And yes, the pigtail works for me too...
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.
This was a quick survey of a 60" set, courtesy of a friend who is a happy owner of one of the first sets available. This is not meant to comment on the finer points of the picture quality (PQ) and I reserve further opinion on the PQ when I have done a calibration.
- the remote is chunky and has a cheap feel... not unlike the Oppo, it feels like a $5 toy and you have no direct access to each HDMI input. Like the Panasonic remotes, it feels cheap even though most of the other functions are present, you sometimes need to dig into layers or take more clicks to get there. Compare this to the Kuro remote, a fine piece of craftsmanship, made from metal and you feel you paid for a budget item..
- at least the remote is backlit, unlike the Panasonic ones locally
- there is also a touch "Smart Remote" which isn't much better than the standard either
- the internet access, and the apps are pretty decent, and you can access things rather quickly, possible due to the improved processor on the TV - twice the number of processors compared to the D 8000
- accessing the number of hours used is much more difficult compared to the Panasonics but you can possibly get there using a German software available online for the D8000
- there is no "dot by dot" or Pure Direct mode - where there is no processing applied unlike the Pioneer
- no THX mode, but there is a film mode and some fine adjustments available
- 3D is Bluetooth based, which is cool since you don't break sync even if you look away
- 3D PQ was also pretty decent, with minimal crosstalk and decent light intensity
- I don't see any specific 24 fps / 96 mode
- the glasses were very comfortable, and even for a big head spec wearing geek like me, they didn't feel too uncomfortable. I tried those which use a CR 2025 battery, but you can also get those which use a rechargeable lithium battery
- no D-sub PC input - you have to use one of the HDMI inputs for this
- only 3 HDMI inputs
- 3 USB ports
- the power socket is an IEC one which allows you to use a better cable or one installed into your feature wall - unlike the Panasonic VT30 which has a captive cord
- the remote sensor is on the left side (when the TV screen faces you), the same side as the HDMI inputs, so if you have a tall centre speaker, it won't be blocked
- no SD card socket
- Smart TV functions - I am not sure if the jury is out on whether it is really useful
- the built in Wi fi is nice and frees up a USB port
- the black titanium color is an improvement over last year's silver
- the panel has a thin bezel all round, which makes it look a lot slimmer than the VT30
- the speakers point downwards, which IMO is not so great for sound, but most will not rely on the inbuilt speakers anyway
- there is also no sub, so the sound isn't very deep. The VT 30 does better on this front.
Overall, even though it was a short cursory look, I felt that the PQ is good, and the feature range decent, although I do miss having that "dot by dot" mode, which allows me to bypass any video processing or scaling in the TV.
Deciding on renovations:
Congratulations on the new place, you are now at the beginning of your renovation process.
You may have even decided on a theme or a style before this and that's good. Now you need to put all those ideas onto a 'storyboard', which is kind of like a scrapbook of ideas, and you use this to collect all the concepts, ideas as well as store all the info on places to buy furniture, lightings etc.
Then think hard of how you want it to turn out:
- neo classic – those gold fittings and leather sofas with buttons
- mid century – very popular right now, but you really must like the Scandinavian concept.
Then you can look through the magazines, but remember, you are going to live in the home, and you have to decide if that's for you instead of just have something 'stylo' but not livable.
As for magazines, most HDB dwellers will start off first with Home and Décor, and then read up other magazines to get more ideas. The web is also a rich source of photos, as other owners will share their concepts and photos online.
Get some feedback or visit the homes of recently completed units for more ideas.
Getting a good renovator can be harder than finding a spouse… but at least you can undo any damage done. See the ones recommended by others on forums and talk to them but avoid simply going for the cheapest.
Understand how they will do it, the materials they will use and also see their timeline. Make sure that it is realistic, and they don't promise more than they can deliver especially if your reno starts around some festive period like CNY or X Mas.
Then pad all numbers with an extra 20%. That is, for funds allocated, cable lengths, duration of reno etc, give a little extra. Then decide if you are a hands on person or a laid back person who won't mind some differences in the way things are done.
I am afraid most contractors need some monitoring, unless you have some designer who is very good and has no other jobs on hand. So plan your visits and go down to see the work, and that way, you avoid expensive and time-consuming redos.
Some recent ideas I like:
Subway tiles for the bathroom – makes the bathroom bright and looks a little clinical and cheery at the same time.
So who has not been to Oz and in particular Sydney? Blue mountains? Harbor bridge? Koalas? I think most of us have seen them all .. How a...