Product review – Microsoft Zune AV kit

In my final installment of “convince people the Microsoft Zune rocks”, I’m going to give you a quick look at the Zune AV kit. I’ve featured this pack of accessories before when I showed how to hook your own equipment up to the hotel TV.

As a refresher, here are the reasons I think the Zune is the best option out there are the moment for an MP3 player – the price is right, the interface is fantastic and the desktop software and Zune service are brilliant.

As I mentioned in my original review, there are not that many accessories for the device, certainly not as many as for the iPod, but the accessories that are available, are actually very good.
The Zune AV kit consists of the following parts:

  • docking base
  • composite video/audio cable
  • remote control
  • AC adapter
  • Various docking base adapters

The kit functions in several ways – you can plug the composite audio/video cable into the headphone jack of the Zune, and plug it directly into your TV. You can also plug the Zune into the docking base, then plug the AV cable into the dock.

When you plug the AC adapter into the Zune dock or your computer, you power the built in remote control receiver, which means you can now control the Zune using the included pocket remote.

Unlike other players, the Zune actually displays everything from its screen onto the TV – this means you can sit back and use the remote to pick music, photos or movies, without having to pick your content on the device first.

When you use the Zune AV kit with an 80GB Zune, you can also use the Component connectors, hidden behind a removable panel on the rear or the dock. When you use these outputs on a TV with component inputs, you’ll get a clearer picture, and while it won’t be in HD, it will look pretty damn good.

The best part of the Zune AV kit? The price. The kit has an MSRP of just $59.99. To make that even better, you can pick the kit up from Amazon for under $44! This is insanely low when you compare it with “that other’ brand of player, where the dock alone costs more than the entire Zune kit.

In an ideal world, the Zune AV kit would come with a carrying pouch, but the product isn’t really designed to be taken on your trips, even though it functions perfectly “on the road“.

All in all a solid and easy to use product with the kind of price that makes clicking “buy now” so much easier.