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Showing posts from May, 2012

The use of Rockwool for the Home Theatre

The use of Rockwool for the Home Theatre
Just a word of caution, and just sharing something that I learnt from watching someone else's renovation, and personally witnessing a ceiling which had been built up and then torn down. 

Firstly, most local contractors are NOT familiar with room treatment. They need guidance from an expert, or from yourself if you know what you are doing or have some experience in this. 
Second, the usage of Rockwool extends beyond simply stuffing it into the false ceiling, feature wall etc. The material used to construct these matter. Many contractors will use aluminum or metal structs, which are lightweight and easy to install. These will rattle tremendously and no amount of rockwool will help.
Thirdly make sure they have attention to detail. Again, if they leave small amounts of debris, rocks or other material behind, such as in conduits, false ceilings etc, these material will rattle and drive you mad. So make sure they clean up and remove all these stuff.
I…

The Long Kiss Goodnight - movie review

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Renny Harlin made Die Hard and he tried his hand at making a female actioner, with much of the elements of that show into this, with a female protagonist instead. Despite its relatively poorer success at the box office, this has always been a nice movie to re-watch on a quiet evening, with its snappy lines and cool action scenes. There are few women who can look good while blowing away the villians and Geena Davis is one of them. A statuesque 6-footer, she exudes grace whilst being to look convincing as the spy/assasin Sam who develops amnesia but accidentally re-discovers her true identity and has to defend herself against former associates who wish to silence her to prevent their diabolical plans from being exposed.

The action is pretty relentless, and sometimes the plot does not make a lot of sense, nevertheless, this was never meant to be Oscar material and it fulfils the basic needs of an action movie with well choreographed action scenes and good chemistry betwen G…

Importing from overseas: tips, info and caveats

Buying from Overseas
Keywords for easy searching: import; importing ; parallel ; shipping ; GST ; authorised dealer ; agent ;


Firstly, the pro of a local dealer:
- service
- warranty
- technical expertise
- product less likely to run the risk of being damaged, and if it is DOA, an exchange is easily sorted out

The cons:
- the local dealer may charge a much higher price
- service may be only half decent


The pros of doing it yourself, or via a professional shipper:

- price = the difference in price can be quite significant (will list some examples later and others can chip in)
- better features
- not available locally

Cons:
- the risk of damage
- voltage issues (more on this later)
- claiming warranty or this may be non-exisitent
- the product may not work locally (tuner channels, NTSC TV sets only)
- complicated shipping
- non-existent shipping
- high tax / cost of shipping
- lousy shipping (more on the choices of shipping)

I think we all know the main reason is COST, and the key …

Panasonic SA-XR57 review - 230v version

I have a 230v Panasonic SA-XR 57 with a MA Bronze 2 set-up and a Pioneer DVR330s in a 10m by 5m by 2.2m living room.



Set-up:

Easy and fairly intuitive with fairly straight forward instructions and diagrams.
If you have some experience with setups before, its a cinch.
I found no disadvantage in not having a OSD but having to do most of my setup using the front panel was not nice.

Using a SPL meter, most of the setup was quickly done using the DVE disc.
There is no individual distance adjustments for the rear channels.

Connections are not-gold plated - which is expected for the price.
The DVD input is part of the 6-channel input, a simple cost -cutting measure but it helps keep the price down.

There are enough connections for a basic HT set-up.

The amp is very light (4.7kg) so you can swing it around and do the hook-ups first then position it.

Being a 230v version there is no need for a transformer. It uses a 2-pin removeable power plug.

Movies:

This is the highlight, with a high-spee…

My gear 5 / 2012

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PS64D8000FM Samsung plasma TV 
Denon AVR 4311 – XT 32, 11.2 capable with nine amps inbuilt, twin sub out Rotel 1572: 2 channel power amp with 250W per channel Oppo BR player BDP 95 as CD and HT source Monitor Audio speakers: B&W 805s on Atacma SE 24 stands, HTMs centre, Radius 90HD for height and wide channels PSB Image 10S Bipoles for rear back  Monitor Audio RXFX in dipole mode for surrounds Rhythmic FV15HP QED XT 300 for front and centre speakers QED Micro speaker cable for the rest Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI for Oppo to amp Aiborg flat HDMI cable, LHS and monoprice HDMI cable - amp to TV and other sources Audioquest subwoofer cables Assorted Xindak, PS Audio and other power cables MK wall power sockets Auralex subdude platform and under centre speaker Da lite screen Glass optical cables Denon MCD 38 mini system with Usher 520












I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Samsung D8000 64" plasma review

Buying from a major vendor - the pros and cons

Just sharing some thoughts on buying big ticket items. To many, putting a few thousand down takes careful deliberation, and the last thing you want is a lemon...
With the advent of the lemon law soon, we can expect some protection from errant vendors. However, it pays to do some homework on the various sellers.

Most new items will either work well - majority of cases or you can have a defective set, in which case you want to try and get a replacement. This should not be too hard technically. But herein lies the issues with the smaller vendors. They are more nimble, and can offer very competitive prices, and deliver the goods soon after their come onto the market or even before.

But in situations like that, when you need a replacement, this is when it pays to go to a big vendor. They offer a 7 day one to one return policy for defective panels, and this is vital when you get something that is defective.

So kudos to HN, BD and other big vendors, in giving a no questions asked return po…

Avengers - movie review

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Avengers - movie review
I shall get to the conclusion first for this movie since it is becoming obvious to most who have come across the movie or even the trailer that The Avengers has got the ABCs of moving making right.
But The Avengers has done more than well at the box office due to a serious of factors which give it the ability, IMO to become as memorable as some of the top box office hits like Indiana Jones due to it's ability to include these few critical essentials.
One of the fun parts of recent movies has been the sustained revival of one actor, who went through early success, then dove into drugs and other vices, only to emerge like a phoenix from the ashes to propel himself back into the A-list and his attitude and swagger in this movie was one of the important reasons why Avengers has also risen above the typical summer blockbuster. Robert Downing Jr has the attitude.
And you know that a movie with half a dozen superheroes will have the obligatory Bangs, Booms …