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Philips DC910 Docking Entertainment System review



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I've looked at a number of Philips products recently and all have exhibited something of a trend; they were priced and performed just above the budget brands but did little to distinguish themselves, which is a shame considering Philips is a company we'd normally expect better things from. So it is with the product I'm looking at today, the DC910. This is an iPod speaker dock with built-in FM radio and it just about epitomises this trend I've witnessed, though it does have a few tricks up its sleeve that could prove attractive to you.

Starting with its styling and we can see it's rather attractive with a sleek single black speaker grill on the front and slim silver surround to set it off. It's simple but classy and it's a look that works just as well in the flesh as it does in the glamour shots. The fit and finish is also good quality with none of the usual tell tale signs of cheap products - things like the little marks that can be left behind by the moulds that are used to shape the plastic.

One of the DC910's two standout features is its iPod dock. Quite simply, it can rotate so, when using an iPod Touch (it's not officially compatible with iPhones and they do struggle to fit in the adapters that are used to hold the iPod in place), you can watch video in landscape mode. Now that may sound like a bit of a gimmick and for the most part I'd probably agree - certainly I wouldn't see it as enough of a feature to recommend this device over any other. However, it's a nice extra to have for those half dozen occasions when you might want to use it.

Another thing that's likely to be only of occasional use is the DC910's inclusion of a USB socket and SD card slot. These can be used to play music stored on USB drives and SD cards, which can be formatted in either FAT12, FAT16, or FAT32. File format support is not brilliant, with DRM tracks not supported for a start, but the basics of mp3 and WMA are there.

There is a structure to the way the DC910 reads the music stored on USB and SD devices, though it's not as comprehensive as you may hope. Essentially it will follow an alphabetical file and folder structure, up to a depth of eight folders, and cycle through the whole lot in order. Unfortunately, while you may know what order your music may be played in, there's no way to browse by folder, you just have to cycle through one track after the next until you get to where you want to be.

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November 26, 2008, 11:06 pm

I own a DC910 and am using it with a first gen ipod touch. For the most part this review is an accurate reflection of the product. However when it comes to the remote the review is misleading. The remote actually allows you to control the ipods music menus, which means you can do far more than "just skipping tracks in your current playlist, playing and pausing music, and controlling volume" you can in fact go into your album or artist lists and make selections. You can do this by pressing the menu button and using the up and down buttons on the remote. Setting the clock is a breeze - however for the technically challenged there is a handy manual included in the box.

Sound wise this dock doesn't really compete with say a Bose SoundDock. However with an ipod touch the soundDock requires your WiFi to be turned off - which is rather annoying. But not quite as annoying as the awful hum you get if you forget to turn it off. No such problem with the DC910. This coupled with the numerous features that the DC910 gives you over other standard docks - the functionality of its remote, usb/sd and 2 additional aux inputs, radio, rotating dock for video, clock with sleep functions, display, and the option to mount it on the wall - mean that you get a lot more for less money than a Bose.

Does it sound as good as some other docks? No - but the difference is not a deal breaker and if you feel it is then you're too much of an audiophile to be using this kind of product anyway.

I picked mine up in Costco for 𧴰 when it first came out which was 㿊 cheaper than argos at the time. Overall I'm very happy with it. The only negative for me really is that when the dock is rotated horizontally and you're in coverflow the remote won't control coverflow for you except for basic functions within the album you've selected (ie it won't flick through the albums) - seems like Philips missed a trick there. Still it's well worth an audition.

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