Apple locks TV Out in new iPods, breaks video add-ons | iLounge News


Apple locks TV Out in new iPods, breaks video add-ons

Did you buy an add-on display, dock, speaker system, car accessory or cable with video-out for your color 4G or 5G iPod? Were you expecting it to work with the iPod classic or new iPod nano? Think again.


Without disclosing the change to customers, Apple has locked the TV Out feature of the iPod classic and video-capable iPod nano, preventing users from outputting iPod content to their TV sets as has been done in years past. Going to the Videos > Settings menu brings up a TV Out option that is now unresponsive when clicked, showing only the word “off.” When locked, video content will display on the iPod’s screen, but not on your TV or portable display accessory.*



Presently, the only apparent way to turn this feature on is if you connect your iPod to a device with an Apple authentication chip built in. Authentication chips are only available in Apple products, and in a handful of products made by Apple-licensed third-party developers. The chips are not available to unlicensed developers, and add additional costs to the prices of iPod accessories. Upcoming Apple video cables that will work with the new iPods will sell for a staggering $49.



Testing results with old accessories have been mixed, but largely negative. iLounge has tested the new iPods with Apple’s Universal Dock and iPod Hi-Fi, both of which unlock the TV Out option—even though the Hi-Fi has no video out feature. We have also confirmed that the new iPods do not work in popular portable video displays such as the Memorex iFlip and Sonic Impact Video-55, or most speakers with video output capabilities. One notable third-party exception is Bowers and Wilkins’ recent $600 speaker system Zeppelin, which appears to contain an authentication chip and have been assisted during development by Apple, unlike its lower-priced peers.

It is unclear whether Apple will also require new accessory purchases in order to unlock video output in its upcoming iPod touch. We will have more on this story as it develops.

[Updated: Starting in subsequent versions of the iPod nano and iPod classic firmware, Apple changed the Videos > Settings > TV Out menu option in a small and relatively unimportant way: you can now select “On” or “Ask” regardless of whether any accessory is connected, but neither of these settings will work to actually output video from these iPods to an external display unless you have connected a new accessory with an authentication chip. Similarly, the iPod touch and iPhone will only output video to authentication chip-equipped accessories, bringing up a Display on TV dialog box whenever you start video playback with such an accessory attached, and refusing to bring up that option otherwise. Pre-authentication chip video accessories remain unable to perform video from the iPod nano, iPod classic, iPod touch, and iPhone.]

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Posted by PJohnson on October 3, 2007 at 8:21 PM (CDT)


It’s really lame that I had to return my ex-AV Cable which I only bought it for $19.99 as it did not work with my 80gb ipod classic. Very lame….I hope Apple will soon launch a firmware for this problem.

Posted by Pasko on October 3, 2007 at 10:35 PM (CDT)


well i read about 50 of the comments on this board as i too had to figure this out with my new 3rd Gen Nano, now i’m less emotional and not upset, and I can say the new Nano is totally awesome, however, maybe Apple really has done a mis-step here in reading all these messages, i mean i understand why they did it, just like all the money in the Sony Playstation for Sony is in licensing the games, well Apple could be set to make a lot of money by being able to make all peripherals pay them a licensing fee with a user base of over 100 million and growing, so will Apple care about the “whiners” on this board, or are these people actually right, i think they are right (again, i’m unbiased) but to think people have invested a ton of money into sound systems in cars, been dedicated users of the itunes system, been dedicated users of the ipod from early on by using video and 3rd party peripherals and these are the people that Apple is going to hurt.. that is the mistake, yeah their huge user base of teens at wal-mart and target won’t really care and maybe that is where they’ll make all their money, i don’t know, but it is their dedicated sophisticated users they are hurting, i’m sure they made a cost benefit decision and knew there would be a lot of upset people like the ones on this board and were fine with it and accepted it and were fine with losing them if so as they would end up making more money in the long run. They’ve got such a lead, they’ll probably win and we’ll have to adapt.

Posted by geoff on October 4, 2007 at 10:20 PM (CDT)


I don’t get it.  I thought the whole point of Apple switching to the new “dock connector” when first introduced was so that it would be the standard way for iPods to connect to accessories and make it easy for third parties.  Also, to make sure accessories worked for all iPods even after newer models were introduced.

Posted by Marcus Guerrero on October 5, 2007 at 5:32 PM (CDT)


I wish I had read this before I bought the cable and shaved off the corner so it would plug into my new nano with case cover on. Guess I’m out $25 bucks to Bestbuy. I still can’t figure out how they were able to print on the front of the cable box that it worked with ipod with video enabled. Very annoying. Thanks crApple.

Posted by Echowing on October 8, 2007 at 6:35 PM (CDT)


I just bought an 80 gig classic… primarily to replace my full 30 gig g5… i used it for videos when traveling for work… apple cust service explained the 50 dollar cable has an authentication chip allowing tv out… but only until the unit is switched off. the tech on the phone fully agreed with me when i said i was going to return it to target…. however, target weren’t for taking it back… so i got my friend to return it saying it had an intermittent fault… pheewwww, i got my money back,,, i’m finished with apple, and looking for an alternative… hmmmm!!!

Posted by scammed on October 9, 2007 at 12:10 AM (CDT)


Just got the software update for iPod Classic over iTunes today, which enables the TV out function.  No need to worry about costly cables, etc.

Posted by kbru on October 9, 2007 at 8:38 AM (CDT)


Nope. You will still have to shell out for the cables. See

“The new iPods’ much-disliked TV Out lock has been changed, but not eliminated. Apple’s new implementation enables you to choose from On, Off, or Ask options under Video Settings, but when you go to output video with On or Ask, you are prompted with newly locked second screens to connect an Apple-authorized, authentication chip-equipped accessory in order to start the video playing.”

Posted by ian on October 9, 2007 at 8:53 AM (CDT)


I think that little trick apple pulled on their update is even more criminal.  They are just trying to make people think the video out will work, so they can sell some more ipods.  I actually managed to get apple to send me a free cable, but that was actually because a tech support guy lied to me and would not take my complaint.

I am not sure what is going on with apple, but with what they have done with the contacts and scheduler in the ipod touch and the “tv out” in the classic and nano 3G, I do not see how they are going to keep customers.  Well, maybe the fanboys.  Although, I work with a couple of fanboys who are pissed at what they are trying to pull this time.

Posted by johnny2chords on October 9, 2007 at 9:24 AM (CDT)


How about ‘Falsely Advertised’ Its a bit of a stretch but here it goes.

I have just jumped into the world of iPod, I had been quite the lurker but just never had the need. Well I learn of the new iPod release. 160GB was most intriguing, so I jump in.
I’m tech savvy and my years of lurking gave me insight into the wonderful word that is the iPod accessory market. You can get and accessory to do just about anything with your iPod…..
Or so it seemed.
No mention of the crippling action can be found. I bought my 1st iPod only to be crushed when I learned the truth to why I spent a good deal of my time troubleshooting getting video out if the thing with a MonsterCable brand video cable that connects via the docking port.
So I have accessories that are useless with my new ‘Classic’ (now that is a stretch) iPod.
I just want my technology to work, quit hamstringing good/great technology.
I’m new to the game and quite upset, I can’t imagine someone fully invested into their iPod accessories, buys themselves a new iPod Classic only to find out nothing they own works with it.

Apple Inc, please get you head back on straight and make the new iPod ‘Classic’ a true Classic.

Posted by Ron on October 10, 2007 at 9:34 PM (CDT)


The locking of the video-out and more generall lack of support of “made for ipod” devices is unacceptable and reminds me why I abandoned apple computers in the early ‘90s.
In addition to the interface, part of the appeal of the ipod was the wide variety of specialized 3rd party accessories, such as the DICE car integration system, that now do not work or work partially only.
I bought my wife a 160Gb classic but she cannot use it properly in her car!
I was planing to upgrade my own 3rd gen ipod but will not buy another apple product unless the company removes the artificial handicaps it has put on its new devices. iPod functionality has taken a big step backwards.

Posted by van on October 11, 2007 at 9:15 AM (CDT)


And I thought I was smart ... I had more videos than songs in my old 80 gb ipod but I decided to “upgrade” to the new 160 gb. If I would of known this crap I would of kept my old 80 gb . I had all the setup in my car and a very cool portable player for my ipod video, all of that is useless now . Ugh!!! I tried to get an old 8 gb ipod at best buy but they don’t have them anymore…

Posted by Omar on October 12, 2007 at 12:15 AM (CDT)


I’m just curious… Are we sure it is in fact an authentication chip in the accessory? If it is why don’t we just reverse engineer it? I’m sure it would be a piece of cake. We could probably just use an el-cheapo microcontroller like a PIC or an SX. Probably just communicates to the ipod over the known and documented ipod accessory protocol. Seems like it would be easy enough to spoof.

Posted by m-man on October 13, 2007 at 5:32 AM (CDT)


Just bought my first apple product, I think it will be the last.
Sad to admit, but the apple policy looks worst than microsoft one.

Posted by Stefano on October 15, 2007 at 2:55 PM (CDT)


Since I don’t know Jobs or Gates personally, I’ll refrain from pointlessly subjective analyses of their characters.  Ad hominem attacks on shadowy attributes are the province of tone-deaf music journalists, who never understand what they’re criticizing and bitterly focus on projected personalities.

As a user, I’ll say this: Apple’s new video copy protection implementation might be (i) Apple’s version of HDCP compliance or Vista’s PVP-OPM, which implements AACS decoding and is necessary for viewing blu-ray or HDVD content, thanks to Sony, Toshiba and company, or (ii) another unnecessary and self-serving restriction.  Whether the move is justifiable or greedy, it has proved untimely and possibly ill-timed.  I tend to think Apple should have warned consumers and vendors months ago.  The loss would be secondary to the unpopularity it’s gained over this and various iPhone/iTouch issues.

No need to analyze Apple’s “character” until I know more.  For now, I’ll keep the 5.5 80GB I own.  I might well contemplate a player by Archos, Samsung or iRiver next time. 

Still, from an audio standpoint, the Classic is Apple’s quietest iPod yet.  Red Wine Audio’s Vinnie Rossi claims that it, unlike the iPods before it, isn’t in need of modding because the amp issues in previous models have been corrected.  If your primary focus is on audio and an aesthetic GUI, the Classic is the best model yet.  If you want better video and greater flexibility, you probably want another player/recorder.  Ditto with the iPhone versus Smartphone controversy.

Posted by Conspicuously Anonymous Carper on October 17, 2007 at 3:51 AM (CDT)


One last thing:  The vid issues with the Classic/NanoVid/iTouch/iPhone are another argument against early adoption.  I *always* buy tech at least a year after market entry; the new vid restriction is one more example of why this strategy is necessary.  If a practical hack is developed (dubious) or Apple issues new firmware (also dubious), then late adopters will benefit from the first moment of their purchase.  If the CP scheme proves useful for HD *eventually*, then let present users enjoy unrestricted content with older PMPs until then.

Consumer advocacy is a great thing, but reflexive complaining can be a symptom of a lack of patience. I say, refrain from buying the new iPod right now if you can and wait to see what develops—that’s what I’ve always done. Whether abstinence will prove temporary or permanent should be a matter of future developments, not present incomprehension.

Posted by Conspicuously Anonymous Carper on October 17, 2007 at 4:08 AM (CDT)


I work weekends at an Office Depot, and while we don’t sell the iPods themselves, we sell a ton of accessories from companies like iHome. Now we have to make sure that customers don’t own a Classic or other chipped Ipod, lest the gear they buy not work.

Guess I’ll be sending my 5G to PDAsmart for conversion to a 100GB model. Yes, I could get a 160GB Classic for $50 more, but why?

Posted by MegaTroopX on October 28, 2007 at 8:27 PM (CDT)


the articel is really useful .. when i checked my iPod, the TV OUT option is locked. Any suggestion - how to unlock this with the help of some kind of s/w or h/w.

Posted by Pawan on October 30, 2007 at 8:21 AM (CDT)


I found this out the HARD WAY! I am brand new to iPods and JUST got the new classic, and was given as a gift, an New iPod Nano! MUCH to my dismay, I found that they did not work on ANY LCD output accessory I bought! Even the guys at the Apple Store didn’t know this! What a SCAM!! Apple is known for this bullshit and it’s the reason why Bill Gates got where he did! They are making a mistake locking people out like that, same as their stupidity in ONLY letting AT&T customers use their phone! What idiots. They need to knock it off or they will never take the lead in the computer world.

Posted by Suzi on November 2, 2007 at 12:07 AM (CDT)


“Consumer advocacy is a great thing, but reflexive complaining can be a symptom of a lack of patience. I say, refrain from buying the new iPod right now if you can and wait to see what develops….”

Right, thats what I did. The ‘iPod’ has been out for how many years now? I finally dove into the iPod world, at 160GB with the iPod classic (classic in what way Apple?)
Figured the hashing out of new technology had been done.
There is NO mention of this limitation ANYWHERE on the package and by some claims, the Apple Stores are unaware.
Consumer Advocacy indeed.
Class Action is justified.
Or Apple agrees to the ‘oversight’ and fixes the issue promptly with the next software update.

How is Joe Consumer supposed to know anything about the different ‘Generations’ of iPod?
They are labled that way when sold are they?

Apple has a great bait and switch game going with their ‘Made for iPod’ logo found on accessories/components. That used to be True.
I can’t imagine Yamaha can put that on their Receiver box with out some licensing/agreement.
So now its ‘Made for iPod*’
*you gotta know your ipod cause all iPod aren’t created equal

They used to be, and now Apple is pulling out the rug and it sucks cause I just stepped on.

Posted by Ron on November 19, 2007 at 3:37 PM (CST)

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