Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

Mubi for PS3 review: First look

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 09:41 AM PST

Even without the new Mubi service, the Sony PS3 positively trashes the Xbox 360 when it comes to video. It has BBC iPlayer built-in, an optional PVR/Freeview tuner accessory and since launch last week, it has Mubi too, a movie streaming service for real cinephiles. But is it worth paying a tenner a month for? We fired up our Blu-ray gaming box and took it for spin, so read on for our first impressions.

Until recently, we have to admit we didn’t know what Mubi was – search Wikipedia and you’ll only find an entry for a town in Nigeria – but it has just shipped out onto the Playstation Store, making it the first movie-streaming PS3 service to reach our shores. Unlike the just launched Lovefilm PS3 streaming service, Mubi is intensely geared towards the arthouse crows – there’s much more of Lars Von Trier and Nuri Bilge Ceylan than George Lucas in Mubi’s library.

You won't mind much Von Trier on the PlayStation Store

Thanks to this selective approach to its wares, Mubi’s film selection is a lot smaller than Lovefilm’s streaming service. Well over 10,000 movies feature in Mubi’s database, but only around 500 of them are available to view online – and many of these aren’t full-length features, but shorts. Mubi’s response is to tell us to wait, have faith and hold out for more streaming rights to be gained.

There are plenty of decent films available, but Mubi’s much more useful as a cinematic discovery tool than your one-stop video shop. Today we’re just as interested in the new PS3 app – available from the Playstation Store – as Mubi’s movie collection, and it’s a very swish affair.

With a white and black colour scheme, Mubi’s PS3 app looks as classy and mature as its cinephile remit sounds, with films shown as thumbnail screengrabs from the flicks themselves. Mubi’s put a lot of thought into how its PS3 app looks, but its execution isn’t quite as slick as its looks.

Image quality is reasonable - and resolution isn't the highest priority here anyway

We tested Mubi on a 20Mbps home internet connection – enough to stream in HD video fairly comfortably – but found that navigating through the app’s menus wasn’t as quick as you’d hope. Far too often we spent a few seconds watching Mubi’s animated loading icon as the next page loaded in the background.

Next to the BBC iPlayer, it seems sluggish – more stylish, sure, but speed counts for a lot when you’re talking about a mere bridge leading you to the good stuff. When the streaming itself is near-instant, we can’t fathom why Mubi’s interface speed can’t be cranked up a notch or two.

Check out the best PS3 games Top 5 now

Navigation isn’t just held back by speed issues either – there’s Mubi’s insistence on slapping the whole 10,000+ movies in its library in there, not just the ones you can watch. We appreciate that Mubi’s put a lot of work into collating all this info, but if we’re simply going to research about films, not watch them, we’d head over to the PC and not the PS3. Scan for your favourite film director using the search and you’ll be faced with their whole filmography, followed by the crushing realisation that you can’t watch any of them.

Thankfully, you can browse through just the films that you can watch, and filter them by genre and country of origin – great filtering choices given the arthouse library.

Unfortunately, navigation is unnecessarily slow

Once you start watching a film, the experience improves. Streaming didn’t falter significantly once, and only takes a second or two to kick in. The video quality is only SD, similar to the quality you get from other streaming services (again, like the iPlayer), but when you’re dealing with arthouse films, it doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as it would with a Hollywood blockbuster. Some may have great cinematography, but with lower budgets, there aren’t many special effects to show those extra pixels off.

Like the PS3’s own video rental store, we’re not quite sure about the £3 cost for a movie rental though. If you fancy having a delve into arty films, the £9.99 monthly fee represents a much better bargain because not only will you not find many of these films on rival streaming services, you won’t find some of them in your local DVD retailer either.

However, with its current limited library, we can’t imagine that there’d be enough to keep an avid film fan completely happy over a full year – not unless Mubi picks up the speed it introduces new watchable movies. Thankfully, you can cancel your membership whenever you like. Why not slap down that first tenner and see what real cinema is all about?

Related posts:

  1. Sony shoves TV and movies onto PS3 and PSP
  2. Blinkbox PS3 movie streaming launched
  3. Lovefilm iPhone app review

iPhone 4 Gorillamobile tripod unveiled

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 08:02 AM PST

The iPhone 4 Gorillamobile is the latest bendy piece of cleverness from Joby and as usual we want one. The new Gorillamobile iPhone 4 tripod comes with a case that'll protect your phone and slip onto the tripod. It's available now and we're sticking in our order as you read this. If it doesn't appeal, try our best iPhone 4 accessories list.

Out now | €39.95 | Joby

Related posts:

  1. Joby iPhone tripod rids video wobbles
  2. Gorillapod Magnetic camera tripod gets gripping
  3. Techie Breakie: iPhone 3G S unveiled, iPhone OS 3.0 roundup and a brand new MacBook Pro family

Call of Duty: Black Ops PC lag mystery

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 07:32 AM PST

Gamers getting stuck into Call of Duty: Black Ops have been reporting a lag and glitches when playing on PC, including jolts, lags, and stutters, and other wonkiness related to performance. One user has recorded the PC glitch on Call of Duty: Black Ops, click through for the full video…

Lots of the reports don’t seem to be to do with the hardware folks are running, and it looks like the problem might be with some sort of Call of Duty: Black Ops memory leak.

Check Out Our Most Recommended

David Vonderhaar from Treyarch told Kotaku that he’s not sure what’s going on, and Treyarch support is trying to find out what’s happening.

He said: “I’m not totally sure what is going on yet… I know that Customer Support has been collecting information and trying to sort out the legit reports from the many people who don’t meet the system requirements by collecting dxdiags and the like. I know that the PC server browser was crushing the back-end. At first, queries were restricted and some caching was added to offset the high-load. This should be much better now, if not fixed outright.”

Are you having issues playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on PC? Drop us a line in the comments and tell us what you’re seeing!

[via Kotaku]

Related posts:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops revealed and dated
  2. Call of Duty Black Ops in game footage revealed!
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops mod tools for PC tweakers confirmed

Is iOS the best OS?

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 07:04 AM PST

Yesterday we ran a poll on whether Android users actually were lusting after the iPhone, as a survey we’d received claimed. Blacklash was swift and furious: 79 per cent of you said the survey was poppycock, thereby overturning the survey with an almost equal number of votes to the opposite effect. But with folks getting passionate about their favourite operating systems, we thought we should also be asking you what you think the best operating system is, whether you use it or not. Click and tell!

No related posts.

YouTube Topics: video exploration tool revealed

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 06:35 AM PST

YouTube Topics is the video site's latest way to help you find the videos you want from the ever growing sea of web clips. It gives you the ability to explore broad topics on YouTube and get guided to the stuff you want to see. It'll be available in the site's TestTube area from tonight. It gives you a string of related topics when you search for something and also gives you the option of an "addition" button which combines your search with a related topic. For instance a search for "Lady Gaga" could lead you to "Lady Gaga meat dress" or "Lady Gaga insane". Take a look at YouTube Topics and let us know what you make of it. Hit the headline and head for the comments with your review.

Out today | £free | YouTube

Related posts:

  1. YouTube Social super charges YouTube video sharing
  2. Twitter adds search and Trending Topics
  3. YouTube working on 3D video

Windows Phone 7 memory cards locked for life!

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 05:38 AM PST

Windows Phone 7 microSD cards are not quite the flexible storage option they seem. Cellfanatic has discovered that quite aside from being a super-useful promise of extra storage, Windows Phone 7 microSD cards are far more fixed than most users will like. In a Knowledge Base article, Microsoft states “if your Windows Phone 7 device contains an SD card, you should think of it as a permanent component of your phone, not as removable storage".

This means that there’s no switching out or expanding of storage is possible with a Windows Phone 7, even if your Windows Phone 7 has a removeable microSD card that can take a card of up to 32GB. We don’t need to tell you that this is really annoying for anyone who’s gone for a Windows Phone 7.

Check Out Our Most Recommended

If you want to change cards in your Windows Phone 7 you’ll have to do a hard reset of your device. The card locks to your device when you first start up the Windows Phone 7, so it is sort of possible, but only if you’re prepared to reset your device to use a different microSD card.

How annoying is this? Will it stop you buying a Windows Phone 7?

[via Cellfanatic]

Related posts:

  1. SanDisk launches 16GB mobile memory cards
  2. Sony Ericsson ditching M2 memory cards
  3. Sony shows off monster mobile memory cards

BlackBerry Bold 9780 makes our Best BlackBerry phone Top 5

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 05:29 AM PST

Caught our BlackBerry Bold 9780 review earlier? If so, you’ll know we called it the “best Blackberry available” – so naturally, it’s earned a placed in our Best BlackBerry phone Top 5. But where has it placed? Above the touchscreen sliding BlackBerry Torch? Check out the list to the right of this here full post.

Cast your eyes over to the right and you’ll see our full Best BlackBerry phone Top 5, with the BlackBerry Bold 9780 sitting right at the top of it. We felt the combination of the incredible bold keyboard with the sharp screen and new BlackBerry 6 software makes it easily the best BlackBerry phone money can buy, with none of the grainy ways or clunky build of the BlackBerry Torch.

Check out the list to the right

But – and it’s a big but – as we flagged up in our review, being the best BlackBerry phone isn’t necessarily enough to cut it these days. Have a glimpse at our Best smartphone list and you’ll find RIM’s models are nowhere to be seen: we don’t feel the BlackBerry Bold 9780 does enough to keep up with the incredible pace Apple and leading Android manufacturers have set. That could be a major problem if RIM doesn’t hit the accelerator, and unless it drastically changes its approach – as it has with the PlayBook tablet – we can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Disagree with where we’ve placed the BlackBerry Bold 9780 in our Best BlackBerry phone Top 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Related posts:

  1. BlackBerry Bold 9780 on T-Mobile: photo proof
  2. BlackBerry Bold 9780 unboxed: photos and video
  3. BlackBerry Bold 9780 leaks out in new video

PS3 LoveFilm streaming arrives!

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 05:10 AM PST

LoveFilm just arrived on the PS3. From today you’ll be able to stream over 2,000 films from LoveFilm straight to your PS3. To use the service you’ll need to have a LoveFilm account. If you’ve got a LoveFilm unlimited package you are granted unlimited streaming accordingly. If you’re on a light use LoveFilm account you’ll have a certain allocation of hours you can watch on your PS3, but if you’re on a £3.99-£5.99 package you’ll need to upgrade.

Related posts:

  1. Lovefilm Samsung TV streaming now activated
  2. Lovefilm PS3 movie streaming on the way!
  3. Lovefilm Samsung TV streaming: first look!

Lunchtime Lowdown: Microsoft Kinect launches, BlackBerry Bold 9780 reviewed and the week’s best iPhone apps

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 04:49 AM PST

Roll up, roll up, it’s our middle of the day, middle of the week news roundup. Read on for everything you missed in gadgets and gaming this morning, stuffed on to one plate here in the lunchtime lowdown.

First up, today is the big day for Microsoft Kinect. The Xbox 360 add on has gone on sale in the UK, so we rounded up all the big reviews across the web to bring you the different perspectives on it – and asked if you’ll be buying it. Vote in our poll!

In mobile meanwhile, we set loose our full BlackBerry Bold 9780 review, so be sure to check out if it’s been worth the wait. We also got to grips with Bang & Olufsen’s new iPhone and iPad apps and docking station, so click to see our hands on!

Finally, we rounded up the best iPhone apps of the week for your perusal – iOS fans, go check them out!

Still want more news? Roll on over to the homepage and help yourself to it all as it breaks!

Related posts:

  1. Lunchtime Lowdown: BlackBerry Bold 9780 images, Angry Birds and the HTC Gratio revealed
  2. Lunchtime Lowdown: Apple launching new notebooks next week, Orange cans BlackBerry Bold, Eno on iPhone
  3. Techie Breakie: BlackBerry Bold 9780 unboxed, Toshiba Folio 100 arrives and the best Kinect games

Kinect and PS3 bundles cheap as chips for O2 customers

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 04:18 AM PST

The Christmas offers have started: O2 is giving massive discounts for O2 customers on Microsoft Kinect, if you agree to hold on to your existing handset for another two years.

If you're eligible for an upgrade and are on O2, then you've got the option of buying an Xbox 360 bundle, which includes Kinect and Kinect Adventures and one other Kinect game, for £190 if you sign up for a £25 24 month contract and don't upgrade your handset.

Check Out Our Most Recommended

It's a toughie, and will depend on how many times you've dropped your phone in the loo/down the stairs/on the pavement since you got your dirty mitts on it. The bundle includes an Xbox 360 with 250GB hard drive, Kinect, Kinect Adventures, and a choice of either Dance Central, Kinect Sports or a 12 month Xbox Live membership.

If the thought of keeping your rickety handset for another two years is too much to bear, then O2 is offering the bundle to its customers for £390.

It's not just Xbox fans that are getting a deal here either, if you sign up to a £35 24 month contract you can get your hands on a PS3 with 320GB hard drive, plus a Move starter kit that includes a controller, PlayStation Eye and starter disc, whihc includes Playable demos of Sports Champions, Start the Party!,The Shoot, EyePet: Move EditionTV Superstars, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11, echochrome ii, Tumble, and Beat Sketchers.

The deal is available in 40 stores around the country.

What do you think about this O2 deal? Is it enough to make you keep a hold of your handset for another two years, or is this a false economy?

Related posts:

  1. Tesco launches cheap as chips £6 per month SIM only deal
  2. Bargain watch: Ultra-cheap console bundles
  3. Techie Breakie: iPhone 4 UK stock, Kinect bundles and Crackdown 2 reviewed

No comments:

Post a Comment