Monday, 31 March 2014

Featured Youtubers for the Month of March 2014

March just flew by and April is knocking on the door. So here is the list of Youtubers I featured on The ReefTV Facebook page for the month of March.

  • @ThatCraziac a fun guy that shares his love for indie games. Check out his Dot.Stop.Run video
  • @RenegadeSpork three guys that play games and share their fun with us. Check out their channel here
  • @FalseFroggs If you want to see a pretty cool girl playing mostly horror games check her out!
  • @maxplusgames if you are looking for some Titanfall, Dayz and Drunken Robot Pornography check it out
Remember to keep an eye on the facebook page, so that you don't miss the weekly Featured Youtubers and other great posts.

Friday, 28 March 2014

First Impression Fridays : Sanctuary RPG

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Anime Spotlight : Space Brothers, Witch Craft Works, Log Horizon and Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

Hey There,  seeing as a lot of shows are coming to an end. I'm going to talk about a few of them every week instead of doing full reviews.

First off we have Space Brothers
A comedic coming of age tale of the two Nanba brothers Mutta and Hibito and their journey towards their dream of becoming astronauts, after witnessing a UFO accelerate towards the moon one fateful night. The show is quite lengthy at 99 episodes but it is worth every second of your time. The show is packed full of colorful characters that grow on you, and lots of emotional scenes.

Secondly we have Witch craft works.
A magic filled fantasy action show about a seemingly weak guy called Takamiya Honoka being protected and looked after constantly by Kagari Ayake, the most popular, talented and attractive girl in their school. Who also happens to be a really powerful witch. The show has a fair amount of fan service, but not overly so. Lots of comedy, a bit of romance and a ton of magic make for an enjoyable watch.

Moving on the list we have Log Horizon
Fans of Sword Art Online would probably end up drawing comparisons between Log Horizon and Sword Art Online, but other than the show being about a lot of MMO players being stuck in the game, the similarities end. Log Horizon starts of a lot more seemingly light hearted, but the focus is more about how the people learn to live in the game world, than one guy being a super hero. Definitely worth watching. And the second season has already been announced.

Last up for today's list we have Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
A shoujo type romance about a girl called Inari that, after saving a fox Pup, has a wish granted by a local deity called Uka-Sama. Inari
and Uka-sama's friendship grows after that . The show focuses on the differences between the human realm and the realm of Gods, and also the various problems each of them go through. A touching story for those of you looking for something a bit different.

If you watched any of these shows let me know what you thought of them in the comment section below. I will post about more recently finished shows next week!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Album Review : Van Canto - Dawn of the Brave

For those who don't know Van Canto, Van Canto is an a Capella metal band from Germany. Their sound can mostly be described as having a strong Power Metal sound. The have their own compositions and also do covers of metal and pop songs.
Dawn of the Brave is Van Canto's fifth studio album, and it was released in February of 2014. I was a huge fan of Van Canto's "Tribe of Force" album and after the release of "Break the Silence" which I found a bit disappointing  I was hoping that "Dawn of the Brave" will bring back the Power and Epic feel that "Tribe of Force" had.
Dawn of the Brave consists of 13 tracks in total, 9 of the 13 are Van Canto originals, and the other 4 are Covers. The four covers are The Final Countdown from Europe, Paranoid from Black Sabbath, Into the West from Annie Lennox(From the Lord of the Rings soundtrack) and Holding out for a Hero from Bonnie Tyler.

Three of the four covers do quite well with the whole Van Canto sound, the only cover that didn't work for me was the Bonnie Tyler one. The 80's pop song and Van Canto's distinct a Capella sound just didn't fit well together for me. But all of the covers were quite well done, as all Van Canto songs, considering all the instruments barring the drums are made by using human voices.

Speaking of the Van Canto originals on the Dawn of the Brave album, The first Track "Dawn of the Brave" is more like a short 1 minute intro to the album. My top picks from their own compositions are "The Awakening", "Fight for your Live" and "The Other Ones".

In conclusion "Dawn of the Brave" was for me an improvement over "Break the Silence" and it reminded me why I enjoyed listening to Van Canto. If you are curious as to what the latest Van Canto album sounds like or just curious on a Capella metal. Check out this link for a listen.


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Asus Xonar U3 USB Soundcard and Headphone Amplifier Review

The Asus Xonar U3 is currently the cheapest USB soundcard from Asus. Made for the person that wants better audio quality on his notebook/laptop for music,movies and games.

The Xonar U3 Features a Built-in Headphone amplifier, two 3.5mm minijacks one for headphones and the other for a microphone. The Xonar U3 also features Asus' GX2.5 technology for surround sound in games and a S/PDIF TOSLINK optical adapter to allow connection to hometheater systems or external DAC's a lot easier.

The Xonar U3 is surprisingly large in size, for a "usb stick" sized Soundcard, I had to use the supplied USB extension cable to get the Xonar U3 to plug into one of my available USB slots. It also features two Blue LEDs which serve no purpose other than showing when the Xonar U3 is powered on. One LED would have done this job just as well.

I initially bought my Xonar U3 as I was looking for a value for money upgrade to my onboard soundcard on my Desktop PC which uses the Realtek ALC889 codec, mostly for recording my Let's Plays and other youtube videos. But sadly the Xonar U3 performs a bit worse than the Realtek ALC889 in that regards, as it has a fair bit of static. Even after updating the drivers and trying out various USB cables.
Where it does beat the Realtek ALC889 though is when it's driving a set of headphones, as the Realtek ALC889 has no built in headphone amplifier, I have to add though don't expect the Asus Xonar U3 to do a decent job of driving a set of high end headphones like the Sennheiser HD800s, but it does do a decent enough job driving entry to mid level headphones, from the Sennheiser HD201's and AKG K77's to the Pioneer SE-A1000's and Sennheiser HD555.

While the Asus Xonar U3 has Dolby Digital technology, I find that for movies it doesn't really do a good job. And Music also isn't it's forte. Where it does shine though is when it comes to Gaming. The simulated surround sound works surprisingly well. Especially regarding how cheap the Xonar U3 is.

All things considered, at the price point of the Asus Xonar U3, if you are looking for an upgrade to your notebook/laptop's audio for whatever purpose. It's not a bad purchase, though it's not worth it if you need a replacement soundcard for your Desktop rig, rather look at the internal soundcards or an External DAC.

I for one will stick to my Realtek ALC889's microphone jack until I find a decent internal Soundcard or USB microphone. And the Asus Xonar U3 will be moved to laptop audio use for when I'm traveling.

Full Specifications are as following :

Audio Interface
Audio Performance
Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) :
100 dB
Output THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) :
<0.005 %( dB)
Frequency Response (-3dB, 16bit/48KHz input) :
20 Hz to 20 KHz
Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage :
Audio Processor :ASUS UA100 USB Audio Chip
Sample Rate and Resolution
Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution :
48KHz @ 16bit
Analog Output
1 x 3.5 mm jack (1/8") (Analog out)
Analog Input
1 x 3.5 mm jack (1/8") (Line-in/ Mic-in combo)
1 x S/PDIF out (1 x Optical (Toslink)/(combo with analog in))
Special Features
Dolby® Technologies : Dolby® Digital Live/Dolby® Headphone /Dolby® Virtual Speaker /Dolby® Pro-Logic II
Smart Volume Normalizer™
Xear 3D™ Virtual Speaker Shifter
Magic Voice™
Karaoke Functions
10 -band Equalizer
27 Environment Effects
GX 2.5 Game Audio Engine
S/PDIF optical adaptors x 1
Driver CD x 1
Quick Start Guide x 1
79.5 x 30.6 mm ( L x W )
Bundled with an Extension USB Cable

Anime Review/Recommendation Steins;Gate Movie


Friday, 7 March 2014

Featured Youtubers of the Month of February 2014!

Here is the list of Youtubers I featured on my Facebook Page in the month of February.

  • 9to5Gaming  : they mostly showcase other youtubers on their channel, so check it out!
  • TheJapanCode : his channel focuses mainly on Japanese games and content. Check it out here
  • Wanderbots : some of the most friendly and helpful guys out there Check out their funny Sniper Elite video here!
  • Paladin Arndt : a pretty rad guy with some funny videos, Check out his trailer here

First Impression Fridays! ~Innovate~ (+playlist)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Two announcements in one day that might affect my YouTube releases in future.

So I just read two articles that might affect my ability to upload and release new videos on time.
The first being that Eskom has Announced that Load Shedding is back. For those of you who don't know about Load Shedding and why this is a problem. Load Shedding is basically when power gets cut to certain areas on a time schedule, in 2008 this was in 2 hour periods but it was sometimes longer, due to Eskom being unable to prepare in case of possible problems, making sure there is enough coal or backup power generation.
In 2008 this brought South Africa's economy to a near standstill and ruined the lives of a lot of people. What this means for me is, I'll have less time to Record, Edit and Upload videos to Youtube.
The other possible announcement that mighy affect my channel in a negative way is Telkom is considering the close down some exchanges. Seeing as I live in a smaller city, the possibility is high that I may very well be affected by this. In exchange for the loss of copper services like the 4mb ADSL I'm currently using, and the VDSL that is being deployed over the country, people will be stuck with Horrible 3g, and the fast LTE for internet, Most will have 3g though, This is an issue mostly due to the Data costs on 3g and LTE being much higher than ADSL currently in South Africa.

So I really Hope my exchange doesn't get selected for shutdown. As I currently use upwards of 30gb per month Youtube uploads a month, I'm currently using Uncapped 4mb Provided by Mweb, with my total cost just under R1000 per month, But on LTE for 50gb per month, which is a lot less than I need but is also the current biggest data offering on LTE from Telkom, I would have to pay R1499.
So Increased costs but significantly lower bandwidth freedom..