Not content with DVD players doing their job and playing DVDs to our high standards, we wanted them to do more. ‘Play our CDs and play them well!’ we demanded. And thus they did, with the universal player being born and the likes of Arcam and Pioneer producing verily fine machines.
Now this quiet backwater of home cinema is on the move again, with Arcam lavishing us with a new, ultra high end player known as the DiVA DV137.
It’s basically a DVD spinner but pledges to rival the hi-fi audio of many CD separates. The better sound quality is apparently thanks to Arcam’s partnership with Zoran, an audio expert that produces the high-grade Vadis 888S core processing engine at the heart of the DiVA.
The DV137’s other special trick is that it plays DVD-Rs loaded with MP3 files, so you can burn nearly 5GB’s worth of MP3s straight onto DVD from your PC and pop them in your DVD player - a first for Arcam’s boxes.
Movie-wise, Arcam’s baby allows you to simultaneously watch the same film on another TV in your house, thanks to its ‘Always On’ feature. Where most HDMI-equipped DVD players shut down their other video connections when you’re using HDMI, this one will still output via S-Video and RGB Scart: meaning you could cunningly run a cable off to the telly in the kitchen. It’ll send audio, too, via its analogue phonos.
Interested? It’ll set you back a sweet £1250 later this month.