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Turning back to the preceiver unit, it’s equipped with a fairly generous range of features, but the big question is why Teufel didn’t include a Blu-ray player. It’s the least you should expect when spending this much money on a home cinema system and its absence makes the Impaq 4000 feel a bit behind the times.
But as DVD players go, it’s pretty decent. SD discs can be upscaled to HD resolution on compatible TVs via the HDMI socket, with a choice of 1080p, 1080i and 720p output. It also plays MP3, WMA and DivX files from DVD, CD or USB stick (via the side-mounted port) and spins most recordable DVD formats.
You also get a copious amount of other sockets on the back, including two HDMI inputs that let you pass other hi-def kit to a single input on your TV, plus component, S-video and composite input and output. For audio, you get optical and coaxial inputs (two of each), optical and coaxial digital output and analogue stereo input/output. An audio minijack is provided for MP3 players and you can add an optional Teufel iPod dock – all of which makes the Teufel a top-notch hub for you entire home entertainment system.
To complement its Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, it’s equipped with a modest array of audio processing modes, including Dolby Pro Logic IIx (with modes for music, movies and games), Dolby Headphone and basic bass management. You can also adjust the levels of bass and treble using dedicated controls on the remote, and there’s a range of EQ modes that adapt the sound to suit different musical styles.
You shouldn’t have any trouble installing the Impaq 4000. All the cables you need are found in the box, and thankfully each speaker sports gold-plated binding posts instead of the much-dreaded spring-clips. The main unit and subwoofer are connected using a fairly short 15-pin connector, which limits where it can be placed. That they’re not connected wirelessly is a shame but not a deal-breaker.
On-screen, Teufel keeps things simple with a pleasant, if rudimentary, setup menu. All the essentials are covered and the layout is logical, plus the cursor moves around without hesitation. We love the remote, which boasts a rubberised back, a brushed black finish on top and big chunky buttons. It crams a lot of keys into a tight space without feeling cluttered and the labelling is helpful, although the playback buttons are far too low for comfort.
In terms of performance, the Impaq 4000 is an exceptional system. It’s a million miles away from the bright and booming sound of many systems, conveying the electrifying DTS soundtrack of our Apocalypto DVD with power, control and subtlety.