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iPod Accessories   - 12/22/2006

Deluxe docking device expands horizon of iPod

If you are the proud owner of an iPod — and millions of us are — then you're in accessory heaven right now. There are literally thousands of accessories available for iPods, from sleeves to protect your investment, to full-blown stereo systems that will pop your eardrums when you crank them up.

Once you get all the content you want on your iPod, you'll probably spend most of your time listening to that content through your headphones, or possibly an iPod specific stereo like the Bose SoundDock.

Sooner or later you'll want to play that content everywhere rather than just on some headphones. I want to play music from my iPod in my car, at the office, on headphones, in someone else's vehicle, in my home and on the stereo system I have attached to the big screen TV. I want everything, and why not?

Devices that are really starting to catch on are the ones that let you run your iPod content through the stereo system in your house. A number of these devices are available at varying prices, and they work with varying degrees of success.

The best one I've tried so far is the DLO HomeDock Deluxe. Billed as the Home Entertainment Dock for iPod with On-Screen navigation, the Home Dock Deluxe consists of a remote control, a dock for your iPod to plug into, cables to connect to your stereo system and a power adapter.

The DLO Home Dock Deluxe is a snap to set up; it took me all of 10 minutes to get the device up and running. The reason it took so long is that I had some trouble getting at the back of my stereo receiver.

The way it works is to plug the power adapter into the dock, plug the RCA cables for left and right audio and video into the corresponding RCA inputs on the receiver. Turn the HomeDock on using the remote and turn your TV to the input you've selected for the HomeDock. That's really all there was to the set-up.

I immediately got an on-screen view of the iPod that I could scroll through and select songs, videos, whatever I wanted. It's pretty impressive when something works as easily as the manufacturer says it is supposed to.

The IR (infra red) remote works with line of sight (you point it at the base station) An RF (radio frequency) remote, like the one used by the Klipsch iFi speaker system, would be much better because RF remotes don't require line of sight to work.

The HomeDock works in two modes — audio and video. When you're in audio mode, you control the iPod and its content through the on-screen display on your TV. It works quite well unless you have a massive list of songs to navigate through, where you'll experience some delay. Video is a lot different though, you need to be able to see your iPod to select videos and that's a drag. That's because of Apple's firmware though, so there's no way around it. You select the video or photos you want using your iPod screen, but the images on the TV are quite acceptable.

The DLO HomeDock Deluxe is available in Canada for just under $200.

Pros: It works! Setup is very easy and it's a treat to be able to play the music on your iPod on your surround sound system or the stereo system in your house.

Cons: I don't like IR remotes; you have to be fairly close to the base station and in a direct line with it. It would be nice if you could select videos on-screen. The HomeDock Deluxe is pricey.

Source: Canada.com    
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