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Disgo iPod Dock with TV and Radio

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1 Review

Brand: Disgo / Type: Docking station / Features: Speakers, Portable digital TV, FM radio

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      05.01.2011 17:58
      Very helpful
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      Great to use with an iPhone but no good as an alarm clock or FM radio.

      I've owned the Disgo iPhone dock for around three months. I bought it for just over half price ex-display from HMV.

      The unit is small enough to fit comfortably on a bedside table or kitchen work surface. It isn't anything special to look at, but it's no worse than other stereos. For the price, metal speaker grills might have been nicer than matt silver plastic, but that's my only criticism of its appearance.

      In standby, the backlit blue LCD screen shows the time and various symbols to denote alarm settings. The backlight has two settings, but can't be turned off altogether without switching off at the mains. I keep the unit next to my bed and even on the brighter setting it doesn't keep me awake, but it may be a problem for those who like a completely dark bedroom. The display is white on blue, and can be difficult to see unless you're at exactly the right angle.

      The unit has an FM radio mode with 20 presets. The radio uses the built-in telescopic aerial, and isn't particularly sensitive. Its main drawback is that there is no way to manually turn off FM stereo, and when listening to weak signals the set often tries to pick up stereo when the signal isn't strong enough.

      The TV requires an external aerial - a small telescopic aerial is supplied in the box but this will be useless unless you have a very strong signal. Connected to a rooftop aerial the set performs well and seems fairly sensitive. It has a slightly annoying feature of ignoring channel numbers and storing channels in the order they are received, but the channels can be ordered manually later so this isn't a major problem. Picture quality is surprisingly good, and various settings such as contrast can be altered to suit your taste.

      For me, the iPod dock on the top of the unit was my main reason for purchase. In theory it works with all iPods with a dock connector, but the following observations are based on the iPhone 3GS, as that's the only Apple product I own.

      Although the iPhone reports that "This accessory is not optimised...", I've never experienced any problems other than occasional GSM chatter. This can be eliminated by putting the iPhone in flight safe mode. The phone charges even when the unit is in standby, and switching the unit to iPod mode automatically starts music playback. I found this to be a problem as I mainly listen to talking books, and the unit would skip to the start of the next book before playing. The way around this is to start playback on the phone before switching to iPod mode. Despite the manual saying it isn't compatible, the unit plays videos from the iPhone. This works with the iPod music player, the built-in Youtube app, the video player in the web browser and presumably any other app which supports video out. This means that you can watch Youtube videos or streaming services like iPlayer or TV Catchup on the large screen.

      The unit has an aux input, but unfortunately this is for audio only. Having a video input would have been extremely useful.

      The unit has an alarm which can be used with a buzzer, the iPod dock or the TV. The buzzer is LOUD and the other modes use the volume which the unit was last set to, so it isn't particularly usable. The unit also has a sleep timer which works in any mode and can be set in 10 minute increments up to 90 minutes.

      All the functions of the unit can be controlled by the supplied credit-card remote control. This is surprisingly usable, the buttons are clearly labelled and the range is good.

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