The way we view films and record them has changed so rapidly in recent years it has left many confused and bewildered. We hope we can rectify some of that by pointing you to gadgets and devices which we feel are particularly useful and adding to that some advice about how to go about things.
This page (like the rest of the site) is very much a work in progress and initially we shall just post links to a few products with a few notes. But eventually we hope to also provide some articles to help guide those who have got somewhat left behind in the VHS age.
Things are changing so fast that if you have a DVD recorder and think you are up to date - think again! The age of the hard disc based PVR coupled with solid state hard discs providing true archival ability in a robust package (rated at 170 years!) is upon us. These devices make DVD discs look positively antiquated. But more about that when we have time.
MEANWHILE for starters:
Or buy at
for only £79.99
new with free postage.
This short write up may be a bit technical for those not up to speed with the latest technology. If so this product is probably not for you! But for those who are let me say - what an amazing little device!
The Western Digital HD Media Player
The Western Digital HD Media Player
(WD TV Media Player WDAVP00BE)
You may have seen media players before. They are intended to replace the need for a computer next to your TV screen. However many fall short in capability. Most media players now provide DivX/Xvid support - even old fashioned DVD players provide this. But this device really excels in what it can handle:
Video -MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264)
Music - MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA
Photo - JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG
Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL
Subtitle -SRT (UTF-8)
Essentially the above list means just about anything you can view on your TV from a computer you can view with this device instead and save yourself the bother of having to have a noisy computer next to your TV (at least assuming you don't want to record from TV which this device is sadly not capable of). Simply fill up a portable USB hard drive with your films, videos, photos or music and attach it to this box - OR fill up a USB memory stick and plug it in and you are ready to watch!
But the really incredible news about it is that it is also capable of playing back HD content - and that includes BluRay files... Who needs an expensive, proprietary BluRay player to watch high definition anymore. As many have been predicting BluRay's days are numbered despite winning the war against HD. Best of all from my point of view is the time is rapidly approaching when we can get rid of horrible optical disc technology (a personal view - I consider optical discs high quality - but lacking in durability and highly random in quality even if you always buy the same name make!). This amazing little box brings that day closer and I urge you all to take a look at it and contemplate it's greatness!!! As for me I'm ordering one immediately!
WHAT CAN IT DO FOR THE CLASSIC FILM FAN?
It can play movies from many free (and 100% legal) public domain movie sources on the Internet. I highly recommend www.archive.org for these. You can spend many hours downloading fascinating film clips and public information films from past decades there. With this device - just copy them to your memory stick or external hard drive - plug into your TV and you are ready to watch!
This media player is available in the UK from the 17th November 2008 (from my information).
Some more in depth reviews: