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Primare built up a reputation during the 1990s as a manufacturer of high-class hi-fi components, but as it moved into the new millennium it became one of several hi-fi brands to start muscling in on the burgeoning DVD market. I was lucky enough to test the company's second DVD player, the V10, back in 2001 and even in those relatively early days of the format it was clear that the Swedish company knew how to craft a damn fine DVD deck.
Fast forward eight years and those skilled Scandinavians are still turning out beautifully built, performance-led players, the latest of which is the DVDi10. But this is no ordinary DVD deck - it's billed as a 'single box solution' for video and audio, and as such boasts an integrated 2.1-channel amplifier, DAB/FM/AM radio tuners and iPod control.
The DVDi10 makes its high-end origins blatantly clear from the moment you yank it out of the box. It's styled with that sultry, minimal design ethos that only equipment over a certain price can pull off, giving it an esoteric air that enthusiasts will gobble up.
A hands-on investigation also reveals the DVDi10 boasts brawny build quality, with all-over metallic bodywork, a thick front panel and three isolation feet on the bottom. The fascia is finished in brushed black but the unit is also available in Titanium if that floats your boat. Either way, the DVDi10 is a classy piece of kit.
Alongside the disc tray is an informative but small display panel illuminated in green, and on top is a row of bullet-like buttons governing volume, up/down, play/stop and standby. They're not labelled but a row of icons lights up in the panel above them when the unit is activated. Also found on the front panel is a 3.5mm minijack that doubles as a headphones output and an input for MP3 players.
The integrated amp means there are many more connections on the back than your average DVD player. On the video tip, you'll find HDMI, component, S-video, composite outputs, as well as a SCART socket - remember those? Audio needs are well-served too, with three sets of analogue stereo inputs, two sets of outputs, a subwoofer pre-out plus optical and coaxial digital audio outputs.
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