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Meridian Intros iPod Universal Dock

Cambridgeshire, England — Meridian Audio introduced an iPod universal dock at the CEDIA Expo, being held in Denver this week.

The iRis universal dock accepts the full range of current iPod models, said Meridian, and it delivers battery charging and home audio-system integration and control. Additionally, the Meridian design features high-end video up-conversion processing (up to 1080p) and uses an Odeo digital processing engine from chip maker Marvell.

According to Meridian, “Instead of the lower definition resolutions ‘native’ to small-format iPod Video clips, downloaded video can be displayed on the large screen in impressively tight, HD-formatted full-screen video — up to 1080p on HDMI, or 1080i or 720p via the Meridian iRIS analog component-video outputs.”

The iRis circular design provides a standard Apple 30-pin dock connector on its top surface, accepting any current or recent third-generation iPod or iPod Video model, while its rear edge includes HDMI, component, and standard-definition S-Video and composite video outputs, along with coax and optical digital-audio, and headphone and line-level analog-audio outputs. There’s also an HDMI input to accept an outboard non-iPod source, and a simple source-select button to switch between a docked iPod and an external source.

Another iRis button selects video format/aspect-ratio, matching the displayed clip to the home screen. A third automatically synchronizes the iPod with a computer linked via USB.

The iRIS is scheduled to become available in November at a $379 suggested retail.