Chinon’s AVi is a combination iPod dock, Digital TV and MP3 player that’s good for kids.
It’s portable, easy to use, and the picture and sound quality are OK. It has big, easy-to-use buttons that are great for kids. It’s not for the living room, but it does do a ton of things, which makes it good for a kids’ room or RV.
Right out of the box the AVi is easy enough to set up. We barely even glanced at the directions. The onscreen menus and buttons are kid friendly. It comes with a credit-card-sized remote and various plugs.
We plugged it in and set up the clock with little effort. The alarm clock has an especially loud buzz. It could wake up the dead. Perfect for the kid who hates to get up in the morning. Or they can wake up to their favorite iPod tune — or the radio or TV.
The AVi is very portable. It takes eight C batteries. We didn’t try taking it out but it could be fun at a picnic or the beach.
The TV function is fun. The 7-inch screen is plenty big. The small black detachable antenna is cute and was a hit with the kids, who pretended they were robots. After scanning for over-the-air channels, we managed to tune about 20 or so. Most of them were pretty obscure: weather and shopping channels; some Mexican soap operas and a few sport channels. The only major channel we managed to get was NBC. However, channel availability varies on antenna placement and the signal strength at your location.
The iPod function is definitely the biggest hit. It fits all iPods and iPhones. We placed an iPod Nano 4 in the slot on the top. The kids can listen to music and watch videos on the screen while the docked iPod is charging.
We watched an old episode of Pimp my Ride which they had downloaded. I also had no idea that they had taken over 35 videos! Most of them were unwatchable but fun nonetheless. They normally bug me to use my computer and I usually tell them no, but now they can use the AVi to watch their videos in their own room.
The sound quality seems to be better for the TV than FM radio. The volume went up pretty loud but the quality is just okay, not great especially if you are an audio nut. It is certainly good enough for the kids though.
The Chinon AVi has many functions that make it a good all around system.
The AVi is made by Chinon