It's July 2008, and NAD's Viso Five scores the maximum five stars in its First Test. The curtain-call comes at the 2008 Awards, where the Viso Five wins the gong for the best £750+ home cinema system.
And now, for those who like the whole concept of the Viso Five, right up to the 'speakers all over the room' bit, NAD offers the Viso Two. It's a Viso Five, but less so.
Actually, that's not entirely fair. Really all that's lacking is three channels of amplification and £200 at the till. In all other respects, the Viso Two is handsomely specified and entirely fit for purpose.
Viso Two is a bit of a lookerIt's a solidly built, good-looking machine that manages to incorporate a bit of 21st century pizzazz while being recognisably a NAD product.
All the fascia controls work with precision, and the remote control is both simple to operate and mercifully light on buttons.
More after the break
The NAD will replay DVD and CD, and receive FM and MW radio – pictures can be upscsaled to 1080i via the HDMI output, and there are also composite, S-Video, Scart and component video outs.
A couple of composite inputs alongside digital coaxial and optical ins make the Viso 2 a handy host for set-top boxes and the like.
There's a pre-out for a subwoofer and power is rated at 50 watts per channel. For extra outlay, you can fit DAB radio and an iPod dock navigable via the Two's remote. So, more than enough flexibility for the average front-room set-up.
Loaded with a copy of Wanted, the NAD delivers impressive pictures. Even the most violent motion is handled with assurance, with intrusive picture noise kept to a minimum, and colours are vibrant without becoming overdriven.
By prevailing all-in-one standards, the Viso Two uncovers plenty of detail, handles stark contrasts well and generally shows the short of all-round composure by no means common where products of this type are concerned.
Bold with movies and musicMovie sound is comparably bold. While two channels of sound (with or without the optional subwoofer '.1') are never going to replicate the effect of a full circle of five, the NAD's dynamic presentation is a world away from anything your TV could provide.
From rowdy, movement-heavy action-movie set-pieces, through dialogue-rich documentary to the barely there atmospheric details of a decent horror film, the Viso Two has the grip, authority and finesse to bring it all to life.
Even as a music player, the NAD holds its own – a CD like TV on the Radio's Dear Science has momentum, detail and a nicely judged tonal balance.
The Viso Two's up-and-at-'em emphasis is no surprise, but its accompanying refinement and organisational prowess makes the NAD as accomplished as its bigger brother.
A £200 saving over the Five may not look like much, but for anyone craving performance with convenience, and who simply isn't going to put five speakers in their front room, the Viso Two is ideal.