CNET UK Editors' Choice winners July 2010
Strangely for a summer month, July saw a fabulous crop of home-cinema equipment hit our reviews section. Find out what won our hotly contested Editors' Choice award
Strangely for a summer month, July saw a fabulous crop of home-cinema equipment hit our reviews section, with some superb tech to keep people indoors, whatever their budget. If you really insist on going outside, a very fine compact camera and some earphones also won our highly competitive Editors' Choice award.
We love the V HD box because it's reasonably cheap, offers a super selection of on-demand TV and movies but also brings HD to people who don't necessarily need a PVR. The box is also fast, something that has eluded Virgin Media's other set-top boxes. It looks the part too. If you live in a Virgin Media area, we can't recommend this little box highly enough, and if you're worried about the lack of PVR, just remember that the future is almost certainly on-demand content.
We're the first to criticise Sony when it does something dumb, so we wanted to redress the balance by giving our respect to a top-notch product. The DBP-S370 is available for around £130 and does pretty much everything you could ever want from a Blu-ray player. It can connect to the Internet for on-demand video from LoveFilm, BBC iPlayer and Demand Five. It can play MKV MPEG-4 video files from a memory stick, and access your DLNA compliant devices. But most importantly of all, it's a terrific Blu-ray player.
Shure SE535 headphones
The Shure SE535s offer truly astonishing sound quality, thanks to three separate drivers in each earbud. While they don't offer much improvement over their predecessors -- the -- they do feature detachable cabling, which makes replacing those tattered cables a much simpler affair. At around £450 they're mind-blowingly expensive, but if you're looking for the absolute best in sound-isolating headphones, the SE535s are tough to beat.
Going to the cinema has never been so undesirable, and it's expensive too. So why not invest money in your own home cinema? The Onkyo TX-NR5007 has almost as much audio power as a real picture house, and paired with the right set of speakers it will blow your mind with its controlled power and amazing clarity. It's a beast to look at, but in the best way, with handsome straight lines and a useful display that, along with its massive volume dial, dominate the front panel. We loved every minute with this machine, and if you can scare up the £2,000 asking price, we'd urge you to get one immediately.
Canon IXUS 300 HS
The Canon IXUS range is the compact camera equivalent of a catwalk full of long-legged, pouting models. They look great and take pictures that look just as good, but as to whether they're more than just a pretty face, we've always felt the experienced photographer might want to look elsewhere for flexibility and control over their pictures. The IXUS 300 however, reminds us not to be so superficial. It's like a supermodel with a master's degree in rocket science. We're bewitched by its sophisticated exposure controls and high-speed modes: a model of brains as well as beauty.