The Onkyo TX-SR875 is a fully featured AV receiver, which means you plug a bunch of your AV gear into it, like your DVD player and games consoles, and it makes them sound amazing. You're unlikely to have enough stuff to plug into it, frankly, because the back of this thing has more holes than the plot of Transformers.
The 875 also supports the very latest in uncompressed surround sound, which can be found on HD DVD and Blu-ray discs in the form of either . What this means is you're hearing the soundtrack as it was recorded for cinemas. In terms of sound quality, it doesn't get much better than that.
Obviously, to support uncompressed audio, the SR875 also needs to have HDMI 1.3 support. But even more impressive, it can upscale video to 1080p -- handy if you want the best out of DVDs and aren't keen to replace your existing player.
There are a boat-load of other features too, including multi-room sound, a magical system that calibrates the receiver automatically while you go and make a nice cup of tea.
Of course, such functionality -- not to mention all those inputs -- won't fit into a small case. The SR875 is a beast, but it's not a bad-looking one, finished in either black or silver. It will certainly take up plenty of space, and it kicks out some serious heat, but once you get it up and running you'll forget it looks like it has some sort of horrific tropical swelling disease -- after all, this baby is all about the sound.
The SR875 costs around £1,000, but you'll need to add a decent set of speakers to get the very best out of it. Don't worry though, because the average cinema trip for two people with a drink and a snack is around £20, so even factoring in DVD rental and that popcorn you microwave, it's only going to take 100 films for you to be actually saving money. Bargain.
Update: Aof the Onkyo TX-SR875 is now available. -Ian Morris