Jun 25

I got this optical splitter to take the single digital optical audio out from my TV and split it two ways, one for the 5.1 home theatre amplifier and one for the headphones. I also got a D/A converter and a headphone amplifier.


Jun 25

Because my TV only has optical out and I didn’t want to plug/unplug the headphones from the front of my Yamaha 5.1 receiver all the time. So I got an optical splitter, a D/A converter and this.


Package from Singapore.



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UK plug for the 24V PSU.


S.M.S.L sAp II Headphone amplifier. (SMSL sApII)

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Swiss Army Knife for comparison. The volume knob has some tasteful blue LED lighting behind it. Wired up and working. The sound seems good – a nice tight bass.

Jun 17

That was the best season so far. I was pleased that they included the final scene with Arya as I was wondering if they were going to get that far along with her story this season. It seems like Benioff and Weiss are closer to my view on which are the most important characters and plot-lines than some other viewers. Since they are adapting with the collaboration of GRRM it’s canonical – they are paring it down to the essential story lines. This is a bit spoilerish for readers since we now know which plot lines in the forthcoming books aren’t important.

As a reader I think the three main characters are Tyrion, Arya and Daenerys. Several other characters are crucial to the plot of course, such as Jon Snow and Brandon Stark, but I could never get that interested in their stories in the books.

Next season should be very interesting with Arya in Braavos and scenes in Dorne as well it seems. Just ten months to wait… I got the Blu-ray of the first three seasons and season four is saved on my DVR so I can re-watch one episode a week just in time for the start of season five!

Jun 05

The DVD player in my old HTIB packed in again and since spares are no longer available it was time to upgrade. New 5.1 speakers with an active subwoofer, an amplifier with four hdmi in and one hdmi out and two optical digital in (my SKY box doesn’t do Dolby over HDMI so I need an optical link for that. And my TV doesn’t do ARC over HDMI so I need an optical link for that too.) And a blu-ray player. And 50 metres of speaker cable, fourteen banana plugs and a subwoofer cable. It all finally arrived by yesterday and I spent some hours unpacking and assembling it.


Three boxes of speakers making HTS201 system.


Some stands for the rear speakers.

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100W active subwoofer. 8” down firing ported variety.

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Two front towers with spike feet.

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Center and two rear speakers.

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Rears on stands. The connectors take banana plugs.

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Front speaker with cover off and on.


Sub with dog hairs. That’s a Tannoy HTS201 speaker system.

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Sub cable and some banana plugs. Both by Fisual.

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Amplifier. Yamaha RX-V375.


Blu-ray player. LG BP325.


Set up. I actually tidied up all the wiring before I began but I ended up with another mess. The TV, the SKY box and the blu-ray have wired internet connections so it was handy the switch I bought ages ago had enough ports. The blu-ray promptly downloaded a software update as soon as it was wired up.

The system self-calibrated with the included microphone with the sub at -10dB which might be a little low for my liking. I’ll see about tweaking it all after it’s run in a little.

Feb 23

With season 4 of Game Of Thrones coming real soon and my old TV getting a bit tired it seemed like time to replace it.



Getting the stand on was the biggest hassle. It’s not really a one-person job.


Have to tidy up a bit.


Dec 28


Game Of Thrones season 2 DVD box set, the Cogman Game of Thrones coffee-table book, the first three volumes of Buffy series 9 the comic book and the last two Banks books I hadn’t got. And I got a House Stark official GoT T-Shirt. And on top of the pile is a very small 32GB flash drive.

Dec 13

So I was down to three 85mbps Homeplugs again which meant the PVR wasn’t connected any more. Replacing a single 85mbps Homeplug was rather expensive as they are obsolete and it would be even worse the next time one blew. So I bit the bullet and got four new 200mbps Homeplugs. These cost me just about £30 for four including delivery from Amazon.

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Two twin-packs.

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Very compact. I worry about the lack of ventilation given that heat seems to have killed most of my previous 85mbps home plugs but maybe these ones run cooler.

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Instead of having to run a setup program you can just run around pressing the little black reset button in the correct fashion to assign a random encryption to the network. So far so good.

Sep 17

My Sennheiser wireless headphones had taken to cutting out (no lights on the base-station) after several hours of use. Unplug it and leave it and they’d be working next day. Since the cheapest part I can replace is the PSU, that’s what I got for £13.75 with next day First Class post delivery. The new wall wart is a switching unit whereas the old one was a heavy copper transformer. It’ll be a while before I know if I’ve cured it as it was an intermittent problem anyway.

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Apr 02

It was announced today by HBO that GoT is renewed for a fourth season. So that’s nice. And I was right in my previous speculation about where some of the changes this season would be made. I’ll have to think about that some more.

Mar 29

Don’t decode this unless you have read the third book or you are happy to be spoiled! It contains speculation on some essential changes that we will see in the third season of the TV show.

In the first season we see Barristan Selmy leave King’s Landing. He isn’t in the second season at all. In season three we can expect him to turn up in Essos and contact Daenerys Targaryen. In the books he uses a false name and we don’t know who he really is until a much later reveal. In the TV show of course we will recognise him immediately. Will the TV show follow the books and have him reveal his identity much later or, since it’s already spoiled, do it sooner?

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