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Nigel Whitfield

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Withings WiFi Scales

Withings Wi-Fi bathroom scales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Sony Internet TV

Get ready for the revolution: internet TVs

Not so long ago, a TV was just something for presenting broadcast programmes or content from devices like DVD players. If you wanted anything more exotic, you had to hook up a media player or perhaps a PC. More and more sets sprouted DVI or VGA ports to make that easier. But that’s now started to change. The 2009 models from the …
Nigel Whitfield, 09 Apr 2010
Toshiba BDX2000

Toshiba BDX2000

Toshiba is late to the Blu-ray party, having waited a decent interval after the death of HD-DVD. The BDX2000 - oh, how futuristic products used to seem, just by adding the millennium to their name - is its first offering. It’s a sleek unit, with a pull-down front panel that hides the disk tray, display, controls and an SD card …
Nigel Whitfield, 13 Mar 2010
Sagem DTR94500S

Sagem DTR94500S HD Freesat+ DVR

This time last year, there was only one Freesat recorder available, from Humax. Now there are several, of which the Sagem DTR94500S HD is one of the latest. Sagem DTR94500S Sagem's DTR94500S HD: the front panel doesn't exude quality It’s a slim unit, around the size of three external hard drive enclosures put side to side – a …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 Feb 2010
Icecrypt set-top box

Topfield Freeview HD set-top announced

The latest in this spring’s crop of Freeview HD receivers, the Icecrypt T2200, has just been announced. A standard ‘zapper’ box, it supports the new DVB-T2 standard, and will receive both SD and HD terrestrial channels. The HDMI output supports resolutions up to 1080i, and the box also sports twin Scarts for connection to older …
Nigel Whitfield, 15 Feb 2010
Philips 40PFL9704 LCD TV

Philips 40PFL9704 40in LED backlit TV

LED backlighting is all the rage at the moment; it can dramatically improve the contrast ratio of LCD panels, helping them towards the deep blacks seen on plasma displays. But many of the sets available at the moment, including the LG we recently reviewed, use LEDs that aren’t individually addressable – so it’s still really all …
Nigel Whitfield, 16 Jan 2010
LG  42SL9000

LG 42SL9000 42in LED-backlit TV

LG’s 42SL9000 is billed as a ‘frameless’ set, and indeed the pictures on the website seem to give the impression of the picture spilling out of the frame, in an immersive manner that’s somewhat reminiscent of Philips' Ambilight. LG 42SL9000 LG's 42SL9000: when is a frame not a frame? So it’s a bit of a disappointment on …
Nigel Whitfield, 15 Dec 2009
Freeview HD logo

Freeview HD goes live

With the launch today of the Freeview HD service, the UK can claim to be at the forefront of digital television - though most punters won't be able to receive the service until spring 2010. Today’s launch saw services switched on at the Crystal Palace and Winter Hill transmitters, between them providing coverage for around 22-23 …
Nigel Whitfield, 03 Dec 2009

Blu-ray Players

With the nights drawing in, and a shiny flat-screen TV set in the living room, what better way to relieve the tedium of the TV schedules than with a high definition movie? With time off over Christmas, and a looming VAT increase, is now the best time to invest? We’ve rounded up a selection of Blu-ray players that all feature BD- …
Nigel Whitfield, 28 Nov 2009
Nokia E72

Nokia E72 smartphone

The E72 is the latest in Nokia’s line of Qwerty handsets, beefing up the popular E71 with a slightly sleeker look, improved software and some interface tweaks. It’s very slim – only just over 1cm thick, 58.3mm wide, and 114 tall, weighing 128g. The 2.36in screen is only QVGA, though arguably on a unit this size, a higher …
Nigel Whitfield, 25 Nov 2009

Freeview HD - your questions answered

With the first Freeview HD transmissions scheduled to start on the 2 December in the London, Liverpool and Manchester areas, Register Hardware answers all your questions about the new telly technology. Freeview HD logo New Zealand's Freeview HD logo. What will Blighty' look like? What do I need to receive Freeview HD? You’ll …
Nigel Whitfield, 23 Nov 2009
Buffalo Linkstation Pro

Buffalo Linkstation Pro

Buffalo has been making NAS boxes for years and the LinkStation Pro is its latest iteration for home and small office use. Housed in a sleek and shiny black unit, the model we tested includes 1TB hard drive – other options are 1.5 and 2TB. Buffalo Linkstation Pro An easy option? Buffalo's Linkstation Pro The front has a blue …
Nigel Whitfield, 15 Oct 2009
Panasonic DMR-BS850

Panasonic DMR-BS850

At first glance, Panasonic’s DMR-BS850 Freesat+ Blu-ray recorder is essentially identical in appearance to the DMR-XS350, it’s DVD version we reviewed recently. Actually, Panasonic offer two Blu-ray models with the £1000 DMR-BS850 featuring a 500GB hard drive, while the DMR-BS750 has 250GB drive and an £800 price tag. Shop …
Nigel Whitfield, 28 Aug 2009
The BBC HD Testcard

How to set up your HDTV like a pro

Back in the old days, when you bought – or rented – a television set, someone would deliver it, set it up and tune it in for you. And there was a very good chance that when they did that, they’d be able to find a channel broadcasting a testcard without much difficulty, and use that to make sure all the picture settings were …
Nigel Whitfield, 19 Aug 2009
Sony Reader unlocked

How to hack a Sony Reader

Amazon’s Kindle receives plenty of publicity, but it’s only available in the US. Book buffs elsewhere have to content themselves with other e-book readers, of which one of the most popular is the Sony Reader. The PRS-505 is available from High Street stores like John Lewis and Waterstones, making it one of the more visible …
Nigel Whitfield, 11 Aug 2009
Panasonic DMR-XS350

Panasonic DMR-XS350EB

Freesat recorders are currently rather few and far between with Panasonic only the second company to launch models supporting this service. In doing so, it has adapted its existing DVD recorders by adding satellite tuners. It’s a slightly different approach to hard-disk recorders like the Humax Foxsat-HDR or Sky+, which have no …
Nigel Whitfield, 06 Aug 2009
Wyplay Wyplayer

Wyplay Wyplayer

Wyplay is a French company that’s aimed its Wyplayer directly at users of the Gallic equivalent of Freeview – TNT HD – but who also require media player functionality. It is, in essence, a high definition Personal Video Recorder combined with a media streamer, in a single box. It may offer everything the average Frenchman needs …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 Jul 2009
Panasonic TX-L37V10 HD TV

Panasonic TX-L37V10 LCD HD TV

The first manufacturer to launch TV sets with integrated Freesat, Panasonic moves things on again with its 2009 Viera range. On paper, the TX-L37V10 is appears to be everything you’ll need for living room viewing – a satellite and terrestrial TV with a network media player, and access to Internet services such as YouTube. For …
Nigel Whitfield, 03 Jul 2009
Evesham iPlayer

Evesham iPlayer HD 80GB DVR

Evesham's iPlayer is a Freeview box with a difference. With a built in hard drive, HDMI output and the ability to receive HD broadcasts it would be remarkable enough, but it also manages to fit an internet connection and network media player into the box too, making it potentially the only set-top box you'll ever need... The …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jan 2007