While new HDTV announcements turn up in my mail box more often than advertisements for U.N.I.V.E.R.S.I.T.Y.D.E.G.R.E.E.S. and pharmaceuticals (yes, that kind) the poor old TV stand itself remains largely unloved. Until Sony went king crazy on it...
With the arrival of the 'RHT-G800' the King of Proprietary has created a stand so opulent it has chosen to call it a 'home theatre system' and when you run through the specs it is hard to disagree.
Integrated into the minimalist lines of this Bravia matching base is a 5.1 channel speaker system ab S-Master digital amplifier and Sony's S-Force Pro front surround sound processing. The stand also has the ability to process Dolby Digital and DTS encoded content and has six sound fields (Cinema, Music, News, Night Mode, Sports and Standard). Output is a whopping 5x 50W with a 100W bass.
As for connectivity, things don't slow down here either as the RHT-G800 is fitted with dual 1080p capable HDMI inputs and one output, two component video inputs, three AV inputs and one output, four digital audio inputs (three optical, one coaxial) and four analogue audio inputs! Consequently devices simply need to be placed on each shelf and plugged into the stand directly, everything is then configured to work together automatically.
The coup de grace? A glass top plate which hides away touch panel controls. Naturally, the whole thing comes with its own remote as well.
The inevitable downside to all this is the price. You'll need north of £600 when the G800 lands in the UK this May. That said, for the grief it will save cinephiles from their cable conscious wives and girlfriends it could well be a price worth paying...