San Clemente, Calif.-based iPort has announced
five new free standing (FS) models of its iPort music system, designed to let iPod users integrate audio and photo connectivity to their home entertainment systems and sync with iTunes. The devices start at US$150 and will be available starting in the fourth calendar quarter of 2005.
The iPort was introduced by Sonance late last year — it’s an in-wall system that lets home theater enthusiasts plug in their iPods to their home entertainment systems. Earlier this year Sonance’s parent company, Dana Innovations, spun iPort off as a separate division.
The new FS systems save iPort users from having to knock a hole in the wall to give their iPods a place to sit. The devices provide users with the ability to control volume from the iPort and view the iPod’s song, album, artist and playlist information on touch-screen control systems. They also charge the iPod when it’s docked and provide connectivity to a computer so you can synchronize the music on the iPod with your Mac or PC.
The basic systems come with a “mini-breakout box” that includes RCA audio, S-Video and composite video connections, power, as well as USB, power and control inputs. The entry-level iPort FS-1 is controlled manually through the iPod click wheel; the $200 FS-2 adds IR remote capability (using the $50 REM-1 remote control) and variable audio output.
The more expensive iPort FS systems all include an advanced breakout box designed to integrate with home distributed audio and video systems. The $600 FS-3 has balanced audio, IR pass-through and sender and receiver wall-plates. The $800 FS-4 adds two-way communication, enabling users to operate the iPod from any room. The $1,100 FS-5 adds balanced video sender and receiver wall plates, so you can view photos on any TV or video devices integrated with the entertainment system