Optimum iPod video output cables | iLounge Article


Optimum iPod video output cables

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Q: I am trying to get the best possible video resolution out of an iPod touch / iPhone dock. I purchased a monster cable with an S-Video connection, but Apple stopped making the S-Video dock. Apple now sells the component video kit but I have been told S-Video is still better. How do I get the highest resolution out of my iPhone or iPod onto my TV? My television is rated at 1080, but the only docks I find are around 600.

- Craig

A: The first important point to consider is that regardless of the cable used or the television used, the iPod (and iPhone) are only capable of 480-line output (NTSC) or 576-line output (PAL), and the content on the iPod itself is limited to these resolutions also (approximately 720x480 or 720x576 are the upper hard-limits, and these are even lower on some iPod models). Therefore, no cable is going to provide any higher resolution or quality than this, since your source material and source signal is limited to these standard-definition resolutions.

Several manufacturers such as DLO and Creative Labs have begun to release “upscaling” iPod docks that provide high-definition 720p output from a standard 2007 iPod model. However, these are the same in principle as an upscaling DVD player—the source material is simply being cleaned up and output at a native HD resolution for your TV, and any quality increases are going to be minimal compared to viewing content actually encoded at 720p or higher.

S-Video is somewhat superior to composite video output (identified by a single RCA video lead, normally coloured yellow). However, contrary to what you’ve been told, S-Video is definitely considerably lower in quality than component video output (identified by three RCA video leads, normally coloured red, green, and blue). In fact, component video is the only three of these connections that can be used to carry progressive scan video content from DVD players and HDTV content.

Note as well that with the iPod classic and iPod nano (with video), the Component AV cables can provide a progressive 480p signal, whereas the S-Video and composite outputs are limited to 480i. Unfortunately, the iPod touch and iPhone do not currently support 480p output, so you will be limited to interlaced video on these devices regardless of which cables you use.

Ideally, however, if your TV supports component inputs (as almost all HDTVs on the market do), the Apple Component AV Cables are definitely the recommended choice for the best quality. This is especially true if you are using an iPod classic or iPod nano (with video) which have better-quality 480p output capabilities, but even with the iPod touch or iPhone the quality increase is noticeable enough.


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hi there i think me ipod is dead:(
i was listening to it on the train and all of a sudden it went quiet. i changed a song and it just stayed on 0:00 and now when i connect it to my computer it doesnt come up on my computer plz help! i really need it fixed!
(p.s. my ipod is nano 2nd generation 2gb if that helps thanks in a advance marcus :)

Posted by Marcus in Toronto on July 6, 2008 at 4:28 PM (CDT)


I am fairly new to itunes and have started copying my cd library into itunes.  There is a field for release date but when I open info the field is not there to input.  How do I access this field.  Once I have input this information I would like to have my albums sorted by album artist and then by release date.  Can I do this and if so how?

Posted by Phil in Toronto on July 7, 2008 at 2:37 AM (CDT)



Within iTunes, command-i will open the info dialogue of a music file. Select the Info tab within this window and you will see a box for Year; you can only have the 4-digit year of release (cannot have the month and day included).

To view the year within the iTunes player window, select View from the iTunes menu, and then select View Options…
Check the box next to Year and then click OK.

There is an actual Release Date heading, but that is only available for Podcasts.


Posted by consumer_Q in Toronto on July 7, 2008 at 1:54 PM (CDT)


Note as well that clicking on the ‘Album’ heading in any track listing in iTunes will toggle between Album, Album by Artist, and Album by Year.  The third option will still keep your tracks grouped/sorted by album and artist, but the albums themselves will be sorted by year, rather than alphabetically.

Sorting on the “Year” column alone, of course, will not necessarily keep your tracks grouped logically.

The “Release Date” heading is also used for TV Shows, incidentally, but there is presently no way in iTunes itself to set this field, even via Applescript. You must resort to third-party tools such as AtomicParsley.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on July 7, 2008 at 3:51 PM (CDT)


Someone changed my daughter’s master pod’s code lock. I am now unable to access anything…..we son not know the new lock code, and want to know if there is a way to override th elock code. I heard that 1234 will unlock the code, but that does not work.

Posted by Sherry Nasikapow in Toronto on July 9, 2008 at 10:23 PM (CDT)


The password on our IPod has been lost.  I went into recovery mode and tried to restore.  I got the following message.  “The iPod~iPod~ could not be restored.  An unknown error occurred [1603].”  What do I do?  How do I get it out of recovery mode?  We have not been able to use it for several months now.  It is an iPod touch 8GB.  Please help!

Posted by Jack Bastian in Toronto on July 12, 2008 at 4:08 PM (CDT)


A long time ago, i had installed ipod software on my computer, recently i had to make some changes, and now ipod is lost.  I attempted to re-install the software, but my computer will not read the disc as valid.  A friend of mine who already had ipod software on her computer tried to connect to my ipod, and it would not link…what do i do?

Posted by Alma in Toronto on July 17, 2008 at 2:47 AM (CDT)


My Ipod will play but I cannot hear music out of the headphones. Is there anything that I can do to fix the sound? If there is, if anyone can help me with this matter, I am thanking you in advance.

Posted by Big Roge in Toronto on July 21, 2008 at 12:56 PM (CDT)


Hi I have a new Ipod nano 8GB, I downloaded itunes and when i plug the ipod in the pc, the set up assistant wont appear, so I cannot do anything. The ipod appears on the pc though as any regular ESB would. Just an empty removable disk. Please help.

Posted by bail in Toronto on February 11, 2009 at 5:22 AM (CST)


I have a Nano 4gb but my computer is only running windows 2000 which can’t support the itunes required for my new nano.

I was able to get music on my ipod using MonkeyMania . All my music shows up but when I push the play button it won’t work, I’ve checked all my settings .  Apple support said to try update and restore.  I’m stuck since I don’t have itunes.  MY QUESTION.  IS THERE ANY WAY TO UPDATE AND RESTORE WITHOUT USING ITUNES.  ?? IS THERE A WAY TO RESTORE WITHOUT COMPUTER JUST ON THE NANO ITSELF???

Posted by josephineh in Toronto on February 14, 2009 at 2:43 AM (CST)


ok so i have a 4th generation ipod (the one where you can shake it) and it says its corrupt…so ive completely erased my itunes and everything itunes/ipod related. ive tried restoring and resetting it, but it only goes back to the “Chooses a language screen” and my itunes doesnt recognize it. my ipod also says its completely full…like theres no space on there, and its taken by “other” and not audio. what the heck do i do? im so frustrated!! please help.

Posted by 09perezt in Toronto on October 9, 2009 at 7:20 PM (CDT)

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