My High Def Life: Going back to the TuneCommand AV after Apple TV

by Erica Sadun

Belkin's TuneCommand AV offers a video dock with a somewhat iffy remote control. (To be frank, the remote control is completely unreliable and pretty much unusable.) I recently moved the dock to the playroom along with one of our older TVs so my kids could use it to watch the many hours of Spongebob and other kid shows I regularly load onto the iPod.

It's an eye opening experience moving back to the iPod after you get used to Apple TV. Each time you want to change playlists, you've got to stand up, walk across the room and use the iPod menus to navigate to the item you want to use. Sure, this is great from a cardiovascular perspective, but otherwise it's a real pain. I don't want to have to keep getting up every time my miniscule attention span decides to pick another song or TV show to enjoy.

Also, you have to use the iPod--the *actual* iPod. If I want to watch Apple TV, all the content is already there. It synced itself, thank you very much. If the kids want to use the TuneCommand, they steal my physical iPod. That's fine if I'm at my computer with iTunes. But when I want to go out walking or take some of the other family members in the car, it's not such a great thing at all. They're now regularly stealing my iPod and using it much more than I'm really comfortable with. And I'm not exactly thrilled with the idea of coughing up another $200 to buy an extra refurb 30G video iPod.

Meanwhile, Apple TV continues to deliver. We've stuck it in places that we can't get cable and discovered that not only does it have excellent video access and control but that we enjoy the remote iTunes access a lot more than we ever expected to.

I'm kinda getting hooked on my Apple TV, even if I will never love it so much as I do my iPod.