Using iPod & iPhone Video Out: Background and In-Depth Review

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Comments

  • minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    (Hm, do that already sell that type of cable? Guess I should check the Apple store...)



    Nope. That's what most of the complaints have been about.
  • wigginwiggin Posts: 2,068member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    Nope. That's what most of the complaints have been about.



    Well, it appears that Monster makes such a cable, but only for 5G iPods. And, of course, ridiculously expensive @ $59 (Monster makes Apple stuff look bargan basement prices!). So, just make the same thing but with whatever chip/circuitry is necessary to make it work with the new iPods.



    (Then again, it's a moot point for me. I gave up and just bought an 80 GB 5th Gen iPod on clearance from Apple. It was cheaper than the current 80 GB classic and works with all the accessories like the AV cable, camera connector, etc.)
  • gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,344member
    Thanks guys, great article.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    It would really be clever for Apple to deliver a mirrored output of the entire iPhone or Touch screen on TV, which the existing cables don't provide. Of course, the limitation is not with the cables but with the iPhone and Touch firmware itself.



    I would've liked the iPod Classic/Nano to display a simple menu on the TV screen. Then we could stick the iPod in the dock, and sit down with the Remote, and basically use it like an AppleTV.



    (Hey Apple, that'd be a nice MacWorld present! - $100 to use our existing iPods just like an AppleTV! Especially if iTunes rental is being announced...)



    Better yet, let me place my iPod in a TV dock, to give me full AppleTV features.... AND provide wireless syncing via the dock.
  • smiffysmiffy Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In order to know which type of video to output, the new iPods have to sense which type of cable or dock is plugged in, and then generate the appropriate signals. All iPods have a sense pin that is used to figure out what accessory or cable is plugged in so it can respond appropriately.



    Any further info on the sense pins? There's almost enough detail in this article to build your own cable. Shame everything's so tiny.



    $50 is just rude - especially because if you own an iPhone you already have the power adapter.
  • bocaboybocaboy Posts: 17member
    I have been using the new composite cable with my iPhone for about 2 months. I connect it to a Samsung 50" DLP screen, and it is awesome. I've been watching Grey's Anatomy and it is like having a portable DVR.



    A couple downsides, some of which can be overcome with Apple TV.



    1. There is no remote if the iPhone, Touch or Nano is by the TV and you are sprawled on the couch. If you want to fast forward or pause, you need to get up and do it from the unit.



    2. There seems to be an occasional battery problem with the iPhone when using the cable. While the iPod displays the picture just fine, it seems to think that it is discharging the battery instead of charging it, and intermittently will display a low battery level warning. When it does this, the unit is also very hot to the touch. The good news is that this doesn't happen very often, but it does happen.



    3. Picture quality is limited to 480i. Hardly horrible for TV, and absolutely not pixelated, but the TV is capable of more.



    My recommendation is that for $49, this purchase is a no-brainer for owners of iPhones, Touches and Nanos.
  • minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Here's a question - is it safe to run the iPod for extended periods of time hooked up to the charger? And is it OK to leave it connected long term? Or does it wear out the battery or overcharge it?
  • ohreallynowohreallynow Posts: 43member
    Now correct me if i am wrong.. but the article gave a great explanation of why there is no composite out thru the headphone jack for the iPhone.. and maybe even the touch.... but there is still no response as to why this is so for the new classic and nano.



    The article mentions the need for there to be a mic and ground hence the removal of this feature for the iPhone.. but NONE of the other iPods, including the touch, need for this to be the case. There is nothing preventing them from making the headphone connector the same way that it was in the previous video ipods so you could get away with not having to buy a $50 cable setup for something you could do with a cheap cable you might have had laying around from an old camcorder. There is no need for a mic or a plug that switches songs (like on the phone). Even on the iPod Touch, the headphones that come with it are the same ones that came with the previous gen iPods.



    The only thing that makes sense to me (other than Apple just wanting more money) is that they wanted to make simply ONE headphone jack, and have it work in all their devices without having to design and implement a separate one for the phone. This, if true, is lame. Another poster asked this question a few posts ago, and someone replied to it.. but they seemed to be forgetting the fact that on the iPod touch, nano, and classic of 2007... the headphone jack behaves as it always has on the iPod lineup before it. ONLY the phone is different... therefore I don't see why they took that feature out.



    Anyone else see this?
  • ohreallynowohreallynow Posts: 43member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Yes, you are. Apple had two choices:



    1.) Make the video output on the headphone jack of the 3G iPod "compatible" with standard composite A/V cables, which would in turn have made the iPod incompatible with "standard" headphones.



    2.) Make the headphone jack compatible with standard headphones, which necessitated a different "non-standard" A/V cable. As it is, the "non-standardness" of the A/V cable is just that some of the signals are sent to different pins - you can use a "standard" cable, you just in that case don't connect yellow to yellow, red to red and white to white.



    Option 2.) seems much better to me.



    *this is in regards to my last post*



    I think you might have misunderstood... the question is, why wont his AV cables work on his new 3G nano or touch like they did on the previous model iPods. The reason for this is because the headphone port in an 80GB classic is simply different than it was in an 30GB 5th gen. I was hoping the article might provide some insight as to why the jack changed when it didn't need to... and i think this is why the guy you are replying to still thinks that nothing has really been settled....



    . Apple had two choices.. and they chose the convenient / more lucrative one. ..... Making the headphone jack of the 3G iPod nano "compatible" with standard composite A/V cables would not have changed anything... the only thing this affects is the iPhone. The article mentions that they were faced with that issue in the previous model iPod.. but they chose to make the video in a different order on the ring than it normally is with most cables... <-- this made it compatible with all headphones. The caveat was that their iPod av-thru-headphone jack cables had the rings switched... unlike most standard AV cables... and thus, when trying to use standard AV cables.. you had to switch the RCA ports on the other end for everything to behave correctly.



    think about it. was the previous iPod any less "compatible" with other headphones than the new classics or nanos are? NOPE.



    again.. the only excuse for the switcheroo was for the iPhone to have the mic input..... none of the other ipods.. including the touch.. should have changed in this regard.
  • junkiejunkie Posts: 122member
    Maybe another explanation is that they were (maybe too) eager get a transition to component video and to get there they needed to cut something - and that thing they cut was having video output supported in both the dock connector and the headphone jack.



    Personally I think most people are switching to HD and its much better to use a component connector or even better an HDMI - that would be sweet, to me. I recently had this experience with photos. We started with plugging a digital camera using that cheap rca cable to an HD tv - it looked like blurry soup. I imported the photos to a powerbook and took my rarely used DVI-HDMI cable to output the video signal to the HD TV. It looked AMAZING! 1080p crisp as anything. I suspect this is the direction that Apple is going. And the next generation iPod might be able to output HD to the recent Universal dock, and with an HDMI cable, we are golden.



    I get why people favor the cheap cable option but I can see if Apple is weighing tradeoffs - these are tiny devices afterall doing an incredible amount of stuff - they would opt to cut the headphone jack support for video, cut S-Video support and shift a solution for video that will ramp better to HD - use the dock connector. And for people who want legacy composite support, a second cable option for them.



    But that does not help when you want to show you trip photos on your old-school aunt's TV.
  • madmaxmediamadmaxmedia Posts: 49member
    As far as using the headphone jack for video goes, they probably wanted to consolidate all the iPods and keep them on the same page. They might be using the same parts as well, I don't know.



    For the video display devices, it's quite possible that most of them use the s-video output from the 5 and 5.5G iPods, thus making them totally incompatible with current iPods. I do know that there's a workaround for getting the Sonic Impact Video-55 to work properly with the iPod Classic. For some reason it won't work with the Touch, according to this article it should work fine with either.



    Oh yeah, great article too! The whole 'authentication chip' thing always sounded a bit strange to me, although the evidence we had did seem to suggest Apple was purposely making old video accessories obsolete. Now we see there is some method to the madness. I don't think there was a solution that would make anyone happy, there simply aren't enough pins to support every video out type.
  • rhowarthrhowarth Posts: 144member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post


    - The original iPod Photo dock (later renamed the original iPod Universal Dock) will work with the 4G iPod-with-color-display, the 5G iPod, the 6G iPod, and all generations of iPod Nano so far, to output video on the S-Video port, or the dock's combined headphone/composite output.

    - That same Dock can never be used to output any video content at all when used in conjunction with the iPhone or the iPod Touch because they don't provide the S-Video output, and the original Universal Dock's dock connector feed-through doesn't include the video pins.



    This still doesn't make sense to me. I have a 5G video iPod and the "old" universal dock and AV cable. I also have a iPhone which I'd like to make work without buying yet more docks and cables.



    I understand why plugging the old AV cable into the iPhone headphone jack won't work (the 4th connector is used for microphone rather than composite out) and I'll take your word for it that the old dock doesn't feed through all the pins, though I don't see why that's relevant as I'm not trying to connect anything to the dock feed through socket. I can also accept that the iPhone doesn't have S-Video out, but presumably it has composite out via its dock pins?



    If so, why can't I plug the iPhone in my old dock and use the old AV cable in the line out socket of the dock and play the composite signal on my TV exactly as a I can with the 5G iPod?



    -Rolf
  • minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OhReallyNow View Post


    The only thing that makes sense to me (other than Apple just wanting more money) is that they wanted to make simply ONE headphone jack, and have it work in all their devices without having to design and implement a separate one for the phone. This, if true, is lame.



    That's probably it. There may be some modest cost/size savings as well, not to mention that the hardware design is completely different from the old one and also supports component in addition to composite.



    Even if they stopped selling the old cables, it would be better if they could still be used with the new models. I already have a cable for my 5.5 gen iPod, it's lame to have to spend $49 to get the same functionality on a nano.
  • madmaxmediamadmaxmedia Posts: 49member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post


    If so, why can't I plug the iPhone in my old dock and use the old AV cable in the line out socket of the dock and play the composite signal on my TV exactly as a I can with the 5G iPod?



    -Rolf



    I'm stumped on that one, that's a good question. I didn't know that the line out on the old dock output a composite video signal. There seems to be an explanation here, but I don't completely understand it-



    Quote:

    To further muddle things however, the iPhone's original Dock Connector does not pass video signals at all. It is visibly lacking conductors for pins 21-23, meaning it can't be used together with either Dock Connector video cable. That means the iPhone must either be used with the new cables directly, or using the optional Apple Universal Dock.



    I think what it means is that a straight video signal isn't being output by the iPhone. But if you have the right accessory, it will grab the video data and generate a video signal out of that. The same goes for the iPod Touch. This would explain why the certain video displays can still work with the iPod Classic (which does output a composite video signal), but not with the iPod Touch or iPhone.



    EDIT- there's other information in the article that seems to conflict with my statements. I'm hopelessly confused...this is worse than the IRS tax code.
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by martinmi View Post


    Great article with lots of information. Now on to my problem.



    I purchased the Universal Dock with Remote & the A/V cables for my wife 10 days ago from the Apple Store online.



    My wife has a 5th Gen iPod video. When I hooked it up I (by mistake) hooked the A/V cable to the iPod (while sitting in the Universal Dock). Everything worked great. Saw a movie on my Sony HD TV. The iPod would charge while in the Dock and the Remote worked fine.



    Then I realized that I could hook up the A/V cable to the Universal dock (instead of the headphone jack on the iPod). Well now, I get sound, but no video. I only touched one wire. The one that was plugged into the iPod directly. I moved it to the Universal dock (did not touch the TV set wires).



    Any suggestions? I know I could keep using it the "wrong" way, but why? It should work correctly. I have the newest Universal dock and the A/V cables that have one input for the iPod (or Dock) and three RCA plugs (yellow, red, and white).



    You bought the old iPod A/V cable, even though you bought it 10 days ago. The new one comes with the Dock to composite connector (with USB), not the 1/8" mini jack to composite connector.



    What you bought is on the right and what you should have bought is on the left:



  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OhReallyNow View Post


    Now correct me if i am wrong.. but the article gave a great explanation of why there is no composite out thru the headphone jack for the iPhone.. and maybe even the touch.... but there is still no response as to why this is so for the new classic and nano.



    The article mentions the need for there to be a mic and ground hence the removal of this feature for the iPhone.. but NONE of the other iPods, including the touch, need for this to be the case. There is nothing preventing them from making the headphone connector the same way that it was in the previous video ipods so you could get away with not having to buy a $50 cable setup for something you could do with a cheap cable you might have had laying around from an old camcorder. There is no need for a mic or a plug that switches songs (like on the phone). Even on the iPod Touch, the headphones that come with it are the same ones that came with the previous gen iPods.



    The only thing that makes sense to me (other than Apple just wanting more money) is that they wanted to make simply ONE headphone jack, and have it work in all their devices without having to design and implement a separate one for the phone. This, if true, is lame. Another poster asked this question a few posts ago, and someone replied to it.. but they seemed to be forgetting the fact that on the iPod touch, nano, and classic of 2007... the headphone jack behaves as it always has on the iPod lineup before it. ONLY the phone is different... therefore I don't see why they took that feature out.



    Anyone else see this?



    These were my thoughts as well. The fourth pin location on the headphone jack of the Classic and 3G Nano is now completely useless unless Apple develops a way to use the headphone jack for recording.
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post


    SI have the original iPod Universal Dock using the S-Video port for video output, and I am just trying to straighten out in my mind exactly which components might need to be replaced in the current set-up depending on what model my next iPod will be.



    It sounds to me like I shouldn't need any new accessories if I buy the 3G iPod Nano or the iPod Classic.



    But if I buy the iPod Touch, I'll need to buy the Composite AV Cable to continue viewing videos. (And possibly a 2nd-generation iPod Universal Dock if I want to be able to continue using the whole set-up with an Apple Remote.)



    Do I have it straight?



    Yes. I have a 160GB iPod Classic and the original Universal Dock and it works great connected to my old TV with a standard S-Video cable.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The iPhone and Touch don't generate an S-Video signal at all, but use the same pin outputs for composite and component video signals. [/c]



    Then why doesn't composite video from the iPhone or Touch transfer through the "old" Universal Dock to the "old" iPod A/V Cable port at the rear of the dock?
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dtabbutt@mac.com View Post


    Then why doesn't composite video from the iPhone or Touch transfer through the "old" Universal Dock to the "old" iPod A/V Cable port at the rear of the dock?



    My guess it's because the "old" iPod dock doesn't tell the iPhone and Touch which to provide through those pins -- composite or component video -- and by default it is component. This is the "authentication chip" issue that also affects the other legacy video accessories like goggles and portable viewers.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    My guess it's because the "old" iPod dock doesn't tell the iPhone and Touch which to provide through those pins -- composite or component video -- and by default it is component. This is the "authentication chip" issue that also affects the other legacy video accessories like goggles and portable viewers.



    Assuming you're correct, and I think you are, Apple could have avoided this whole affair, at least for those with the older Universal Dock, by having the iPhone and Touch default to composite video out on the same pins as every other video-capable iPod.



    In fact, they could still do it with a firmware update, since those pins actually are the same, they just default to component instead of composite. Change the firmware to sense a component cable and switch to that from the default composite instead of just the opposite as it does now, and the issue goes away for older Universal Dock owners.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 74member
    Two points of correction (though neither is really important to the story):



    (1) The 80GB Zune absolutely has component video output capability. The new version 2.0 dock has component video jacks on the back behind a plastic panel which usually hides them, with a switch to select between composite and component video. I have the new Zune and dock, and have used the component video output. It works great.



    (2) The story makes it sound like component video output is also called Extended Definition. This isn't the case. 480p is Extended Definition, and is only supported on a few iPod models. 480i (Standard Definition) via component video is available on several models, but this isn't ED.



    Just FYI...
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