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    • More +
      27.05.2015 12:04

      Advantages

      • "Comfortable To Hold."
      • "Cleans The Phone Screen Very Well."
      • "Slightly Protective."
      • "Fits A Good Range Of Phones."
      • "Nice Design."

      Disadvantages

      • "Hard To Grip."
      • "Not Waterproof."
      • "Won't Fit Every Phone Size."
      • "Not Massively Protective."

      Not Completely Reliable But Did The Job.

      I used to use this phone protection sock but mine had blue stripes. I used it with my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini so the fit was ideal. Overall I was fairly pleased with this phone protection sock but I wasn't fully convinced at it's ability to actually protect the phone. Here are some pros and cons...

      Pros.
      -The sock fits most phones of a fairly narrow size because the sock is very flexible.

      -Aesthetically, I quite like the striped design of the case. It is eye catching so I rarely ever lost it.

      -I found the case to be slightly protective although I don't think it would fully protect the phone should it be dropped on hard concrete. It certainly wouldn't be as protecting as rubber, plastic or leather.

      - Using this phone sock was great in the sense that every time I used it, it would clean my phone screen so that was one less chore to do.

      -Above all else, the phone protection sock is really comfortable to hold although can perhaps be hard to grip sometimes.

      Cons.
      -Whilst the phone does fit a good range of fairly narrow phones, an example of a phone that simply wouldn't fit is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Note. The phone would be much too wide in my opinion.

      -A major issue that I found with this phone sock, is that it is definitely not waterproof! If you drop it in a puddle, on a wet ground or even just carry it in the rain you will find that the phone sock absorbs water. Of course water and electricity do not mix so this is not a great feature of the phone sock and can make it quite dangerous in a sense.

      Overall I give this phone protection sock 3 out of 5 because whilst it did the job to a satisfactory standard, I could never really find a completely reliable protection with it. However, if you are a fan of this particular style of phone case, then I would consider recommending it to you.

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    • More +
      27.05.2015 10:02
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      A Reliable Sports Bra...

      I'm reviewing the M&S Extra High Impact Sports Bra as of their 2015 collection. This particular bra is available in sizes 32-40 band and in cup sizes B-G. I personally have always relied on M&S sports bras as I find them very supportive for my 34F sized bust. This particular bra is robust, sturdy and fully adjustable.

      The colour and style of the bra is quite nice. It's black with luminous spots over the front and edges. On the edges it has a mesh style which allows the material to breathe.

      The bra has an underwire along the bottom edge of the bust with the softer cup coming around the top. However, rather than have two pieces of material the cups are set together by a panel along the top which gives extra support and stops bounce.

      The straps are wide and soft and provide ample support. I also find that they fit well without needing to be adjusted much. The straps can also be changed so you can wear the bra like a racer back which is how a lot of sports tops are designed nowadays. This is a great aspect for the fashion sense and it doesn't seem to affect how supportive the bra is when the straps are changed.

      The fastening at the back is wide with multiple hooks and different band options so you can tighten it to your desire. I find this is helpful after you've had the bra for some time as the material tends to stretch a little and you need a tighter fitting around the band.

      The bra is polyester, elastine and polymide mix and is machine washable.

      The bra is £25 which is about average now for a sports bra. I'm glad that the price doesn't rise for the larger sizes too. I personally like these bras although I would like the under-wiring to extend around the cup as the lack of wire in the middle can cause your breasts to feel slightly squashed. However, the bra performs really well and is super comfortable and allows me to do all sorts of running and jumping without causing any harm to my breasts and without feeling discomfort when moving.

      I would recommend this bra to anyone who enjoys sport and is looking for a well made sports bra.

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    • Hotpoint BU82 / Oven / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
      More +
      27.05.2015 01:35
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      A reliable oven with quick, even and efficient heat distribution.

      This was one of the few ovens in the communal kitchen of my university. It is an electric built in double oven with an energy efficiency level graded as B. At around 90 cm in height it's not the smallest of ovens, and its width and depth are both around 60 cm (not that any of us have stuck our arms in...). We mainly used this oven for baking and the males certainly contributed to its use with a lot of cheese on toast. It was a reliable oven, with the added extra of allowing one to cook multiple items at the same time. Its good points include:

      - It warms up very quickly so not much pre-heating time is needed; saves energy and time
      - The controls / dials retract, and this is good if you have children around
      - As mentioned before there is a double oven and a separate grill so multi taskers will appreciate it. As students it was particularly beneficial because there was often a large number of us who would get together and cook a large meal. We would often make a main / meat based dish on one rack of the oven and cook vegetables or dessert on the other rack
      - It has a defrosting option making it perfect for the larger items that won't fit into a conventional microwave - e.g. poultry, and sliced potatoes for dauphinoise potatoes (mmmm!)
      - Clear see through oven doors and a good, bright light means that you can see the progress of your cooking (especially good to see if your authentic German pretzels have turned a lovely malty brown colour)
      - The stainless steel design looks good and is easy to clean with a damp cloth, without or without warm soapy water
      - There is a digital timer so you can see how long there is left to cook something.

      However, there are some points you may want to consider / things that are not so good:

      - The fan is a bit noisy
      - The grill handle was a bit floppy so if you took something heavy out there was a danger it could wobble and fall
      - You can see finger marks on the stainless steel!
      - It's a bit of a nuisance to clean - and it's probably the worst thing about it. We found that it got quite greasy quickly, but perhaps this was down to it being used by us three dozen times a day?
      - The wire racks can be a little annoying to pull out, it's not the smoothest of manoeuvring.

      Overall, I think it's fair to say that this is a good all rounder oven. I really like the fact this it's heated convectionally as you get an even heat distribution which happens really quick. The food was always cooked well, even when we had three or four little trays in at the same time.

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    • Toshiba 22D1333B / LCD TV / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      26.05.2015 23:39
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Many features "
      • "Built in DVD player"

      Disadvantages

      A Great TV with DVD

      It must have been at least a year ago (probably longer but time flies!) that my small bedroom television set was no longer watch-able.
      We don’t HAVE to have a TV in this room but it is handy when I'm getting ready in the morning and want to have the news and weather on. Also, it’s nice to watch TV in bed if you’re feeling unwell.
      And I’ll admit there’s times when hubby is sent to watch football upstairs if a rally important programme such as “Poldark” is being shown on the big television set in the living room.
      The last TV was one of those very old fashioned bulky TV sets with a Freeview box resting on top. It took up a lot of space.

      When it came to choosing a new TV set we decided that we wanted something slimmer and much more up to date looking than the previous set.
      We chose a brand that we like and this was Toshiba. Our living room TV is a Toshiba. We purchased this set from a Tesco superstore but I cannot remember how much we paid. It would probably have e been around £140.

      A 22 inch screen seemed to be big enough as our last bedroom telly was considerably smaller than this. But if I were to choose right now I might go for a slightly bigger screen size.
      This set looks smart with its black surround. We have it fixed to a wall bracket.
      It is useful to have the built in DVD player although it isn’t used very often.
      The picture is good on this set and I am pleased with the sound quality.

      SPECIFICATIONS
      This TV has the usual features plus many desirable ones such as a headphone socket, child lock, alarm and many more. I have listed just a few of many.

      DVD player
      Connectivity:
      1HDMI socket
      1 scart socket
      2 USB socket
      PC input
      Full HD (1080p) display resolution
      Motion rate 50Hz
      Viewing angle 178/178 degrees
      Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels

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    • More +
      26.05.2015 22:57
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "cheap and cheerful"

      Disadvantages

      • none

      Nice and simple

      An Up Front Disclaimer...
      For someone who claims "I cleanse, tone and moisturise properly twice a day and don't use wipes," I sure do seem to get through a lot of wipes!!

      OK, so I do then.
      Yes, I use wipes for all sorts of make up and beauty purposes which I will go into in this review. I used to use baby wipes but they made me feel a bit red and itchy so I now use the beauty ones instead. I really don't use them for main make up removal but I do use them for going over the eye area if it's still smudgy, cleaning my hands and under my nails (which are pretty long) after using make up on them like a palette and also cleaning brushes and make up pots. I find the wipes handy after a bath or shower or swimming, to get rid of any panda eyes.

      Good spot!
      I saw the Asda Skin System ones in store after buying most of their very affordable range of goods to try and thought they seemed reasonable priced just 74p for a pack of 25 wipes. The fact that they were sensitive also appealed to me for when I use them near the eye area.

      In use
      I find these nice and damp to use and the surface area is good too measuring around 18 x 16cm. This is enough to do most tasks I require them for.

      My thoughts
      The quality of these wipes is good. They have a bit of stretch to them and don't tear up. They don't smell of a lot but what they do smell of smells nice. My face feels clean after using these and not at all sticky which is also a bonus. They don't make me itch like the baby wipes used to. All in all these are a gentle wipe and they work well for me.

      Final word
      I'd be happy to return to these wipes again in the future, they tick all the boxes and come in very handy for me keeping my hands and face and make up clean and I also use them for a quick wipe around the dressing table to clear up dust and spilled make up! I think I've worked out why I use so many now...

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    • MUA Eyebrow Pencil / Make Up / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
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      26.05.2015 22:39
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "the only brow product I can use"

      Disadvantages

      • none

      Doing eyebrows the blonde way

      I first discovered the MUA eyebrow pencil in a beauty swap when someone sent me it as a bonus item. I had been leaving my eyebrows alone until an over zealous eyebrow threader took too much off and left me lacking the depth of colour on my eyebrows so they were nearly invisible.

      Be bold!
      I am naturally quite fair and don't want dark brows but a little gap filler and definition was most welcome. I now can't leave the house without using this product.

      Description
      The pencil is very long which is reassuring and has a little brush on the other end that I never really use as I don't have unruly brows. It is a normal size in girth and fits in to the smaller side of my two hole pencil sharpener.

      In use
      I have different shaped brows naturally so I use the pencil to try and even them up. I sketch lightly in a hair like fashion so I don't get too much concentration of colour. But if that does happen I use a damp cotton bud to shift it a bit.

      What I like
      I like the blonde shade as it is not to harsh. It's a really light brown in colour but you can build up how much depth you want. It also removes easily with just micellar water.

      Price
      I had to buy a second pencil as the sharpener got to the name and I thought I might forget so I ordered one to keep in the sidelines as I cannot imagine life without my blonde MUA pencil now!

      Comments

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    • The Hunt (Jagten) (DVD) / DVD / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      26.05.2015 22:34
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Rewarding
      • "Atmospheric "
      • "Superbly acted"

      Disadvantages

      • "Subtitles may not appeal to some ."
      • "Prickly subject matter . "

      Hunter Turned Hunted

      Introduction
      ************
      The Hunt is an uneasy,compelling but ultimately important watch. Centred on the prickly taboo of paedophilia, or rather the accusation of it, we are slung head-first into a maelstrom of blinkered accusations bred by the lemming-like nature of mankind. The acting,settings and music all complement each other in heightening the effect of this terrifying tale.

      Plot
      ****
      This,for me,is more a riveting examination of the human condition rather than a formulaic rattling good yarn. The story centres around Lucas,played by Mads Mikkelsen, who works at a kindergarten school in a small Danish village. He seems a good,kindly sort and he thoroughly engages in break times by play-fighting with the kids. There is patently nothing creepy about this,despite how it may sound. The notion of a professional adult laying their hands on children would be anathema to nurseries in this country.

      Lucas appears much like a father figure to these kids as they clamber atop him as they run amok. One little girl,Klara,is particularly fond of him. She also seems to love his pet spaniel and he even walks her to nursery by the hand,at the behest of her father Theo,who also happens to be Lucas's best friend.

      All is well with the world for Lucas:he has a wide circle of hunting and drinking friends,has just embarked on a new love affair and he seems to adore his work. However, we do not have to wait long for a ground-shaking denouement that shatters all of that idyll.
      One day Klara flings herself rather disturbingly at Lucas during play time and attempts to plant a kiss on his lips. She also offers him a decorative heart,lovingly concealed in an envelope. Lucas tactfully repels her bizarre advances. Maybe as a result of this rebuttal Klara tells another teacher,in great detail,about an incident when Lucas exposed himself to her.

      From this point on his life will never be the same again,as the girl's word is given more gravity than his own and news of this unspeakable crime spreads like wildfire.Lucas then lives the life of an ostracised pariah as he is spurned,even attacked,by the very friends and community that once held him in high regard.

      Exoneration by certain quarters does little to erase the damage to his reputation and this indelible,malodorous legacy lingers long in the memories of many. There are points when we ponder if he did do it,or maybe someone else did :Lucas's son...or Klara's father? Revealing the above is not intended as a spoiler as the synopsis of the film reveals this already. The truly compelling aspect is the incredulous reflection on the human condition and how we,as humans, are capable of a blind, hateful destruction born of presumption and prejudice.

      The ending is contemplative and indicative of the indelibility of such a stain caused by association. The bad feeling may have receded for some,but not all.Has the hunter become the hunted?

      Themes
      ******
      Trust,or the lack thereof,is one of the film's main themes. The villagers blind readiness to believe Klara's word over Lucas's under the premise that 'children do not lie' about such things also exposes a naivety and underestimation of the cunning truculence of children. Conversely, at the beginning of the film,Lucas is afforded unqualified trust by his best friend Theo when he asks him to walk Klara to nursery school.

      Familial love and loyalty are very much in evidence with the wonderfully observed relationship between Lucas and his son. This is also evidenced by the anger they feel and sometimes portray in the face of,what they believe to be, almost unbearable injustice.
      The most frightening theme for me though is the human proclivity to blindly join a queue just because it's there. The analogy here is provided by the community's lift-hitchers on the bandwagon of an intransigent assumption that Lucas is guilty of this most heinous of crimes. The notion that 'there's no smoke without fire' rages to the fore here with barely a moment's reflection or consideration that the girl could have lied and that Lucas is,in fact, the victim.

      Finally, the most prevalent theme here is the strength of the human spirit in the face of unbearable opposition.Lucas always maintains his innocence throughout and he eventually refuses to meekly retreat in the face of the lynch-mob. His dignity remains intact throughout,even when it is stretched as taut as piano wire.One confrontation in the local supermarket,from which he is repeatedly barred due to his potential slur on it's reputation,is particularly memorable.

      Acting
      ******
      The acting in The Hunt is impeccable. Mads Mikkelsen, best known for his portrayal of Hannibal in the excellent eponymous series, is the stand out performance although he has some fearsome opposition in the tiny Annika Wedderkopp,who plays his accuser, Klara. She is astonishing for one so young in a poignantly understated, poker-faced, mature performance. Indeed, the solemn and delicate subject matter is more conducive to under,rather than over,acting.Lucas's son Marcus,played by Lasse Fogelstrom, is also deserving of special mention. The rest of the cast are pitched just right in that they are wholly believable in their fury, yet suitably unobtrusive in the mundanity of their small village life.

      Conclusion
      **********
      Although paedophilia is,quite rightly, seen as the vilest of crimes imaginable, The Hunt shows the flip-side and the nightmare that can be caused to the wrongly accused. Vinterburg, to his credit,does not preach,patronise or insult the viewer's intelligence. Rather, he holds up a mirror to the probable reaction and counter-reaction of most people in this situation, Lucas included.


      Director
      ********
      Thomas Vinterberg

      Main Cast
      *********
      Lucas - Mads Mikkelsen
      Theo - Thomas Bo Larsen
      Klara - Annika Wedderkopp
      Marcus - Lasse Fogelstrom
      Susse - Grethe



      *This was first published on Ciao under the username FLOCKOFSEAGULLS.

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    • Asda 100 Ball Pool Balls / Baby Toy / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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      26.05.2015 22:32
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Versatile

      Disadvantages

      Versatile toys for indoor and outdoor

      I purchased 2 sets of 100 balls from asda a few years ago and my children (and the cat) are still playing with them now.

      You can buy sets of these balls from many different retailers. However looking at the asda website today, you can now only buy these as part of the ball pool set. The full set which includes a small blow up pool and 2 bags with 100 balls in each costs £10.

      The balls come in a mixture of colours but the majority are green and yellow with some blue, red and orange. They are kept tidy and together in a blue zip up mesh bag. The bag seems pretty flimsy but mine has actually lasted very well. The balls themselves are made of thin plastic.

      This toy is extremely versatile. You can fill up a ball pool and let your baby or toddler crawl around in them or you can use them to play catch with older children. I also find them great to use with tennis or badminton racquets. The most common use in our family is on the trampoline. We empty the whole bag onto the trampoline and then bounce around in them. With a bit of practise the children have perfected the art of landing on them bin such a way that they go flying up over the trampoline net and into next doors garden!

      We have kept ours outdoors in summer and the colours have faded and some balls have cracked or been squashed. They are not designed to last forever but you can certainly get lots of use out of them before you have to replace them.

      I would highly recommend having a set of these for indoor and outdoor play.

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    • More +
      26.05.2015 22:12
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Beautiful shades"

      Disadvantages

      • "loose so can be messy"

      Long lasting and neutral perfection

      I have been using the same single eyeshadow by L'oreal now for many months, it just goes on and on and there is still around half of the pot left. I stumbled on this colour wanting a neutral base having read the beauty bible by Sali Hughes Pretty Hones book she recommended a matte neutral light beige shade to be the most flattering and I now know what she means as a shimmery eyeshadow from the lashes to the brow is not a flattering look! I now declare coconut shake to be the perfect matte base shade.

      The purchase
      I picked up my eyeshadow in the pound shop and knew the brand to be ok but I was not expecting it to be a loose powder! It has a little black press in the top which keeps the product in place when not in use.

      In use
      I just sweep this all over the eye area and some days just wear a bit of eye liner and mascara with it and then other days pimp it up with a bit of colour in the crease and edges.

      Technique
      Even if you are using colour an eye shadow primer and neutral shade and decent blending brushes are a must. This is just a starting point!

      My thoughts
      You can't go wrong with this eyeshadow. I cannot deny I have had my money's worth and more and am now seeking out a replacement for when mine is finished. I have found them online for a couple of pounds so they won't break the bank.

      Final word
      A fabulous eye shadow, I'm tempted to try some of the more bolder colours as the formula is perfect and long lasting.

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    • More +
      26.05.2015 22:04
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Cleans and disinfects"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      Winter spice freshness

      I love the smell of Zoflora and have always got a bottle in my cleaning cupboard as I love the smell and know that it gets rid of germs. I will usually choose lemony or citrus smells for my cleaning products as I think they smell far fresher and cleaner and flowery ones however when I saw this winter spice edition I thought I would give it a go. The box says that it has a 3 in 1 action and removes 99.9% of bacteria, removes odours and provides all day freshness. It is 250ml but you can also get it in a 500ml size and I paid £1.95 for this from Home Bargains.

      I dilute my Zoflora in a plastic bucket with cold water and will just pour a few glugs in which is probably a bit more than the recommended dose of 1 part Zoflora to 40 of water but I find that it still lasts me a long time. I would say that it usually lasts me about six months. I will use this with a disposable cloth to wipe over my entire kitchen, including the worktops, kitchen cupboards and sink area. I find that it removes any marks and also leaves a nice shine to the chrome areas. As I have rung the cloth out well I find that there is no need to rinse where I have cleaned and I just let it dry. I also use it neat to pour down the plughole.

      When I use it to clean the area outside the back door and the drains I use a more concentrated mixture and mix it in a bucket and then pour some onto the path and sweep it round with a hard broom and then pour the remainder down the drains. I especially love the smell it leaves outside and I can smell it as soon as I step out into the back garden.

      I also use this in my bathroom and will again dilute it usually in the sink and then wipe over the whole bathroom with a cloth including the tiles. I find that it makes my bathroom shine and doesn't leave any streaks.

      I don't use it every week but would say about once a month when I feel that the house needs a proper clean. When I have finished I feel that I have got rid of any lurking germs and am also left with a lovely fresh smell. It claims to kill bacteria and germs including nasties like E-Coli, MRSA, salmonella and listeria. It is recommended not to be used directly onto fabrics or painted surfaces but I use it on wooden painted doors etc and find it to be fine.

      I recommend this product as it gets rid of nasty germs and leaves your house smelling clean and fresh

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    • More +
      26.05.2015 21:15
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Cheap "

      Disadvantages

      • "Not enriching enough"

      Smells nice but not much else good to say about it

      I have used Alberto Balsam shampoo and the matching conditioner a few times. I like to use the same brand and type of shampoo in the one hair care session and usually manage to do this. Sometimes I run out of conditioner before the shamppoo. I often buy extra conditioners to ake up for this and sometimes I buy a cheap conditioner to use when I have run out of a more favoured brand of conditioner.

      I don't really find any versions of Alberto Balsam shampoo and conditioner to be that good personally although it is fair to say that someare better than others.

      Regarding Alberto Balsam Mandarin conditioner, I haven't got very many positive things to say about it. But these are a few...It is very cheap. This conditioner mostly can be found on supermarket and chemist shelves for around the one pound mark but it can also be found quite often selling for less than one pound. It can often be seen on a multi buy offer when it can work out considerably less than one pound per bottle.
      So it does work out a reasonable buy for those trying to save some money off of their shopping bills.

      I think the small of both the shampoo and the conditioner is absolutely lovely.

      But I wouldn't really recommend it.
      I think because it is cheap and is packaged in a large 400ml container it's easy to use a large amount and feel that its rather luxurious, but I find that a lot HAS to be used to do any good at all on my hair. And if too much is used it tends to make the hair feel on the sticky side and somewhat lank.

      My hair brushes out well after using this conditioner but I find that if I use it for several washes then my hair doesn't feel at all well conditioned.

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    • Toshiba Satellite U940-10M / Laptop / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
      More +
      26.05.2015 21:13
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Good RAM"
      • "Independant graphic card"

      Disadvantages

      • Keyboard
      • Speakers
      • "Update to Windows 8.1"

      Good laptop but too expensive for what it does

      I purchased this laptop as I wanted something small, light and with a good graphic card to do some video editing. Overall, I am not disappointed. It worked really well up until the Windows 8.1 update.

      What did the update change?
      Well, I had to download some software on Toshiba website to make the volume control keys work again. But the mute key doesn't work at all anymore.

      What I like:
      It has a good RAM so it is really quick. I can even play big video games on it (it becomes bruning hot though, not recommended at all).
      It never crashed or anything.

      What I don't like:
      What I hate the most is probably the very low quality of the speakers. Watching a movie on this laptop without headphones is impossible. It is okay for music though, but don't expect to hear all the sounds.
      The keyboard is quite fragile. For some reason, my ")" key broke. I am very careful with my stuff and I don't even use that key that much, so it is just plain weird.

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    • Sharp TU-R162H / Set Top Box / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
      More +
      26.05.2015 21:08
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

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      Disadvantages

      Annoying piece of technology

      I have only had it since the end of November as my old one packed up on me just before christmas and the visits of my family, however I feel that I can say that this is an ok machine to use. It is a joy to use because it is so simple. You can record on both tuners and still go into the guide and menus deleting and programing more recordings. When you turn the box on it comes on and you know where you are - in the PVR's menu and not the TV's. Anyway the Sharp is a pleasure to use and so easy. It's so much better than the Panasonic version which is going backwards in technology. The remote controls the TV and PVR so nice and simple.

      Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems.

      1: After recording around a dozen films and programmes, in the first week of use, half of them just disappeared from the library. They were no longer listed and there was no way to recover them, which annoyed me to some extent and defeated the point of this device!

      2: It's very easy to select programmes for recording, but the unit frequently forgets you've done it. When you add a timer it appears in a list, so you can see what will be recorded in future. However, items frequently disappear from this list without warning. After a bit of testing, I couldn't explain what was causing this, but obviously it's a complete failure of the main purpose of the unit.

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    • Panasonic TX-P42G30B / Plasma TV / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
      More +
      26.05.2015 20:59
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Top Notch TV

      I've had the Panasonic TX-P42G30 for one week. This tv was purchased to replace a 28" CRT with built-in freeview tuner. The picture quality of the Panasonic is outstanding. In shops, like Comet and Currys, it's difficult to see how the picture from this set is as good as the punchier images from the LCD tvs. The panasonic looks bland by comparison. However, if you examine the LCD screens carefully you can see that the white parts of the image regularly 'burn out' losing detail in the process. When you get the Panasonic home, you realise that it retains lots of detail in the whites and blacks giving a picture with a much wider latitude (somethings photographers constantly strive for) giving a much better range of tones with a realistic look. Freeview HD is handled extremely well with superb colours and smooth gradients.

      Sound is better than expected for a flatscreen tv but external speakers would improve it greatly.

      Internet connection via the tv is a little limited (no Google for instance) but you can received BBC iPlayer HD, You Tube and Facebook etc.

      One excellent improvement is the ability to search for a particular programme in the programme guide so if you miss a programme it's easy to locate a repeat in the coming week. One other good feature is the ability to record to a USB hard drive. I bought a 2 TB HDD which can store a lot of HD films, however, be warned that the tv has to be switched on during the recording (no good for recording when out for the night or when you're on holiday!). The tv also features a SD card slot so I can watch home movies from my HD camcorder with ease.

      On the downside I would say that this tv has 2 issues, one temporary, one permanent. Initially, there were sound problems on freeview HD. After 10 mins or so of viewing, the sound would suddenly double in volume and the quiet parts of programmes would become very noisy. This issue has been resolved by Panasonic by issuing a downloadable software update (which will also be broadcast on 17 May).

      The second issue is buzzing. During contrasty scenes, a fairly loud buzzing noise is created which is pretty irritating. If this didn't exist the tv would be perfect but the buzzing is just a little too loud (hence 4 stars). You can't really hear it if the sound is turned up but sometimes loud audio is not always desirable. In its defence, LCD projectors also make a noise (even my old CRT tv whistled), as do PCs and laptops.

      Comments

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    • More +
      26.05.2015 20:58
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "'Might' not be poisonous to eat"
      • "Adds flavour to a bland curry"
      • "Tastes great with salad"

      Disadvantages

      • "'Might' be poisonous to eat"
      • "Smells like crap"

      Smells bad, tastes good. Confused? So am I....

      I brought this product a few weeks ago having spent the last year or so using a different product that, in fairness, I was happy with, but felt I needed 'spice' things up a bit.

      Now shopping on line is the future of consumerism. No doubt about it. However there, always will be some products that you just have to see, taste, touch, and smell up close before you part ways with your hard earned cash.

      This, is one of them.

      I'd read reviews of course (not on here), and most were OK about this product. I could have obviously found other products that got much better reviews and no doubt would not have been disappointed had I brought one of them. However, money absolutely being an object, I had to choose something that stretched my budget no more than it had to be stretched on what is essentially a non essential item.

      So, when my goods arrived I was obviously curious as to exactly what the new fragrance would smell like. A quick spritz, and .... ewwwwww.

      Not good I'm afraid. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Immediately I knew that there would be no occasion that going out, smelling like the back end of a yak would be appropriate. Straight back in the box it went. Funny thing is, as with all unwanted fragrances, the normal process here would have been to store it, wrap it at some point in December and palm it off to some unsuspecting cousin or sibling as a Christmas 'present'. The problem is, the thought of getting a whiff of this again in December 'after' eating a plateful of Brussels made me heave even more. No. Never again.

      Things however took a strange twist the following day. I had placed the bottle on the side in the kitchen, ready to repackage and return to the sender with some excuse or another and the hope of a refund. Inadvertently, after preparing a salad for myself for lunch, I knocked the bottle off the side, spilling some of the liquid onto an already dressed salad. Too late I was to prepare another lunch and, with the smell masked by the vinaigrette, I decided ... "what the hell". But, to my absolute surprise, after tucking into to my little ensemble, there was an unexpected and rather pleasant side effect. My Tesco's own, usually bland dressing had been transformed!! A sweet, yet woody taste kicked in upon the first mouthful, with a bitter/sweet, yet not unpleasant aftertaste to follow. I wanted more!!

      I tried that evening adding a little to a favourite generic curry sauce, and to my amazement, the dish was once again transformed. Incredible as it seems, this product has changed my complete home cooking, culinary world. I'm even thinking it may make my Christmas sprouts taste better .... who'd've thought it!!

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