So, you wowed your geriatric parents with a TV photo slideshow using the old iPod Photo in 2004. Running snaps on your telly in 2006 is hardly going to impress your techno-packing peers, though, is it?
Enter, with perfect Shakespearian timing – or US sitcom, depending on your dramatic preference – Griffin’s TuneCenter. It’s basically a very fancy iPod dock. But it does a little more than slideshows and charging: for starters, it projects the iPod’s interface onto your flat TV’s high-def screen.
So, rather than hauling your lazy derriere off the sofa to see what’s playing or change tunes, you can just navigate on-screen tracks using your TV and Griffin’s bundled infrared remote. Owners of Denon’s Smartlife home cinema will, at this point, be smiling smugly – they’ve had similar functionality via USB for a while now.
As well as music, the TuneCenter serves up photos and movies via composite or S-Video (audio’s outputted by analogue RCA). Which, of course, raises the rhetorical question of why you’d want to watch a 320 x 240 VideoCast of Tiki Bar TV on your 1024 x 768 Pioneer plasma?
The final string to the Griffin’s techno bow is our favourite – the ability to play Shoutcast internet radio stations. All you need is a home network, since the multi-talented dock has Wi-Fi and an Ethernet socket for both wireless and wired setups.
The TuneCenter works with the new iPod with video, the Nano, the Mini and several of the older iPods – check Griffin’s site for a compatibility chart. UK pricing’s not announced but is likely to be £100 judging from the $100 price tag. iWorld has confirmed it’ll be stocking the TuneCentre for its March launch.