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  #1  
Old 04-05-2009, 07:55 AM
varaonaid varaonaid is offline
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Default Cases + Dock

Hello,

I've searched all over online and can't find an answer to some of my questions so I'm hoping that maybe some here can help me.

I'm soon to be getting a Zune 120 and I could use some advice. I'm trying to decide on a case but I'm also thinking about getting the Home A/V Dock kit. Are there any cases that allow you to dock while in the case/skin? If not, are there any cases that offer good protection while allowing easy in/out access? Seems like silicone wouldn't be a good option for easy on/off if you can't dock it in the skin itself. I'm kind of leaning towards one of the Zune brand leather cases but I'm having a hard time finding them online. Does anyone know a good place to buy one?

Second question, do any of you have the Home A/V Dock kit and, if so, do you like it? Do you think it's worth the $$$? Does it make it easier/better/more functional?

Any thoughts and advice would be most appreciated. Please feel free to add any additional info that you think would be helpful.

Thanks so much!

Rae
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2009, 10:13 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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A friend has the A/V dock v2 and loves it. The way he has it setup lets him use his Zune 80 as his one video and audio source. With the various cables and connections that came included he plays his Zune thru his home theater system and TV. Being able to control the player with the remote gives him great functionality. He uses composite video out and gets a decent picture but if you get a component cable the video quality the should really take a step up.

My favorite Zune accessory is the Altec Lansing M604 speaker. I use it for charging, listening and data transfer. It has most of the bells and whistles of the A/V dock kit but the remote controls only the speakers not the Zune. It only supports composite not component video out AFAIK. Room (not house) filling sound, well balanced but limited bass response. Surprising volume without distortion.

Depending on your needs you won't go wrong with either one. Despite the knocks on the Zune the one thing I have noticed is that all the electronic accessories I have seen for them are top quality.

Griffin makes a line of polycarbonate cases for the Zune. The player pops in and out easily once you open it with a coin or thumbnail. Good thing because all of the docks/speakers I have seen fit the body of the player tightly. I guess that's to prevent damage to the Zune or the docks connector. Those are the easiest cases I have used for removing the player. Never had a leather case so I can't say which I prefer.

BTW Zune.net is a great starting point for looking for accessories. They have links that take you right to retailers page for the items you're looking for.

Enjoy your Zune when it arrives! Keep us posted
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2009, 05:07 PM
jkj1962 jkj1962 is offline
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The Zune 120 fits into the dock very snugly, there's little or no room for a case. The "official" Zune brown leather case doesn't have openings for the sync connector, so it has to be removed for syncing. It also doesn't have any kind of belt clip; you have to put it in a pocket. It's still a nice case, but not very functional. I was able to find one at Overstock.com. Amazon has had them as well.

DLO makes a nice leather case with a belt clip and a sync opening. They are available at Best Buy, sometimes. You can sync with the cable, but it won't go in the dock while in the DLO case. Neither of these has screen protection, which is a lesser concern with the Zune have glass instead of plastic covering the screen.

The "Premium" Zune headphones may or may not be worth it. They're better than the stock earbuds, but not as good as some others. The car charger-transmitter is decent, better than others I have seen.

Keep in mind there are "V1" and "V2" accessories. The "V1" stuff is generally intended for the Zune 30, and "V2" intended for the flash Zunes and the 80 and 120. There's a "Zune Travel Pack" floating around that consists of a Travel Case, Premium Headphones, a charger and a wired remote. The Travel Case itself is nice, and the 120 will fit just fine. The charger and remote are for the Zune 30, and there are reports that the remote doesn't work with the 80 or 120. If you like the travel case, I'd recommend getting it seperately and getting V2 accessories to go in it.

I do not recommend any of the "Full Accessory Bundles" that have 12 to 15 items in them. All of the items are 3rd-party, cheap, and IMO not worth the money.

Enjoy your Zune!
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2009, 01:37 PM
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batkinson001 batkinson001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkj1962 View Post
The Zune 120 fits into the dock very snugly, there's little or no room for a case. The "official" Zune brown leather case doesn't have openings for the sync connector, so it has to be removed for syncing. It also doesn't have any kind of belt clip; you have to put it in a pocket. It's still a nice case, but not very functional. I was able to find one at Overstock.com. Amazon has had them as well.

DLO makes a nice leather case with a belt clip and a sync opening. They are available at Best Buy, sometimes. You can sync with the cable, but it won't go in the dock while in the DLO case. Neither of these has screen protection, which is a lesser concern with the Zune have glass instead of plastic covering the screen.

The "Premium" Zune headphones may or may not be worth it. They're better than the stock earbuds, but not as good as some others. The car charger-transmitter is decent, better than others I have seen.

Keep in mind there are "V1" and "V2" accessories. The "V1" stuff is generally intended for the Zune 30, and "V2" intended for the flash Zunes and the 80 and 120. There's a "Zune Travel Pack" floating around that consists of a Travel Case, Premium Headphones, a charger and a wired remote. The Travel Case itself is nice, and the 120 will fit just fine. The charger and remote are for the Zune 30, and there are reports that the remote doesn't work with the 80 or 120. If you like the travel case, I'd recommend getting it seperately and getting V2 accessories to go in it.

I do not recommend any of the "Full Accessory Bundles" that have 12 to 15 items in them. All of the items are 3rd-party, cheap, and IMO not worth the money.

Enjoy your Zune!
a well written post. thanks.

if you havent gotten a zune yet get the 120 with the av pack bundled with it. i did and it cost me up here in Canada $250 before taxes... well worth the money!
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:13 PM
GameKing GameKing is offline
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I just purchased my Zune 120 (from Future Shop in Canada). They had the black Zune for C$249--but, they also had the red Zune for the same price and it included the Home AV accessories! I am not sure if this was just a Canadian promo (probably a special promotion just for Future Shop), but I would suggest spending a few minutes checking your favourite online retailers!

I have used the AV unit only once. I had a TV show which I recorded on my PVR (edited out the commercials) and then used AVS To Go to convert it to Zune format (.wmv). I connected the adapter to the my 42" HD TV using the supplied composite cables and the result was better than I expected, but certainly nowhere near the original when played back from my PVR.

I have component cables, but as they are part of my rather complicated setup I haven't made the effort to use them yet. When I do, if there is noticeable improvement I will post another message here.

But, to answer your question is the AV kit worth the extra bucks (if you don't get it for free?) The answer is.. it depends... As for me I wouldn't buy it. I also have an Archos, and I tried the Home AV system with that (very expensive!) and returned it.

Hope this helps.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:27 PM
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batkinson001 batkinson001 is offline
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had there been a red one when I bought mine i would have done so. the home av kit is worth it only if you get it bundled with the zune, it's way too expensive on its own...
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2009, 01:03 PM
GameKing GameKing is offline
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As I promised I just tested my Zune120 using the component cables.

Bottom line..not any better than using the composite cables!

1. I added a movie, directly from the DVD, onto my Zune. So, I had the best quality .wmv file I could get.
2. I played it on the Zune and it looks super.
3. I connected it to my 42" HD TV using the composite cables and noted the quality; particularly the jagged edges.
4. Then I connected usng my component cables and compared the quality. I couldn't notice any difference at all!

I am sure the issue is that the image is highly compressed for the .wmv format we use on Zune, and when we display that image on a large screen TV we are going to get pixelation!

NOTE for those who don't know which cable is which:
a. Composite video uses the old 3-cable system (usually red/white/yellow). Only one of these carries the video signal--the other two carry the stereo audio.
b. Component video also uses three cables (red/blue/green) but all three carry the video signal; hence the improved video signal!

P.S. Apologies if I have missed some of the nuances that audiophiles understand, but I tried it keep it basic.
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