Showing posts from 2018

Checklist when buying a new aircon

Whenever you look at prices do check out:
- type of aircon, whether it's the latest
- the compressor, is it the right match
- type of components supplied - tubing, pipes, insulation
- does it cover replacement of existing pipes
- will they run in the walls and conceal it?
- is it the same cost for condos / landed (typically landed costs more due to more pipes and the concealment)

If you are looking out for energy consumption, bear in mind the balance of needs:
A Five Star Energy Rating may mean the aircon is less able to cool especially if you have multiple air cons running at once.

The compressor size is important, make sure it's powerful enough.

I sacrificed star rating to get an aircon unit which is able to handle the needs of a living room,  and I don't usually turn it on there, except when there are guest. However, in my bedroom, I used a five star unit for energy since it's probably going to run all night and daily. 

- however, if you have a big hall, you do need a larger B…

Setting Up A Home Theatre Room Part II : Equipment List

As part of the new den some equipment will be ported over and others will be refresh:

Sony ZD9 75"
(Sony TV review)
Denon AVC X8500H (Denon AVC X8500H review) Marantz PM 11S3 : 2 channel stereo amp with HTbypass and 100W per channel driving the front pair of Dynaudio Confidence 1 Platinum
Marantz PM 11 S3) ( Dynaudio C1 Platinum Review )
Sony UDP X800 (Sony UBP X800 Review )
Sony UDP X700 Marantz NA11S1 as a DAC and network player Dynaudio Confidence C1 and Centre Platinum front and centre Usher 520 rear back Monitor Audio RXFX in dipole mode for side surrounds JL Audio E112  Anthony Gallo A'Diva for ceiling Atmos placement  QED XT Revelations for front and centre speakers QED Micro speaker cable for the surrounds
Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI for Oppo 83Nuforce to amp AQ Forest HDMI cable - Set top box to TV and other sources
Monoprice Premium Cables from 4k players to amp and onwards to the TV Audioquest Snake subwoofer cable  Blue Jean subwoofer cable Wireworld Oasis 6 & 7 Interconnects Wireworld…

The Renozilla ... IDs and builders beware... (things you should spend on during renovations and those you can save on)

Usually there's a woman in the picture. But it could also be a man!  As vehemently as she may deny it, she wants her first home to be the front page of Home and Decor. Get her friends over, then tell them "oh, I didn't do much la..., just threw a few things together.." then when her friends press for more info, she will tell them how she slaved over the details, fought with the countless IDs who had the misfortune to cross her path and how she watched her builder like a hawk, squeezed the vendors for the discounts and clawed her way into making her place into a palace, only she will be proud of.. Where is her husband in all of this... selling kopi or busking at the pier after work to pay for all the renovations.. which will be worth absolutely nuts when they sell in 10 years time..

 I always say if you have the budget, sure.. but you can't value your renovations at what you paid. I have been to friends' homes and I squirm at what they call haute coutre.. but it&#…

Setting Up A Home Theatre Room Part I

It's been a while and that's because I have been busy with my latest project:

Moving my home theatre den into a new spot:

This is the top floor room, and to give some specs:

4m wide, 3.8m long, 3.05m height.
The ceiling is a false ceiling with a steep roof above it - there is about another 2-3m clearance from the false ceiling board to the actual roof tiles - that is a challenge as I will elaborate more on later..

Some pics first:

It's a tiny room when you compare it to the barn sized projects you see in Oz and stateside, but it's my home :)

They are tearing down right now, and will begin wiring up for a 9.2.4 project in due course. More later... 

Some notes:

Wooden cross beams 
Cables in laid into concrete side walls

Getting some Soul in Quebec and having a whale of a time

Some cars make you feel like a speed demon, others turn heads as they past you.  Some are simply anonymous work horses, and yet others are so poorly made you feel shy telling others what you drive. 
But how about a funky little number that makes you feel like Noddy and is fun to look at, fun to drive and makes you want to go on an adventure?
So I recently went over to North America and I was supposed to get a full sized sedan, and they offered me a Nissan Ultima, a typical workhorse of the rental car fleet... reliable, spacious and utterly boring... 
So I did the Oliver Twist thing and asked, “are there more choices?” Coincidentally someone had just returned a car and the kind man at Thrifty car rental allowed me to choose amongst the other cars he had, and I spied that unmistakable form in bright red, newly washed, sitting next to the grey Nissan Ultima. The choice was obvious, and I took the keys to the car and put all my gear in it.  
Now there are many names for this kind of vehicle, …

Game night movie review

Game night movie review

Some movies have a plot that feels familiar and yet leave a longer impression on you than the average yarn or summer blockbuster where you simply leave your brain turned off at the entrance.
Game night has a story that we may have seen before such as in Micheal Douglas movie The Game but it succeeds because of the wonderful chemistry between the leads played by Rachel mc Adams and Jason Bateman. They are supported by a wonderful team of actors which make this show rise above the average show.
So a make believe game takes a serious turn and the players have to sieve through what is a game and what is real to save the protagonist's brother.
Rachel is always lovely, does comedy well and her affable girl next door demeanor leads a realism and humor not found in too many other actresses.
She combines well with Jason to elevate a genetic plot into one filled with funny moments and good twists.
Recommended 4/5

Sent from my iPhone
Sorry for brevity of message

Redeeming Digital Media Codes - the new frontier in movie playback

Remember the days when one had shelves of discs? A whole wall filled with your collection of all kinds of media, from DVDs to Blu Ray to 4k and of course some CDs and even LPs... then trying to remember where that particular title was kept? Nowadays, many things are kept online, and you just need a media player. 

The good news is that many discs also come with a digital code, which allows you to redeem the same movie online.

I must say.. I have been slow to try this new way of keeping movies. When space becomes a premium, keeping movies online or in a cloud form makes sense.
However are there any compromises?

Firstly you need to choice a platform. There are quite a few:
Vudu, Movies Anwaywhere (MA), Ultraviolet, Flixster, iTunes to name a few..

Some are proprietary, such as iTunes, others like Movies Anywhere give you the option of using different platforms to be linked with. For example, you can key a code into MA, then link it to iTunes.

The devil is in the details though.. as not every mo…

Den of Thieves movie review

This is like a Heat lite... taking the heist element of that movie, then milking some emotion part out of it. There are also Now You See Me surprise twist parts in it, just so it does not appear to be a straight up heist movie. Does it work?
Well I chose to focus on what it does well: The action. There's plenty of surround, good fight scenes and that for me, makes up for the wooden acting and the rather unnecessary relationship angle thrown in to make the lead more 'human'. A whole chunk could have been cut out without missing a beat.

So is it a buy, rental or a skip it? I would say it's a rental at least and if it comes cheap, worth a leap of faith for action aficionados.

Mission Impossible Fallout Movie Review

What are the common adjectives to describe an action movie?
Breath-taking stunts, bone crunching combat, breakneck pacing, side splitting dialogue with side kicks and a dash of romantic interlude?
Well, here we have a movie with a functional plot, and an extremely hardworking superstar who really strives to make it work.. he is a wonderful chef, placing all the adjectives together into a wonderful movie which he dishes out with all his heart, blood and guts. That's the short take on this..

There are not too many stars these days who will put their life and limb on the line for one movie, but how about doing that for half a dozen in the ongoing franchise? One simply gasps in amazement at the stunts and it's not merely one stunt, but the entire movie is one daredevil manoeuvre after another. Take half of them away and you still have a solid action movie. So I do allow Mr Cruise his indulgence, since he is basically in every single scene and he does dominate the movie.


Buying A New AVR or AV Amp: things to look out for

- at least 7.1 capability with built in amps
- latest sound formats:
DD, DTS are basic, you also want Tru-HD and DTS-MA as a standard as well more 3D formats like DTS-X, Dolby Atmos.
These days, not only the video gets upscaled, but you also have upscaling of sound, using tech from Dolby and DTS: Dolby Surround and DTS- Neural X.

You can never have enough power and do note that what they state on the box seldom gets realised in real life. Look at the power consumption for an idea. Eg, if the power drawn from the wall is 700W, and there are 9 channels, even if the amp has an efficiency of 80%, that means you won't see more than 60W per channel when all channels are operating.

However if you live in a domestic setting like a flat and use a subwoofer, this will be enough if you use typical speakers. More power allows you to use less efficient speakers and will give you more dynamism and headroom for the explosive moments.

HDMI inputs and version.

For 3D, you only need HDMI v1.4 but …

Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom movie review

If you liked the shock factor combined with the technology, and decent action built in, this movie will please the original fans as well as attract new ones to the franchise.
It feels a little like the suspense thrillers of yore ala Alien but it does fall a little short as though you have seen it before, with a basic theme of greed causing science to go awry.
But the CGI is amazing and Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas form a good pairing. Not as much romance or humor as the last installment but a good outing nevertheless.
Action fans will be pleased and the surround effects come from everywhere, even topside.
Bass is thunderous and the volume dial is turned all the way up to 12.. Watch out when the volcano 🌋 explodes!
There are new creatures as expected but you do get to see your old favorites too.
They do leave enough room for yet another sequel.

Dynaudio Factory Visit

Ever wondered what the insides of your speaker would look like? Or what goes into making and designing one? I have always been fascinated by the process of manufacture and the technical details of each product I use or own. So when the opportunity came for me to go and see the Dynaudio factory, I literally jumped at it!

I was invited to their factory by the local dealership and I joined a bunch of dealers from Australia and New Zealand to Skanderborg near Aarhus in Denmark the HQ of this renowned speaker brand. Here, they design, measure and make the world famous speakers. You take a flight from a major European city (we came from the Munich High End Show), and then it's a 30 minute car ride to the factory, and if you come in late spring, you will see fields of canola or rapeseed flowering. 

Now as many who are familiar with the audiophile world would know, the Chinesecompany Goerterk bought over the company in 2014 and fans of this brand will be keen to know if there has been any c…