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Compact for tight spaces, but with a full-sized remote.
Apple is probably looking forward to the day when DVDs are ditched for downloaded films—preferably from the iTunes Store, of course. But if you want to keep enjoying your DVD library, the iLuv i1255 can rock your film collection, plus play music and videos on your iPod via the built-in dock.
Setting up the slim, compact player was incredibly easy. The quick-setup card lists three steps, but it’s really one step, three ways. One: Hook up the included AV cable (yellow, red, white). Two: Upgrade to S-Video with your own cable, and use the AV cable for the audio. Three: Go all-out with a component video connection, again BYO cable (red, green, blue). If you’ve got a home theater system or set of powered surround-sound speakers, you can even hook up coaxial digital audio or 5.1-channel surround with the outputs on the back panel. Note that the component, coaxial audio, and 5.1 surround only work in DVD mode, so keep the AV or S-Video cables hooked up if you want to use your iPod too.
The full-size IR remote (two AAA alkalines included) controls the easily navigated menus, which in iPod mode are the same as your iPod’s, with music, movies, TV shows, and podcasts. Standard-definition videos (you can’t put HD content on an iPod) looked good on our 42-inch widescreen TV, slightly less than DVD quality. You can pause, play, rewind, and control the volume right from your couch. The dock even worked with our brand-new iPods and the iPhone 3G.
In DVD mode, the movie is paused when you enter the setup screens, where you can set your TV’s aspect ratio, language, subtitles, audio, brightness/contrast, and so on. Several of the menu options have their own buttons on the remote, such as language and display. It’s nice to have quick access, but it does clutter up the remote a bit. Besides DVDs, you can play VCDs, audio and MP3 CDs, and JPEG or Kodak Picture CDs. DVDs and VCDs looked pristine in our tests, and the various video and audio connections performed perfectly.The svelte i1255—it’s only 12.6 by 9.2 inches and 2.1 inches tall—is great for dorms or other small spaces, and its versatile connections and reasonable price don’t hurt, either. Who says DVDs are dead?