Video Conversion for playing from iPod classic to TV
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I have read several articles and can’t find the answer to my question which is probably quite simple for someone a bit more knowledgeable then myself. I use Handbrake to convert video files, usually xvid, to put onto my iPod classic, which I then hook up to my 42” HDTV via the Apple AV cables. I have no idea which settings I should use for this—any advice? Or is this a stupid way to do this and I should be using a different method altogether? Thanks for any assistance you may offer.
A: There’s definitely nothing wrong with using an iPod classic to store and playback videos from your iTunes library, and in fact the large capacity of the iPod classic makes it particularly well suited to storing and carrying a lot of videos with you.
The iPod classic only outputs video at a maximum resolution of 720x480, so it is going to fall quite a bit short of the resolution supported by your HDTV. However, if you’re only converting standard-definition video files in the first place—such as DVD movies and TV shows—this is not going to be an issue as this is the maximum resolution of this content anyway. Standard DVDs are encoded at 720x480, with a feature known as anamorphic encoding to either stretch the image to 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio (854x480), or shrink it to a standard TV 4:3 aspect ratio (640x480). You can read more about all of this in our Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats.
For converting standard-definition DVDs to store on your iPod for TV output, your best option is to simply use the “Universal” preset in Handbrake. This produces a video file that has more than acceptable quality for standard definition content, taking advantage of anamorphic encoding and maintaining compatibility with all of Apple’s current devices. This also means that the videos you’re encoding will continue to look fine should you later upgrade to an iOS device or Apple TV, without needing to worry about reconverting your files. In fact, even when encoding standard-definition DVDs for the Apple TV, the “Universal” preset is generally the typical choice as the higher-end settings are intended primarily for HD content—you can’t create resolution that isn’t there in the first place, and the higher bit-rates will usually result in only a theoretical increase in quality that most viewers won’t be able to actually see.
Note that Handbrake does include an “iPod” preset, but this should not be used unless you only intend to watch videos on your iPod screen rather than using the TV output. The iPod preset creates 320x240 videos to match the iPod screen resolution. It also does not employ anamorphic encoding, meaning that 16:9 widescreen videos will be rendered in an even lower 320x180 resolution, with black bars appearing at the top and bottom of the screen. The only advantage of this preset is that it creates considerably smaller files for users who only want to view their content solely on the 2.5” iPod screen.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- More details emerge on Apple Music overhaul
- iPhone tops Time’s list of most influential gadgets
- Kohl’s integrates rewards system with Apple Pay
- Apple hires ex-Nest exec to aid in health initiatives
- Apple loses exclusive ‘iPhone’ trademark in China
- Apple to reveal ‘sweeping changes’ to Apple Music interface at WWDC
- Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- Bowers & Wilkins acquired by EVA Automation
- India rejects Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones
- Rumor: Purported iPhone 7 component photo shows headphone jack intact
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)