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Harmon Kardon's iPod Bridge
Remote control your iPod with The Bridge
Date Created: 07/29/2006 Last Updated: 07/29/2006 Authors: Rich Tozzoli

The thought of being able to select music on the iPod from across the room has always intrigued me. I mean - come on now - most of us have a lineup of remote controls on the coffee table for a TV, Cable box, DVD player and our receiver. Until now, the iPod was stuck in its own land of clicking and turning when you needed to find Van Halen down at the bottom of your list.

But thanks to Harmon Kardon's slickly designed Bridge iPod docking station, you can now select music with your AVR 40 Series receiver remote either on a TV screen or directly on the receiver display itself.

NERD NOTE: Harman Kardon was founded in 1953 by Dr. Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon - two men with a deep interest in both music and the arts. The company helped create the high-fidelity audio industry as we know it today.

 

"The Bridge" iPod Docking Station
The Bridge works with Harmon Kardon's iPod friendly AVR 40 Series receivers (AVR 740, 340, 240, 140 models). Included in The Bridge kit are various docking connectors, making it compatible with 3G or higher iPods, including the video models (note that video and photos will not be displayed onscreen). Simply connect the single plug into the back of the "DMP - The Bridge" input on the receiver and you're ready to go.



Once docked, you have to choose DMP The Bridge as the source on the receiver itself. The two-line display of the receiver and/or television will then scroll a "DMP/ THE BRIDGE IS CONNECTED" message. When the connection is confirmed, you navigate through the iPod using the receivers remote control.

The Bridge and remote operate together using software in the receiver that Harmon Kardon developed. Running from The Bridge's cable to the receiver, software then interprets data from the iPod - and formats it so the multiline data info from the iPod screen shows up as the text display on the receiver or TV. Definitely cool.

The analog stereo output of the iPod is controlled with the AVR's remote, allowing you to navigate through the iPod to choose songs. You can also control typical functions such as start/stop/pause and track choice, as well as Playlist, etc.

After the initial greeting, the first message you'll see is the MENU display on top and PLAYLISTS on the bottom. When you need to make a choice, simply press the Set key. For example, from the MENU where PLAYLIST is in the submenu, you can use the right arrow to scroll to ARTISTS, and then hit the SET key. Now all your ARTISTS will show up in the submenu, in alphabetical order. Then you again use the Right Arrow to begin scrolling through your artist list. When you've found the correct choice, hit the SET button again. To begin playback, hit the SET button once more. The Song will scroll by first (on the main menu), followed by the ARTIST, then the ALBUM. The submenu now displays elapsed time and time remaining. If you get ‘lost', just hit the SPKR (menu) key on the remote to start over.

While it all sounds great in theory, using the remote to navigate through my music collection was frustrating at first - especially when your iPod has a lot of music on it. However, I quickly got used to it and began to really enjoy The Bridge capabilities. I found it easiest to use the "Genre" category, allowing me to get to my artists/songs quicker. Aside of using just the remote, you can navigate via the Preset Up and Down buttons on the receivers front panel. That means if you loose your remote or the batteries run out, you can still get around. Note that once the iPod is connected to The Bridge , you have to switch back and forth between The Bridge button and the AVR button to control additional functions - such as volume when you want to crank it up.

 

Harmon Kardon AVR 240 Receiver
I reviewed The Bridge on a Harmon Kardon [an error occurred while processing this directive] Audio/Video Receiver. The AVR 240 itself had great sound and was quite easy to use for a fully functional AV receiver. There's quite a difference between and HTIB setup and a serious piece of gear like this one.

Some of the [an error occurred while processing this directive]'s highlights include:

  • 7.1 channels
  • Front A/V connections including Composite (1), Coaxial (1), Headphones, Optical (1), S-Video and RCA jacks.
  • Six digital and five S-Video inputs overall.
  • Surround sound capabilities include Dolby Digital, Pro Logic, Pro Logic IIX and EX, DTS ES, THX EX and DTS Neo:6.
  • EzSet, which automatically sets speaker levels.
  • 7X50 Watts/Channel in Surround mode.
  • HDTV Compatible Component Video Switching.
  • Great tone overall

 

Overall, I totally dig The Bridge . While sitting at my desk, I can just whip out the remote and call up a tune at whim. Yes, it does take some getting used to, but once you've got the hang of it, it's hard to go back to clicking and turning. Plus, it's a bonus that's The Bridge charges your iPod when it is docked. I hope Harmon Kardon works on a few shortcuts for the next generation of this product, but for now, it's definitely cool to have.





This item is available for purchase from Amazon.com

For more than 50 years, Harman International's legendary family of brands has been defining - and redefining - what is considered "state of the art" in the audio and video world. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HAR.

For more information, check out: http://www.harmankardon.com

Rating:
Requirements:
3G iPod or higher, Harmon Kardon AVR 40 receiver
Manufacturer:
harman/kardon

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