Durham vs Hampshire – YB40 on TV

Up to now I haven’t had many chances to watch a live match on TV that involves my two favourite teams – I guess I will support Hants though.  It is nice to see that the skies are clear, only a slight amount of cloud and some sunshine; although, the wind looks strong.  Sadly, the ground looks quite empty.

Durham_DynamosDurham won the toss and elected to field and dropped an early catch off Vince, not too good a start, which was followed quickly by an optimistic hack from Carberry that did not go to hand.  The loss of both openers was a major set-back for Hants, leaving them at 36-2.  this forced Adams and McKenzie to slow down the scoring and try to stage a recovery.  But the loss of McKenzie for 18 was a further set-back that gave Durham the upper hand. Adams continued to bat well scoring boundaries whenever a wide ball was presented until he fell to Collingwood for 32 leaving Hants on 112-4.  It was Liam Dawson, described by one commentator as “not a six hitter”, who rescued a reasonable score for Hants out eventually for 69 at 150% scoring rate.  But Wood went cheaply attempting an extravagant shot instead of giving the strike to Tanvir, which left Hants on 224-9 off the 40 overs.

This TV coverage gave me my first opportunity to watch Tanvir’s bowling in details (impossible at full speed and live), I had already noticed something odd about his run up and TV analysis shows he bowls more off his back foot and has a shortened delivery stride.  This may account for the no balls and it will be interesting to see how he goes in this match.

Hampshire_Royals_LogoTanvir struck early for Hants, bowling the Durham captain Stoneman for a duck, but Durham struck back quickly, looking aggressive with early boundaries.  Mascarenhas did not come out to bowl and apparently had a back spasm, while Carberry was unable to field after having being hit on the thumb when out.  However, Tanvir and Wood settled into a rhythm and Durham were quieter over the next few overs, but Ervine’s drop of Mustard, an easy slip catch, might haunt Hants.  Eventually, at the end of the first Powerplay, Durham had reached 29-1, slightly behind Hampshire’s score at the same stage of the game.  James Vince came on to bowl at this point, because of the loss of Mascarhenhas, and promptly missed an easy caught and bowled chance off Borthwick.  Sadly rain arrived after 12 overs and the fielders left the field to sunshine, rain and a rainbow!  The target was lowered by 7 runs and two overs were lost.  Durham took hold of the game after the rain break and immediately attacked Briggs and Vince, while Mustard moved to 50 off 55 balls (an expensive dropped catch now).  As the Durham innings grew in strength, Hampshire looked ragged in the field and, along with the dropped catches, this was not Hants at their best.  That both Borthwick and Mustard were dropped early added to the frustration of Hampshire as Durham moved to 164-2 when Mustard was caught out on the boundary for 92 off 90 deliveries. The arrival of Paul Collingwood meant there was no loss of momentum and despite the loss of Borthwick for 80 off 82, Durham were now 201-3.  the loss of Stokes to Tanvir for only 3 was only a slight hiccup.  Tanvir was Hampshire’s best bowler with 4-39, but the loss of Mascarenhas was too great and Durham won in the 36th over by 6 wickets.

For me the interesting take home message was that Tanvir can bowl well without no-balls.

Digital radio is great – but, not through the TV

I bought a DAB radio a few weeks ago, it was to replace an old MW/LW/FM radio that we had to get rid of after we could no longer buy the type of battery needed (yes that old)!  I really like listening to music on it and often connect it to my HiFi system as well.  What I particularly like is the rolling display, which shows what track is currently playing and who is performing the track.  However, I have a gripe about all of this….

I also have Sky satellite TV, Freeview TV, both of which are played through my HiFi system and I used to have Virginmedia cable TV all of which also provide digital radio channels.  But, none of these service providers transmit the information that is readily available on the DAB radio, yet TV provides the ideal medium for this information and more!  What a lost opportunity and why is this information (even the most basic listings) not available through the TV?

Anyone know the answer?

A SMART TV–The Toshiba 40 inch 40RL953B

I recently bought a new TV for the lounge of the new house, we have a large gap on the TV cabinet and a 40” set fills this perfectly!20121003_092

When choosing the TV I decided I would explore these SMART TVs, which connect to the internet and a local network.  The TV also has a sound outlet, through a headphones socket, which allows the volume to be set for a output via my HiFi amplifier (which you can see just below the TV on the left) and the TV speakers to be switched off via the setup controls.

The TV was bought via Amazon and was less that £400, which is quite reasonable I thought.  Delivery was very prompt and setup was easy – the TV has Freeview available, but we connect through a Sky Anytime+ HD box (visible on the right under the TV).  As I mentioned above I connected the headphone output to the auxiliary input of my amplifier, set the volume level with the TV speakers set to a minimum and then muted the TV speakers through the TV setup.  This means the volume level is fixed, adjustable only through the amplifier volume control, but the TV mute button doesn’t work Sad smile .  The sound output from the TV, through the amplifier, is excellent, but the TV speakers are poor because they are so thin (I guess).  The picture in HD is very clear and refreshes very fast, so is good for sport.  Various screen modes are available, but I tend not to use them.  I connected the TV to my home network using a cable connection to a Powerline network adapter and the TV found the local network quickly and without problem (WiFi connection needs a USB adapter).

m1-T2ubJdnPTuC3TXY8I2tgThe TV has BBC iPlayer, which is handy for catch up TV as Sky have not implemented this yet!  This loads quite fast, but the sound level, through my system is very high and this can be a shock if I forget to turn down the amplifier sound – I cannot find a way to offset the level for iPlayer!

It also has Youtube, but I have not used that much yet, so I will have to come back to this part and update it.  Finally, there is Toshiba Places, which provides music, radio, movies (pay as you go) and social networking connections.  Again, I have not made much use of this facility yet, so I will have to come back and update the blog.

The network connection allows media streaming and I have managed to get the TV to talk to the main computer (required setting the streaming setting in Windows Media Player) and it loads and plays music (again the level is higher than I would prefer, as with iPlayer), but switching between albums is a little slow.  This slowness probably reflects the number of albums/folders that it has to display, but can take as long as a few minutes for a large music collection.  The display of the music/albums is neat and it picks up playlists, genres, artists, albums etc., as displayed in media Player.  I like this network media player and use it a lot.  I understand it should be possible to play from the computer, to the TV, but I have yet to accomplish this yet!  Music and movies can also be played through the USB port, from a FAT formatted memory stick or external hard drive and this works really well for movies.  The music folder displays the folders, so you should see the artists names if you store music like I do, but it is not a well designed player and is a little clunky in places.  Recording to the USB memory stick / hard disk is also possible, but I am unlikely to make too much use of this as I record to the Sky box – we will see if it is useful.

Overall, after a week of using this TV I am very happy with it and think it is both good value and very versatile.  I would recommend it to others, but I will update more about the features as time passes.