Requirements: 4G or 5G iPod, 1G or 2G iPod nano, or iPod mini.
In May, I reviewed SendStation’s PocketDock Line Out USB. I noted at the end of the review that SendStation would soon ship an alternative version of the PocketDock that included video output.
A respectably long five-foot cable comes with the PocketDock AV and includes a USB connector, line level audio output to stereo RCA connectors, and video output to either a composite RCA or S-Video connector.
As the name suggests, the PocketDock AV is an ultra-portable substitute for Apple’s dock. In addition to the USB jack and the line level output jack found on the PocketDock Line Out USB, this AV version adds the additional jack to tap the video output from a 5G iPod.
Unlike its predecessor, the cables that are included with the PocketDock AV are combined into a single wire, which breaks out with the appropriate jacks on each end. Overall, I liked this because it means the cables won’t get separated. The minor downside is that in order to run the USB connection to a different location than where you’ve connected the audio and video jacks, you’ll need a separate USB cable anyway. Fortunately, standard peripheral USB cables are the type of thing most everyone has lying around.
When I first saw mention of the PocketDock AV in May, I incorrectly assumed that it only had an S-Video output jack. It turned out that the jack is the same type found on older Apple laptops, with pins for both composite and S-Video. The breakout cable includes both an RCA composite video plug and an S-Video plug.
Absent from the cable bundle is a 3.5 mm straight-through connection. The PocketDock Line Out USB ships with two cables—3.5 mm to dual RCA and a 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm. With the PocketDock AV, if you want to connect the line output to a 3.5 mm mini jack input, you’ll have to acquire your own cable.
The possible need to acquire separate USB or 3.5 mm mini cables is a very minor issue—one that probably won’t even bother most people. In all other respects, the PocketDock AV is a handy asset to any iPod road warrior.