Chinon USA ( has introduced the US$199 AVi portable iPod docking/charging station complete with a seven-inch TFT LCD monitor, ATSC digital TV tuner, and audio.

Dock an iPod into its top, and the AVi expands iTunes movies, music videos, and TV shows on its widescreen (16:9) LCD screen. Plus, it plays iTunes music and standard MP3 music files on its 2.5W dual speakers. Need video streaming off the Internet? Plug in an iPod touch with Wi-Fi to watch YouTube, Hulu or full-length Netflix movies.

In addition, users can showcase their iPod-stored digital photos on the LCD, turning the AVi into a digital photo frame. The AVi simultaneously plays and charges the iPod so you don’t have to worry about running down the battery.

With the Chinon AVi, you can also watch your favorite TV programs anywhere, any time, in your backyard or on the go. Inside the AVi box users will find a detatchable digital antenna for receiving over-the-air HDTV broadcasts and a built-in telescopic antenna for FM radio broadcasts. Its auto scan mode presets all digital radio and TV stations for selection.

While reception quality may vary depending on antenna placement and the signal strength at the location, most users within 35 miles of a major city will enjoy crisp reception of a multitude of entertainment selections for free, says Masazumi Chino, president of Chinon Corp. Better reception for the AVi can be achieved by connecting it to a roof-top TV antenna. Chinon will offer an optional extra adapter cable in November. Consumers with older analog TVs can use the AVi as a digital TV converter by connecting via its component video inputs.

The AVi’s retro “boom box” frame is complimented by a rubberized black finish, silver trim, and large controls. Users can also pop in eight C batteries for using it on the go.An optional rechargeable battery pack will be available in November.

To add an extra dimension the AVi also works as an alarm clock, letting users wake up to their favorite iPod tunes or local TV morning news. It’s video/audio/photo compatible with newer generations of the iPod classic, iPod nano (including the new sixth generation), and iPod shuffle. The AVi will also play music stored on the iPhone and iPod touch.