back to article Ten... Living Room Gadget Treats

Reg Hardware Gizmo Week logo small Once, living rooms were the places kept solely for entertaining guests. Now they’re games rooms, home cinemas – and places to crash when you’re just too exhausted from all the fun to do anything else. But kitting out your living room isn't just a matter of picking a TV and a console. There' …


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  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    Dear El Reg

    Have you run out of "The 10 Most [insert whatever here"] ideas. That article appears to have been poorly thrown together in a last minute effort.

    To quote from the mighty Cleese - "That Parrot is dead".

    1. FanMan

      They're fun

      These 10... sets are always interesting, please don't stop. I think the Khaptain makes a good point tho: El Reg isn't exactly Which? Magazine and these picks shouldn't be taken as positive recommendations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They're fun

        They're adverts.

        Here's 10 things you can buy you nice consumer you.

        Do wake up.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They're fun

        re: El Reg isn't exactly Which? Magazine and these picks shouldn't be taken as positive recommendations.

        Nor should you take positive recommendations from Which magazine. They're rubbish.

    2. Andrew Baines Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Bachelor pad

      I thought the article was 10 things to kit-out your naff Bachelor Pad? If they remade Friends for the 21st Century, this lot would all be in the short guy's flat (can't remember his name - the thick one, not the dinosaur one, or the one on drugs)

      Paris cos she'd be in the Bachelor Pad too.

  2. 2metoo


    Anyone else see that chair and think of the Fosters Feng-Shui ad - "call me Zane". Just need a potty and a fridge to complete the look :)

    1. Mike Flex

      Re: Fosters

      > Just need a potty and a fridge to complete the look :)

      A pass on the potty but an optional fridge for your 6-pack is available:

  3. Graham 24

    It "wood" be nice to be able to spell

    I also have a lumber heating system - it's called a log fire. The part of the lower back that the chair heats is the lumbar region.

  4. Ian Watkinson

    So if I come up with a top 10 list, can I wax lyrical about some stuff that's been sent to me, whilst not really explaining why they were picked over more obvious better candidates?

    PS3-Xbox 360 (Why blu-ray when you can have 1080p digital media?)

    Sony Amp, Vs Onkyo amps, cheaper with rae reviews.

    Ikleen vs Roomba, Roomba gets the rave reviews, and can be picked up for nearly 100 less than the ikleen, plus has a 30 day, I'm not happy send it back guarantee, that the ikleen doesn't....

    Perhaps we should just 10 things I can see from my desk.

    top 10 things I saw on the way to work.

    10 top things I wish people would send me for review...

    1. Paw Bokenfohr

      While I agree with the sentiment a little (this doesn't feel as well researched as some Reg articles)...:

      "PS3-Xbox 360 (Why blu-ray when you can have 1080p digital media?)"

      ...I think this point was answered in the article, and it's not hard to understand that the PS3 gives you the BluRay facility (which many of us use) along with the 1080 digital media option.

      The Xbox360 does give you the 1080 digital media option of course, but there's no way to deny it's limited compared to the PS3 *if* you're interested in an HD movie player and like to buy your content on disc or in the very highest quality (I don't want to download 20-40GB movies each time even if that were a legal option).

      1. 1Rafayal

        I just want to wade into the PS3/Xbox 360 argument here.

        The 360 is very limited in what digital media it can play back.

        As far as I know, it will not play any HD digital media at all. I may be wrong, based on the fact I rarely use the 360 for video playback. But, from my experience there is a large amount of video formats that the 360 will just not play, whilst the PS3 will play back almost anything.

    2. Stuart 13


      I've had my Roomba for about 6 years and it's been fantastic...

      The last three has seen vastly reduced action as sprog toys to round up before it can go out now, but still been well worth it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Top 10

      The title is just "Ten things...", no "Top" mentioned.

      But yeah, here's ten things! Whoop de doo! let me get my wallet out!

  5. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A small question

    The only reviews or suggestions worth a dam' are from people who have actually bought kit with their own money, used it for several months and THEN written about their experiences: warts and all.

    So: how many of the items listed does the reviewer own, himself?

    For extra marks, what stuff does the reviewer own, and what's his view on that - good and bad?

  6. Muscleguy
    Thumb Down

    Wired Cans

    Seriously, wired headphones? I bought the Missus a pair of wireless Senheisers several years ago so she can game to her heart's content at full volume. I also note they don't seem to be noise cancelling, so not much use for a noisy environment then.

  7. Richard 81


    The Age of Austerity is just something that happened to other people?

    Yeah, I know this is a tech site and tech is expensive. It's still bloody depressing when you're someone who has to think twice before spending anything at all.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: So...

      Well, there's the 20 quid remote control so they threw us a bone there but it's a shame the kit it's pointing at is probably expensive.

      It's not as if the El Reg's readership is afraid of overclocking, re-flashing firmware to get more codecs/features, linking up a Wiimote via a Bluetooth dongle and Glovepie to an old PC running XBMC, and so on (unfortunately that particular set-up can't cope with H.264 and neither can the Wii running WiiMC but anyway). It might look like the Spaghetti Monster under the telly but that only adds to the satisfaction.

      So consider this post a vote for more articles like making the house run on green energy, reducing energy used by electronic kit in the home, or extending the range of a router over a mile and fewer articles like What Hi-Fi.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: So...

        Yeah, I'm listening to music playing from my phone through a load of old car radio speakers and an amp and a sub salvaged from a broken x-rocker chair. Still nice to look at stuff you can't have - lots of magazines do this: holidays, cars, yachts, improbably expensive gadgets and even women.

  8. Lloyd

    Are you shitting me?

    Sony STR-DH820 AV receiver - £350? I bought one last week to replace my old Onkyo that was playing silly buggers, £220 in Richer Sounds. They must see you coming.

    By the way, you're not in the market for a second hand car are you? Ford Focus, 10 plate, only £20k.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you shitting me?

      Why do people feel the need to say "shitting" instead of "kidding"? It's just being sweary for the sake of it.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Are you shitting me?

        fuck off.

      2. Martin Huizing

        Re: Are you shitting me?

        Ah, for fuck's sake, lighten the hell up!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That's just cunting one-upmanship.

      3. King Jack
        Thumb Down

        Re: Are you shitting me?

        Grow up, for fucks sake.

        1. Mark 65

          Re: Are you shitting me?

          Isn't it "for fuck sake" or perhaps "for fuck's sake"?

          Anyway, in answer to the OP, I believe El Reg always quotes the RRP not the latest "street price" as the latter can be fleeting.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Are you shitting me?

            big shitting thumbs up for this thread.

            Brightened up my afternoon a little.

  9. Pedro Mendosa

    "You can’t do that with Sky+"


    Sky+ only has two tuners but it can do the rest of it.

    1. Dale Richards

      No, the reviewer is correct. With Sky+ if you switch from live TV to a recording, the "live pause" buffer is erased. When you switch back to live TV, you won't be able to rewind to see the bits that were on while the recording was playing.

      With Virgin/TiVo, the live pause buffer is retained when you play a recording, so that when you switch back to live TV you can rewind and see the bits you missed.

      Automatic suggestions based on what you've liked and disliked are another feature of Virgin/TiVo that isn't offered by Sky+. Sky's search, series link and clash resolution are all pretty piss-poor compared to Virgin/TiVo as well.

      All that said, the Sky+ remote control is an absolute pleasure to use, and the web-based "Remote Record" service is a stroke of genius. You can't beat Sky for the sheer number of channels either, and for most packages Sky seems to be the cheaper option. The online streaming service, "Sky Go", is great as well, and Sky are a bit ahead of the game when it comes to 3D TV.

      Both have strengths. Each service offers something the other one doesn't. :)

  10. Danny 14


    apart from the logitech I wouldnt buy any of the rest.

  11. dotdavid
    Thumb Down


    It's all very well but if you ever decide to leave the evil clutches loving embrace of Virgin Media your investment has pretty much been all for nothing.

    Now if the box was compatible, even in a more limited way, with Freeview and/or Freesat it would be a different matter....

    1. dotdavid


      Didn't know you read El Reg, Richard Usain.

  12. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Sony? No, thanks...

    Not buying anything Sony ever again. No matter how nice it is.

    1. Lloyd

      Re: Sony? No, thanks...

      That's why I got the 5 year extended warranty with it (assuming that Sony don't go belly up in the next 5 years).

      1. Wombling_Free

        Re: Sony? No, thanks...

        It's not the warranty, it's the Sony PSN system being the digital equivalent of leaving your wallet on a park bench with a note on it with all your passwords, PIN numbers and a big flashing red light saying 'Free Money Here'

        Another ex-Sony customer who will never, ever buy their products again.

        1. Lloyd

          Re: Sony? No, thanks...

          Ah, you see, I assume that any product that asks for my details in that fashion (PSN, iTunes, etc) is run by a bunch of.... I'll say it in French lest I offend any of the grownups again, tete du Merde and never give them my card details.

  13. Law

    "You’ll also need a pair that are comfortable to wear for long periods and which don’t cost the earth"

    £120 for a pair of occasional use headphones is "costing the earth" as far as I'm concerned - I know you can get more expensive ones, but there are also perfectly reasonable cheaper ones that do the same job.

    1. Captain Underpants

      Heh, I was thinking that - last time I was looking for headphones with that usage in mind I went for a pair of Sennheisers, and they cost me ~£50 (instore too, so likely available cheaper elsewhere). I'm not prepared to believe that the quality differential between a £50 and a £120 pair is going to be enough to justify the upgrade.

  14. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    £1250 for a Comfy Chair ...

    Or stick with what I already have and buy a 100 cases of beer?

    Tough one.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: £1250 for a Comfy Chair ...

      Get a styrofoam box, place ice pack in bottom, add beer. *POW* instance fridge. Cost? Maybe £15? Add some covering and *POW* fits with your decor.

      I saw pictures of a home theatre system with the seating made from old pallets and cushions. I'd be much more interested in doing something like that. Still cost less that £1,250 and seats about 9.

  15. Gary Gleeson

    "Don't keep my informed of your gadget purchases"

    My wonderful other half would have zero interest in any of these gadgets. Unless she could take a photo of the cat on it.

  16. Rob Beard

    Bit pricey

    So while some of that kit is nice to look at, it doesn't half seem a bit pricey. I guess it's possibly not aimed at folks like me with kids and limited disposable income :-)

    Saying that, I do have a PS3 (old 80GB fat model) and a Logitech Harmony remote (the 300 one, about 25 quid from PC World) which is a life saver for when we lose remotes (seems to happen often enough that I'm tempted to attach a bit of wire to the remote and then tie it to the sofa :-D).

    I'm currently interested in getting some headphones but at £120 I think I'll look for something a bit cheaper, say around the £20 to £30 mark.

    How about some guides on how to replicate some of these geeky things using bits that we might have lying around in sheds and garages.


    1. The BigYin

      Re: Bit pricey

      Buy Sennheiser. You can get some decent ones for about £30 (e.g. PMX 200). Of course, if you want the big "DJ" type ones so you can look like a total tube walking down the street, they do cost more.

      My g/f has some in-ear SkullCandy ones she says are really good too.

      Spending £50+ on 'phones is only for the audiophile, professional or hipster-with-more-money-than-sense.

      Money is no object when you get given your stuff for free, as El Reg does.

    2. some vaguely opinionated bloke
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bit pricey

      "How about some guides on how to replicate some of these geeky things using bits that we might have lying around in sheds and garages."


  17. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Now then, now then

    A massively expensive chair (bum bling) with storage in the arms. Now what does that make me think of?

    Are the things stored in the arms letters and Jim'll Fix It badges by any chance?

    You are Jimmy Saville and I claim my £5...

  18. twaffler

    Panasonic Plasma

    Good luck on finding one of those, it's discontinued and widely out of stock. Amazon don't have any for £750 at the time of clicking, their cheapest price is circa £900.

  19. The BigYin


    What the hell does this have to do with home automation (which is how it is linked on the front page)?

    1. Christian Berger

      Re: Automation?

      Simple, you cannot automate any of those.

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: Automation?

        Yeah, but on the other hand no.

        Based on the title "Hardware hacker's guide to home automation", I was hoping for an article talking about using eg Arduinos or Beagleboards to enable advanced cleverness for eg home lighting/temperature control, home security systems, etc. Maybe some stuff about how to reuse old machines as a NAS/HTPC/other, with options to replace 'em with a RasPi or one of those dinky little server-in-a-tiny-box-that-plugs-into-the-wall thingies.

        Instead I got a "Here are ten probably-overpriced things for which I've been sent adverts in the last few days" article, which didn't even have anything particularly interesting or unusual in it.

        I'm not moaning about the advertorial features that appear on El Reg from time to time, but it'd be nice if they weren't hidden under blatantly mislieading titles.

        1. Thecowking

          Re: Automation?

          That's the actual automation article, this article is just the victim of an incorrect link.

  20. mark 63 Silver badge
    IT Angle

    very disappointed

    well thats just a load of posher versions of things that have been around for ages that i already posses in some form or another.

    Why is that word "automation" in the title?

    I was expecting IP enabled electric curtain openers or something

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