We've all done it- found ourselves in a pub one evening when all of a sudden a karaoke machine comes out and people all around you are crooning away. Eventually the songbook lands on your table and the rest of your mates are asking you to do a rendition of Abba or Elton John. Five embarrassing minutes later and the ordeal is over, yet something inside, no matter how much you'll disagree is hoping you get to sing another. Sunfly preying on this karaoke-induced Soma is hoping that its player - the PRO-8 will feed that singing urge.
On the surface the PRO-8 looks and feels like any other DVD player. Roughly the same size as a standard DVD deck and larger than the latest bout of slim-line players, the player features all the relevant buttons to get you started on the front of the box. The difference and the telltale sign's the addition of two mic sockets, an echo effect dial and pitch changer buttons.
The echo adds just that to your performance and will give you that stadium feel even in your living room. Likewise the pitch buttons allow you to lower or raise the pitch of your singing - ideal if your trying to achieve the dulcet tones of Barry White or the high pitch squeals of Dolly Parton or Kylie Minogue
The player is capable of playing a host of DVD and CD formats, obviously including the CD+G format (this is the format used for Karaoke discs that allows for those cheese ball graphics and the words on the screen) and surprisingly even MP3 discs making this a versatile player for not only tracking down more karaoke tracks off the internet, but also allowing you to benefit from storing hundreds of songs on one CD created on your PC.
When the player isn't being a Karaoke machine it's actually a very competent DVD player offering all the usual features as well as a zoom option. The player supports both Digital DTS and Dolby Digital and offers a series of connection on the rear of the player including an optical out for AC-3 or DTS decoding amplifiers.
The bonus of this player is that when your not singing your heart out you can use the machine for something else. Even better is that it will fit in with the rest of your Hi-Fi equipment without a second thought - hiding your secret even further.
It may not include a speaker system like most karaoke machines and therefore perhaps it's not as portable as other machines. However connecting it to your Hi-Fi means you'll be able to utilise your home entertainment speakers to their fullest and be offering renditions of Frank Sinatra to every unknowing guest through your door. That's good clean fun that can be kept a secret when the need arises.