Griffin TuneCenter review:

Griffin TuneCenter

Once we had the TuneCenter hooked up, navigating the menus and shuttling through our song lists was a no-brainer. We didn't even need to use the short quick guide that came with the unit--we just played around with it for a couple of minutes and figured it out. Our TuneCenter started out in video mode, for which you must use the iPod's screen as the interface (good eyesight recommended). The large, four-way circle surrounding the select button on the remote serves to navigate among and through the iPod's menus (like the Click Wheel, except without scrolling). To toggle between video and music modes, press the Video button.

The onscreen menus in music mode make navigation so much nicer.

In music mode, a main menu pops up on your TV screen and lets you select between iPod playback and Internet radio. Selecting the iPod icon will take you to your iPod's music menu, where you can make your music selections exactly as you would on the player (artists, albums, and so on). A Page Up/Down button helps with scrolling though lists, but there's no acceleration, so longer lists can be a chore. Hitting the Settings button lets you shuffle or repeat tracks or toggle the EQ setting. This is also where you adjust settings for Internet radio.

All in all, the TuneCenter's performance was spot on. Videos looked great on our TV screen, and even audio was good, considering the medium (TV speakers). However, the remote was not entirely responsive, and we found that we had to point it straight at the front of the unit for it to work. Range was also not great: maybe 12 or so feet. We're also disappointed that Griffin didn't include a port for syncing the iPod while it's docked in the TuneCenter. That said, the unit's user-friendly interface and Internet radio capability make it an attractive option.

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