Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ducati Bikes








www.switch2life.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

DVD Player buying tips

DVD Player Buying Tips


DVD players get their name from the type of disc they most commonly play: a digital video/versatile disc, or DVD. DVD players are very important factor if you want to build a home theatre. Because quality of DVD player i.e. ability of player to read the DVD and transfer the relative information to display screen and speaker decides the quality of your viewing and sound experience for the movies. All of us are aware that DVD player are far better than VHS tapes and VCD players in quality and it can also store much more data on it. Although it looks like a CD it holds 7 – 14 times more information than normal CD. In addition to playing DVD movies, DVD players play CDs, MP3-encoded CD-Rs and CD-RWs, video CD’s, and a few will play DVDs-Audio, MPEG format. The newest higher-end players also play Super Audio CDs, a new high quality CD format that should become widely available in the next year or so.

So how to decide on which DVD player to buy because there are so many brand and so many models are available in the market. DVD players range in price from 3500 Rupees for a basic, no-frills player from known brand to more than 60,000 for a top-of-the-line home theater-ready player. Some unknown brand DVD players available in lesser price also but they are not dependable. This vast variety does add to our confusion on buying the DVD player.

What you have to do is to compare various well known DVD player brands and check following specification in them. Then just go for most suitable to your pocket with all these specification.

The following key features of DVD will help you decide the right one for you:

Aspect Ratio: The standard ratio of television, between the width and height of an image or display screen is 4:3(1.33:1), which is not capable of showing most movies. Generally all of the movies are made for the wide screen of a theater, and are originally displayed at the wider ratios of 1.85:1 or 2:35:1. So choose a player which can do downscaling as well as up-scaling accordingly.

Anamorphic: It is a type of widescreen display format optimized for playback on a TV with 16:9 aspect ratios. A DVD played in pan-and-scan mode provides an image with full height, but shows a central "window" that is only 75% of the original widescreen width. In Letterbox mode the player using a "letterbox filter" adds horizontal black bars to the top and bottom of the picture. As a result you get a short, rectangular image.

Dolby Digital: Is a multi-channel digital audio standard offering enhanced sonic realism. A Dolby Digital soundtrack can mean anything from 1 to 5.1 channels. Dolby Digital 5.1 sound tracks will no doubt, provide the most satisfying sound quality for a home theater system. It is referred to as a 5.1-channel system because it offers five full-bandwidth channels with true stereo surrounds, and a subwoofer channel. Although there is some DVD players which can drive 5.1 channel speakers by it self without receiver. But it is suitable to go for specialized DVD Player and connect it to a receiver or processor which will not only drive the speaker output but also amplify it.

Perceptual Coding: A data compression technique used by Dolby Digital to reduce the amount of audio and video data formats. Perceptual coding omits imperceptible sound and picture data which is redundant. By throwing away a lot of unnecessary information it is possible to fit multiple versions of a movie on a single disc.

Digital Output: Almost all DVD players come with at least one digital audio output for sending the Dolby Digital bit-stream to a Dolby Digital decoder. Two most common types of digital output are Coaxial and Optical. Both require a cable to connect to the digital output of the Dolby Digital receiver or decoder but mostly they are not included in the set.

DTS: Or Digital Theater Systems is an established multi-channel audio format in movie theaters, but a relatively new concept for home theater systems. Like Dolby Digital, DTS is a 5.1-channel format. DTS' compression technique throws away less audio data than Dolby Digital, so it should sound better.

Horizontal Resolution: These are the number of vertical lines that can be identified across the width of a TV screen. Usually a bigger number of horizontal resolutions is almost always better.

MPEG: Or Moving Picture Experts Group is the digital video signal compression used for DVD. This adaptive, variable bit-rate process is able to allocate more bits for complex scenes involving a lot of motion, while minimizing the bits in static scenes. Some DVD players display an on-screen bit rate of data flow in the form of a bar graph.

Composite Video Signal: DVD player's standard RCA-type video jack provides a composite video signal or S-Video. It is a video signal in which the brightness and color portions of the signal are combined.

Component Video Signals: Is a video signal in which the brightness and color portions of the signal are processed separately. Component video signal splits the chrominance (the color information portion of a video signal which describes an image's color shade and vividness). As a result one gets improved color accuracy, remarkably clear on large screens. Component video signal is far superior than S-video.

Signal To Noise ratio: Or S/N ratio basically tells how clean video signal is. Video signal to noise (as well as audio) is measured in decibels or (db). Because of the way they process signals; digital video formats like DVD and digital satellite TV are extremely clean.

Multi Language Capability: All DVDs are designed to make it easier for movies to be distributed in multiple languages. A single DVD disc can contain soundtracks in up to 8 different languages! In addition to multilingual dialogue, a DVD also has space for subtitles in up to 32 languages. Off-course the number of soundtracks and subtitles may vary from disc to disc depending on the length of the movie and whether other special playback features are included.

Parental Lockout: A limited number of DVD movies come with variable ratings capability. According to the movie rating level you select, the player will skip over certain scenes, playing the version that you choose from those available on the disc. The parental lockout can be activated by remote control. By selecting your own personal identification number, you can prevent it from getting changed by others.

Regional Codes: All DVDs include codes which would limit playback to a specified geographical region. Since all the theater and home videos are not released at the same time, all over the world; DVD players have a built-in regional code lockout feature. As a result a DVD player will be unable to play a disc that has a different region code. It is also important to note that discs may or may not have any code, or may contain codes for more than one region- allowing to be played on any player, anywhere in the world.

www.switch2life.com

Movie Review: Uladhal


Movie Review: ‘Uladhal’ - Marathi

Director: Viswas Sarpotdar

Cast: Bharat Jadhav, Makarand Anaraspure, Ankush Choudhary, Siddharth Jadhav, Madhura Velankar, Aaditi Sarangdhar, Subodh Barve and Others.

Gener: Comedy

Music: Ajay Atul

The Marathi movie industry follows for success is either makes multi-starrer comedy film or makes an emotional family saga. And for many years now they are following the same trend except some movies like “Shwas”, “Tingya”, “Dombivali Fast” and others. This Movie “Uladhal” follows the same trend. Director – Producer Vishwas sarpotdar chose safest route for his first film by making comedy film that too with biggest names in Marthi Film Industry.

The movie revolved around ‘Dhaal’ (Shield) of gold which is considered to be of high exclusive heritage and so of very high value. It is belongs to Sayajirao (Makarand Anaraspure) and his prestigious family. This is the story about how this shield gets stolen and in the end how it has been recovered.

Movie is as funny as it supposed to be, very much entertaining. And it assures you good quality family time. All the actors are in there usual roles so they were very much comfortable doing their roles and doing it really well. Bharat Jadhav as usual comes with good performance with his immaculate comic timing. Siddharth Jadhav as usual does his mad character act very well but I feel like he could have been utilized little bit more. Ankush Choudhary, Aaditi Sarangdhar, Madhura Velankar does their respective roles as expected. Subodh Barve is getting too predictable in his negative role, it seems there is nothing more he can offer. He need to think about this hard before accepting negative roles as he is getting monotonous.

All this is good, but there is big blunder in casting Makarand Anaraspure as Sayajirao. I can understand the psychology of first time director – producer to cast biggest stars in his movies. So he can bring people to theatres. It is said that Makarand Anaraspure wanted to change his image in films so he accepted this role. This was big challenge for him; but he was never suited for this role in first place. He couldn’t pull it off although he is a brilliant actor and entertainer.

The movie was good but there was scope for to make it even better. Technically Marathi cinema is improving. Actors were always been top class. Movie is shot in Goa so it was pleasant to watch but they could have used it for their advantage more. Music of the film is so – so nothing great. Movie starts with a great song which was popular even when movie was in pipeline. So Music directors Ajay – Atul raise the hope but could not sustain it. In the end movie was good family entertainment it even seems to have budget for costumes because costumes of both the actress were considerably good.

If I have to rate the movie I will give it 6/10.

www.switch2life.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Buying Plasma TV


If you have decided to buy a Plasma TV but could not decide on brand, model or confused that if your selected brand or model is good enough.

Don’t worry, all you have to do is educate yourself by comparing some Plasma TVs available in market of different brands and models and compare their specification. If you are not clear about the technical terms mentioned. I have listed some of them here.

Screen Size: Screen size is measured diagonally. There are many screen size available in the market, you need to decide on your room size and your budget.

Native Pixel Resolution: Native Resolution for Plasma for screen size less than 50” will be 1024 X 768 and if you don’t mind bigger screens you can get more resolution and HD resolutions.

Scaling:

It is a process where a television's video processor will match the resolution of the incoming signal to its native pixel resolution. This means that lower resolution signals will be up-scaled, but the processor will downscale higher resolution signals so that they can be displayed at the TVs native resolution. That is the reason you need to buy HD Ready TV. Poor scaling can result in poor display results, such as jagged edges and inconsistent detail. It must be noted that results also depend on the quality of the incoming signal.

Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratio, or the degree of variation of the whitest and darkest parts of the image, is a very important factor to consider. A good contrast ratio to have in an TV is 1,500:1 or higher. Anything less than 1,500:1, may not provide an optimum viewing experience. If Compared to LCD TV plasma scores on contrast ratio point.

Brightness: Without sufficient brightness image might look muddy and soft, even in a dark room. Viewing distance, screen size, and ambient room light will affect the need for more brightness capability. A brightness rating listed as 550 cd/m2 or higher is good enough, but don't depend upon the technical number listed, just make sure the screen is bright enough for your needs upon your own visual inspection. Because manufacturing companies tends to give higher values.

LONGEVITY: Longevity means life of the TV. People do worry about this point regarding Plasma as they fear because Plasma has gas they will have lesser life than LCD’s. These might be true in past but latest Plasma’s don’t have this problem anymore. Life of LCD televisions and Plasma television is almost similar. Anything more than 40,000 hours is considered very good, when you consider that you watch TV 10 hrs day then it comes to more than 10 years. And I think that’s more than enough.

Viewing Angle: Viewing angle need not to be worrying point for Plasma’s as it is for LCD TV. Because plasma can be watched from side also but anything above 160° is good enough.

Tuner and Connection Considerations: Almost all TVs have built-in tuners, if it is not there you have to buy external tuner or set top box. There are TV’s with dual-tuners for PIP functions i.e Picture in Picture function which allows you to watch 2 different channels at a time. If they are HD Ready nothings like it. However, it will be useful only if you don’t receive HDTV programming.

Input Connection: Check if the TV has connection for HDMI Inputs, RGB Inputs, S-Video Inputs, Composite Video, Component Video, VGA input.

Speaker: Try and buy a TV which has at least 10W + 10W speakers in built. That’s not very good but that can be minimum requirement.

www.switch2life.com

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Movie Review: Dostana


Movie Review: 'Dostana' – 2008 (Hindi)

Director: Tarun Mansukhani

Producer: Karan Johar

Cast: Abhishek BAchchan, John Abrahm, Priyanka Chopra, Bobby Deol, Kiran Kher, Boman Irani.

Music: Vishal – Shekhar

Genre: Comedy

“Dostana” which is very recently released is all in all good entertainer, it is mad comedy with little seriousness and little romance. It also dares to talked about the taboo around homosexuality.

If we have to talk about USP of “Dostana” it will be two guys who pretending to be gay, and there gay gags, Abhishek Bachchan’s superb comic timing, John abrahm’s hot body, Priyanka chopra in golden Bikini, peppy songs, and beautiful and exotic Miami.

First of all we should appreciate Karan Johar as he decided to come out of his stupid ideas around “K” letter. And now after “Dostana’s” success he and all the others like him infatuated with “K” will know that it is the content what really matters. Second thing he decides to take the homosexuality out of closet and treat it as a normal thing. We should appreciate the courage by Abhishek Bachchan and John to accept this kind of role and perform it brilliantly.

This movie is not at all about homosexual couple it is about two guys Sam (Abhishek Bachchan) and Kunal (John Abrahm) who just pretends to be gay to get a apartment. And after they get apartment they both fall in love with a landlady Neha (Priyanka Chopra). And there is Neha’s Boss (Bobby Deol) who also loves her. So in the end it is story about three guys chasing one girl and one of them gets her.

While watching movie first things come to your mind is the 'Kantaben' episode from Karan Johar's movie ‘KAL HO NAA HO.’ I am sure this movie idea has been derived from there. But in this movie takes ‘kantaben’ episode to next level.

Out of the star cast Abhishek Bachchan stands out big time. This is one of his best performances so far. He brings the house down in some scenes with his immaculate comic timings. The scene in which he narrates his love story with john is hilarious. After disappointment of ‘Drona’ this should urge him do selective and quality films. Priyanka Chopra did good job and gave 100 % to her role. She looks amazingly hot and sexy in every scene. This is her second successive hit after many flops so she must have been relieved. John Abrahm’s acting may be not that impressive he certainly could have done better but his physically being there in the film, did wonders for film. No one else could have managed that. Bobby deol was little dull. Boman Irani and Kiron Kher very small roles in the movie but the scenes involving them are the best of the film. Even the kid who played Bobby deol’s son was cute and lovable. Some of his expressions were brilliant.

Technically also movie was of top class, good cinematography, good music, good editing and good direction. And Shilpa shetty in opening song was very pleasing for eyes.

Overall it was entertaining and one of the very few good movies released this year. May not be the best but I think Abhishek Bachchan can easily get nomination for best actor in comic role and surely should win award for it.

If I have to rate the film I will give 7/10 and it very very good score.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Buying LCD TV

If you have decided to buy a LCD TV but could not decide on brand, model or confused that if your selected brand or model is good enough.

Don’t worry, all you have to do is educate yourself by comparing LCD TVs of different brands and models and compare their specification. If you are not clear about the technical terms mentioned. I have listed some of them here.

Screen Size: Screen size is measured diagonally. There are many screen size available in the market, you need to decide on your room size and your budget.

Native Pixel Resolution: LCD flat panel sets have a number of pixels on the screen surface that is called as Native Pixel. You need to look for as high a native pixel count as possible. Most LCD TVs offer at least a 1280x720 native pixel resolution. This is the minimum pixel count you should settle on. Some larger screen LCD TVs now offer 1920x1080 native pixel resolution, which certainly is even more desirable, but costly.

Scaling:

Scaling is a process where a television's video processor will match the resolution of the incoming signal to its native pixel resolution. This means that lower resolution signals will be up-scaled, but the processor will downscale higher resolution signals so that they can be displayed at the TVs native resolution. That is the reason you need to buy HD Ready TV. Poor scaling can result in poor display results, such as jagged edges and inconsistent detail. It must also be noted that results also depend on the quality of the incoming signal.

Motion Response Time: It is nothing but the ability of the LCD TV to display fast moving objects without any blurring effect. In the past this has been a weakness of LCD technology. However, this has improved now. Check the specifications for Motion Response Time (ms = milliseconds). A good LCD TV should have a Response Time of either 12ms or 8ms, with 8ms being optimum, i.e. lesser the value the better. You need to consider this especially if you watch lots of sports or action films or like to play games on TV. Be wary of LCD TVs that do not list their motion response time.

Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratio, or the degree of variation of the whitest and darkest parts of the image, is a very important factor to consider. If the LCD TV has a low contrast ratio, dark images will look muddy and gray, while light images will look washed out. A good contrast ratio to have in an LCD TV is 1,500:1 or higher. Anything less than 1,500:1, may not provide an optimum viewing experience.

Brightness: Without sufficient brightness your image will look muddy and soft, even in a dark room. Viewing distance, screen size, and ambient room light will affect the need for more brightness capability. A brightness rating listed as 550 cd/m2 or higher is good enough, but don't depend upon the technical number listed, just make sure the screen is bright enough for your needs upon your own visual inspection.

Viewing Angle: Make sure you can view the image on the LCD TV from the sides as well as the from the prime viewing area. LCD TVs typically have a good side-to-side viewing angle, with many going as wide as 160 Degrees, or about 80 degrees from the center viewing spot. If you find that the image begins to fade or becomes un-viewable within 45 degrees from either side of the center viewing spot, then it may not be a good choice where you have a large group of viewers sitting in different parts of the room.

Tuner and Connection Considerations: Almost all LCD-TVs have built-in tuners, if it is not there you have to buy external tuner or set top box. There are LCD TV’s with dual-tuners for PIP functions i.e Picture in Picture function which allows to watch 2 chanels at a time. If they are HD Ready nothings like it. However, it will be useful only if you receive HDTV programming.

Input Connection: Check if the TV has connection for HDMI Inputs, RGB Inputs, S-Video Inputs, Composite Video, Component Video, VGA input.

Speaker: Don’t judge LCD TV with speakers, but try and buy a TV which at least has inbuilt 10W L+R speakers.

These are the only features you need to consider before buying LCD TV. If you find more features in LCD TV specification you don’t understand, don’t bother about them. They are there to just filling up the space.

www.switch2life.com

Monday, November 17, 2008

Movie Review: Golmal Return (2008)



Golmal Returns (2008) - Hindi

Director: Rohit Shetty

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Kareena Kapoor, Tushar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Amruta Arora, Celena Jetley, and others.

Genre: Comedy

“Golmal Returns” is clearly a effort by director and production house to cash on the success of its prequel “Golmal” which was released two years back and made by same director and production house.

Now “Golmal” was a good movie appreciated by crowd and did some very good business although it was also no brain comedy. So when same director, production house and almost same cast (except Sharman Joshi, who was brilliant in first part) comes up with sequel of that movie we start expecting more out of “Golmal Returns”. But not only this movie failed those expectation but it cannot maintain the standard of Golmal. It is not 10 % good as prequel.

By this I don’t mean movie is unbearable altogether, there are some good moments in the films. There is good performance by Tushar kapoor. Shreyas Talpade also stands out of bunch of star cast. But on the whole movie is no good. When I walked out of theatre I feel lost and irritated with myself that why I choose to watch this movie. I feel like someone robbed my money and even more so because it was my treat to my cousins and friends. It was 180 Rs. Per head in movie time. I feel like my money was wasted.

We understand that director wanted to make no brainer movie but how can you be so obvious. The film might have earned very well on box office but it was all because it’s prequel “Golmal” was very much fresh in peoples mind. And other thing benefited them is that they released it in Diwali festival. That help them big time. It has only one competition “Fashion” which also released on same day. Although “Fashion” is far better movie family crowd prefer “Golmal Return” as “Fashion” supposed to be a very intense movie. And people prefer light hearted movie in festival time. Although after festival week “Golmal Return” will die its natural death as it don’t have content to survive.

Issues with the films are that actor like Arshad Warsi who is sure shot crowd puller is not utilized at all. I couldn’t understand why actors like Ajay Devgan and Kareena Kapoor do this kind of films don’t they feel they have some kind of responsibility towards crowd as people spent there money on reading the star cast. There is a song called ‘Tha Karke’ on which they spent 5 corers of Rupees. The song was not at all necessary for the film. Film could do without this song. So why director does spends so much money in vein. It seems these corporate houses are negligent about investors money that too in these trying times of global meltdown.

Anyways if I have to rate this movie I will give 2/10 and this only for Tushar Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade.

www.switch2life.com


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Movies to watch befor you Die - (11 - 20)


11. Black (2005) – (Hindi)

Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Writer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhavani Iyer

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukharjee and Others

Genre: Drama

Rani Mukharjee gave performance of her life…

12. Jane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983) – Hindi

Director: Kundan Shah

Writer: Ranjit Kapoor, Satish Kaushik

Cast: Nasruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta, Bhakti Barve

Genre: Comedy

The best climax scene you will ever see in any movie…

13. Sholay (1975) – Hindi

Director: Ramesh Sippy

Writer: Salim - Javed

Cast: AmitabhBachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri, Sachin, Keshto Mukharjee, and others

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Thriller

The biggest entertainer and biggest blockbuster in Indian film industry.

14. Godfather (1972) – English

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Writer: Mario Puzo

Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and others

Genre: Drama, Thriller, Gangster

This has been rated as one of the best movie made by critics all over the world.

15. Titanic(1997) – English

Director: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron

Cast: Leonardo Decaprio, Kate Winslet, and others

Genre: Drama, Romance

This is how movie should be made

16. Ashi Hi Banavabanvi (1987) – Marathi

Director: Sachin Pilgaonkar

Cast: Sachin, Ashok Saraf, Laksmikant Berde, Supriya, Ashwini Bhave and Others

Genre: Comedy

Music By: Arun Poudwal

One of the best movie in Marathi

17. Dil Chahata Hai (2001) – Hindi

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Writer: Farhan AkhtarKassim Jagmaggia

Cast: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Khanna, Preity Zinta, Dimple Kapadia, Sonali Kulkarni and others

Genre: Romance, Drama, Musical, Comedy

Music By: Shankar, Ehsan, Loy

Started new trend in bollywood, greatest movie on friendship..

18. Deewaar (1975) – Hindi

Director: Yash Chopra

Writer: Salim - Javed

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Nirupama Roy

Genre: Drama, Family, Action, Crime

Unforgettable dialogues….

19. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) – Hindi

Director: Aaditya Chopra

Writer: Aaditya Chopra, Javed Siddiqui

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri

Genre: Romance, Family, Musical, Comedy

Music By: Jatin Lalit

Die Hard Romantic, excellent Music

20. Andaj Apana Apana (1994)- Hindi

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi

Writer: Rajkumar Santoshi, Dilip Shukla

Cast: Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon, Karisma Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Shakti Kapoor

Genre: Comedy

It’s a Mad, Mad Comedy.



www.switch2life.com

+1

You Tube