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Home Entertainment

Arcam Solo Movie 2.1: Meet the king of DVD players

As bonus time approaches, people with a few quid to spare might like to consider pimping out their living rooms with a super-cool Arcam DVD player -- you'll need a spare £1,500, mind

Good news for those hard-working City types who've just received their massive yearly bonuses. But they won't be able to waste it all on champagne and fast cars -- they'll need to spend a few grand pimping out their trendy loft apartment living rooms. Enter the £1,500 Arcam Solo Movie 2.1, a high-end upscaling DVD player and audio system for people with more than a few quid to spend.

It would be easy to mock the price, because it's a shedload more than most people would spend on even a high-end HD DVD or Blu-ray player -- heck, it's more than most people spend on a TV -- but that would be to miss the point somewhat. The strength of the 2.1 is that it does DVD playback brilliantly, but also manages to produce good quality stereo audio. Generally, an audiophile would turn their nose up at using a DVD player for music, but the Arcam should keep all but the extremely picky very happy.

Like its 5.1-channel big brother, the 2.1 can upscale your DVDs to 1080i, a useful feature for those with large DVD collections and an HD screen. It won't perform miracles, even at this time of year, but it will get the very best out of every DVD in your collection. The 2.1 sound is designed to produce clear dialogue, and deep rich bass and realistic effects. Pop in a copy of Michael Bay's ridiculous Armageddon and you'll feel every explosion -- but dialogue won't be drowned out, despite the over-zealous bass Bay put on the film.

You also get a tonne of extra features, including DVD-Audio and SACD support, for fans of high-definition music. You also get a DAB/FM tuner, to listen to the nation's digital and analogue radio stations -- it can even act as an alarm clock.

We won't pretend the Arcam Solo Movie 2.1 is suitable for everyone, but if you want a high-end system-in-a-box, we don't think you can find much better. Of course, speakers aren't included, so you'll need to factor in a nice set of those too. -Ian Morris