Category ArchiveTechnology (general)

Miscellaneous &Nerd stuff (technology) &Technology (general) 26 Feb 2008 08:12 pm

Danish wind-powered generator self destructs

Apparently this happened when this brakes on this “windmill” failed during strong winds. Quite amazing and frightening.

Technology (general) 30 Aug 2007 02:07 pm

Interesting Toppy times

Australian owners (or prospective owners) of Topfield PVRs might be interested to know that the manufacturer (Topfield Korea) has appointed a new distributor of the product in Australia. Some details here.

Sounds like Topfield Korea is less than impressed by the fact that the Australian distributor has  also been distributing the competing Beyonwiz range. Might be a good time to pick up a Toppy bargain if the old distributor wants to clear stocks quickly (and maybe devalue the brand a bit in the process…).

Technology (general) 29 Aug 2007 08:16 am

The great cable debate

For some reason, the cable that carries signals from my Topfield PVR box to the TV has become intermittently faulty. Not sure why a cable would fail after well over a year of use, but there you go. The failure symptom is a badly flickering picture followed by complete loss of picture. I think the ‘Y’ component of the cable is the culprit.

So, I had to buy a new cable. The cable in question has a multi-pin European SCART plug on one end, and RCA connectors on the other (for component video and stereo audio).

I decided I’d spend a few dollars on a new cable for two reasons:

  1. I wanted to see whether a more expensive cable would produce a better picture
  2. I couldn’t find a cheap one!

I paid $50 for the new cable. It has (allegedly) gold plated connectors (well, they are a sort of gold colour), and the individual coaxial cables are much thicker than the cheap cable provided with the Toppy.

And, you know what, the picture is noticably better. Colour saturation and even-ness are improved. Text is sharper. Hard edges are harder.

I’m not surprised that there would be some improvement, given the skimpy quality of the coaxial cable employed by Topfield. I am somewhat surprised at the magnitude of the improvement (as viewed on my 86cm CRT TV).

Now, please don’t think I’ve become an expensive-cable-convert. Silly people could easily pay several hundred dollars for a SCART-to-RCA cable in a hifi store – but they’d be wasting their money. I think what I’ve seen here is evidence that a good quality cable does give a better result, but I know that a silly-priced cable probably wouldn’t see any improvement in performance at all.