Sony has unveiled its new shiny-looking DAV-X10 home cinema system. It's a compact receiver designed to look smooth alongside your cool Bravia TV and your PlayStation 3 , and comes with two discrete 80W satellite speakers and a hideaway 2x80W subwoofer.

The idea of a 'home cinema in a box system' is that it should be easy to buy, setup and use, and the DAV-X10 takes this convenience to new levels: one cable connects it to the mains power and another to your TV, and after that it's just a matter of a lead to each speaker and you're ready to play.

You can then plug in the supplied microphone, place it where you would normally sit and at the push of a button, the system sets itself up. It's all done with Sony Digital Cinema Auto Calibration, which checks the positions of the speakers in your room and sets the optimum surround parameters for convincing music and movies.

That all happens in 30 seconds, and the whole process of setting up the system can be done in under three minutes, leaving you to sit back and enjoy a whole world of entertainment.

Sony Bravia home cinema

Sony is very keen to push the aesthetics of this thing, which is just as well as the DAV-X10 relies on creating a virtual surround effect from the twin satellites rather than delivering true multi-channel sound through five, six or even seven speakers.

But what this kit is really all about is delivering a solid sound to your living room without you having to trail long cables around the room and filling it up with ugly, large boxes.

The receiver will play from a variety of formats including CD, DVD, DVD R/RW, DVD-R/RW, SACD, Video CD, DivX and MP3.

Touch the system and the control buttons apparently light up, enabling you to operate the system's functions; and when you've finished, they fade down again, leaving an uncomplicated, minimalist and subtle design.

The system additionally has a Portable Audio Enhancer, which applies sophisticated digital signal processing to expand the sound of compressed music files, like those found on an Apple iPod, for example.

Sony DAV-X10 at a glance

  • Slim line gloss black control unit with glass top, which plays DVD R/RW, DVD-R/RW, SACD, Video CD, DivX and MP3
  • Touch-sensitive top-panel controls light up when used, then vanish again to maintain clean lines
  • Bravia Theatre Sync for one-button operation of complete systems
  • Digital Cinema Auto Calibration for fast, perfect 'one-touch' system tuning in just 30 seconds
  • 480W total power: 2x80W to each speaker plus 2x80W for subwoofer, using efficient, high quality 32-bit
  • S-Master digital amplification
  • Ultra-compact main speakers and hideaway subwoofer, with Sony S-Force PRO Front
  • Surround for multichannel surround without cable clutter
  • Video upscaler to 720p/1080i for top picture quality on high-definition TVs via HDMI
  • Analogue audio plus optical/coaxial digital inputs for external sources
  • 30-preset FM/AM radio tuner
  • Dolby Digital/Pro-Logic II and DTS decoding
  • Sony Digital Media Port to connect to external sources. Bluetooth as standard, with Network Walkmann, iPod and home Wi-Fi network adapters