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Arcam Solo Movie 5.1: Up close and personal

If you want a high-end all-in-one CD and DVD player, amplifier and digital radio AND you have £2,000 to spend, you might want to consider the Arcam Solo Movie 5.1

For those who don't know, the Solo range is an all-in-one affair. The original Arcam Solo was a CD player, FM and digital radio, amplifier and multi-room control system. The Solo Movie 5.1 is the next step, and adds playback of a multitude of video and audio formats, including DVD audio, SACD, DVD video, DivX, MPEG-4, OGG, WMA and MP3. It also supports the high-quality audio systems DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital Pro Logic II.

We've written about the Solo Movie 5.1 before, but now Crave has been blessed with a demo of the machine. We have to say, it was great. We'll always be slightly suspicious of manufacturer demos -- they're done with enormously expensive equipment that can make everything seem a lot better than it will when you get it home. On the other hand, if you're going to flip a cool £2,000 for this Arcam model, you'll probably want to invest in a decent set of speakers and a nice TV.

From what we saw, the picture quality was excellent. The upscaling quality was phenomenal -- Charlotte Gray has never looked more desirable. The picture was bright, colourful and, best of all, sharp. The sound was divine, but then you'd probably expect it to be, given the mega-quality speakers we were listening to.

The only problem that remains now is, how do we raise the two grand? We've already given up Coke to buy a TV -- we're rapidly running out of vices. -IM