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Sony DAV-IS10 DVD Home Cinema System

It's not exactly PC, but in the home cinema industry the phrase ‘Wife Acceptance Factor' is often used when talking about the design of a product. In other words, it's the likelihood of a new piece of kit being given the thumbs up by a less than supportive spouse, given its potential impact on the room's Feng Shui. Yes it's sexist but true nonetheless - and I talk from personal experience.


Products with a high WAF are usually either drop-dead gorgeous, unimposing or easy to conceal, and that's why the DAV-IS10 home cinema system should get the green light with minimal fuss. It boasts five tiny satellite speakers, each one the size of a golf ball, which makes them unobtrusive, discrete and easy to mount on the wall. But despite their size, Sony reckons they deliver the sort of powerful sound quality offered by much bigger speakers, as the 450W total power rating suggests. Their build quality is impressive too, with each speaker made from solid, weighty materials.

But it's not just the speakers that make this system easy on the eye. The robust main DVD unit is small, compact and finished in sumptuous gloss black, with a row of illuminated touch-sensitive controls on top and a front loading disc slot. The system also comes with a similarly styled active subwoofer, capable of producing 2 x 100W of midrange and bottom-end power.


On the back of the unit is a useful range of connections, chief among which is an HDMI output. It's joined by component and composite video outputs, plus optical and coaxial digital audio inputs, which come in handy if you want to enjoy 5.1 surround from a Sky+ box or separate DVD deck.

Inside the system is a decent range of features, including video upscaling to 720p and 1080i, but sadly not 1080p. The main unit plays DVD, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD+R, CD and CD-RW discs, and will read JPEG, MP3 and DivX files. As a nifty bonus, the main unit boasts a Digital Media Port, which lets you connect a variety of optional Sony-made adapters - including Walkman and iPod cradles and Bluetooth or network wireless audio adapters.

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