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In recent years UK manufacturer Arcam have been revamping their product line-up, as we saw at the CEDIA 2000 expo. Always highly regarded for performance, the looks of Arcam products of old were rather anonymous black boxes. The top of the line FMJ range seeks to fix that, with stylish good looks and performance to match. The images to the right show a prototype of the DV-27 DVD player from the FMJ range, expected to be released sometime around the middle of 2001. Unlike most manufacturers who buy their DVD transport mechanisms and decoder boards from one of a few OE manufacturers, Arcam took out their own DVD manufacturing license and designed their new player from the ground up. To minimise resonances from the chassis and case, the case has been manufactured from Sontech, a laminate material developed by Toyota for the Lexus - the world's quietest car. The feature set is impressive: Dolby Digital, DTS and MPEG-Audio compatibility; coaxial and Tos-link audio outputs; two sets of analogue audio outputs; composite and S-Video outputs; interlaced and progressive scan component and RGB outputs (a unique feature for a DVD player, I think).

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Arcam has designed some clever digital clock circuitry to keep the audio and video perfectly in synch. The video stage has been designed by professional broadcast video engineers and incorporates broadcast quality high-speed video buffering. The prototype was not up and running but I was lucky enough to have a private demonstration of the DV-88 (from Arcam's second-tier DIVA range) hooked up to a Revox plasma display. The DV-88 is an impressive performer in its own right for its MSRP of $1,499, and it has been well received in Europe, so expect the DV-27 model to be an even better performer. The DV-27 will be available 2nd or 3rd quarter 2001, MSRP $2,500, which will be a bargain if it fulfills all that has been promised. []

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Show report last updated: 23rd April 2001. 276 original images on-line.


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