To date, we've seen a smattering of portable DVD players with built-in docks for video iPods--ideal, in theory, for watching standard DVDs or iTunes video content on the go. One of the latest is the Audiovox D8000IP, which is widely available for under $170.
Weighing in at just over 2 pounds, the D8000IP sports an 8-inch screen with stereo speakers mounted directly below. Their audio quality was notably subpar, however, so you'll want to stick with headphones. Audiovox chose a black plastic outer casing--when closed, the unit resembles a mini laptop. However, one design miscue that really dampens the overall look of the machine is the huge external battery that extends beyond the original form factor of the device. While a removable battery is always good, we wish it didn't protrude out the back of the unit.
Directly to the right of the disc tray is a swiveling iPod dock--just pop in the player, and it folds down flush with the bottom panel. Many older video-enabled iPods will fit (a plastic adapter accommodates thinner models), but--like nearly all current (September 2007) video iPod docks--the Audiovox isn't compatible with the latest generation of iPod Classics and iPod Nanos, nor is it designed to work with the iPhone or iPod Touch. It's worth noting that it took us a few minutes of trial and error to line up the iPod's 30-pin docking port with the D8000IP's connector each time we attempted to insert an iPod. Once the iPod is docked, you'll need to make sure your video iPod setting is switched to "TV Out"--then you're all set.
On the left side of the player, you'll find an AV input and output, two headphone jacks, a USB port, volume slider, and power switch. The flash media card slot is located under the front lip of the player for easy access; it accepts SD/MMC and Memory Stick media, as well as their smaller variants with the appropriate adapter. In addition to the AC adapter, Audiovox throws in a car charger and a composite breakout AV cable (use it for the video input or output, as needed). When using flash media, the onscreen interface will allow you to search through all of the folders on your card or thumb drive. The GUI is easy to use, and we had no problem selecting files for play. If a file is not supported by the D8000IP, it will not show up onscreen.