If we hadn't just ruined it in the title, we could make a snappy joke out of the Denon AVP/POA-A1HD. "What has two boxes, takes two people to lift and costs as much as a car?" But the AVP/POA-A1HD is no joke -- it's Denon's outrageously high-end home cinema system and we really want one.
The A1HD comes in two exceptionally substantial components. The first is simply a pre-amp that costs £5,000 -- you'll actually get a penny change from your five gees, but we're confident if you can afford £5,000 for a pre-amp you won't be too fussed. The pre-amp takes care of all the inputs, of which there are a mind-boggling number. Deep breath: six HDMI, six component, eight S-video and eight composite. For audio alone, there are five optical and six coaxial digital inputs.
You get a ferry-load of outputs, including 12 balanced XLR and 12 unbalanced RCA for analogue audio out and a further four optical digital outs. There's also RS-232 for wired remote control, and you get both Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking too. And... relax.
The second part is the power-amp, which also costs £5,000, and takes the processed audio signal from the pre-amp and turns it into raw, ear-pleasing mega-sound. This huge lump of metal is blessed with ten XLR and ten RCA audio inputs and a total of 20 speaker outputs, which are split into two sets of ten channels to allow for you to hook up two separate rooms.
It goes without saying that the pre-amp can decode pretty much anything you can throw at it. It can also accept 7.1 surround sound from an already decoded source, if that suits you better. It can access your home network and play music and photos, and can even output to two screens at once -- handy if you're having a party to celebrate how damnably rich you are.
Once you've paid for the system, you'll need to find a way to pay for the electricity it uses. The pre-amp consumes 150W and the power-amp drinks as much as 1,300W. For your ogling pleasure, we've included some photos of the system for you to lust after. Click through and enjoy. -Ian Morris
As you can imagine, it's easier to list the audio formats that the AVP/POA-A1HD doesn't support than the ones it does. That's because the codecs not supported are, er, none at all. You also get 1080/24p pass-through for all video, plus deep colour and auto lip-sync.
Look at the back of it. Just look. Seriously, it's probably going to cost you another £10,000 to cable the thing up.
The front of the power-amp has three meters you can assign to monitor any channel, and pretty much nothing else. But it looks clean and simple.
The pre-amp and power-amp together weigh a total of 87.5kg, which is more than a tall chap. The power amp alone weighs 60kg.
This is where all the hard work of the pre-amp comes to fruition. Your decoded audio flows in here, is amplified and becomes wonderful movie surround sound. All you have to do next is pay for some speakers to plug into it...