Tekkeon's NavDock ND2000, an attractive black-and-silver dock and home media center, lets multimedia junkies charge their iPods while extending the reach of Apple's ubiquitous player to a big screen. Although we like the idea of the NavDock ND2000 acting as the hub for our iPod's music, video, and photos, we quickly realized that not everything viewable on a small screen is suitable for a larger one.
Easy Set-Up, Handy Remote
Using the bundled composite cables (there's also an S-Video port, but the cables aren't included), you can output the content of your iPod classic or third-generationiPod nano to a television or monitor. We had no problems using the included 16-button remote, which features handy music, photo, and video Quick Key buttons for swift content access. The remote also features volume, shuffle, and skip keys.
Tekkeon's on-screen interface, which sports slick blue-and-white highlights on a black background, looks very similar to Apple's Front Row UI. The intuitive menu features five categories on its right side (Music, Photos, Videos, Shuffle Songs, and Settings), and album art and song duration on its left side.
Good for Slideshows (If You Don't Mind Getting Up)
High-resolution photos that looked less than stellar on the iPod nano's small screen looked far better on our TV, although the pictures lost some vibrancy. (Note that in order to view photos on a TV or monitor, you have to go into your iPod's settings and activate the TV Out option.)
Unfortunately, shuffling through photos requires you to do so on the iPod itself, as Tekkeon states that the players' software does not allow for picture navigation through external docks.TheiPhoneandiPodtouch limit you even further; you can cycle through music on a TV with the remote, but you can't use the remote to navigate photos or videos.
Music and Video Quality
When playing music, you're treated to relatively small, but much appreciated, album art. Unfortunately, sometimes during the few seconds that the art took to load, audio would annoyingly drop out. (You can opt to turn off album art for a smoother experience.) Once the album art loaded, however, we were grooving to the Beastie Boys' "So What'cha Want" as it boomed through our TV's speakers. You can also output song lyrics if you have them loaded onto your iPod.
Naturally, you'll have to deal with some compromises when exporting content designed for an iPod nano's 2-inch LED display to a 22-inch screen. Our Amy Winehouse "Rehab" video that we purchased on iTunes looked washed out, and the images were stretched in attempting to fill the larger space; widescreen letter-box formatting would have worked wonders. Our Comedy Central Presents: Dane Cook video was downright unwatchable, as it displayed lots of pixelation and jaggies. Audio quality, on the other hand, was good.
Tekkeon NavDock ND2000 Verdict
If you absolutely insist on turning your iPod into your multimedia hub, the $109 NavDock ND2000 is a decent choice, especially if you're striving to liven up a room with tunes or a photo slideshow. If you want to blow up your videos, however, look elsewhere.