title: Tech Lives: Warwick Davis page 3 / url: Tech-Lives-Warwick-Davis-page-3
T3: What is the coolest gadget you’ve bought for your house, recently?
WD: A Bang & Olufsen Beolit speaker dock. It’s like that big… It looks like an old Roberts radio.
T3: Oh, and slightly like a picnic hamper?
WD: Yeah and it’s got AirPlay in it. The sound from it is incredible, I mean absolutely incredible. I recently did An Idiot Abroad with Karl Pilkington. We travelled through China and I had that with me. There’s just some sanity in the hotel then, you’ve got nothing else. If it’s grim outside, grim in the room, put that on and everything just soothes away. It was lovely.
T3: Does it run on batteries?
WD: Yeah, 8 hours and I love that, that’s a good gadget that is. A Segway is my other thing. I love that. I take it to studios and use it to get around.
T3: Do they come in different sizes? Is it like a bespoke Segway?
WD: Mine’s an “Egway” because it’s sort of cut off and when they cut the handlebars down they lost the “S”. I can use a normal Segway, but it’s just that bit lower, that bit nicer. I’ve got a seat on mine as well. The techies on Harry Potter made me a seat for it. I think Segways are great, I feel like when I’m on it I’m on some sort of alien technology. People are always impressed when they see one. You can’t help it; it doesn’t make sense in your mind that it can stand up.
T3: What’s the coolest gadget you’ve bought for yourself, lately?
Voice in background (Olly): What about your Macbook?
WD: Yeah go for that, the new one.
T3: Which size did you go for?
WD: The 15-inch MacBook with the new Retina Display. That’s lovely; it’s light, it looks lovely. It’s that good, the display, that some apps look out of focus because they need updating for the new screen. I’m awful… I should wait till Christmas so my wife can buy me this stuff but I end up buying it then when it gets to Christmas she never knows what to buy me cos I’ve bought it all during the year.
T3: That’s the benefit of being an adult.
WD: It’s pretty naughty though, you go, “I’ll just get that, I deserve that, I need it.” You convince yourself that you need this thing
T3: Well working in the technology field, which you now are. You can’t very well not have a decent computer, and as a creative it has to be an Apple really.
WD: When you are in this business you’ve got to be able to do stuff with videos and files. You know I work in video editing as well and there the only way to go is with Apple stuff.
T3: There’ll probably be a new one out by xmas anyway. Do you have a favourite gadget of all time?
WD: Walkman’s are iconic aren’t they? I’ve still got mine: the very first Sony Walkman that came out. It’s a beautiful thing. It was blue and massive… The play button was hard to push in, but that was cool.
I got a Minidisc Walkman as well. They looked great when they came out, they didn’t last long though did they?!
T3: It’s what you’d call an interim technology – it had the misfortune of falling between tape and mp3
WD: The laser disc was an interim technology… I used to love my laser disc player, and I managed to get hold of the WOW disc from LucasFilm; it was what they used to demonstrate THX and surround sound, you couldn’t buy it, you had to be given it.
T3: You worked with George Lucas numerous times…
WD: I don’t think he literally went “Warwick, I’ve got this disc for you…”
T3: He doesn’t seem like that kind of guy.
WD: One thing I need to get, the next thing I want actually is a new projector, a cinema room. I’ve got one already but I’ve got to HD the whole thing
T3: You’re still in standard-def? Oh my God!
WD: I was sort of resisting, I was like. “Who needs that? With DVD it’s amazing,” Then I saw a Blu-ray and I couldn’t see DVD the same way. Then the same happened with TV and now I go in the cinema room and I watch a DVD and I feel like something is wrong with my eyes, so I want to take the next step up. Another cool thing I did get recently is a Bose Soundbar with a wireless sub; just pop that on any telly and you’ve got amazing sound from it
T3: Yep, soundbars are good. Good all-in-one solution
WD: If you go to the Bose showroom, ask to go in their theatre. You sit in there and they do a little show for you and there’s speakers everywhere. As it goes on they gradually take the speakers away until there’s no speakers, but it still sounds like surround sound.
T3: I’ve actually had that demonstration, you’ve reminded me now. The only problem was the guy was that the guy giving the demonstration kept saying “flim” when he meant “film”. I think you are the only person I’ve ever met who has a laser disc player.
WD: Really?! I had two and sold one recently for a lot of money.
T3: People do collect them, they are quite premium, because they are quite well made.
WD: And it can play NTSC and PAL. The quality of the actual films depended where it was taken from; a lot of them were just taken from poor quality tape, so it reminded me of VHS because it was that bad. As laser disc, like DVDs, matured as a format, they got better. I’d say the latest laser discs were as good as DVDs were at the start.