Arcam Solo Movie Review


Sep 19, 2006
Arcam Solo Movie Review

[IMG2][/IMG2]Arcam Solo Movie Review
Excellent stereo and multichannel sound
Good video upscaling
Easy to use

Only two HDMI inputs

Much as we didn't want to like this all-in-one system, Arcam has actually come up with a winner

Predictably, it was Sony that launched the first all-in-one cinema system in the UK in the early days of DVD, and quickly realised that it was shifting more DVD systems than stand-alone players and making much healthier margins.

The 'home-theatre-in-a-box' phenomenon has died down now, but it's still the most cost-effective and convenient way of getting DVD playback with surround sound into your home. As a purist fan of home cinema though, I have to conclude that they were all crap.

Compromised in both size and price, the HTB (Home Theatre in a Box) generally fails to deliver 'proper' home cinema sound through puny amplifiers and tiny plywood speakers. However, a British brand noted for its audio and video separates has come up with a new proposition that has changed my long-held opinions. It's an all-in-one system that uses high-quality components and allows you the freedom to choose your own speakers.

The Solo Movie 5.1 combines a high-performance DVD player with a DAB tuner and a powerful five-channel amplifier in one stylish machine.

Arcam wasn't the first to come up with the concept of a high-end one-box solution, but the alternatives, from Linn and Bang and Olufsen, are more esoteric compared to Arcam's very pragmatic approach. With a succession of cutting-edge DVD players and audiophile grade amplifiers under its belt, combining them in one box is simply a matter of engineering logistics.

From the front, the Solo Movie keeps a low profile and is only available in ninja-style black. Instead, the unit isdeep to accommodate the five discrete linear 50W amplifiers and massive toroidal mains transformer. It weighs a lot too - 7.5kg to be precise.

The Solo Movie has inputs for three other AV sources (potentially more) including Sky HD, which is controllable via the clever universal remote. An iPod cradle (the rDock) is an optional extra....

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