Griffin announces TuneCenter Pro dock with pre-order bonus and details | iLounge News


Griffin announces TuneCenter Pro dock with pre-order bonus and details


To accompany TuneCenter, a $100 Media Center dock for iPods premiered in January, Griffin Technology today announced TuneCenter Pro, a premium $130 version with extra capabilities. In addition to charging and connecting iPods to home entertainment systems, and displaying iPod music menus, photos, and movies on a television screen, both versions of TuneCenter will connect to an existing home network for realtime navigation and playback of Internet Radio programming. TuneCenter will ship with an Ethernet port, while TuneCenter Pro will include internal 802.11 networking functionality. As a special bonus, all TuneCenter pre-orders placed through Griffin’s web site through Monday, April 10 will receive TuneCenter Pro for the standard TuneCenter’s price of $100. TuneCenter will ship in May, TuneCenter Pro in early June. A QuickTime movie demonstrating TuneCenter’s interface and features is now available for viewing online.

Debuted at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January, the $100 TuneCenter won iLounge’s 2006 Best of Show award for its combination of novel features and attractive pricing. Supporting Apple’s Universal Dock standard, the chair-shaped dock serves as a charging and audio/video output station for color 4G and 5G iPods, featuring a hybrid AV port on its back and either an Ethernet port or 802.11b wi-fi capability for access to your home data network. Each dock can be toggled between NTSC and PAL video output with a rear switch, and includes both an AV cable for connection to your TV, and a power supply for dock and iPod power.

iPod music and Internet Radio content can be accessed via a clean, easily readable on-TV interface that largely duplicates the iPod’s, while 5G videos and color 4G/5G photos can be accessed separately. Music can also be accessed through a TV on iPods lacking video capabilities, including the 3G, mini, nano and black-and-white 4G iPods. A matching sixteen-button Infrared remote control provides easy access to the iPod’s functions from a distance. Firmware updates will enable additional features - yet to be announced - in the future.

TuneCenter is one of several docks to provide on-TV iPod menuing; Valor Multimedia’s $130 iLink-L2 and DLO’s $150 HomeDock Deluxe are other alternatives.


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Um….where does it say that you get the TuneCenter PRO? There’s only one product listed on the site.

Posted by Suni on April 6, 2006 at 8:00 PM (CDT)


I think I’ll order two…

Posted by Gordy. in Atlanta, GA on April 6, 2006 at 8:30 PM (CDT)


The posting says that the Pro model will include WiFi, while the original model will not.  IIRC, when the original model was announced the specs listed WiFi among its many features.  The “special bonus” is more like “we aren’t going to screw the folks that have already pre-orderd”.  Now we have to wait an extra month to get the features we were promised.

I guess they’ve done some comparisons against their competition and realize that their price is lower, while their features are arguably greater.

I wonder if there are any other differences between the 2 models?

I also wonder about the “additional features” that are “yet to be announced”.

Posted by gestep on April 6, 2006 at 8:52 PM (CDT)


i dont really like this… if you already have a mac with tiger, just use front row

Posted by brendan on April 6, 2006 at 11:45 PM (CDT)


Yeah, a little revisionist history.  The “pro” that preorders get was promised to include WiFi from the beginning.

The “additional feature” I’m hoping for is remotely syncing with your computer and viewing the iPod on your network as attached storage.

If I could sync it while attached via WiFi instead of hooking up the USB cable then I could dock and sync while it sat in the car in the garage.

Posted by Mike on April 7, 2006 at 12:39 AM (CDT)


I too was looking for the PRO version, however
wWhen you click through on the website to buy now it says: TuneCenter - Home Media Center for iPod (with WiFi) - $99.00

Posted by Mikef2005 on April 7, 2006 at 1:20 AM (CDT)


I preordered one when it was first announce The release date was sometime in march :( . I just hope they ship soon and that my ipod fits in it with the iskin on.

Posted by Meir87 on April 7, 2006 at 6:23 AM (CDT)


Would be nice if they explained the ‘partial compatibility’ you get with non-5G iPods.

Posted by PhilB on April 7, 2006 at 7:41 AM (CDT)


I’m assuming it means you either can’t get video/photo features if your iPod doesnt support it.

If it’s anything more than that I’d like to hear about it too, before I order.

Posted by hunky_artist on April 7, 2006 at 8:33 AM (CDT)


Also, looking at DLO’s Homedock deluxe… I think I might prefer their screen graphics/layout….. although I’m not sure.

What do you lot think?

Posted by hunky_artist on April 7, 2006 at 8:33 AM (CDT)


Can this thing display Album Art while playing a song??

Posted by Jason on April 7, 2006 at 10:15 AM (CDT)


I pre-ordered the DLO and have received an email from them on April 3 that they will be shipping mine out in 10-15 days.  This is from the DLO sites FAQ section for the Home Dock Deluxe:

Q: can I use On-Screen Navigation to select photos and videos like I navigate music?
A: You can absolutely control transport functions (like Play/Pause, First Forward, Rewind, etc.) of iPod photo slide shows and iPod videos using HomeDock Deluxe’s remote control.  You can even use HomeDock Deluxe’s navigation button to control i’Pod’s menus directly.  You cannot, however, use HomeDock Deluxe’s On-Screen-Navigation to list and select your iPod’s photo slideshows and videos.  These have to be selected from iPod directly.  This is because the current Apple firmware allows external navigation of music only.

Posted by Audrey McGirt on April 7, 2006 at 3:21 PM (CDT)


Any chance this is going to support the WPA (et al) encryption?  If the dock expectes users to turn off the encryption that would render the wi-fi useless.

Posted by acseaman on April 7, 2006 at 3:59 PM (CDT)


According to the post by Audrey McGirt
“You cannot, however, use HomeDock Deluxe’s On-Screen-Navigation to list and select your iPod’s photo slideshows and videos.  These have to be selected from iPod directly.  This is because the current Apple firmware allows external navigation of music only.”
So neither of these docks (DLO or Griffen) will allow you to navigate to videos or pictures and play them with the remote.  And if that is the case then you might as well use the Apple Universal Dock with the Apple Universal remote which almost does the exact same thing.  Except there is no on screen menu display.

Posted by iscripter on April 7, 2006 at 4:52 PM (CDT)


On the issue of WEP security, Griffin informs me that this is setup via the remote keypad when you first setup the WiFi. Also, as far as they had been informed by the product folks, added WiFi support is the only differentiator between the two models, but they promised to confirm this via email. And, an added issue that has not been mentioned prior is any scren saver support for those of us who plan to use plasma as a display device. They are also promising to address this in a reponse email which I will gladly share when I receive it.

I had hoped for, and had recommended, digital audio out, but I think that one is not going to get into current plans.

Posted by chashulme in Southern California on April 7, 2006 at 5:43 PM (CDT)


I was really looking forward to the Tunecenter, but not being able to navigate the videos is a deal killer (along with the lack of an Album Art display during audio playback).  I’m just going back to my original plan of putting a G4 Mini with Frontrow enabled in my media center.  My ATI Remote Wonder currently works great (except for scrolling through artists) and a Gyro keyboard with a 30ft range should complete the setup.  Keyboard navigation of Frontrow goes much smoother when scrolling artists (wish they’d add the jump to letter feature like the equinux software has).  Might even add that new Eye250 DVR that was just announced.

Posted by rgs2 on April 7, 2006 at 11:51 PM (CDT)


I assume you mean an Mac Intel Mini with Front Row…

Posted by chashulme in Southern California on April 8, 2006 at 3:31 AM (CDT)


iscripter, does this restriction include navigating video playlists?  seems to me a playlist is a playlist is a playlist, music or video…

With no USB connector to sync with and it won’t hold my iPod5G without taking it’s case off, this is not for me.  Home Dock Deluxe looks for me to be a better choice.

Posted by yagrax on April 10, 2006 at 1:36 PM (CDT)


Nope.  I’m not getting an Intel mini for just the frontrow features.  I’m actually probably getting a macbook pro next week for my home office desk (yay boot camp) and will migrate my current G4 mini with 1GB RAM to the entertainment center (frontrow runs great on it).  It has DVI, so it can be coverted to HDMI, and all I really want is the itunes capability anyway (don’t listen to much music in the living room).  I know the G4 mini doesn’t have optical audio out, but I’m not looking for 5.1 in my music.  Video podcasts and the like aren’t great quality (though they seem to look better in frontrow for some reason…maybe my imagination) and the HD ripped xvid and divx stuff I’ve watched on it looks pretty good on my 17” WXGA Dell TV/Monitor.  The mini will be driving a 37” Phillips LCD in the living room.  If the Intel Mini could upscale DVD, I would have considered buying one to avoid having to buy an upscaling DVD player and add another component.  Anyone still reading this post, I’d welcome some devil’s advocate type advice on the scenario.

Posted by rgs2 on April 10, 2006 at 8:13 PM (CDT)

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