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Keyspan A/V Dock for iPod review: Keyspan A/V Dock for iPod

  • 1
MSRP: $79.99
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The Good The Keyspan A/V Dock for iPod includes an RF remote and is priced competitively.

The Bad The Keyspan A/V Dock for iPod can't play video out of the box because it lacks a video cable.

The Bottom Line The Keyspan A/V Dock for iPod does its job well, and the included remote works excellently, but we're not pleased that a compatible video cable is not included.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.0 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6

Review Sections

Keyspan offers a wide range of computer and consumer electronics add-ons, but its A/V Dock for iPod is the company's first venture into the highly saturated iPod accessories market. This product doesn't make any huge bounds in the area of iPod A/V docks, as DLO did with its HomeDock Deluxe, which outputs the iPod's menu to your telly. However, the Keyspan does come with an RF remote and has a competitive $65 street price.

The A/V Dock's design is far from stylish, though it's certainly not an eyesore. It's old-school iPod white and has an average footprint, measuring 4 by 3.3 by 0.8 inches. An iPod docking station is chiseled into the top, and Keyspan includes dock adapters for the various iPods (works with Click Wheel versions only). On the back of the base you'll find a line-out jack, a standard mini-USB sync/power port, and an S-Video connection (cable not included). In addition to the base, Keyspan includes an RCA audio cable, a USB cable, a compatible power adapter, and an RF remote. Unfortunately, in order to watch video, you'll need your own S-Video cable; the unit won't even work with a standard RCA A/V cable (more on that later). Keyspan should have included some way to watch video right out of the box.

The RF remote, however, is a nice touch, since it doesn't require direct line-of-sight to work. Most A/V docks made for the iPod use infrared (IR) remotes, which don't work if there's something in the way (their range is also shorter). The remote includes a full array of controls: volume, play/pause, track shuttle, repeat, and shuffle. There are also keys for next/previous playlist, next/previous chapter, and next/previous album. On the back of the remote are the on/off switch and a Change ID button. This same button resides on the bottom on the dock, and you must press it initially to pair the remote with the dock. Simple enough.

In practice, the Keyspan A/V Dock worked flawlessly and was very easy to set up. The remote worked from as far away as we could get while still hearing what was going on--at least 50 feet. It had no issue working through a 12-inch wall. Music sounded just fine through our test system, but we were unable to test video at the time of this writing. We attempted to use a standard RCA A/V cable to output video to our TV, but this just caused the TV to flicker and spout subpar, staticky sound. An S-Video cable was unavailable at the time of testing, but we'll update this review with video quality observations once we get our hands on one.

All in all, this dock is a great choice for people who don't want to be limited by the range of their remotes; just remember that you'll need to supply that video cable.

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