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Nigel Whitfield

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Get your network ready for World IPv6 Day

Hands On Today is World IPv6 Day, so you might be wondering just how easy it is to run IPv6 on your own home network. The answer is that it’s surprisingly simple, and even if you can’t yet get IPv6 connectivity from your internet provider, it’s still possible to connect your PC – or indeed your whole network – to the IPv6 internet. …
Nigel Whitfield, 08 Jun 2011
Echostar HDS-600RS

Echostar HDS-600RS Freesat HD recorder

Review Freesat, launched three years ago, hasn’t quite caught the imagination in the same way as Freeview HD, but if you don’t have terrestrial coverage, or you want more channels than Freeview provides, without having to go for pay TV, it’s a good option. Echostar HDS-600RS Echostar's HDS-600RS includes Slingbox functionality for …
Nigel Whitfield, 03 Jun 2011
Monty P

How to choose the right screen size

How big is big enough? It’s a question many of us have asked, as we cruise the aisles of Currys or John Lewis, looking for a new TV. It’s all too easy to be seduced by a special offer, or by extra features like net connectivity, and end up with a TV that’s larger than you anticipated. And while you might make space for a jumbo …
Nigel Whitfield, 19 May 2011
The Register breaking news

YouView confirms Technicolor exit

Set-top box maker Technicolor has pulled out of the YouView internet TV project. Originally announced as one of the "technology partners" that would be among the first to bring YouView-compatible products to market – a date that’s slipped from this coming summer to early 2012 – Technicolor has apparently decided not to go ahead …
Nigel Whitfield, 13 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Peugeot compo cam aids amateur espionage

Car company Peugeot has a competition on its website, in which you have to find hidden 3008s. It features some astonishing panoramic shots of London, taken sometime last summer, from the top of CentrePoint. You can zoom in, and if you go full screen, it’s pretty impressive. Here’s an overview: Peugeot cam One thing that …
Nigel Whitfield, 13 May 2011

WTF is... IPv6?

On the 8 June, it’ll be World IPv6 Day – a coordinated effort by major services on the internet, including Google and Facebook, to provide their services using the new version of the Internet Protocol. It’s part of the plans to cope with internet addresses ‘running out'. But just what is IPv6 - and what does it mean for most …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 May 2011
TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

TVonics DTR-Z500HD Freeview HD DVR

Review Back in October 2010, Reg Hardware looked at TVonics’ first Freeview HD recorder, the curiously styled DTR-HD500. The DTR-Z500HD is a more conventional 'shoe box' shape, though much smaller than many of the others I’ve looked at, but it once again packs in a good spec. TVonics DTR-HD500 DTR-Z500HD: a more sober design than the …
Nigel Whitfield, 30 Apr 2011
4k x 2k

WTF is... 4K x 2K?

If you’re a keen Reg Hardware reader, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve already got a high definition TV, and possibly a Blu-ray player too. Technology, of course, doesn’t stop there. While the switch over from analogue 405-lines to 625-line broadcasts - and TVs - took decades, changes occur more swiftly in the digital …
Nigel Whitfield, 14 Apr 2011
3D printing

WTF is... 3D printing

Head along to London's Design Museum and you'll find a remarkable shoe on display until August. Called the Melonia Shoe, it’s perhaps not what most Reg Hardware readers would wear, but it is remarkable, not so much for the design, but because it was printed by Belgian product prototyping company Materialise and Sweden-based …
Nigel Whitfield, 31 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Library e-books to become too tatty to lend

Does an e-book wear out? If it’s from publisher HarperCollins and belongs to a library, then the answer is now 'yes' – and potentially in as short a time as one year. New terms introduced by the publishing giant mean that instead of being sold with a perpetual licence, as they are now, e-books sold to libraries will be limited …
Nigel Whitfield, 02 Mar 2011
Doctor Who Experience

The Doctor Who Experience

Review Since the revival of Doctor Who almost six years ago, the BBC’s marketing machinery has been in full flow, with the programme spawning action figures, DVD box sets, plenty of other merchandise, alongside Proms concerts and exhibitions. Doctor Who Experience I remember my first Doctor Who exhibition, at Longleat in the 1970s, …
Nigel Whitfield, 17 Feb 2011
D-Link Boxee Box DSM-380

D-Link Boxee Box DSM-380 media streamer

Review D-Link’s Boxee box, also known by the catchy moniker of DSM-380, is aimed at a sector of the market that’s quite important in the US – streaming online media – but somewhat less so in the UK right now. D-Link Boxee Box DSM-380 Media container? D-Link's Boxee box It’s essentially a small form factor PC running the Boxee …
Nigel Whitfield, 12 Feb 2011
Icecrypt T2400

Icecrypt T2400 Freeview HD DVR

Review Icecrypt is a little known name in the UK. Their T2200 Freeview HD box was made by Topfield and the T2400 is in fact a UK version of a product from Korean PVR maker HomeCast. It’s a twin tuner unit for FreeviewHD, available with hard drives of 500GB, 1TB or 2TB. Icecrypt T2400 Icecrypt's T2400: the click wheel can be used to …
Nigel Whitfield, 29 Jan 2011
Wireless HDMI

WTF is... wireless HDMI?

We’re now all used to HDMI, the digital equivalent of the once-ubiquitous Scart connector, the latest versions of which are capable of supporting multi-channel audio, 3D TV and a return channel, so you can feed the sound back from your TV’s tuner to a surround sound system. It has, to be honest, some rough edges here and there. …
Nigel Whitfield, 26 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

PS3 telly add-on update hit by splash screen crash

Rather a lot of users of PlayTV, Sony's DVR accessory for the PlayStation 3, have lost their recordings in an attempt to surmount bugs introduced in a recent update. Following the release late last year of version 2.02 of the PlayTV software – which includes support for Freeview’s series link functions – many users have grumbled …
Nigel Whitfield, 11 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

The year's best... TV media players

2010: it's a wrap 2010: it's a wrap Networkable media players aren’t new, but in 2010 the addition of BBC iPlayer and similar services to set-top boxes and TVs made more consumers aware of the possibilities of online entertainment pumped straight into the living room, while Windows 7 made it simpler to stream content from your PC’s hard drive …
Nigel Whitfield, 17 Dec 2010
Apple iBooks icon

WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

Electronic books are a topic that never fails to generate comment on Reg Hardware – most often along the lines of, 'why are they so expensive?' With the launch of Amazon's Kindle in the UK, many book buyers hoped that e-books would become cheaper. Together with the falling price of readers, and Amazon trumpeting large e-book …
Nigel Whitfield, 26 Nov 2010
Digital Stream DHR8203U

Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview HD DVR

Review Digital Stream is not a name that many people will be familiar with when it comes to PVRs – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; few had heard of Topfield or Humax before their very successful Freeview models appeared in the UK. Digital Stream DHR8203U Fluid design? Digital Stream's DHR8203U The Digital Stream DHR8203U is …
Nigel Whitfield, 14 Oct 2010
Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview HD recorder

Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview HD DVR

Review From a fairly slow start, the number of Freeview HD recorders is growing quite quickly; but the Humax has been one that many people have been waiting for. The company has a pretty good pedigree with DVRs for other services, and expectations have been quite high for the HDR Fox T2. Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview HD recorder Humax's …
Nigel Whitfield, 08 Oct 2010
Panasonic TY-CC10

Panasonic TY-CC10W Skype camera

Review While purists might prefer a standards-based approach to Internet telephony, there’s no doubt that, for many people, Skype is much simpler to set up. Even so, with a few exceptions, most equipment is still tethered to a computer, especially if you want to use Skype’s video calling. Panasonic TY-CC10 What's on TV? Panasonic's TY …
Nigel Whitfield, 07 Oct 2010
Sony 46EX403

Sony Bravia KDL-46EX403 46in LCD TV

Review Freeview HD TVs are fairly common these days, and Sony has put the necessary DVB-T2 tuners in most of the models in its range. The Bravia KDL-46EX403 is, as far as these things go, one of its budget models – it lacks the LED backlighting of the higher end units, which in turn makes it bulkier and less sexy, though from the front …
Nigel Whitfield, 01 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

UK set for eBook pricing showdown

With Amazon taking pre-orders for the latest Kindle and opening a dedicated UK store, an investigation by Reg Hardware has revealed big differences in the pricing strategies of some of the major suppliers of ebooks in the UK. Waterstone's, probably the highest profile UK seller of ebooks, has announced that the price of the Sony …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Aug 2010
Panasonic DMR-XW380

Panasonic DMR-XW380 Freeview HD DVR

Review Unlike the current wave of Freeview HD recorders coming on stream right now, the Panasonic DMR-XW380 is not just a twin tuner hard drive recorder, but a DVD recorder too. Pay a fair bit extra and you can have opt for DMR-BW880, the Blu-ray version Reg Hardware reviewed recently. Panasonic DMR-XW380 Good all-rounder? Panasonic's …
Nigel Whitfield, 06 Aug 2010
Withings WiFi Scales

Withings Wi-Fi bathroom scales

Review Sometimes, there are problems that cry out for a technological solution. Problems like “How do I remember my weight and BMI for the time it takes to go from the bathroom to the computer.” And the WiFi bathroom scales from Withings, sold by Firebox, are the solution to just that problem. Withings WiFi Scales Weight and see: …
Nigel Whitfield, 27 Jul 2010
iRobot Roomba 581

iRobot Roomba 581 robot cleaner

Review As readers of my Samsung Navibot review will know, I’m not much of a person for housework, and tend to leave it for special occasions. So, it was with something of a sense of relief that I received iRobot’s Roomba 581 to test. iRobot Roomba 581 iRobot's Roomba 581: dust-loving droid The 581 is currently the most top-of-the- …
Nigel Whitfield, 06 Jul 2010
Sony Internet TV

WTF is... Project Canvas?

The BBC Trust announced on Friday that it had approved Project Canvas, the internet-connected TV specification that’s backed by the BBC along with the other public service broadcasters, plus telcos Talk Talk and BT, and transmitter overseer Arqiva. Project Canvas The Project Canvas partners The decision follows months of …
Nigel Whitfield, 28 Jun 2010
BBC logo

BBC wins go-ahead for Freeview HD content controls

Ofcom, the UK’s TV regulator, has today given the go-ahead for the implementation of content controls on Freeview’s HD service. The controls are designed to prevent HD content being copied, controls without which, broadcasters have argued, some programmes might not be able to be shown. The proposals mean that, while there won’t …
Nigel Whitfield, 14 Jun 2010
Samsung LE40C650

Samsung LE40C650

Review Samsung’s set is a sleek, good looking design, and out of the box the HD picture quality was stunning. Setup even ends with a handy reminder for the less technically savvy to connect set-tops and suchlike using HDMI for HD pictures. Samsung LE40C650 However, the SD picture quality wasn’t as good, until the settings were …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Toshiba Regza 40RV753

Toshiba Regza 40RV753

Review Toshiba’s 40RV753 is one of the less full-featured sets in this group test, really only offering DLNA media playback on top of the basic Freeview HD specs – there’s no online TV offering, for example. It feels chunkier than the other sets, too, with a solid plastic casing. Toshiba Regza 40RV753 Setup is straightforward, …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Sharp Aquos LC-46LE821E

Sharp Aquos LC-46LE821E

Review Sharp’s main selling point for its Quattron-branded range of Aquos TVs is the inclusion of extra, yellow pixels, giving an increased range of colours. The set’s also a very modern looking design, and to my taste much more so than the others I’ve tested. Sharp Aquos Quattron The picture quality from the LED edge-lit display is …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Panasonic Viera TXL32D28

Panasonic Viera TX-L32D28

Review If you’re looking for a set that will cover all the bases, then with support for both Freeview and Freesat, the Panasonic TX-L32D28 could be for you. With some channels only available on one of these two platforms, having both tuners gives you the best choice of viewing options. Design wise, the stand tilts the TV back at a …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Freeview HD TVs

Buyer's Guide: Freeview HD TVs

Group Test If you’re replacing an old television set, connectivity is a potential issue that it’s worth considering carefully. Having a decent number of HDMI ports is certainly a good idea, for connecting up Blu-ray and DVD players, and games consoles, and most sets cater for such devices well. If, however, you have older equipment you may …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Sony Bravia KDL-32EX703

Sony Bravia KDL-32EX703

Review Reg Hardware has already done an in-depth review of the KDL-EX703 here - it’s a compact and good-looking set with LED edge lighting. Sony Bravia KDL-32EX703 Setup is straightforward, and the remote is fairly easy to use – though the power button on the bottom is a curious quirk, and I found the Home button in particular far …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
LG 42LE5900

LG 42LE5900

Review LG’s 42in 5900 is a very slim set, that produces a great photo. As the largest of the sets tested here, however, it does perhaps show up the failings of some standard-definition channels a little more. LG 42LE5900 The TV's menus are simple and easy to use and, as with other LG sets I’ve seen, there’s a picture wizard that …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Freeview HD TVs

Freeview HD integrated TVs

Group Test With the launch of Freeview’s HD service, there’s a slow but steady trickle of products arriving in the shops. Reg Hardware has already looked at a selection of Freeview HD set-top boxes - now it's the turn of TVs with built-in Freeview HD tuners. If you’ve recently bought a new television set, then you’ll probably be best off …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Freeview HD TVs

Freeview HD TVs: Best Buys

Group Test With Freeview HD appearing on more and more sets, this group test is necessarily a snapshot, with a fairly wide range of screen sizes and so forth: LG 42LE5900 Panasonic Viera TXL32D28 Samsung LE40C650 Sharp Aquos LC-46LE821E Sony Bravia KDL-32EX703 Toshiba Regza 40RV753 It’s good to see the technology appearing even on the …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2010
Freeview HD logo

Freeview HD sacrifices surround sound for World Cup scramble

Freeview HD may have kicked off to a song and dance about pin-sharp pictures for the World Cup, but many buyers have been disappointed to discover that things sound far from rosy when it comes to the audio side of the service. Some of the adverts and even Freeview’s own web site talk about surround sound as a benefit of …
Nigel Whitfield, 02 Jun 2010
BBC logo

BBC One HD to launch this autumn

The BBC has just announced that a new BBC One HD channel will launch in the autumn, offering a simulcast of BBC One. The existing BBC HD channel will remain, and continue to showcase HD material from the Corporation’s other channels. It schedule will extend to 12 hours a day. Programmes including The One Show, Weakest Link, QI …
Nigel Whitfield, 28 May 2010
iCan Easy HD

i-Can Easy HD 2851T

Review The Easy HD 2851T from iCan has, without a doubt, the most colourful and polished interface of any of the Freeview HD boxes I’ve seen. There’s help built in, and a quick introduction appears when you start setting up, too. It’s all colourful, clear and straightforward. iCan Easy HD Press buttons on the remote and you’ll see a …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Freeview HD logo

Buyer's Guide: Freeview HD Set-top Boxes

Group Test You might think that getting Freeview HD is just a matter of buying an HD box that you like the look of and connecting it to your TV with an HDMI cable, but there are other considerations besides the cosmetic. Important though they are, the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), user interface and remote control aren’t necessarily at …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Freeview HD logo

Freeview HD Set-top Receivers

Group Test Freeview’s HD service is rolling out around the UK, and about half of the population should be able to receive it in time for the World Cup this summer. The new service also promises better picture quality for a range of programmes on BBC HD, ITV 1 HD and Channel 4 HD, with Welsh viewers swapping Channel 4 for the S4C Clirlun …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Bush DVB680

Bush DVB680

Review Bush, once a noble British brand, is now a house brand for Argos. Whether that explains the DVB680's low-quality feel, I can't say, but this box certainly seems cheaply made. Bush DVB680 It's a metal box with holes punched in the rear for the sockets, and a plastic panel clipped to the front. The front panel sports a very …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Sharp TU-T2

Sharp TU-T2

Review The Sharp TU-T2 is most expensive box in the group, and it's also one of the ones with fewest features. The front panel, for example, sports nothing more than a power button and a pointless square arrangement of eight bright blue LEDs. Sharp TU-T2 It comes with a very compact remote control. However, the buttons are a little …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Philips DTR5520

Philips DTR5520

Review Philips’ box is designed by Pace and, with the review sample at least, even bears the Pace logo on the top and some of the screens. Philips DTR5520 It’s a slim black unit, with a few small buttons on the front, a channel number display and an external PSU. The rear panel includes analogue stereo outputs and a co-axial digital …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Goodmans GDB300

Goodmans GDB300HD

Review The Goodmans GDB300HD is internally identical to Grundig’s GUD300HGD - the case is the only difference. Both boxes, then, have the same, slick interface, primarily in red, though it seems a little less responsive than the Philips or i-Can receivers. Goodmans GDB300 While you can browse the full EPG from the 'now/next' …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Icecrypt T2200

Icecrypt T2200

Review Built for Icecrypt by Topfield, the T2200 sports two CI bays into which modules for pay TV can be slotted, making it compatible with ESPN and potentially Sky Sports too. Icecrypt T2200 An additional flap on the front gives access to a USB port which supports media playback, including DivX, DivX HD, MKV and AVI/Xvid files. …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Humax HD-Fox T2

Humax HD-FOX T2

Review The Humax HD-FOX T2 was the first Freeview HD box to go on sale. It’s a sturdy unit, with a metal case and - along with the Icecrypt - a built-in power supply. Humax HD-Fox T2 The front panel has enough buttons that you can do most things without the remote – which itself can be programmed to control other devices too. Where …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Freeview HD logo

Freeview HD Set-top Boxes: Best Buys

Group Test If there’s one thing that’s clear from this Freeview HD set-top box group test, it’s that there’s no single box that’s right for everyone. Here are the seven set-tops Reg Hardware brought together for this round-up: Bush DVB680 Goodmans GDB300HD Humax HD-FOX T2 i-Can Easy HD Icecrypt T2200 Philips DTR5520 Sharp TU-T2 Two …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 May 2010
Samsung Navibot

Samsung NaviBot robot cleaner

Review There’s no doubt about it - cleaning is a chore, for some much more than others. I tend to the view that vacuuming isn’t fun unless it makes the carpet change colour. Add a moulting cat, and a lot of clutter, and you can understand why people suggest I get a cleaner. Samsung Navibot Samsung's Navibot: taking the metal mickey …
Nigel Whitfield, 06 May 2010
Cambridge Audio Azur650BD Blu-ray player

Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD

Review Blu-ray players are becoming increasingly cheap, but many of them still lack features found in modestly priced DVD players. If, like me, you invested in ‘high definition’ audio formats, such as HDCD, Super Audio CD (SACD) or DVD Audio, then it’s frustrating to find that, unless you spend several thousand pounds, you’ll still …
Nigel Whitfield, 01 May 2010