orrelljet

Electronics and Computing: Should I bring it? Will it work??

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    All,

     

    The Australian electricity supply is (I believe) identical to that in the UK - everything should work but plugs will require changing. Multi-gang UK extension cables are ESSENTIAL items for the container!

     

    I've seen the same questions come up quite a few times, so I thought I'd create a single thread that addresses some of the common ones.

     

     

    TELEVISION:

    CRT (non-flat) - analogue may work (if TV has a multi-system tuner) but will require a set-top-box for Digital.

     

    Flat TV (plasma, LCD etc) - most seem to have multi-system analogue tuners but you're 99% likely to need a digital STB over here. In very rare cases (e.g. some Sony sets) the inbuilt digital tuner will be multi-system, but don't bank on it.

     

    STBs - never (yet) heard of a UK Freeview box working over here - many have brought them and, as far as I know, all have failed.

     

    N.B. When buying a STB over here, it's worth paying a little extra for the HD variant, even if you don't have a HDTV, as some shows are HD-only.

     

    TIP: www.dtvforum.info is a great place for everything TV-related, including the places to find the best prices (members even post their own receipts to help!).

     

    SKY (pronounced Foxtel over here). Sell the boxes before you come but keep any spare remotes, if you're tempted by Foxtel.

     

     

    CABLES & CONNECTIVITY:

    SCART - it's important to note that SCART is almost non-existent over here, so bear that in mind when deciding what to bring - www.tvcables.co.uk is a great place to start looking for scart (to something else) cables but remember to pick a cable that goes TO scart, as some are directional. The standard Foxtel box has a scart connector.

     

    TIP: The composite-to-scart adapter block you got with the xbox/PS2 etc. is worth its weight in gold.

     

    S-Video - looks a bit like the PS/2 keyboard/mouse plug. Video-ONLY, so you'll need separate audio leads too.

     

    HDMI - search for "Sigwell" on ebay - great cables at unbelievable prices, from an Australian company - use them myself. Have a look at the nice cables in Harvey Norman but shop elsewhere - astronomical mark-up.

     

    Component - www.markgrantcables.co.uk or the ebay seller TMS Connections http://stores.shop.ebay.com.au/TM3CONNECTIONS__W0QQ_armrsZ1 (both in the UK) make some fabulous cables that are as good or better than the brand names, for less money. Another video-only cable.

     

    Composite - still going strong over here and often found in the box with your new STB (HD should also get a freebie component). If you need one and have a spare coaxial digital audio cable lying around, they're actually the same cable ;-) Again, video-only, so will need to be used in tandem with (phono) audio cables.

     

    TIP: Order of quality (bad to good) is as follows - composite, scart, s-video, (fully-wired) RGB Scart, component, HDMI. The last two are very similar but try to avoid composite, if you can.

     

     

    RADIO:

    FM Radio - not a problem.

     

    DAB - It used to be a definite NO but DAB+ has been launched over here which means your UK DAB radio may work.

     

     

    HOME CINEMA:

    DVD players - Australia is Region Code: 4. If you're bringing a UK DVD player, try to make sure it's multiregion. Most can be made region free using handset hacks, or upgraded firmware, but some may require a chip; find out before you pack it and weigh up the cost. www.videohelp.com is a great site for handset hacks and google should also provide some guidance.

     

    Blu-ray - Australia is Region B for BD, like the UK, so players (inc. PS3) and movies will work fine. www.mymemory.co.uk is a great place for bargains but your local Blockbuster etc. should have rentals.

     

    Speakers - good speakers cost a BOMB over here so hunt out some bargains and bring them with you - as long as you've taken them out of the box once they should pass for used - worked for me. Look at www.richersounds.com www.superfi.co.uk and others and also check out the classified on www.avforums.com

     

    Surround Receivers - more expensive to buy new here and hard to find used. The classifieds on www.avforums.com can be a goldmine for AV bargains. If you want future-proof, look for something that has at least hdmi switching. www.eastwoodhifi.com.au have some cracking deals on older stock (check the Specials section). The members at www.dtvforum.info over here also use the forums to sell on their used AV gear.

     

    Subwoofer - If you're in the market for one, I can personally recommend BK ELEC - http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers.htm - they hand build their own and manufacture for many well-known brands.

     

    TIP: The Pioneer Clearance Centre has new, refurbished and "Scratch & Dent" stock - real bargains to be had, especially the AV receivers. All come with 12 months warranty which can be extended.

     

    https://web1.pioneer.com.au/itf/phx/phoenix.nsf/Index

     

     

    ADSL/BROADBAND:

    ISPs/Providers - www.broadbandguide.com.au is a fantastic site for anyone looking for an ISP.

     

    Wireless Internet (3G, Next G etc.) - can be useful in areas that suffer from the dreaded "signal loss too high" syndrome; get too far from the ADSL-enabled exchange and ADSL may well not be available. Don't automatically assume it will be the answer to your problems though; some simply cannot get it to work while others have no issues at all (see TIP below for alternative).

     

    Modems/Routers - not heard of an ADSL2-compatible UK modem or modem/router that doesn't work over here. The multi-gang UK socket will come in handy as these tend to have brick adapters that cannot be changed.

     

    Wireless - if you're happy with the way your wireless works in the UK it should work just as well but remember to change the region to Australia/Asia.

     

    NBN - The NBN rollout is underway (slowly) but you may be lucky enough to find yourself in a NBN-connected area. Hunt around for the best deals as most of the better ISPs offer attractive plans. If you have already decent Wireless Router (or ADSL Wifi Router with a WAN port - more rare), it should work OK for NBN but some will only work up to 50Mbps speeds.

     

    N.B. If you've never locked it down, or have bought yourself a new one over here, the default setting for wireless is WIDE OPEN. i.e. anyone that is close enough could be using your internet connection. Bigpond may be an exception to this rule.

     

    TIP: Adam has recently launched a new WiMAX service (Adam MAX) to help reduce the broadband blackspots. Once installed, you can get up to 12Mbps (pretty quick) for a reasonable outlay but you may need to sign up for a lengthy contract to reduce the steep connection costs.

     

     

    MOBILES:

    If it works, and you're happy with it, definitely worth bringing but make sure you get it UNLOCKED BEFORE LEAVING UK. You can get mobiles unlocked here but it can be costly and some models (iphone a good example) can only be legally unlocked via the original carrier, who speak to Apple for the unlock itself.

     

     

    COMPUTERS/LAPTOPS:

    Other than the fact that it will be out-of-date by the time you get your container, there's no reason not to bring a laptop or PC over with you. Laptops are very useful to have when you first arrive but your local library should have an internet-connected machine you can use for up to an hour or more although you may need to book.

     

    The question of whether to buy new before you leave isn't an easy one to answer; having a laptop when you get off the plane is very useful but shops like MSY www.msy.com.au , and Office Works, Harvey Norman, JB, Dick Smith etc., have some great deals. Local warranty is a nice thing to have and does offer peace of mind but if you really want to buy before you fly, look for a worldwide or at least "transferable" warranty.

     

     

    CONSOLES:

    Wii - The UK and Australian Wii are basically the same thing - UK games will work over here and vice versa.

     

    XBOX - The original xbox is PAL so any PAL games will work just fine. Region-locked for DVD so will only play DVDs from the region where the console was purchased.

     

    XBOX 360 - UK PAL console will run all Australian (PAL) games and vice versa. Region-locked for DVD so will only play DVDs from the region where the console was purchased. You CAN get it repaired here, by Microsoft, but you may well get a UK console back (i.e. still region locked to 2 for DVD).

     

    PS3 - not region-locked, for games, so any PS3 game will play on any PS3 console - Thanks Wersal... Locked for blu-ray and DVD, so your PS3 will only play blu-ray and DVD from your own region, i.e. (UK console) Region B for Blu-Ray (includes Australia) and region 2 for DVD (Australia is Region 4).

     

    TIP: Original 60GB PS3 will play nearly all of the PS2 games catalogue (PS1 games too apparently); new 80GB version will only play a small percentage (chip removed to make it cheaper) and I'd guess the slim variants will be the same.

     

    TIP2: Gaming bargains galore on www.mymemory.co.uk

    Edited by orrelljet
    Removed some out-of-date info. Added NBN info.

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    Guest Django

    Top banana dude. I reckon this will answer a lot of future queries. :notworthy:

     

    Stuck as a sticky thing. ;)

     

    Pete

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    Guest alan smallman

    Thanks Justin. have printed this off. It will definately come in handy!!

     

    Ala

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    Guest Wersal Gummage

    Very good post Orrelljet, :notworthy: But..

    PS3 - PS3 consoles are not region-locked, for games, so any PS3 game will play on any PS3 console. They are locked for blu-ray though, so your PS3 will only play Blu-ray (and presumably DVD) from your own region.

    My 60 Gig PS3 plays all games, PS1 and PS2, Obviously not Blu-ray.

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    Very good post Orrelljet, :notworthy: But..

    My 60 Gig PS3 plays all games, PS1 and PS2, Obviously not Blu-ray.

     

    You're lucky enough to have one of the original 60GB PS3s - the new 80GB version plays only about 10% of the PS2 catalogue - they removed the emotion (?) chip (to make it cheaper).

     

    J.

     

    Will add info above, when I have some time later ;-)

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    Guest Lulujim

    Hiya,

     

    I wonder if you could help me.... do UK phones work in Oz? I have had 2 different answers so wonder if there is a definitive answer! Not sure whether we should bring ours or not.. :wacko:

    Thank you!

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    Hiya,

     

    I wonder if you could help me.... do UK phones work in Oz? I have had 2 different answers so wonder if there is a definitive answer! Not sure whether we should bring ours or not.. :wacko:

    Thank you!

     

    Hi,

     

    If you mean a landline phone then it should work. Technically, it does require a certificate on it showing it's tested for the Australia telecoms network but most have not had any problem, apart from me - my 2 BT phones would not work in my rental but I haven't tested them since, as I no longer have a normal landline. They're not large items so I would say it's worth the risk.

     

    As for mobiles, they will work fine but MUST be unlocked by your UK network provider. If you're on 3 UK and they tell you that your mobile will work on 3 Australia, without being unlocked, just ignore them and request an unlock code; all mobiles need to be unlocked.

     

    Justin.

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    Guest Lulujim

    Thanks J, I will definitely bring them now - and get my mobile unlocked too! :D

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    Guest mOZzy

    what about DVB Tuners (Freeview) + Dvd Recorder with hard drives?

     

    would they work?

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    what about DVB Tuners (Freeview) + Dvd Recorder with hard drives?

     

    would they work?

     

    Very unlikely, I'm afraid. The DVD recorder (and Hard Drive) should work fine but the inbuilt tuner almost certainly will not (if digital); many analogue tuners are multi-system but you really need digital to get the best out of the Free-to-Air TV over here.

     

    The above does depend on the manufacturer though - check with the UK customer support to be sure; they should be able to confirm.

     

    J.

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    Just a bump for any newbies to the site or anyone about to start sorting belongings to bring with them - check the first post as the info should come in handy.

     

    :)

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    Guest sarahtwinn82

    We've done the travel adaptors and extension cable thing but ultimatley we want to change the plugs...where can we buy Oz plugs from please?????

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    Guest K&M

    Can I ask (hope this isn't a thick question) me & my husband have a half-dead laptop that we're dragging out the life of till we leave the UK in 9 weeks, we will deffo need a new one very soon - are we better to wait till we're in SA to buy one, or to buy en route in Kuala Lumpur, or to actually buy here in the UK & carry it with us & just get a plug conversion? Can live without a phone, X-box or anything else but MUST have laptop to be in touch with our family so it will be one of the first things we buy (after food) on arrival... any advice welcome!

     

    Thanks, Katherine & Mick xxx

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    Hi.

     

    Honestly, I would buy one here. Most manufacturers offer a country/continental or geographically specific warranty so you may be stuck if you buy one outside Australia and it develops a problem.

     

    Having said that, the AUS dollar is incredibly strong which should make laptops cheaper over there. Compare pricing on www.ebuyer.com with www.officeworks.com.au.

     

    If you want to buy something that will last a while but don't want to spend too much, make sure you buy one with a new processor (Core i3 or i5 or i7). Acer have a decent i3 laptop that sells over here for under $700 so try to find something similar in the UK, see how much you'll save and weigh up the odds.

     

    Officeworks | Office Supplies, Office Furniture, Stationery, Ink & Toner at the lowest prices

     

    There's many others, from MSI, Toshiba, Asus etc. for a bit more with more features or performance too.

     

    Justin

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    Guest K&M

    Thank you Justin that is very helpful

     

    Do you have any tips on getting mobiles as that will be our second-top priority?

     

    Thanks, Katherine & Mick x

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    Your mobiles should work fine over here but you'll need to get them unlocked by your mobile carrier in the UK BEFORE you come here. There are some fairly cheap deals on prepaid with handsets though but it depends on what sort of phone you're after.

     

    Prepaid is pretty popular here as the standard contract length on a post-paid is 2 years and you may have problems getting a contract with zero Australian credit history.

     

    J.

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    By the way great thread !

     

    Wanting to bring a Flat Screen TV and a DVD /VCR combi player, will these work and am being really thick here ! but where do i get this Digital STB from ?

     

    Thanks

     

    Sush.

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    ...Wanting to bring a Flat Screen TV and a DVD /VCR combi player, will these work and am being really thick here ! but where do i get this Digital STB from...

     

    Hey Sush.

     

    The flat tv should work fine but the VCR part of the combo will give you problems. Playback of videos will work fine but recording will be more hassle than it's worth.

     

    You can get digital stb boxes from any good electronics store, inc Harvey Norman, the good guys, dick smith etc. Make sure you go for a hd stb so you get all channels.

     

    Justin.

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