Comparing the Replay XD 1080 and the Drift HD Action Cameras

Action cameras have become an increasingly common accessory for adventure sports enthusiasts across the world. The evolution of action camera technology has made them suitable for just about any sport or application, no matter how extreme.

Two modern action cameras that attract a lot of attention from extreme sports fans and video camera purists alike, are the Drift HD and Replay XD 1080. Both of these cameras boast full 1080p recording (the highest quality available) and enough features to keep the most tech-savvy users on their toes.

Replay XD 1080

The Replay XD action camera is rugged, small, sleek and lightweight, and with full 1080p HD (high definition) recording and a 135 degree fish-eye view lens, the Replay packs a punch well above its weight.

For such a small piece of kit, the Replay boasts an astonishing amount of technology under the bonnet. As well as full HD recording, the Replay can capture 5 megapixel stills, with an automatic image capture feature, which will take pictures at predefined times; every 1, 3, 5, 15, or 30 seconds. There’s also the option to record at 720p at 30 or 60 fps (frames per second) for post-production editing purposes.

The Replay has been designed to withstand the toughest of conditions; shock proof, weather proof and a rugged aluminium housing make it impact resistant and ready for anything you throw at it. The Replay has a built-in battery, which will allow you to record for up to 122 minutes.

Arguably the Replay’s biggest appeal is its size and weight. It weighs only 81 grams and boasts a super-sleek rounded bullet shape, which makes it ideal for mounting just about anywhere on a user’s body or equipment, virtually unnoticed. The Replay also comes with heaps of accessories and mounts which make it ultra versatile and adaptable to any sport.

Drift HD

This camera is the latest model in the Drift range and offers 1080p HD recording, a 170 degree wide-angle lens for capturing stylish wide-angle shots and even a remote control for simple usability.

Like the Replay, the Drift also has the option to film at up to 60fps at 720p and offers an automatic image capture feature. However, the Drift’s still image functionality is slightly superior, at 9 megapixels.

The Drift is slightly bigger than the Replay and weighs just shy of 120 grams (less than a smartphone), but is still compact enough to go unnoticed when mounted on most pieces of kit. Don’t let the Drift’s additional weight deter you, because it’s fully justified when you consider the additional features it offers.

Most notably, the Drift boasts a built-in colour LCD screen, which is great for viewing captured footage while on the go or lining up shots. This camera also comes with a wireless remote that allows you to control the camera from a range of 5 metres.

The larger casing also allows for a bigger battery, which will give you an impressive 2.5 hours of recording time. A big advantage of the Drift is that the battery is removable, meaning you can carry additional juice if you’re planning on recording a lot of footage or are away from a charging point for days on end.

The Drift HD comes with enough mounts to get you started, but for specific sports, additional mounts may need to be purchased separately.

When it comes to recording capabilities, there’s little to separate these two cameras as both capture perfect full HD footage. While the Drift HD packs more features, the Replay is smaller and lighter.

The Drift is arguably better suited to big projects, whereas the Replay is ideal for everyday use. Deciding which camera to buy will ultimately come down to personal preference, but either of these cameras is a more than worthy purchase.

Kinect Sports for Xbox 360

Use your Kinect for your Xbox 360 to turn into a world-class athlete in 6 different sporting activities – all from the comfort of your own living room! Really feel as if you were right there in the center of all the action and become the star player within your favorite sport.

Practice and become outstanding at an individual sport, or get the entire family involved with team and competitive sports. Each individual sport has got numerous modes which can be played – either solo, or competitively against others, or cooperatively with other people as a team. The 6 different sports which you can play are soccer, bowling, table tennis, beach volleyball, track and field and boxing.

Each one of these sporting activities is simple to pick up, perceptive to your movements, easy to learn and yet challenging enough to keep you returning for more. Accumulate rewards for your accomplishments, and enjoy recognition and success when you are successful.

Pros

One of several really great features with the Kinect and Kinect Sports according to one player is the simplicity of use. She said that everybody, old or young could quickly work out how to use it, and it’s also surprisingly easy to add a second player. The second person basically has to step in front of the TV screen, and they’re automatically joined into the game.

When compared with similar games, like Wii Sports, people commented on how much more flexibility of movement you’ve got with Kinect Sports. It is possible to move about much more, dive, jump and run which makes for a fantastic workout.

A further fun feature of the game that some individuals enjoyed is the way that it records video clips and shots of you playing throughout the game, and then puts together a playback at the end which is usually entertaining and extremely funny.

The graphics were also considered to be superior to other equivalent games.

Cons

Some individuals said that they found that the Kinect didn’t always accurately translate their movements. They said that it took some time to understand how the unit recognizes movement otherwise it could become frustrating.

The games can be loud, particularly if you have neighbors living underneath you as there is a lot of jumping and running involved.

A number of people said that the overall game has limited replay value. They thought that it got tedious and boring after playing the sports for a while. One person said that it is far from a serious sports game, and it is definitely very family focused.

Kinect Sports is an entertaining and active game for the whole family to spend time playing together. Play one or more of the 6 available sports, and turn into a sports pro with all the fun and glory that comes along with it, without the need for the hard work!

Why You Should Watch Sports on HDTV

  • What is HDTV? Do I have it?

    Let’s not get too hung up over the technical details. If you bought a new TV (tube, LCD rear projection, DLP rear projection, LCD or Plasma or whatever else shows up on the market) which can display a High Definition picture and you have purchased a High Definition programming package with High Definition hardware (Set-Top-Box or DVR), then you have HDTV. Even an older Enhanced Definition (ED) set can display a very good HD picture unless you are very close to the screen – too close for normal viewing.

    As for which of the two main resolutions, 720p or1080i, are best for sports, don’t worry about it. The network programmer or program service provider has already made that decision. ABC shows its programs in 720p, CBS in 1080i, ESPN in 720p, FOX in 720p, HDNet in 1080i, NBC in 1080i, TNT in 1080i, WB in 1080i and WGN in 1080i. For what it’s worth, 720p is generally regarded as superior for watching rapid movement but your High Definition TV will convert these to its own native resolution automatically. If your HDTV is made to display 720p, it will convert all 1080i programs to that resolution while doing little or nothing to 720p programs. If you have a 1080i set, it will do the opposite. This is all possible because the programs are all in a digital format so very little picture quality is lost.

    Just sit back and enjoy

  • Why are sports better on HDTV?

    There are many reasons but these are three of the most important:

    1. High Resolution provides more detail on the screen At the lowest HD resolutions, you still have many, many more times the number of dots and lines on the screen making up the picture than the old television standard and this means you see more details more clearly. If you have seen some of the newer artificial turf, you know that dirt (or at least rubber particles) fly when a soccer ball bounces or a football runner cuts this way or that. Now you can actually see it on TV. Was it a curve or a fast ball? Was it really a three point shot or was the player’s toe on the line? Did the receiver have possession or did the ball touch the grass? Where will this putt break or pick up speed? With HD the replays are much, much more clear. Details are critical when officials view replays and now you can see what they see. This is the way sports were meant to be seen!
    2. Widescreen shows you more of the field It’s true! Almost without exception, new HDTV’s are large widescreens and that alone means a bigger picture. HDTV’s aspect ratio is 16:9 (Width:Height) as opposed to 4:3 of the current NTSC system. With the higher resolutions, you don’t lose any of the detail. For football, which is played on a rectangular field, the picture is spectacular. See the quarterback and the defense he is attacking at the same time. You see the receiver cut and break free just as the quarterback does. That changes the way you watch and understand the game. From behind the running back you see more of the line of scrimmage as the line blocks and he makes his decision about which hole to hit. It really is more like being there. The wider screen is changing the way sports shows are produced. The camera can be pulled back for a wider shot and, because of the high definition picture, detail is not lost. More of the golf course can be seen as the shot flies off the tee. This gives you an entirely different perspective on what is happening.
    3. Dolby Digital surround sound puts you in the park Don’t forget the sounds of sports. What would basketball be without squeaking sneakers on hardwood floors? What would baseball be without the crack of the bat when a slugger hits a hard fastball? When a shot rattles the rim, a safety creams a receiver, a tennis player returns a serve, a track official fires his starter pistol or the horses’ hooves pound the turf, you can now hear it with crystal clarity. No static, hissing, crackling or popping. If you pipe this through your home entertainment surround sound system it’s like watching through an open window.
  • Can you get HDTV on satellite?

    You bet you can! Both DirecTV and Dish Network have high definition programming and are adding more all the time. You might have seen the news about DirecTV’s new satellites this summer or seen the specials being promoted by both providers. Satellite is today’s lowest cost way to get high definition programming and HD is the future of television. It’s happening now, there’s no need to wait.

Is There a Need for Instant Replay In Major League Baseball?

Evidently, we have come to a crossroads in professional baseball with regards to the quality of umpiring in the league. It is no secret that the quality of umpiring has declined considerably over the past twenty years. In fact I would have to say that umpiring in Major League Baseball has become nothing short of atrocious, and not just behind home plate, but in the field as well.

Within the past few seasons, a new technology was implemented to monitor an umpire’s performance as he called balls and strikes behind the plate. “QuesTec” as it is known, has had its share of proponents as well as those who have adamantly rejected it and prayed for its demise. To say the least, most umpires despise it when they are subjected to it while calling a game. They tend towards calling a much “tighter” game when they know “Big Brother” is watching. I’ve also noticed that there are more confrontations between managers and umpires when QuesTec is present. It apparently tests the stress and tolerance limits of both sides of the equation.

However, I have always felt that the onset of this technology was brought about simply because the parameters of calling balls and strikes lacked consistency between the two leagues. For years, National League umpires have been accused of having a more lenient or relaxed strike zone. On the other hand, American League umpires are known for their tighter strike zones.

For me personally, the notoriety of umpiring quality was born during the Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, between the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. Don Denkinger, the first base umpire in that game committed one of the greatest umpiring blunders ever in baseball history. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the St. Louis Cardinals were holding on to a 1-0 lead, and were on their way to winning the championship (at that point in the Series they were up 3 games to 2). Borrowing part of the story from the baseball-almanac.com, “Reliever Key Dayley replaced reliever Danny Cox for the Cardinals and worked a scoreless effort going into the bottom of the ninth inning. In a brilliant move, Dick Howser (manager of the Kansas City Royals) sent in Darryl Motley, a right handed pinch-hitter to face the left handed Dayley.

“St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog reacted to Howser’s move by calling in right-hander Todd Worrell from the St. Louis bullpen to replace Dayley. As the chess game continued, Howser countered with Jorge Orta in place of Motley. The lefty responded with a hot grounder towards first baseman Jack Clark who fielded it cleanly and tossed it to Worrell who had run over to cover first base.

“Umpire Don Denkinger called Orta safe although everyone else in the park was convinced he had trailed Worrell by a step. Television replays indicated Denkinger was wrong, but the contested runner remained on first. Steve Balboni followed Orta with a textbook pop-out, but Clarke (still upset from the blown call) was unable to field the ball.

“With two runners on base (including pinch-runner Onix Concepcion) Jim Sundberg bunted into a force out at third. As the revolving line-ups continued, Hal McRae stepped to the plate (for Buddy Biancalana) and was intentionally walked after Cardinals catcher Darrell Porter committed a passed ball that advanced all runners. Dane Iorg brought Concepcion home with a single to right followed close behind by Sundberg who avoided Porter’s tag at home and the Royals tied the Series with the 2-1 victory.”

Even thought the Series was now deadlocked at 3 games each, the Cardinals were so devastated by Denkinger’s blunder, that it was no surprise when the Royals handily defeated the Cardinals in Game 7 by a score of 11-0, making the Royals the World Series Champions. In so many words, Denkinger’s terrible call gave the series to the Royals. For months and even years afterwards, Denkinger was getting tons of “hate” mail and even death threats as well.

Recently, Clint Hurdle, the manager of the Colorado Rockies was said to be “actively campaigning” in favor of implementing instant replay in Major League Baseball. Bob Watson, who is vice-president of on-field operations in the commissioner’s office, stated that this stands to be a hot topic at this November’s general managers meetings in Orlando, Florida.

Bear in mind that the player’s association and Bud Selig (the Commissioner of MLB) have to approve this measure for it to become a reality. Selig, in my opinion, has been a lackluster commissioner at best. He has made, or lacked making key decisions during his tenure in office. One of his two biggest mistakes he made involved how the home team for the World Series was decided. As a result, it is no longer done on a rotating basis — whichever league wins the Midsummer Classic (a.k.a. the All-Star Game), they are awarded home-field advantage in the Series.

His second biggest mistake is actually bigger than the first. Instead of doing his job as a Commissioner, he conveniently dragged his feet on the steroids issue, blamed everybody but himself for the problem, and now the federal government is involved in an area it has no business being involved in, namely professional sports. Thanks again, Mr. Commissioner.

Why do I focus on Mr. Selig’s ineptness as commissioner? Because he plays such a huge role in the decision making process of what has the potential of impacting pro baseball like nothing else ever has. He will obviously vote against it since he has been quoted as saying that he didn’t want the human element removed from the game. But what do you do when that human element has become so questionable that it becomes necessary to introduce technology such as QuesTec?

Would it be a surprise to anyone that today’s major league umpires are insulted by the use of QuesTec? How do you think they will react to instant replay reversing one of their decisions on the field? Since the big issues here are credibility and integrity, there is not a doubt in my mind (unfortunately) that Major League Baseball has no choice but to introduce the use of instant replay.

Credibility and integrity is supposed to be the foundation on which umpiring is based. But is this the case any more? Obviously pro football felt it was necessary — so necessary that it has become a permanent fixture in the NFL. It’s also used in professional hockey for the purposes of reviewing whether a goal has truly been scored or not. So the NHL obviously felt the need for reviewing official’s calls. There has even been some clamoring for it to be implemented in the NBA.

And now, one of the NBA’s officials recently came under serious FBI scrutiny because he allegedly made bad calls in order to influence the outcome of the point spread when the game ended. The fact that he had a serious gambling problem did not help him either. I am willing to bet that this will be a serious catalyst for implementing instant replay in the NBA.

Needless to say, I am saddened by the fact that we are faced with this dilemma. Unfortunately, the quality of umpiring has decayed so badly over the past 20+ years that I sure don’t see it improving anytime soon. QuesTec has been a mere sugar coating, or a band aid on the problem. Now, there is no choice but to place quality officiating into the hands of a camera and its operator. On that note Mr. Selig, you are grossly mistaken when you propound that instant replay removes the human element from the game. I don’t see any robots operating those cameras that televise a game, do you?

On a final note, baseball fans everywhere, whether they are at the ball game or watching it on television, are going to be subjected to enduring either a lengthier stay at the ballpark, or having their butts glued to the couch for even longer periods of time than what they’ve been accustomed to. And to make matters worse for television viewers, there will be more commercial breaks to deal with any time the game gets delayed for the reviewing of a questionable call.