Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A new TV

Having checked out the Sainsbury's offer on the Sony Bravia 37W5500 I liaise with my family at lunch and they confirm they'll have one.

I phone up Sainsbury's to check they still had some in stock, yes 10 left; can I reserve one, yes. Approaching 7pm I and my father get into the car-park and head inside to the Home desk where I just manage to catch a young girl as she's about to leave it.

As she disappeared off into the back room I commented to my father how the large stack next to the entrance had gone. She returns with a large box on a trolley and I check the model number and packaging. All happy my father whips out his credit card to pay.

And gets an incorrect PIN advisory, then another; third strike he's out and hah I still haven't had my new credit card (it arrived this morning). Turns out he's used to the more tactile readers rather than these squishy ones so he's entering (not really) 1 2 3 4 and it's only registering 1 3 4 or whatever. He doesn't pay attention to what's on the screen so hits ENT and instead of a TOO SHORT it goes Incorrect PIN. So third time he enters it carefully, I check that there are four stars showing and we take a deep breathe and hit ENT.

Success. Trolley and TV we head out trying to avoid all those people who don't seem to realise that a rusted open trolley with a vertically positioned box on it doesn't make manoeuvrability easy. Yes you get out of my way not the other way around. Although parked on the left from the main entrance, we leave via the rightmost door because there are people standing in it. In fact there are people standing in that doorway and in the entrance section. We squeeze behind as they decide to step back to continue their conversation.

"Careful" dad says
"Woah!" I say "Watch it"

Glares all round, um excuse me we're not the ones trying to hold a conversation in the middle of the entrance.

Onto the car, and it slides into the boot and over the folded down seats nicely. I return the trolley, detouring three aisles to get in back due to the damn end-aisle stands combined with people standing next to them with their trolleys out at a 45 degree angle.

Light traffic heading back, still had a couple of idiots who didn't know what those little yellow things on the side of their car are for. Into the garage, out into the lounge and we split the box and lie the TV onto the table while we (I) affix the stand. Actually we take the TV plus cover out and lie it on the table, I move to lift the TV so we can take the cover off, while Dad buggers off to put the polystyrene and tape nice and neatly into the box. "Ahem".

I disconnect the old TV 2 SCART leads and an aerial, plus plug. Move it out the way, and Dad starts dusting while I wait. All clean I move the TV onto the TV Stand. Plug in the SCART lead... plug..in...the SCART lead... why won't you plug in? Plug in the other SCART lead, back to the first and I remember the location of a spare. Oh that one works hmm. Plug in the aerial and power up.

Run through the channel set-up, tap in the postcode, skip the guide (which I recalled takes forever), renamed their inputs, checked they worked, changed the MotionFlow etc. settings, changed the Humax and DVD settings for 16:9 and left them to it to get settled.

Adjusted the treble and turned on Auto Volume.

Tuned the treble back and turned of Auto Volume and set the overall to Standard from Dynamic.

Showed them how to turn it on and off.

Left them to it.

Now Dad was worried that a 37" would be too big and dominate the room and was thus trying to hold out for the 32"; it's not that big really isn't. Oh sure compared to watching a 16:9 image on a 21" screen it's huge, but compared to the room and distance they're viewing it from it's not that big.

I just want to be around when they stick in a DVD for the first time, that'll be fun.


Orphi said...

I made the foolish mistake of buying a BluRay player because I'm so ****ed off with my mum's (rather expensive) DVD recorder being slower than a glacier and failing to play certain disks.

No doubt this won't actually fix the problem…

FlipC said...

Hah no doubt; which make/model was it?

I must admit to being a tad disappointed with the Sony BDPS363's scanning style, I've mentioned in my review of it that it skips rather than condenses. I know that's not a Blu-ray thing as the PS3 doesn't do that. In fact at the first fast-forward setting the PS3 even keeps the sound on just faster and thus higher-pitched.

It's almost tempting to suggest to Mater and Pater that they forego a Blu-ray player and pick up a PS3 slim with a remote control I'll have to look at prices.

Dan H said...

I might be picking up a Blu-Ray drive soon, because there's a good mplayer patch that plays Blu-Ray without faffing about with getting session keys out of PowerDVD or what-have-you. Until I can play the discs on my computer, I'm not interested.

Orphi said...

The make is… Sony. The model is unknown, because I had John Lewis gift-wrap it for me.

(I chose a nice metallic red paper, and asked for a gold ribbon. I thought it would look feastive. However, when the box returned, the paper actually appears to be a kind of pink/orange with a shiny rather than metallic finish, and the ribbon is so translucent that it looks shiny brown rather than gold. Oh well!)

I guess it can't be much worse than the current DVD recorder. Its faults include:

- Glacial start-up time. It takes over 60 seconds to open the tray so you can put the disk in.

- Glacial spin-up time. Another 120 seconds waiting for the disk to play.

- A split-second pause when going from one “chapter” to the next. (Previous player didn't do that.)

- A full 2-second pause when going from layer-1 to layer-2. (Previous player didn't do that.)

- Certain disks fail to play correctly. Approximately half way through the film, the sound starts cutting out, the picture freezes and breaks up, it skips forwards, it skips backwards (sometimes in very large jumps), and so on. Always the same disks malfunction. Every other DVD player I can find plays all of these disks flawlessly; only this single player fails to play them properly.

Hopefully the expensive new BluRay player will fix at least some of these flaws. And if not… well I got it from John Lewis for a reason. ;-)

FlipC said...

Well assuming it's purely a player and not a recorder and assuming also that you haven't spent £499 on a full home cinema system than the only Sony left is the BDP-S360 which is the generic brand of my Sony Centre-only S363.

So other than the petty no remote eject and slideshow-like scanning I've had no problems with it. Certainly nothing like you've experienced with your existing player.

Some tips for you though, when you plug it in it should auto switch to that input. On the TV press P.Size on the remote and set it to Just Scan. This should just display the output from the BDP without any resizing or overscan.

For the player press and hold the TV power button and enter 71 that should allow you to change the volume and turn the TV into standby using the Sony remote.

If you're playing any 4:3 DVDs and don't like them stretched head to Home|Video Settings|Screen Format and pick Fixed Aspect Ratio. Occasionally this will f*** up, but the majority of the time it should be fine and stop TV stars looking like they've gained 20 pounds.

Anything else is personal preference.

Orphi said...

When my mum unwrapped the player, I discovered it's got a sticker on it saying “What HiFi 2009 Award: Best BluRay Player for under £300”. Considering I paid nowhere near £300 for it, that sounds quite promising…

Of course, we haven't taken it out of the box yet. ;-)

FlipC said...

I was going to ask if she likes it and notices a difference in quality, then I read the last sentence.

Heh one thing I didn't mention was the need for an HDMI cable, so if you haven't already got one better run out quick before she wants it plugged in.