Why less is more with Arcam's Solo Movie 2.1

Arcam Solo Movie 2.1: enjoying home cinema doesn't mean you have to live in one

For many, home cinema is the aural equivalent of a Challenger tank - unsubtle, brutish and loud. If that's you, then how about the style, substance and grace of an Arcam Solo Movie 2.1 - a Jaguar E type-alike with added purr.

The Solo Movie 2.1 is that rare beast - an all-in-one DVD home cinema system that manages to sound great without forcing you to sacrifice seats for speakers. Arcam has sensibly eschewed often gimmicky pseudo-surround effects offered by similar systems in favour of great quality stereo, albeit with the added kick of an off-board subwoofer (hence its .1 output).

The stereo amp belts out a respectable 50W per channel, and is as good at handling music as it is with movies - something that's often compromised where home cinema is concerned. As well as spinning CDs, the Arcam Solo Movie 2.1 is also compatible with SACD and DVD-Audio formats, and is iPod-compatible courtesy of the optional £130 rDock. It includes a DAB / FM radio.

The Solo Movie 2.1's video performance should be top-notch too. It uses the same video processing engine as its Solo Movie 5.1-sibling, and comes with a 720p / 1080i video scaler and 1080p Full HD switching.

Multi-room ready

Other key features include a learning remote control, compatibility with AMX / Crestron multi-room systems and an alarm clock.

Not bad for £1,450.