Archive for August, 2005

Pioneer DV565-A

Posted on August 1, 2005, under general.

While in Cork, we popped into Munster Sounds, which is exactly where Richer Sounds used to be and is in fact the same place, except that they replaced every instance of “Richer” with “Munster”. They had a few interesting things there, but the most to me anyway was the Pioneer DV565. It’s a DVD player, with component out, does progressive scan, will play SACD’s has component out for video, digital out for DTS/DDS aswell as analogue 6-channel out for SACD playing. All for €199, which sure isn’t bad. Oh, and it came in silver and multi-region pre-modded.

In the past I’ve mocked John Lyons for his intolerance of interlaced signals, but now with this thing hooked up to my projector I can definitely see the astonishing difference progressive scan makes. The images are much better, something I didn’t think possible considering how good it looked already.

The player is also much better at other things, it’s a programmable CD player for one thing, with some pretty complex programming options, and the UI is extremely well designed, making it easy-peasy to make come pretty complex configurations. The subtitles and menu options are anti-aliased, and very nicely too and it can all be tweaked in a lot of different ways.

It took a while to wire up to my amp and projector, but now that it is, I can definitely recommend it to anyone considering getting a good DVD player. Now, to buy some SACD’s and find a multi-channel HD PVR.

Weekend in Cork

Posted on August 1, 2005, under general, photography.

Noirin and I spent a pretty relaxing long weekend in Cork, the weather was o.k.-ish, but there was plenty to do anyway. We stayed at the Radisson SAS, Little Island, Cork. We’re slowly working our way through the Radisson hotels, since that’s where HEAnet conferences have been (and will be this year, in Athlone) and where I end up staying when on other company business, but since it only opened in June, this was our first time in the Cork hotel.

The room was very nice, and it’s also a spa-resort, which Noirin enjoyed, the pool was a good size and had lots of just for fun bubble-based features. It’s bar is pretty decent, better priced and better food than the Limerick Radission, but it has to be said the Restaurant is dire. Firstly, there rarely seemed to be more than about 10 people in it, when the room looked like it could serve at least 300 people. The vast cavernous emptiness and the retro 70′s decor on plush bench style seats arranged in a long row made it seem like probably the clostest thing to the Overlook hotel you can experience in Ireland.

Noirin got a great deal at short notice, which included 2 free treatments (she enjoyed both) and a free meal. We should have just skipped the meal. But otherwise, it’s an o.k. hotel, definitely good for business travel, but we’d probably not stay there again. Still well worth the weekend though.

Since it got mentioned in the Irish Times “What’s Hot” column that morning, we tried out the new Captain America’s in Cork City on the Saturday. One sentence review; it’s exactly the same menu and prices as in Dublin, only not as well prepared or tasty, try the accompanying Wagamamas instead.

Eighteen Turns

On the Sunday, we got a train out to Fota Island and saw Daniel Libeskind‘s Eighteen Turns, a really weird but interesting mesh of architectural steel.

I’ve put a Picasa photo-gallery for it and two other things I forgot to upload online.