Ian’s home cinema starts here…?

Ian's home projector test
Testing using Inception of course…

I have always been a fan of home cinema and had a pro-logic cinema setup way way back. Heck I even remember when I bought my first DVD player (Creative Encore 5X) and use to buy Region 1 DVDs for upwards of £30. It was great when I finally got a Dolby Digital cinema receiver. Must have warn out my first DVD from Amazon, Twister.

Anyway I just bought a second hand projector so I can finally have cinema nights at mine. I did consider getting a bigger TV but honestly I don’t see the point. Its not like I’m bothered about 4k and I already have a 3D smart TV and never used the 3D or Smart feature ever. I mean why bother when I got KODI (new name for XBMC) and a Chromecast just incase. I’m also not keen on getting a much bigger TV as it blocks the great view I have of Manchester. So a projector and screen made a lot of sense.

The projector I bought is a small Panasonic PT-AE100E and can support 720p and 1080i resolutions over VGA and Component connections (no digital connections at all). Its not bad, little noisy but compact.  I tested it on my black blinds but I’ve already got plans to get the IKEA Tupplur at 180cm wide. Looking at IKEA hackers I’m certainly not the only one.

  • Films – check
  • Kodi box – check
  • Home Cinema receiver – check
  • Projector – check
  • Pull down projector screen – need to order
  • New corner sofa – need to order
  • Popcorn maker – check
  • Friends to enjoy everything. – TBC 🙂

Look out for Ian’s home cinema nights soon… not quite a dinner party but its close enough.

Which kind of Camcorder should I go for?

So I've now got the chance to get a camcorder of my own. The exchange rate for British pounds is great compared to the American dollar. So its natrual to go out get everything here, including some stuff which I wouldn't normally consider. Hence the Camcorder.

So it looks like I got 4 main choices. I've rulied out HDV cams because there still out of my price range and Hi8 is far too large and on its way out.

  1. DV Cam
  2. DVD Cam
  3. HDD Cam
  4. Mpeg4 Cam

I like DV Cam because I know the quality will always be there, plus they all have Firewire for quick capturing to the computer but I hate those tiny DV tapes. DVD cam looks great but I'm unsure its easy to get the footage off this disc for re-editing on a normal desktop computer. I'm also not sure about the price of these 8cm DVD discs and how much they store. I believe 1.3gig discs will hold about 30mins? HDD Cam looks great, no tapes, firewire support and no worries about storage. They seem to be between 20-30gig and that seems to store about 4-5 hours of standard DV 25 footage. There usually a little more expensive but maybe worth it in the end. Then last of the bunch is Mpeg4 camera which store there footage to SD or Memory Stick using Mpeg4 instead of Mpeg2. This means the quality won't quite be there but you can fit a couple of hours on a 1gig SD card (which costs 40 dollars here at the moment). The thing I'm unsure about is how easy it is to edit mpeg4? To be honest the lure of using SD/MMC is very strong because everything including my phone, laptop and ipaq supports SD and MMC.

So although I may seem to be ruling out the others, I'm not but I do like these Mpeg4 camcorders. I've had my eye on the Sanyo Xacti range for about a year and bit now. But the only one which seems to be available at Circuit City at the moment is the 6megapixal monster VPC-C6 which weights in at 549 dollars, its almost as expensive as the 20gig HDD Camcorders. If I could find the 5megapixal version I would be more happy. However whats even more tempting is the HDTV version, which I've not seen anywhere yet.

So if you were in my poistion what would you seek and buy?

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My phone is also made of human ass

When I heard Merlin from 43 folders talk about his phone, I instantly knew it was a Panasonic phone before he even said it. Then I looked up the picture of his phone and laughed. Me and Sarah have been generally pissed off about our home phone for the same reasons for about the last 6 months. The rubber keys are a nightmare once they start to wear, I cant tell you how many times I've pressed 5 and its dialed 3 5's. The battery life on the phone is also a nightmare and its about the same weight as my ipaq which is simply wrong.

So anyhow we did change it recently to a philips 5115 phone which was a pile of crap, riddled with bugs and a difficult navigation to boot. Just 2 days ago we bought a couple of NTL DECT phones (would link to picture but Argos.co.uk dont seem to have it, although I bought it there) and according to my wife its really good. The question is now, what do we do with the old panasonic phone? And the only thing which I can think about is to give it to a charity shop as it still works, its just a pain to use.

Hey I didnt know NTL and Telewest merged?

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