gareth Myles

The Cutting Room Floor

Projector Room Google+ Community

Ted’s Top Ton – Ted’s 100 Favourite films, in no particular order!

Rob Anderson posted his Top 10 Films

John Campion posted his Top 10 Films

Which Remakes are better than Originals Discussion

Magic in the Moonlight, Ted’s Written Review

Community Members Suggest

The Shallows
– on Amazon UK

The Thing (1982) – on Amazon UK

Sully

Starring Role

Getting to know…Gareth Myles

Worth Watching

Reservoir Dogs – on Amazon UK

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – on Amazon UK

Amadeus – on Amazon UK

Curb Your Enthusiasm – on Amazon UK

Fargo (Film) – on Amazon UKFargo (TV)

Hugo – on Amazon UK

Dial M for Murder  – on Amazon UK

Argo on Amazon UK

To Live and Die in L.A. – on Amazon UK

Sorcerer – on Amazon UK

Film Picks

The Edge – on Amazon UK

A Simple Plan – on Amazon UK

The Magnificent Seven – on Amazon UK

Links of Interest

PodHubUKChewing Gum for the EarsPhones Show ChatWhatever WorksAAWP

By September 15, 2016 Read More →

Vivitek’s new Qumi Q3 plus brings the big screen experience everywhere

medium_vivitek_q3_plus_kickstandThe big screen experience and the thrills and excitement that come with it is set to become accessible to even more people thanks to Vivitek, a leading brand of visual display products. It has expanded its popular Qumi Series of industry leading pocket projectors with the introduction of the Qumi Q3 Plus, an ultra-portable LED smart projector with Android™ designed to provide entertainment on the go. Redefining how and where the big screen experience can be enjoyed and shared, the Qumi Q3 Plus joins Vivitek’s existing Qumi projectors – including the Qumi Q6 and the Qumi Q7 Plus – which also offer Wi-Fi connectivity and PC-free access to multimedia content.

Despite being only slightly bigger than a smartphone in size and weighing just 460 grams, the Qumi Q3 Plus can project a large widescreen image up to a massive 100” diagonal size. This performance is aided by the ultra-portable projector’ native HD720p resolution, 500 lumen brightness and 5,000:1 contrast, along with its 30,000 hours LED light-source lifetime and a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU running the Android v.4.42 OS. Combined, these ensure that the Qumi Q3 Plus packs a visual punch wherever it is used. It’s an experience set to last too, thanks to its built-in 8,000mAh rechargeable battery which delivers up to two hours on the go projection.

In addition to its ample battery life, the pocket projector gives users a multitude of content sources for playing back video, photos, documents and other content from a PC-free reader via a USB drive, microSD cards or even from its considerable onboard memory. Boosting its flexibility further, is the Qumi Q3 Plus’ built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which gives users more choice over where the projector is situated and makes it the perfect pocket projector for those who travel a lot.

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By providing cable-free projection of content from iOS ® or Android™ mobile phones and tablets, the Wi-Fi functionality enables users to connect to a web browser. Easy access to preloaded online streaming content provider apps enables users to watch movies or TV programs via services like Netflix™ and Youtube™, without having to use a mobile phone.

In addition to its versatility, the Qumi Q3 Plus is quick to set up, ensuring users will be projecting in seconds while its Home Screen makes navigating it simple and easy. All the most common functions are centrally placed on the home screen for immediate access to the required feature, application or setting, while its hand-held sized remote brings further convenience to digitally focus the image. The automatic vertical keystone correction enables a nice widescreen image from many angles, while it also has a motorised focus that can be adjusted by remote control.

With its clean, minimalist-yet-functional design, the Qumi Q3 Plus’ sliding lens cover, curved edges and neatly integrated speakers enhance the audio experience. Available in four colours ranging from white, black, red, gold, it is stylish enough for any setting, whether the user wants wireless and instant projection at home, is enjoying outdoor activities like camping, or even during a break at work. To amplify its audio performance, the Q3 Plus offers Bluetooth connectivity enabling sound to be transmitted from the projector to a compatible headphone or an external speaker for increased volume.

Commenting on the Qumi Q3 Plus’ introduction, Holger Graeff, General Manager EMEA, Vivitek, said: “This projector encapsulates Vivitek’s commitment to engineering excellence which is reflected in its innovation, performance and flexibility. It also shows our enthusiasm for giving our customers solutions that deliver the image quality and performance associated with Vivitek, irrespective of the size of the projector or where it is used.”

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Key Features/ Specifications:

  • Ideal for carrying around thanks to its thin streamlined design, a 460g lightweight size and an embedded battery that lasts up to two hours
  • Share a big screen with family and friends with up to 100-inch diagonal projection and HD720p resolution
  • Built-in wireless connection for cable-free projection of your iOS or Android mobile devices with mirroring function
  • Enjoy great audio performance with its integrated dual-2W stereo speakers or Bluetooth pairing to a compatible sound system at home
  • Experience extra-large viewing with quick access to your favorite movies or shows via the preloaded online content provider app
  • Entertaining on the go is made possible thanks to its PC-Free Reader to preload media and document files to display without a computer at source
  • Powerful 1.5GHz quad-core CPU running  Android  v.4.42  operating system with 8GB onboard memory. Beyond the operating system’s onboard memory, a MicroSD or USB flash drive – purchased separately – can be utilised to provide an additional 64GB memory (for preloading media content for viewing later).
  • Automatic vertical keystone correction enables a nice widescreen image from many angles
  • Maintenance free with environmental friendly LED light source lasts up to 30,000 hours
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.

vivitek-h1060-connectique

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.

Posted in: News, TV & Home Cinema
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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  

 

 

 

Posted in: Reviews, TV & Home Cinema
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