HiFi Choice HiFi Choice

l OS: Android l Formats: FLAC;. ALAC; MP3; m4a,. PCM/WAVE; AAC ... flexibility, usually via a control app. For a quartet of music-loving ... 02/07/2015 14:01 ...
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plugged in and played, allowing LPs and tapes to be copied on the fly and archived as hi-res digital files. In other words, a box that ticks all the boxes. Which brings me to the company (Entotem) and a product (Plato) you may only just have heard of. I’ve lived with a pre-production Plato for a month now. Without giving too much away, and despite a few operational bumps on the way, I’ll sorely miss it when it goes back. Entotem’s big claim is that Plato will revolutionise the way we use entertainment media in our homes, consolidating all media access through one simple and, for the time being, Android-powered, interface. The basic hardware, tightly packaged

Music is delivered in such a stunningly authentic and richly textured fashion

One box to rule them all David Vivian checks out this precious do-it-all box of tricks that mixes the old with the new to deliver all your music with ease...


t wasn’t so long ago that a once popular high street electrical store purchase – the music centre – was cited by the audiophile community as Exhibit A in the case for owning a ‘separates’ hi-fi system. More so than the warm ‘n’ woolly radiograms that preceded them, music centres got it in the neck for their inherently compromised all-in-one/built-downto-a-price nature and were generally believed to suck sonically whereas separates…well, you know the rest. REPRINTED FROM

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Mutating over the years into absurdly cheap and nasty plastic toys and disco-themed boom-boxes aimed at the lower end of the mass market, the perfunctorily functional one-box solution has never really gone away. That there was never much wrong with the concept perhaps explains the unlikely occasional emergence of muscle-bound, multi-thousand-pound high-end digitally based behemoths out to tempt serious stereo heads away from their finely tweaked component combos. And let’s not

DETAILS PRODUCT Entotem Plato ORIGIN England TYPE 2TB music/video server system WEIGHT 14kg DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 370 x 130 x 300mm FEATURES l Quoted power output: 2x 45W (8ohm) l OS: Android l Formats: FLAC; ALAC; MP3; m4a, PCM/WAVE; AAC (audio); .mov; mpeg2; mpeg4; H263 and H264 (video) l 24-bit/192kHz recording from analogue sources l Display: 5in TFT LCD panel DISTRIBUTOR Entotem Ltd TELEPHONE 01332 291972 WEBSITE entotem.com

forget it was the march of miniaturisation through CD and integrated circuits that saw the seminal music centre’s bulky coalition of record player, tuner and cassette deck ultimately give way to miraculously space-efficient mini and micro systems that continue to enjoy a healthy existence in millions of homes to this day. But I doubt many would have bet on the music centre as a proposition, half a century after being put in the stocks and pelted with disdain by the enthusiast elite, becoming hi-fi’s next hottest property. Despite the negative baggage, ‘music centre’ perfectly describes the type of product whose time seems finally to have come: a merging of digital media and computer tech, of convenience and connectivity, that some say is already mapping the future of hi-fi on every level. The more fully featured examples go by the name of media servers or digital hubs – single units packing the wherewithal to process and disseminate separate audio and visual digital media strands to multiple rooms with complete flexibility, usually via a control app. www.hifichoice.co.uk

For a quartet of music-loving entrepreneurs from Derby, this wasn’t far enough. They reasoned that a true music centre for the 21st century should be able to connect with the past as well as the present and the future, serving not just as a conduit for digital sources but also a place where legacy analogue kit such as a turntable or cassette deck could be

Black is the standard finish, but other colours are available a