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Friday, February 17, 2017

Digital TV box in Malaysia

In Malaysia, digital TV is something we might have heard of and actually using right now in the form of Astro. Other options which are free for the general public are not so much advertised as it is still slow in progress. However, digital TV will replace analogue TV transmissions and we will need to have TVs with DVB-T2 digital tuners or a TV box.

Analogue switch-off

Analogue TV broadcasts would have been shut down in stages, due to complete by 2015 as per recommendation from ASEAN. The DTT migration plan was divided into three phases:[14]Phase I (2007–2015)
  • Analogue TV & DTT co-exist
  • Analogue TV shut down in stages
  • Vacate other primary services (radar and LMS)
Phase II (2016–2020)
  • No analogue TV service
  • Vacate DTT service using channels 56 and above
  • Vacate LMS in band 477 MHz to 478 MHz
Phase III (2020-)
  • 100% DTT service using channels 5 to 12 and 21 to 54
Television broadcasts in analogue are originally scheduled for 2017, but the transition will be completed after the full-out of the digital platform.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_television_in_Malaysia)

As a new TV is too expensive, I bought a K2 DVB-T2 tuner box which cost about RM60 on Lazada.
It seems that digital TV tuner is capable of receiving HD transmission (if available) and have no grainy visuals when tuned properly. Remember, get the DVB-T2 box as there are also DVB-T boxes which are not usable in Malaysia now.





The description on the box states the specs and it seems that you can use the box as a media player and recorder as well.






Pretty basic stuff included, a TV box, a remote, an RCA cable, manual and adapter. You can connect your own HDMI cable for clearer visual and RCA for older TVs. Also, you need your own antenna and antenna cable.

 The box connected and on standby. I used a normal indoor TV antenna with booster and after some adjustments, managed to get 10 channels.









Above are some of the settings you can configure to get your DVB-T2 TV tuner box working. A simple note when tuning. After tuning for the first time, go to a channel and press info twice to see the signal strength and quality bars. To get uninterrupted service, adjust your antenna to get at least 70% for both and you are set to go.



The photo above is a sample from the tuner. Horrible photo quality but please bear with it for now

In its full glory it looks better than the SD Astro channels which use MPEG2. For the full resolution, it still depends on the TV station whether to broadcast in SD or HD.

In conclusion, the DVB-T2 Digital TV tuner box is a must have for those who want clear free to air TV, however, you have to tune it properly and make sure that you are not too far from the nearest transmitter. You can use your old TV antenna, indoor or out door and properly fix it to the direction of the nearest transmitter which varies.

For people who fall in the B40 category, they can get the DVB-T2 box from MYTV but for those not in that category who want to get the same box will need to fork about Rm200+. (if not mistaken)

As Digital TV in Malaysia is still in test mode, there would be a chance for maintenance that happen once in a while.

If you need more info, you can go to the lowyat forum here: https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1921291
and ask around if there is not clear information available on Google.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Journey To The West 2: The Demon Strikes Back Review

Journey to the West 2: The Demon Strikes Back also know as Journey to the West 2: Demon Chapter is a movie which is a sequel to 2013's Journey to the West produced by the legendary Stephen Chow.

As I have not watched the original, I cannot compare the sequel to it but this movie is directed by Tsui Hark, who directed 'Once Upon A Time In China' , which is actually something to look forward to.

Plot Synopsis: Tang Monk brings 3 disciples along with him on a journey to the West. On the outside, everything seems harmonious but tension is present beneath the surface; and their hearts and minds are not in agreement. After a series of demon-capturing events, the monk and his disciples gain mutual understanding of each other’s hardships and unease, and finally resolve their inner conflict, to work together to become an all-conquering demon exorcising team.

Story:(2.9/5)
As the story of this movie is a continuation of the previous movie, you need to get used to the storytelling and style to enjoy this movie. This is due to some differences in the personalities of our favourite characters form the Journey to the West classic. 
Tang Sanzang acting like a brat at times might not mix well with some viewers and the the story takes a while for us to feel immersed in it. After the halfway point, the story gets better and touch upon what happened in the first movie. The ending is satisfying as we get a good vs evil face off with nice visual effects going on.
The slapstick humor that we often see in Stephen Chow movies is there but felt a bit too serious at times and reduced some of the comedic effect.
Also, I don't recommend kids watching this movie as there are some adult humor, some vulgar language and also some fanservice which may not mix well with parents.

Visuals: (3.8/5)
This movie is visually stunning during the fight scenes as expected from Tsui Hark and doesn't feel too plastic at times. You can see that they really put in the effort to get the shadow and colour details right to add to the realism.

Acting:(3.3/5)
The acting in this movie felt a bit forced at certain scenes in the beginning but managed to cover for it until the end. The characters were believable and played their part accordingly and still enjoyable to watch.

Overall:(3.3/5)
An enjoyable movie to watch for it's visual effects and humor but not so recommended if you bring kids to the show.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Great Wall Movie Review

Hi. I'm back after a long hiatus and lot's of stuff happened throughout those times, both good and bad.

Anyway, here's the movie review for The Great Wall which I watched at TGV Aeon Kepong.



The movie starring Matt Damon, a mercenary who gets captured (no surprise here) while trying to enter China (at least that's new) and is somehow got involved into defending the Great Wall. The movie also has Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau and Eddie Peng as co-stars.



Synopsis:

"When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force."

Story:(3/5)
For the story, it's not much to shout about and just enough to keep the plot going. There are some big names from the Chinese industry but they just serve as side characters. There is some romance but not all out between Matt Damon and Jing Tian. The explanation on the beasts that are attacking are minimal and there is a little bit of Attack on Titan feel because of the wall.


Visuals: (3.5/5)
Visually, this movie is nice to watch due to the colors of the soldiers uniforms, the weapons they used and the CGI for the beasts is surprisingly not as bad as I expected. The scenery around the Great Wall and the desert was nice and just enough to keep the plot going.

Acting:(4/5)
Acting was good for this movie as expected from the big names on this movie. Even the side characters were good although not all were given enough screen time to shine. What's surprising was how fluent Jing Tian's english was in this movie given that most mixed partnership for movies tend to have some flaw in the language department.

Overall: (3.5/5)
Nice movie to watch when you have the time and want a straightforward plot but not a must watch movie.



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