Friday, 1 February 2013

Sega Toys Homestar planetarium machine review.****Updated****

This is the Sega Toys 'Star Theatre', home planetarium system.

 It is a projector that will turn any room into a miniature planetarium. The projector was designed by Takayuki Ohira, a Japanese designer who observed the stars and made his first portable planetarium while he was still in education.

So, with 'portability' in mind , he went on to make this stunning piece of equipment....very user friendly, even kids can use it with ease, but amazingly detailed projections, you would probably only see in a planetarium building.

When you open the package it is obviously small, which is a great thing as it fits in with the designers idea of portability. You also notice the lack of complex buttons and configurations which means that its not going to take too much time to set up!...in fact, it only takes 60 seconds or so to get it operational from the opening the box!
The two discs that come with the system comprise of stars and constellations, and it also comes with a star chart which will give you details of what you are actually looking at.

Now, plugged in, disc loaded in the tray, and the lights off, you can adjust the focus with the outer ring on the lens. This really surprised me as the stars were crystal clear to see once adjusted. You can easily forget your inside as the clarity was brilliant, just like looking outside!
It also sports a 'rotation mode' which is slow moving and very therapeutic, almost to the point it sent me off to sleep, which of course is a good thing! Or if your not sleepy, you can flick the 'shooting stars' mode on and try spotting them whizzing across your animated sky.

The planetarium also has a timer mode which is handy if you do fall asleep. It can be adjusted for 15, 30 or 60 minutes or continually left on, its up to you.

It is pretty tough, with a hard plastic outer casing, and a 'pivot' point metal leg stand, which allows you to adjust where you aim the projections.

So, on the whole, this little gadget, is a very large performing item, which anyone will enjoy. It kept my daughter and I entertained all night!
Great value for money at only £99, which is a fraction of the price of a full sized one which still operates the same as this one.


****UPDATE*****

Sega toys have released 4 new discs for this amazing little machine....
The Southern Hemisphere

Warped Andromeda,
Night side earth and moon,
Day side earth and moon.

They have some simply stunning detail and are a worthy purchase at £20 per double disc.

Southern Hemisphere


The southern hemisphere disc complements the included northern hemisphere disc and shows the sky as it can be seen from the southern hemisphere. The discs is designed for latitude around 35° south. This is a circle around the Earth which passes through the Australian capital Canberra, Auckland on the northern island of New Zealand, Cape Town and Buenos Aires. The sky includes the light of almost 15 000 000 stars.

Warped Andromeda


The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy. It has first been mentioned in 964 as a “small cloud”. As the name suggests, the galaxy is in the Andromeda constellation. The present image comes from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and highlights the older stellar population in blue. On the upper left side of the galaxy, a pronounced warp in the disc can be seen. This is the result of a collision with another galaxy.

Day Earth and Moon


The disc shows Earth from above the Christmas and Cocos Islands, not far from Indonesia's capital Jakarta. A bright full moon is visible in the back. Sun, the viewer, Earth and the Moon are almost on one line. While the viewer is located about 700 000 km above the Earth towards the sun, the moon lies about 384 400 km in the opposite direction behind the Earth. This constellation is very rare and might have occurred for example on 1 March 2002. In a perfect alignment, Earth's shadow would be visible on the Moon, which is known as a lunar eclipse. On the discs, Earth and Moon have been magnified fifty times in order to make details visible to the human eye.

Night Earth and Moon


The disc shows Earth from above the Red Sea between Eritrea and Yemen. The full moon is visible in front and from the far side, which is not illuminated by the sun. The viewer, Moon, Earth and the Sun are almost on one line. While the viewer is located about 700 000 km above the Earth away from the sun, the moon lies about 384 400 km in between the viewer and Earth. The constellation might have occurred on 9 November 2011. In comparison with the days discs, the moon is only about a third as far, making it much bigger on the night disc. On the discs, Earth and Moon have been magnified fifty times in order to make details visible to the human eye.

For more info please visit www.segatoys.space