Given that the iXtreamer is based on the same hardware and software as the other Xtreamer media centres, we're not going to repeat everything we've already told you about the interface and compatibility. In this article, we're going to focus on the Apple dock and what it actually gives in practice.
Most Apple devices can be connected up, including the iPad
The different compatible devices are listed on the Xtreamer site. We carried out our tests with an iPod Classic from 2007 as well as with an iPod Nano 6G. We stuffed our multimedia players with photos, videos (for the Classic) and music.
The photos are stretched and streaks are visible, though you can't necessarily see them on all photos.
Once connected to the dock, you can access a specific Apple device menu. Then the streaks running across the screen give the impression that the device isn't sitting in the dock properly. When you check, everything is well connected and the fault seems 'standard'. We thought we must be back in the wonderful era of the scart for a second there!
Devices running on iOS 4 and upwards can be piloted from the iXtreamer remote. Those that aren't iOS4, like our iPod Classic from 2007 for example, must be piloted from the device itself.
Navigation is rather limited and doesn't make the most of an HD screen at all. Photo quality is really awful, with most photos stretched horizontally. Note that on our iPod Nano 6G, we had to launch photo viewing from the device. There's no stretching on videos, but the streaks we described higher up will put off quite a few of you we imagine.
The only positive comes in the handling of the audio with display of information on tracks and album covers. In our tests, there were several crashes, in spite of using the latest firmwares (device and dock). The dock also charges up your device, which is obviously no bad thing.
Lets finish by looking at noise levels, storage and the remote. The fan isn't necessarily all that quiet but noise levels are tolerable. You can reduce noise by getting a fanless cooling module separately (IceCube). You can insert a 3.5 inch hard drive, the installation of which requires you to screw in four screws.
There's a different remote than on the previous models. Unfortunately, it's still an entry level model of very average quality. The buttons are phosphorescent and the handling pretty average, there being no place for the index!
For the rest, we refer you to our Xtreamer SideWinder test. You'll find all the detail on the navigation interface and video jukebox there. Our readings can always be accessed in the media centre face-off.
- Flawless multimedia compatibility
- Video jukebox
- Apple dock facility
- Poor implementation of dock: shameful display quality
- Very plastic feel to the casing
- Very plastic feel to the remote
The idea is great but implementation poor. It's only worthwhile for listening to music, the rest isn't up to the mark. It gets its stars for its qualities as a media centre. The Apple dock is mediocre.