Not every home cinema system has to feature five speakers and a big old subwoofer – just as well, if you're just looking to get some DVD pictures and sound out of a smaller screen is a second room. For instance, this Onkyo DR-815 fits the ‘kid's bedroom entertainment' criteria nicely.
It's a compact, tidily finished DVD player with two channels of amplification, AM/FM radio and SACD/DVD-A ability too. Of course, it has a preout for a subwoofer (if you must) and preouts for centre and rear channels (if you absolutely must). Composite, S-Video and Scart are your video output choices; attach a couple of speakers and you're ready to go.
Impressive smooth stability with OnkyoDelivering pictures via the RGB Scart output, the Onkyo impresses with its smooth stability. Motion is tracked securely, edges are even and composed, and there're no alarms even during the most violent panning shots.
The colour palette the '815 draws from is extensive and realistic, and it balances brightness and contrasts well. Picture noise is at a minimum, certainly on the size of screen this player is likely to partner. Only some minor loss of detail during dark or complex scenes stops the Onkyo impressing right across the board.
Movie sound (in stereo, naturally), is spacious and well balanced, and the DR-815 makes a decent fist of reproducing music too. You'd never confuse its sound with that of its Award-winning CS-515 audio-only sibling – there's a tendency to sharpen treble sounds a little – but it's an enjoyable and entertaining listen nonetheless.
More after the break
Factor in a comprehensive (and weirdly wide) remote control and substantial build, and you've an alluring second room solution.