CEDIA NEWS: Meridian iRIS converts iTunes video to high-definition

The world's not exactly short of iPod docks, and you might have thought high-end AV specialist Meridian would leave the competitive portable dock market to others. But in an attempt to broaden its appeal, the company has just unveiled the $390 iRIS.

Of course, this being Meridian, there's an interesting technical twist involved. This is no ordinary iDock. Oh no. It upscales low-res video from iTunes and other sources to 1080p, using advanced Qdeo processing from Marvell Semiconductors, and feeds the video signal to your screen via HDMI or analogue component connections.

Meridian claims the iRIS "dramatically improves iPod video content by removing jaggies and feathering", bypassing the iPod's internal video processing altogether.

There's also DSP-based resolution enhancement for audio, and even adjustable time delay to compensate for lip-sync problems. The iRIS is compatible with all docking iPods, including the iPhone and new iTouch models.

Now it would be an exaggeration to say that the iRIS turns low-res video into true high-def, but having seen the system in action on a 26in Sharp LCD TV, the result is impressive.

We viewed a clip from Pirates of the Caribbean downloaded from iTunes, and while the improved video quality isn't quite up to the standard of DVD, it's certainly far better than conventional iTunes material played on a large screen.

The iRIS goes on sale in the US in November.

Technorati Tags: 1080p, Apple iPod, iPod dock, MP3, MP4

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.