The latest update from iPort features on-screen menu navigation.
The iPort FS-23, the third model in iPort’s Freestanding Series of digital media systems for the iPod works with most iPod models, including the iPod touch.
The FS-23’s on-screen menu is controlled by an included IR remote control; the IR codes can also be programmed into compatible third-party learning remotes. iPod metadata for artist, song, album, and playback time information, along with high-quality replication of cover art, are displayed on any compatible TV via a component-video and stereo audio connection.
The menu system allows users to control the music and video menus as well as various configurations such as screen saver activation and the iPod’s repeat, shuffle, and equalizer settings.
“iPort is a brand that focuses on a great user experience for all types of iPod control, and now, with our first on-screen GUI (graphical user interface), we can offer our dealers a feature that is fun and easy to use,”
“The design of the on-screen interface is something we paid a lot of attention to in the development of the FS-23,” iPort consultant Buzz Delano said. “We wanted to provide a navigation experience that iPod users would be familiar with along with an elegant look and the most popular features most people wanted. For instance, many iPod users have large libraries, so we wanted to make searching for a particular artist or song easy.”
Users can choose to navigate by scrolling through the library, or they can select an alphanumeric on-screen keyboard. Using the on-screen search keyboard is a quick way to type in one or more characters to go to the content you’re looking to play.
“We designed the keyboard to be intuitive, in alphabetical order to best work with remote control cursor-based navigation,” Delano said.
The iPort FS-23 includes features useful for electronic systems contractors, such as dual-zone IR capability via an optional 3.5mm rear-panel connection, and Ethernet-based synchronization with iTunes. iPortNetSync is a downloadable syncing software that will enable dealers and end-users to select from more than one iTunes library on one or more computers connected to a local network that will sync to the iPod docked in the FS-23.
To further the FS-23’s appeal, the menu can be selected to operate in six languages, and a remote-control button function can be employed to switch the video output between the NTSC and PAL formats. Another remote-control feature is the FS-23’s ability to switch the docked iPod to “general” mode in which control of the iPod can be made manually at the iPort. Playback of photos from the docked iPod on the connected TV is possible when general mode is selected.
“We’ve embraced a design platform that makes the iPort compatible with just about any system our dealers are selling,” Delano said. “With the FS-23, dealers can provide their customers with a great iPod experience anywhere in their homes while increasing business for their companies.”
The FS-23 will ship to dealers later this month and sell for a suggested retail price of $450 (including an IR remote control, all audio-video connecting cables, and an international power supply.)