Mobile Banking increase scare

Mobile Banking transactions have doubled in the past year. It seems a mobile banking “revolution” is underway in the UK as 5.7 million transactions are made per day via mobile devices.Mobile banking is a system that allows customers of a bank to conduct a number of financial transactions through a mobile device such as a smart phone. These transactions include: checking your balance, asking for loans and paying the bills. Consequently this “revolution” has led to the closure of some branches as there is now a decline in the use of day-to-day banking.


But is mobile banking a good thing? Mobile banking is much more flexible than day-to-day banking and you can do it on the move. Mobile banking offers many advantages, such as easy access and plentiful applications for smart phones. It gives you more control over your money. However, since 1989, the UK has lost over 40% of its bank’s branches partly due to the increase of mobile phone banking. Furthermore, hackers mainly focus on stealing money from mobile bankers. Twice as many malicious programs were found to be targeting smartphones and other mobile devices with mobile banking apps installed on them in 2012.

LG 55EA980V review

Anyone who sees an OLED TV inside the flesh is wowed by its technology. It combines the brightness advantages of LED screens with the deep black levels and rich contrast of plasma displays. It then squeezes them into an unbelievably thin panel. The frustrating thing, however, is that OLED panels have proved tricky to fabricate on the larger screen sizes had to create big tellies.

LG’s 55EA980V won’t have a mainstream price — it costs a whopping £5,000 — however it does prove that it’s possible to provide real OLED TVs that may be sold within the shops instead of only one-off prototypes for showing off at tradeshows. So, when it’s actually sitting in an ordinary front room, does it look and perform in addition to we were expecting?

2D picture quality

It’s obvious immediately once you activate the EA980V that it’s something special. Its black levels are only so deep and rich that they surpass anything I’ve seen before on a TV. If you end up watching it with the lights off, the image actually seems to drift in front of you. The dark areas are so perfectly black which you can’t see where the black bars on a Blu-ray movie start and the sides of the screen ends.

It’s actually slightly disconcerting at the start, as even on exceptionally good plasma screens, corresponding to Panasonic’s ZT65, the black areas of the screen glow so that you can quite easily see the perimeters of the display. Here though, they simply blend into the encompassing darkness. The self illuminating nature of OLED screens mean that there is not one of the horrible blotchiness in backlighting you get on LED screens. In this display, each individual pixel is its own light source — there isn’t any backlight — so darker areas of the image really do look properly dark.

Also, since it doesn’t should dim the screen in blocks within the way that LEDs with local dimming do, you’ll have areas of utmost brightness right next to areas of total blackness. This implies it’s going to reproduce pictures with huge levels of contrast, making its images look exceptionally punchy. It was also a good performer in the case of colour, because it delivers an extremely natural colour balance with beautifully vivid hues when called for and more subtle tones where needed.

The 55EA980V produces perfect black levels, but does be afflicted by some motion blur.

The display isn’t totally perfect though, as unfortunately it does be afflicted by motion blur and a few judder. Basically, with all processing turned off it has pretty similar levels of blur to most LED displays. On our video motion blur test it had native motion resolution of 300 to 400 lines. While you activate processing you may improve things substantially to around 600 to 700 lines. Within the real world this reduces the blur on quick movement in video. As an instance, it gives a cleaner looking image on camera pans in footy matches.

Thankfully, it was possible to put off lots of the worst of the blur and judder as a result of less aggressive motion-processing settings. Inside the motion-processing menu, adjusting both the deblur and dejudder settings to one gave the impression to work quite well. Really, though, i assumed these issues were relatively minor in comparison to the total performance of the television.

What’s also interesting about this TV is its curved screen. LG has decided to bend the screen mainly since it can. I wasn’t initially a tremendous fan of the curve, however the arc is extremely gentle and consequently reasonably subtle when you are watching the television. After an afternoon I’d grown quite used to it. My main problem with it was that I just didn’t see much benefit to it. It didn’t make me feel just like the picture was any longer enveloping or engaging, it just makes the set harder to place comfortably in a room if there are various people watching it, or to wall mount it.

But let’s not get hung up at the negatives, because this TV really is incredibly engaging to monitor. Movies just look mind-blowingly good way to its excellent colour and contrast performance. Last year saw the discharge of a few really great plasma screens, reminiscent of Panasonic’s ZT65 and Samsung’s F8500, but I’d take the EA980V over either one of them any day of the week.

3D picture quality

LG invented passive 3D so it’s no surprise that this set uses the passive instead of active system. It comes with two pairs of designer glasses in addition to two pairs of clip-ons should you already wear specs. As with every passive glasses these will not be powered, so they’re very light to wear — just like putting on a couple of sun shades.

The disadvantage to using passive 3D on a 1080p set is that it halves the horizontal resolution of 3D pictures. Still, as a result of way our brains process visual information it looks more just like the image has around two thirds the resolution instead of half. Up close you’ll discover horizontal black lines within the image at the EA980V, but from a regular viewing distance they beautiful much disappear and the one time you may tell the picture isn’t Full HD is on circles or diagonal sharp lines, which may show about a jaggies.

The 55EA980V uses passive 3D technology, so it’s less tiring in your eyes than active systems.

Other than that, the EA980V is a pleasure to look at for 3D viewing. The shortcoming of flicker form the passive glasses makes for a miles less tiring 3D experience and helps the 3D images to feel that bit more solid and real. Plus the panel’s high brightness levels and deep black levels made even Prometheus look pretty special in 3D. i discovered that there has been marginally an excessive amount of judder in 3D with Motion Flow turned off, so it was best to make use of it on its lower settings to smooth a number of this out.

LG 55EA980V

Samsung UE46F6500 review

Samsung’s UE46F6500 sits in the midst of its mid-range telly line up, slightly above the very similar F6400. The F6500 has a Freesat HD tuner alongside its Freeview HD tuner. It also has Clear Motion Rate (CMR) 400 motion processing in comparison to the F6400’s CMR 200, so theoretically should produce slightly smoother motion. The UE46F6500 can be purchased online for around £649, making it around £110 costlier than the UE46F6400, so is it well worth the extra outlay?

Samsung UE46F6500

Voice control

Unlike Samsung’s F7000 and F8000 high-end models, the F6500 doesn’t have a camera built-in to its chassis, so it doesn’t support the motion-control features you get on those TVs. The motion controls don’t work all that well on those models though so it’s not something I missed on this set.

What the F6500 does have is a microphone built-in to its touchpad remote. You can use this to issue commands such as Channel Up or Volume Up, but as you already have the remote in your hand it’s not much of a benefit. Samsung reckons the voice-recognition system is most useful for searching for movies or TV shows to watch in online services.

The fact that it only works with Samsung’s own video on demand service and not others such as Netflix and Lovefilm means that even here it’s not particularly useful. The long and short of it is that you’re likely to try the voice features once or twice, find them frustrating to use and never bother with them again.


TV guide

The menu system on this set is excellent. The layout is clean and uncluttered and it feels fast and responsive to use. Along with the standard brightness, contrast and colour controls, you can also easily tweak settings for the motion processing and there’s even a Colour Management System hidden away in the Advanced Settings menu.

The TV guide is excellent and you now also get recommendations via the smart TV system.

Samsung’s EPG is also top-notch. Its colourful presentation makes it look inviting; it’s nippy to browse around, and includes a handy video thumbnail of the channel you’re currently tuned to. The guide also integrates with the smart TV system, so it offers TiVo-style suggestions of upcoming shows you might want to check out.

Design and connections

Apart from the added tuners and faster motion processing, the F6500 looks slightly different to the F6400. It has a thinner bezel around the screen — the bezel on the F6400 isn’t exactly chunky at only 15mm wide, but the F6500’s bezel is narrower still at a mere 10mm. The difference isn’t huge, but it’s enough to make the F6500 look marginally more desirable when you view them next to each other.

The stand is also finished in chrome, which looks better than the plasticky, dull metallic paint job on the F6400’s stand. We’re not huge fans of the crow-feet stand on either model, as it’s slightly showy.

Samsung supplies two remotes with this TV. There’s a standard Infrared zapper that’s small and comfy to use and a secondary touchpad remote that communicates with the TV via Bluetooth. I’m actually quite fond of the touchpad remote and especially like the way it speeds up navigation of the smart TV systems. You can use it to swipe between screens for example, rather than plodding over and back through lists of apps.

The F6500 has a total of four HDMI ports, with three mounted on the side and one found on the rear.

With a total of four HDMI ports and three USB ports, I’ve got no complaints about the connection options on offer here. There’s also a full-sized Scart socket as well as component connectors and an optical digital audio output. The rear is home to an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi is inbuilt. The Wi-Fi chip supports screen mirroring from compatible Android devices too.

Smart TV

If you’re a Netflix or BBC iPlayer addict, the good news is that the F6500 benefits from Samsung’s excellent smart TV system, which is currently the best in the business. It looks great, is divided up into different screens for different categories of content and feels very responsive to use.

The first screen, called ‘On TV’, shows suggestions for upcoming shows and movies you might want to watch. It learns your viewing habits over time, so its suggestions become smarter the more you use the TV.

The F6500 supports a broad range of on demand apps including Netflix, Lovefilm and 4oD.

From here if you move right with the remote, you land on the Film and TV Shows page, which gives you access to the catalogue of movies in Samsung’s own Video On-Demand service. Shift right again and you’ll find yourself at the Photos, Videos and Music screen, which is essentially the TV’s media player.

You’ll either stream files over a network from a PC or NAS drive or play them back locally via the set’s USB ports. Format support is good — it plays MP4, Divx and MKV files, for example — but there are a few annoying quirks, which includes the proven fact that the fast-forward and rewind controls don’t work when you’re streaming MKV files.

Moving right again takes you to the Social page, which is essentially a feed of videos that your friends have shared via Twitter or Facebook. The final screen shows you all the apps that are installed on the TV and also allows you to access Samsung’s Apps Store where you can download lots of extra ones. The range of apps is very good as Samsung’s smart TV system is the only one that supports the entire main terrestrial TV catch up services — iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player and insist 5.