Watch out for Amazon reseller shipping charges

When you see a nice cheap product on Amazon or any other online retailer beware of the shipping and handling charges. This HDMI to DVI-D converter goes for a paltry £2.59 but then attracts a hefty £11.08 from the reseller. I can’t pretend that I didn’t notice it on the order page but at the time I wanted to get the order done and dusted so I didn’t quibble. The box it comes in better be lined with velvet and the address better be hand written and signed with the artist’s name…

I had enough trouble with console AV cables and certain retailers in the last few weeks I wanted the whole sorry episode over and done with.

iMP 4 in 1 Multi Component AV Cable Xbox360/Wii/PS2/PS3 Review

The postman called this morning with a very welcome package. The iMP 4 in 1 Multi Component AV Cable Xbox360/Wii/PS2/PS3 I ordered last week finally arrived. After spending weeks trying to get a similar cable from Play Asia and Devineo I hurriedly plugged everything in.

This cable allows you to hook up 3 consoles to one set of component connections on a tv or monitor. I’m using it with my Xbox 360 and PS3.

The first thing I noticed about this is that there’s no switch to select which console to display. I didn’t try turning on both machines at the same time. Maybe later.

When I had everything hooked up I fired up the PS3 and changed the display settings to component cable, upped the resolution to 720p and confirmed the change. The Playstation 3 home screen displayed perfectly. All the text looked fine, the background swishing thing was ok. I fired up Bad Company 2 and in-game graphics were crisp and looked great!

I tried the Xbox 360 next and Bad Company 2 again. In game graphics were good, not quite as good as with the dedicated component cable from Microsoft but close.

Now for the downsides:

  1. On the PS3 there’s no such thing as a black screen. I noticed thick horizontal flickring lines. They were barely visible but they were there. Text in-game was oddly sharpened too much, but not enough to be annoying.
  2. The Xbox 360 dashboard displays an odd shadow behind all text. It makes it hard to read stuff but I’ll get over it as the game graphics looked perfectly fine.

Xbox 360 through iMP cable

Would I recommend the iMP 4 in 1 component cable? It’s cheap and cheerful and as long as you understand that it won’t be quite anywhere near as good as dedicated cables you’ll be happy with it. I would say the PS3 display was slightly better overall than the Xbox 360.

Final score: 3/5 1/5

Update! After playing for a few hours tonight on the PS3, I’m really not happy with it. The picture quality is too bad, that horizontal interference is too annoying. The monitor I have is a Dell 2405, an old 24″ monitor. It doesn’t support HDCP apparently so I won’t be able to play Bluray movies on it but thankfully games don’t enforce that, I think.

So, I need to spend more money and go searching again. I’m going to buy a DVI-D to HDMI connector and a HDMI cable to go along with it. Maplins have such a beast so I’m going to ring up my local store in the morning to check availability. I could probably get one cheaper elsewhere online but at this stage I’m sick of dealing with online retailers. Fingers crossed they have it.

Update 2! So, it’s interference from my surround sound headphones that’s causing most of the problem. I can either have great sound and crap picture or good picture and ordinary sound. Here’s what the interference looks like on the Playstation 3. Something similar happens on the Xbox 360:

iMP interference on the Playstation 3

Bah! Frapz spammed me!

I received a friend request from an oddly named character on Xbox Live the other day. Looked something like wwwwfrapzcouk with some odd characters thrown in here and there. They then spammed me. Grrr.

Frapz Spam

Rather embarrassingly for them, their website isn’t even set up correctly:

Friend removed, and complaint lodged. I don’t like unsolicited commercial messages. Especially on a social network.

Halo: Reach ‘Invasion’ Mode

[vodpod id=Video.3445764&w=600&h=400&fv=]

They finally switched off multiplayer for Halo 2 recently, just in time for people to try out the beta of Halo Reach. If you have ODST you got a beta code withe the game. Even though I didn’t think much of ODST (didn’t play it online though) I’m looking forward to Reach, if only because Anthony is counting the days until it’s released. (via)

Gears of War 3 trailer and brief analysis

Gears of War 3 Trailer

thegoldglove07 provides some analysis on the new game.

I have both Gears of War 1 and 2 and loved the single player game in each. I haven’t played them multiplayer though and apparently GOW 2 had serious problems. I didn’t get particularly far in either game either but the graphics were stunning and gameplay rocking. Looking forward to what GOW 3 has to offer!

iMP 4 in 1 Multi Component AV Cable Xbox360/Wii/PS2/PS3

My quest for a component switcher cable continues. Play-asia were totally unresponsive and then so were Divineo.co.uk so I’ve ordered the iMP 4 in 1 Multi Component AV Cable Xbox360/Wii/PS2/PS3 from an Amazon.co.uk reseller. It’s almost half the price again of the XCM cable I had ordered from Divineo.

Needless to say I have cancelled my Divineo order.

All I want to do is play my PS3 in HD, is that so bad? *sob* (sound of violins, fade to black, roll credits)

I’m not Ken Burton!

In future, if someone sends me a friend request and then asks if I’m Ken Burton they’re getting kicked off my friends list. Just recently I received the following message when I switched on my Xbox 360:

Is this ken burtons account

I replied “no”, and he sent me another message:

whos account is it

To which I replied, “it’s mine!” and shut down my Xbox. How do people think I’m Ken Burton?

Just checked, his last reply was, “sorry man my bad”. 🙂

Update on April 17th, 2010 I received my first Ken Burton friend request on the Playstation Network. I booted up the PS3 last night to play some Bad Company 2 and this was waiting for me. *sigh*

OK, it’s after midnight, I’ll be up ea…

OK, it’s after midnight, I’ll be up early, this is a quick post about the great couple of Bad Company 2 rounds I played with David tonight. Some of the rounds were evenly matched but others were totally lopsided. Both for us and against us. We both got lots of practice in various tanks and helicopters and played really well as a team.

I also played a few rounds with Dutch452 on Xbox earlier, and we did rather well. I leveled up to 10, and improved my win/loss ratio.

On the PS3 it was rough going for quite a while as I decided to level up the assault class. I eventually unlocked the ammo box, but I’m still stuck with the AEK-971. My KDR went up by 0.02. Woo.

More tomorrow (err, tonight) when I’ll hook the PS3 up to the TV and get HD again. Standard resolution is really doing my head in and no sign of the switcher cable from Devineo yet.

PS3 text chat to communicate with your team in Bad Company2

OK, so the Xbox has a handy private voice chat feature. You can use that feature to communicate with your entire team in Battlefield Bad Company 2 on the Xbox.

The PS3 has a voice/video chat feature but it doesn’t work when you’re in a game. It does have a private text chat feature however. If you’re playing with friends on your team, and they’re not on the same squad, invite them all to a private text chat session. If you have something to say hit the Playstation button on your controller and type. When someone writes something that text will appear as a notification in the corner of your screen. This will also work if your friends are on the opposite team and might make getting them all on your team that little bit easier.

Needless to say, you need a keyboard to do this effectively.

Thank you Geoff for the inspiration for this post.

Update! Geoff pointed out Ventrilo Server. It’s surround sound VOIP software. You could use it on a dedicated server (I have two) and have all your team connect their clients to it but they’d need to have PCs running Windows or Linux or a Mac next to their gaming rig.

Come to think of it, you could use Skype and set up a conference call. Might be problematic hearing other voices if you’ve got gaming headphones on though.

Searching for Ken Burton

The search for Ken Burton on the Xbox 360 continues (by some). I received this strange message yesterday by someone who friended me on Xbox Live (his friend added me too for reasons that are all too apparent now).

Is there a search for Ken Burton’s gamertag on? Surely it’s highly visible on all his videos?

r u ken burton?