March 12th, 2007

aussiepoida - Iterlectuaralist

A Dinner, a Movie, a night in, a problem, some chores... and a robbery!

Hello there,

The last couple of weeks have harboured and revealed quite an interesting quilt of events and associated emotions. Dont get me wrong - I'm not saying that it has been some sort of mad rollercoaster, and I'm not saying that this will make for interesting reading... but this is my journal and its supposed to be interesting for me to look back on, not simply for you read. I am no creative writer after all :-) That being said, I wholeheartedly encourage you to read on... once again, welcome :hugs:

Let me begin with describing the events of last Friday -
For some time now I have been looking forward to the release of Hot Fuzz - A movie by the same guys that bought us the fantastic Shaun of the Dead, as well as the hilarious TV series Spaced. I thought it would be nice to make a little event of it, as such, dinner was to be a part of the evening.

Kelly met Tracy and I at our place and we headed off to pick up mr_lambi, before meeting haze at the Morley Ale House. On our way to mr_lambi's house, it was decided that our old friend (well, long time acquaintance to Tracy and I) Heather should join us. Kelly called her and she turned up with enthusiasm. I actually hadn't seen Heather for a couple of years, so it was quite delightful to see her. She has not changed at all... still the same Heather. Delightful. She took a little shine to mr_lambi and asked me to pass on her number. I sms'd it to him, but haven't heard anything back... it is out of my hands now.

It was about the time of Heather's arrival when mr_lambi informed me that I failed to let him know that we were heading out to eat before the movie... I felt like a bit of a tit, but blame MSN for the oversight... MSN never seems to work between him and I. Either way, we had a couple of drinks and enjoyed a fine pub meal. Conversation flowed, laughs were had, music was enjoyed. I actually wouldn't mind heading out to dinner with this group more often.... any comments?

When all was drunk and eaten, we headed up to watch the movie. What did I think of it?..... I thought it was fantastic.... was it as good as Shaun or Spaced? No, it was not. My view of this may change in future, but for now I'm sticking to it. I'm convinced that repeat viewings will bring out a lot more of the subtle humour. I'm so used to watching things on DVD these days, that I am not sure how to deal with having to wait to watch it again. I'm a spoilt bastard. None the less, I gave it 9/10 on IMDB. I wanted to give it a 8.5, but it would not let me.... but I thought it deserved more than a 8... enough detail I think.

I was more than disappointed that Jessica Stevenson did not make an appearance. I wonder if there is some sort of quarrel going on between the gang..... no Jessica... and there is no news of a third series of Spaced.... Sad times.

Two or three people actually walked out of the film... Its still hard for me to understand how some people cannot enjoy this sort of comedy.... well, British comedy. Its such a great mix of silly and intelligent, obvious and subtle. The humour has so many layers, which makes it so re-watchable. Part of me wants to point as these people and call them idiots... but I cant because I am so confused by this phenomenon that I am sure that there is something I'm not understanding.... strange times.

Saturday Night -
The viewing of Hot Fuzz demanded a encore viewing of Shaun of the Deadon Saturday night. mr_lambi had never seen it before, which to haze and I was almost unbelievable... "he's taking the piss" I thought.

We watching it - Haze and I laughed more than Lambi, just as I expected. But as I have previous mentioned. its really a movie that gets much better with repeat viewings.

Next (similar) topic.
Tracy and I have been watching Black Books, in preparation of Dylan Moran's stand-up show in Perth in April :-) I'm very much looking forward to that. There were quite a few people from work that missed out on tickets... which is pretty amazing, considering he is putting on three shows here in Perth.

Home Building Progress
In regards to progress with house Tracy and I are building - I'm not sure if I have mentioned this to here before, but last week, we was robbed!!!

.... well, not to much we, but our builder... but we consider it our place already, so we felt violated. They broke a window, went inside and took everything that had worth - The oven, the cook-top, the range-hood etc. We were supposed to have the first inspection with the builder last week, but now its been set back another couple of weeks. Damn it! .... Crazy times.

Final topic - Cambridge Audio 640R Digital Decoding Issue
Note - this section will be rather boring for people that dont care about HT and and such
As some of you may remember, I have been tossing up between the Yamaha RX-V2600B and the Cambridge Audio 640R. As the section heading might suggest, I ended up opting for the Cambridge...

Unfortunately my first impressions are a little negative...

Firstly, the Onscreen display (which you need to set the thing up) does not work on the HDMI output... So I will have to run a component cable to the projector, just so I can see the onscreen menu.

In my view, the HDMI implementation on this receiver is truly second rate... its pretty much a independent switch box, kept inside the main unit. As most of you know, the HDMI audio signal is also not transferred to the 640r, and as such requires a separate cable.

HDMI was one of the main things I was looking forward to. I hoped it would mean less cables, and less confusion for Tracy.... but it has not worked out that way :( That being said, I am happy to accept this as a non-essetial shortcoming. The thing does sound bloody good when its going :-)

There is however, one other thing that that is annoying me..... a lot. There is a 1 second delay, and a crackle, before the audio from digital sources is reproduced by the receiver/speakers.

Background - When I push play on a DVD encoded in 5.1 Dolby Digital, the audio is immediately reproduced by the receiver. However, if I switch to DTS, there is a 1 second delay and a quick bit of crackle before the audio signal is reproduced. The quick crackle is heard every-time I push 'pause' or 'play'... or basically any button that interrupts the sound stream.

I'm sure haze was glad he came around - we spent hours trying to pin down the problem.

Initially we thought it was some sort of issue with my DVD player - a Panasonic DVD-S52. To test this, I swapped it for my old Panasonic DVD player, which resulted in the same results.

I then hooked up a Sony DVD player (DVP-NS52P) to the 640R and the issues disappeared. So I though it must be a Panasonic thing. To test this, I hooked up the Panasonic dvd player to a Sony Receiver (STR-DE697).... it worked perfectly.

I then noticed that the same problem exists with the Dolby Digital Signal from my DVR - the LG LST-5403P

As such, this was suddenly NOT an exclusive DTS issue.

To summarise -

Panasonic DVD Player DVD-S52 + CA 640R + Dolby Digital = No Decode Delay, No Crackle
Panasonic DVD Player DVD-S52 + CA 640R + DTS = Decode Delay, Crackle/Static for a brief moment before audio resumes

Panasonic DVD Player (OLD) + CA 640R + Dolby Digital = No Decode Delay, No Crackle
Panasonic DVD Player (OLD) + CA 640R + DTS = Decode Delay, Crackle/Static for a brief moment before audio resumes

Sony DVD Player DVP-NS52P + CA 640R +Dolby Digital = No Decode Delay, No Crackle
Sony DVD Player DVP-NS52P + CA 640R +DTS = No Decode Delay, No Crackle

Panasonic DVD Player DVD-S52 + Sony STR-DE697 + Dolby Digital = No Decode Delay, No Crackle
Panasonic DVD Player DVD-S52 + Sony STR-DE697 + DTS = No Decode Delay, No Crackle

LG DVR LST-5403P + CA 640R +Dolby Digital = Decode Delay, Crackle/Static for a brief moment before audio resumes

I get the same results using Optical and coaxial connections.

Calling West Coast Hi-Fi was, of course, the last resort. (Calling for help is like asking for directions - I am male... it does not come easy). I called them this morning, and was very surprised how helpful they were. They got straight on the phone to CA... unfortunately it was a public holiday in the eastern states today, so no progress was made. That does not take away from their efforts though. The guy from CA will be calling me tomorrow in order to sort this problem out... I will save my praise for West Coast Hi-Fi Joondalup for when this is actually sorted... so far, I'm very impressed with them :-) if not the 640R :-(

That's about enough from me.