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Steve May

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Philips HTL5140

Sonic BOOM: 10 blast-tastic soundbars

Product round-up As much as we love our flatscreens, there’s no getting away from the fact that 99 per cent of them sound atrocious. The good news is there are plenty of ways to liven up living room TV audio, from soundbars with wireless subwoofers to pedestal-style soundbases. We've had a good look and listen to what's out there and the prices …
Steve May, 12 Dec 2014
Philips Goya TV from 1972

The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Breaking Fad The future of television’s so bright you’ll have to wear shades. At least, that might be the case if plans to evolve television to a High Dynamic Range (HDR) future gather traction. HDR has been exciting the creative community for some time now. Regular LCD (left) vs. 1000 Nit HDR (right) Seeing is believing: regular LCD (left …
Steve May, 11 Dec 2014
Philips 48-inch Ambilight 48PFT5509 TV

Feast your eyes: 10 'fortysomething' smart TVs

Product round-up Sharply designed, technically advanced TVs seem 10 a penny these. Prices remain double-take keen as well. So where does an upgrader begin? Smart connectivity has been standard for a while now, but the usability of internet-delivered services is now immeasurably better than early forays. The seamless simplicity of LG’s webOS …
Steve May, 05 Dec 2014
 Flexson VinylPlay cartridge

VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that

Breaking Fad Vinyl has been the music format that wouldn’t die for the best part of three decades. Not since Kenneth Williams quipped “Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!” has a death scene seemed so protracted. Now, however, it seems the format is officially in remission. Pioneer PL-510 and PL-117D turntables The song remains the …
Steve May, 14 Nov 2014
Harman Kardon vintage advert 1957

Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?

Breaking Fad I confess, I came to the home debut of Dolby Atmos spluttering with enthusiasm. Some of the best movie audio I’ve ever heard has been in Dolby Atmos equipped theatres and early demonstrations of the domestic version seemed tantalisingly authentic. My stereocilia positively craved this revolutionary, object-based sound system. …
Steve May, 16 Oct 2014
Samsung's 1cm-thick LCD TV

4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Breaking Fad The 2014 IFA tech expo could well go down as pivotal in the yet to be written sputtering history of 4K home entertainment. While most (well, me) take it as read that the large panel market will migrate entirely to 2160p resolution over the coming months, big questions remain over just what you’ll be able to do with all those …
Steve May, 17 Sep 2014
Dolby UK demo listening room with Atmos enabled speakers

Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

Breaking Fad Can Dolby Atmos save the beleaguered home cinema business? With sales of AV receivers tanking, makers of multichannel home theatre receivers are banking on the latest in surround sound technology to rekindle interest. Pioneer LaserDisc advertisement Remember the days when two speakers would keep movie buffs happy in the home? …
Steve May, 13 Aug 2014
Danielle Zimmerman LG webOS product manager

Remember Palm's WebOS? LG does – check out its smart TVs

Feature There’s nothing particularly clever about most smart TVs. While their Internet connected functionality is undeniably useful, the user experience is clunky at best, with apps and streaming services typically kettled away from everyday operation. But LG’s webOS connected platform is different. Debuting on around 70 per cent of the …
Steve May, 04 Aug 2014
Sony SRS-X9

Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

Breaking Fad In case you hadn’t heard, someone has ripped up your pappy’s hi-fi handbook. Seismic shifts in just about every area of music technology have fundamentally changed the way we use home entertainment. Kenwood vintage hi-fi separates from 1976 Kenwood audio from 1976: traditionally separates would be swapped out over time but is …
Steve May, 10 Jul 2014
Samsung UE40H6400

GAME ON: Top 10 tellies for a World Cup kicking

Product round-up Rich on spectacle and pulsating with atmosphere, you can’t beat watching huge sporting events on a shiny new TV. But which set should prospective buyers splash the cash on? While events like the World Cup and Wimbledon provide a rock solid excuse to upgrade the gogglebox, the variety of screens and technologies available is …
Steve May, 09 Jun 2014
LG Ultra HD curved OLED TV

Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Feature For a while it looked like the future of television was fairly clear-cut. Full HD would beget 4K Ultra HD and at some point in the future, presumably when we all owned flying cars and had relatives commuting to Mars, that would evolve into 8K Super Hi-Vision. Apart from trifling things like resolution, colour gamut and frame …
Steve May, 08 Apr 2014
Star Trek: Deep Space 9

Up your wormhole: Star Trek Deep Space 9 turns 20

I’ve always been strangely fascinated by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary - amazing how time flies, even when you’re not an agent of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations - it’s the densest and most mythology-rich of all the Star Trek TV shows. Often ambitious and audacious, it won …
Steve May, 04 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

2012: an epoch-defining year for home entertainment

2012 may have confounded Mayan predictions of global catastrophe, but it certainly proved an epochal year for home entertainment technology. The past 12 months have seen seismic changes to the living room landscape, with analogue TV finally running out of steam, the first sighting of a higher resolution future and a wholesale …
Steve May, 05 Dec 2012
ViewSonic Pro 9000 laser hybrid LED projector

ViewSonic Pro 9000 laser hybrid LED projector review

Following the extinction of gloriously bulky CRT video projectors, big screen aficionados have had a clear choice between LCD and DLP. Both technologies are capable of great results, yet have distinct weaknesses: single chip DLP projectors often suffer from rainbow fringing, created by the use of a spinning colour wheel, while …
Steve May, 28 Nov 2012
Sony KD-84X9005 84in 4K LED TV

Sony KD-84X9005 84in ultra-HD TV review

Huzzar! The resolution revolution is finally underway. Sony’s 84in KD-84X9005 is the first 4K consumer television to herald a seismic change to the consumer electronics and broadcast landscape. Look beyond its stratospheric price tag – all that expensive R&D has to be recouped somehow – and you’ll find a siren of a screen …
Steve May, 03 Nov 2012
Jaws on Blu-ray disc

Jaws restored Blu-ray disc set review

Jaws is back, and the old shark’s gnashers are looking sharper than ever thanks to a painstaking remastering job by Universal’s backroom boffins. The title is being released as part of the studio’s centenary classics program for Blu-ray, which also includes E.T The Extra Terrestrial, The Birds and Frankenstein. The timing couldn …
Steve May, 11 Oct 2012
View21 VW11FVRHD50 Freeview+HD DVR

View 21 IPTV Freeview+HD DVR review

The Freeview+ HD market has suddenly sparked into life. Having spent an age coasting on the coattails of Humax’s HDR-FOXT2, there are suddenly a slew of better-specified recorders hitting the streets. The View21 VW11FVRHD50 is one such newbie, mixing Freeview+ HD with IPTV connected services. While it doesn’t offer full-on Catch …
Steve May, 10 Oct 2012
Lumagen Radiance XE video processor

Build a bonkers home cinema

Product Round-up It’s a curious fact that when you ascend into the rarefied atmosphere of specialist hi-fi, products transform into creations of often astounding beauty. Do the same with home cinema, and they usually mutate into the unapologetically hideous. This is doubtless a consequence of hi-tech Darwinism. Top class AV gear sits unseen in …
Steve May, 06 Sep 2012
Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV internet player

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV internet player review

Google and hardware BFF Sony will be hoping the second time’s the charm for their latest joint foray into the living room. The first Google television adventure floundered in the States, scuppered by hardware complexity and inadequate software. This time around we have a simpler set top box proposal, the NSZ-GS7, and the Google …
Steve May, 24 Aug 2012
Philips 55PFL6007 Ambilight TV

Ten monster tellies to suit all budgets

Product Round-up If you’re gearing up for the London Games, a gargantuan new TV should be top of your shopping list. The good news is that there’s plenty of choice if you want to go large, with prices to suit most pockets: our Top Ten kicks off at a modest £480, before reaching a wallet-busting £7,000. The cheaper end of the market has become a …
Steve May, 28 Jul 2012
Metronome Technologie Kalista reference CD transport

Build a bonkers hi-fi

Product Round-up And lo the command came from El Reg to assemble a hi-fi so extreme, so “bonkers” that only oligarchs, rock stars and the sporting elite would actually be able to afford one. So, avoiding the obvious temptation to simply cherry pick telephone number hardware, I’ve assembled a sound system of such extravagant exquisiteness I …
Steve May, 14 Jul 2012
LG 55LM960V Cinema 3D LED Smart TV

LG 55LM960V 55in Smart TV

Review The 55-inch LM960V is nothing if not formidable. LG has packed its new flagship LED with every digital doodah it can muster, and at £2,700, has priced it uncharacteristically high. This, the brand is clearly saying, is a telly to challenge the best there is – it’s worth paying through the nose for. In some ways, it’s right. LG …
Steve May, 03 Jul 2012
The Beatles Yellow Submarine Blu-ray disc

The Beatles Yellow Submarine restored

Review Long absent from video stores, The Beatles' trippy 1968 animation Yellow Submarine has been painstakingly restored for its Blu-ray debut. With the original elements in a perilous state of decay, the movie has been meticulously cleaned and repaired frame by frame. The soundtrack has also had a 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio makeover. …
Steve May, 25 Jun 2012
Ten active camcorders

Ten... active camcorders

Product Round-Up Focus in on the camcorder market and you’ll find a boom in active compacts underway. Despite the ubiquity of video in smartphones, there’s plenty of demand for pocket shooters that are more rugged and versatile than the average mobile. Typically, these compact cams are used to create clips for YouTube and social media sites, but …
Steve May, 23 Jun 2012
Philips 46PFL9706T 3D Smart LED TV

Philips 46PFL9706T 46in 3D smart TV

Review Philips TVs have long been synonymous with technical ingenuity. From an evangelical support of HD Mac and PAL Plus, through to the launch of 21:9, the brand has never shied away from pushing the televisual envelope. At least in the short term, that tradition looks set to continue under the stewardship of its new owner, TP Vision …
Steve May, 21 Jun 2012
LG 47LM670T 3D Smart TV

LG 47LM670T 47in passive 3D smart TV

Review If design is the most potent weapon in a TV manufacturer’s armoury right now, LG is wielding a pretty big shooter with its new Cinema Screen line. Offering corner to corner glass, a 10.5mm bezel and what the brand calls a ‘floating metal ribbon stand,’ these 2012 flatties are genuine head-turners. LG 47LM670T 3D Smart TV …
Steve May, 11 Jun 2012
Ten... Freeview HD 42-47in TVs

Ten... Freeview HD 42-47in TVs

Product Round-up Looking for a top deal on a 42-47-inch Freeview HD TV? Then you’re in luck, there’s a wide choice in screens out there for less than £1K and a tight budget doesn’t necessarily mean cutting back on all the nice toys, if you shop smart. So which one will be your next TV? Finlux 46S6030-T
 RH Numbers The Finlux brand has been …
Steve May, 02 Jun 2012
Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

Sony KDL-55HX853 55in 3D LED TV

Review The 55inch KDL-HX853 is currently the highest ranked of Sony’s 2012 TVs. It heads up a new Spartan range from the brand intended to rebuild its TV fortunes. Interestingly, it doesn’t come laden with features seemingly pulled at random from a brainstorming session down the local Karaoke; which means it’s not competing directly …
Steve May, 28 May 2012
Panasonic DMP-BDT320 3D Blu-ray player

Panasonic DMP-BDT320 3D Blu-ray player

Review Panasonic’s DMP-BDT320 is both fabulous and frustrating. Leading the brand’s mainstream Blu-ray brigade, and positioned as an understudy to the audiophile grade DMP-BDT500, it packs a towering performance into a chassis barely 27mm tall. It also comes with a new-style remote control that tries far too hard to be clever. …
Steve May, 25 Apr 2012
Panasonic PT-AT5000E Full HD 3D home cinema projector

Panasonic PT-AT5000E LCD projector

Review Panasonic has notched up some memorable firsts when it comes to home cinema projection. Not only was it the first brand to introduce a native 16:9 widescreen model, it led the way with Full HD too. Panasonic PT-AT5000E Full HD 3D home cinema projector Putting on a display: Panasonic's PT-AT5000E Its latest cineaste offering, …
Steve May, 17 Apr 2012
Toshiba Regza 46YL863 TV

Toshiba Regza 46YL863 46in Smart TV

Review Powered by a multitasking image processor and dressed by Danish design house Jacob Jensen, Toshiba’s 46YL863 is not your run-of-the-mill 3D TV. Indeed, its maker’s herald it as one of the most sophisticated TVs ever. But can it really justify such hyperbole? Toshiba Regza 46YL863 TV Cell mate: Toshiba's Regza 46YL863 The …
Steve May, 17 Apr 2012
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

Game of Thrones Blu-ray disc set

Review Historically, TV generally doesn’t do ‘epic fantasy’ well: Merlin, Robin of Sherwood, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. All noble efforts, but ultimately flawed in vision and execution. Heck, outside of Jackson’s Rings trilogy, even the movies often fail to get the genre right. Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray Thrown in …
Steve May, 03 Apr 2012
Philips 42PFL7666 Smart TV

Philips 42PFL7666 42in 3D LED Smart TV

Review Philips spent much of 2011 on the periphery of the televisual market, bereft of Freeview HD tuners and dogged by confusion over its long-term ambitions, having off-loaded its TV business into a joint venture. But things are off to a better start in 2012. Philips 42PFL7666 Smart TV Collaborative effort: Philips' 7000 series TV …
Steve May, 30 Mar 2012
Pioneer SC-LX85 AV receiver

Pioneer SC-LX85 9.2 AV receiver with AirPlay

Review The Pioneer SC-LX85 is AV receiver royalty. It lords it over the rest of the brand’s home cinema range, resplendent in the latest audio visual finery. Priced at £2K, this is red carpet home cinema. Pioneer SC-LX85 AV receiver AV aristocracy: Pioneer's SC-LX85 There’s little doubt that the SC-LX85 is exquisitely built. It …
Steve May, 26 Mar 2012
Inside Sony HQ Japan

Inside Sony's Home Entertainment HQ in Japan

Feature Sony is getting back to basics in an effort to revitalise its underperforming TV division. After haemorrhaging cash for eight long years, a fresh management team are betting the farm on new display technologies and a return to core values in order to turn things around. To see just how sweeping these changes are, the iconic …
Steve May, 08 Mar 2012
Sony Xel-1

Sony to ship passive 3D, OLED TVs in 2013

Sony is to release a passive 3D TV, and will follow it with OLED televisions next year, Reg Hardware has learned. The Japanese giant, which currently sells passive 3D monitors to broadcasters, has already begun shipping consumer-friendly models into the Chinese market. Sony’s passive Bravia screens are expected to make their …
Steve May, 05 Mar 2012
LG DM2350D 3D monitor and TV combo

LG DM2350D 23in passive 3D monitor and TV combo

Review The DM2350D is the first 3D combination monitor/TV released by LG. Sharing the same passive FPR 3D panel technology as its Cinema 3D TV siblings, it’s presumably aimed at wannabe 3D PC gamers and those looking for a jack of all trades screen that’s easy to accommodate in student digs or wherever. LG DM2350D 3D monitor and TV …
Steve May, 10 Feb 2012
Ten... Freesat receivers

Ten... Freesat TV receivers

Product round-up Whether you’ve cut the cord and churned away from Sky, or need to survive the digital switch-over without recourse to Pay-TV or aerial, it’s worth considering Freesat. The gratis satellite TV service matches Freeview for SD channels, and offers a smattering of high-def plus the BBC iPlayer, hardware permitting. It’s a good bet …
Steve May, 08 Feb 2012
Toshiba 40RL858 LED Smart TV

Toshiba Regza 40RL858 40in LED TV

Review Toshiba is a bit of a wild card when it comes to TVs. While some of its screens are genuinely exciting, others are merely bargain bin fillers. Buying a cheaper Tosh is a classic case of caveat emptor. Toshiba 40RL858 LED Smart TV Media savvy: Toshiba's Regza 40RL858 But while this 40in slimline LED LCD sits at the affordable …
Steve May, 03 Feb 2012
LG HLX56S Network 3D Blu-ray home cinema system

LG HLX56S net savvy 3D Blu-ray soundbar combo

Review LG’s HLX56S is an audacious all-in-one home cinema system, cast in the guise of a mild-mannered soundbar. With integrated 3D Blu-ray player, copious amplification and IPTV portal, it’s got everything you need for the upmarket man-cave, in a package easily parked beneath a 40in or larger flatscreen. LG HLX56S Network 3D Blu-ray …
Steve May, 02 Feb 2012
Ten... smart TVs

Ten... smart TVs

Product round-up IPTV Week logo Smart functionality has become the new must-have feature for TV. With hi-def and 3D pretty much taken for granted, it’s now ‘net connectivity, media streaming and IPTV which are driving sales. But with huge differences between proprietary network portals, both in the amount of free and subscription content on …
Steve May, 28 Jan 2012
Sony BDP-S185 Blu-ray player

Sony BDP-S185 Blu-ray player

Review IPTV Week logo The BDP-S185 is the latest entry-level player in Sony's standalone Blu-ray range. It’s also the smallest and lightest model, at a mere 290mm wide and 1.15kg. With these reduced dimensions, comes a similarly diminished specification: the player isn’t DLNA compliant and can’t stream content across a network. …
Steve May, 27 Jan 2012
Sony SVR-HDT1000 Freeview+HD DVR

Sony SVR-HDT1000 Freeview+ HD DVR

Review IPTV Week logo At first glance, the Sony SVR-HDT1000 may appear rather unprepossessing. It’s a Freeview HD digital recorder which bucks the trend for ubiquitous Smart-ness and has no integrated Blu-ray player or fancy multi-platform functionality. It does, however, make a virtue of simplicity. Those looking for a no-nonsense …
Steve May, 24 Jan 2012
X-Dream Rocker gaming chair

X-Dream Rocker wireless gaming chair

Review CES 2012 Week With a design lifted straight from Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds school of home furnishings, the X-Dream rocker is not your average game-playing bench. It’s a lads-mag throne with integrated stereo sound system, subwoofer, pseudo-Shiatsu vibrator and wireless audio system. X-Dream Rocker gaming chair While away …
Steve May, 11 Jan 2012
HD Juice Box HDMI over Powerline kit

HD JuiceBox HDMI over Powerline kit

Review CES 2012 Week Hey, guess what? There’s another way of routing hi-def around your house, in addition to unfeasibly long HDMI cable runs, wireless transmitters and Cat 5. You can actually send it via the ring main, using the HDJuice Box from JustHDMI. HD Juice Box HDMI over Powerline kit The cable guys: JustHDMI's HDJuiceBox …
Steve May, 10 Jan 2012
Ferguson Hill FH009 home theatre system

Ferguson Hill FH009 home theatre system

Review If you’ve ever considered bolting a hulking great stereo system onto your TV, then make a beeline for Ferguson Hill. Its FH009 could be just thing you're looking for. Ferguson Hill FH009 home theatre system Clearly different: Ferguson Hill's FH009 home theatre system Comprising a pair of the brand’s characteristic transparent …
Steve May, 05 Jan 2012
Logik LE423ED11 42in passive 3D TV

Dixons Logik LE423ED11 42in passive 3D TV

Review Now that the big name TV makers have made 3D a mainstream commodity, traditionally cheaper own-brand vendors are moving in for a slice of the pie. But does it make sense to nab a cut-price stereoscopic TV? Not on the evidence of this 42-incher, released under the Logik marque and distributed exclusively through Dixons, Currys …
Steve May, 29 Dec 2011
3M CP45 Camcorder Projector

3M CP45 pocket camcorder and projector combo

Review The 3M CP45 is a combination HD camcorder, 5Mp camera and LED-lit LCOS projector. Not much bigger than a couple of copulating iPhones, it can film and throw an image up to 65in onto a convenient wall. 3M CP45 Camcorder Projector Shoot and show: 3M's CP45 camcorder projector 3M seems to be touting it at families who can’t be …
Steve May, 21 Dec 2011
Marmitek Gigaview GV820 wireless HDMI sender

Marmitek Gigaview GV820 wireless HDMI sender

Accessory of the Week When it comes to HDMI senders, it’s the quality of transmission and ease of set up which generally sets one apart from another. The smart-looking Marmitek Gigaview - yes, it does sound like the name of an Austin Powers villain - does well on both counts. The TX/RX pair sport a curvaceous glossy design and are supplied with …
Steve May, 16 Dec 2011
Pioneer SC-LX85 THX Ultra 2 Plus

2011's Best... Hi-Fi and AV Kit

Xmas Gift Guide With hi-fi and home cinema now two sides of the same coin, it’s inevitable that these 2011's Best... heroes come in every shape and size. But while price points and technologies differ, all can be considered solid gold entertainers. So if you’re looking for the UK’s best value Blu-ray player, the highest-performing dock, or …
Steve May, 15 Dec 2011