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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Just bought a pink 8 gig nano and planned to use it with my phillips portable dvd player with built in ipod dock… Figured it be a great way to have a variety of Elmos World without the bulk of a bunch of dvds. Not the case. Its asking my to connect video cable.  BOO! I consider myself somewhat of a fanboy, in beliefs that things just work. Arent things just supposed to work???

Posted by GRaps on March 5, 2008 at 10:50 PM (CST)


Okay, I have read into this, I have opened my mind to relate with all arguments from both sides.  I understand that technology is always evolving and updating itself.  The old products that a lot of people purchased have more or less become outdated, I can deal with that.  I understand maybe a change in the audio/video output.  I can cope with apple not wanting unauthorized third parties making money off their product, even though they are essentially selling products and accessories FOR their product(which is a major factor included in a consumer’s mind when making a choice about which product to choose-such as affordable off-brand reliable accessories that accomplish the same task).  I can understand why an Apple brand product would seem more compatible than an off brand product, the guarantee on the box makes you sleep safe at night or something.  I don’t really understand why anyone would ever feel like they would have to stand-by and defend or owe some sort of patronage to any CORPORATION of any sort, that is sucking money from your @#$, unless of course they were employed by the company, but that’s OK, kinda weird but whatever.  My main concern is, #1-the customers were not notified of this change, such as myself, if i had known about this I probably would not have bought an 80GB i-pod classic, or at least asked for the cable as a Christmas present, because I REFUSE TO PAY FOR THAT.  #2-Whether or not it’s a greed issue, an update or change in the audio/vid data, a fascist, monopoly driven move, even if they chose to not tell anyone about it, They could have made the damn thing more affordable!!!  My God!!!

Posted by Firenze84 on March 6, 2008 at 7:07 AM (CST)


I paid $50 for a so-called “universal” dock with an s-video connector.

I really don’t care WHY the iPod Touch is not compatible with it. I purchased the dock because it said “universal.” Thus I had a (i thought) reasonable expectation that Apple would maintain backward compatibility with it.

Unfortunately, since I was dumb enough to buy videos from the iTunes music store, I will probably not be able to view them on any other player.

So if I want video output, I have to pay Apple another $50 for an Apple composite AV cable and I guess I can just throw that “universal” piece of junk out the window.

I love being an Apple customer!

Posted by juan garbanzo bean on March 7, 2008 at 2:50 PM (CST)


I have had many different iPods over the years, and this time when I went into the Apple Store to upgrade, the sales man and I discussed the different features between the clasic and the touch, not once did he mention the incompatiblities, nor did I even think of asking. However I went with the 160 gb classic for storage reasons over the touch. It wasn’t until sometime later I decided to hook up my DLO dock to my TV to watch some videos I had downloaded on the iPod, only to find that it “DID NOT WORK” after hours of troubleshooting the issue I called the Apple Store and spoke with the same sales man who had sold me the device, only to find that I would need to buy another video cable to use the TV OUT on my new iPod Classic. I can’t tell you how upset I was over this and wanted to return it to the Apple store, but I was past the 15 day return policy. I now have a drawer full of docks, adapter, speaker etc. I guess my question is “WHEN WILL IT END?” and “WHAT DO I DO WITH THE OLD STUFF THAT NO LONGER WORKS?”

Posted by TJ110158 on March 8, 2008 at 1:19 AM (CST)


I have the sonic impact v55 and it doesn’t work and fifty dollars for a cable is total b.s.  I bought an ipod classic 80gb and several movies for my daughter, all from itunes and apple , I then bought the video 55 for her birthday only to have it not work…...... apple sucks big huge things! never ever ever will I but one mf ing thing from apple again!

Posted by Bob on March 8, 2008 at 11:14 AM (CST)


i say, **** apple im pissed that i cant use my new ipod with my tv i have like 8 full movies on it and i cant watch them on anything but a 2 inch screen? Apple should at least make the prices lower on the new cables! as if they need more money, when people are buying billions of 250-$350 dollar ipods,phones, and touchs.

Posted by Casey on March 13, 2008 at 9:25 PM (CDT)


that sucks!

Posted by on March 17, 2008 at 12:45 PM (CDT)


I’m the big sucker too. I bought the 16gig Touch as a replacement for my 80gig gen 5. Then found out the video out doesnt work with my Griffin Tune center media player or any of the other accessories and cables. Not only that, but the usb disk access was discontinued as well. There’s a worm in the apple now!

Thanks apple

Posted by David Bayliss on March 20, 2008 at 10:26 PM (CDT)


dude wtf why should we have to pay extra just to watch our i pod movies on a big screen i mean we have to buy the i pod now we haveto pay another 50$ i mean come on give us a brake

Posted by danny king on March 22, 2008 at 4:03 PM (CDT)


I ran into this issue only by accident, otherwise I would have jumped in only to find myself lacking compatible products as well.

There is very little discussion beyond the original articles, and I’ve not seen many products listing updates. As time goes by, I’m afraid many iPod owners that have upgraded to new ones will start spreading the message, which will not be kind.

I was going to buy a 160 GB iPod Classic and a Phillips DVD player with iPod dock. Now I won’t buy either. What the heck good is the TV out at this time? Life was better before.

Posted by Steve H on March 24, 2008 at 12:40 PM (CDT)


Does anyone know if Apple if going to release the authentication chip to 3rd parties anytime soon? Or are they going to close this off in order to keep more profits for themselves…..

Posted by bacchus on March 27, 2008 at 11:41 AM (CDT)


Two words: boycott.
All references aside, I really plan on boycotting “OFFICIAL” Apple products, except the ones I already have, like my 8GB iPod nano.

Posted by Joanassie on March 28, 2008 at 9:04 PM (CDT)


Dammit! - first I buy the 80Gb Classic - and a Trust Universal Doc. Spending hours with the video out problem. Then I discover this site…  The Trust Doc is the AV8200Wi and have both S-VHS and composite out. In fact I don’t need to watch video og photos on my tv -but I really need the cower flow feature.
Does anyone know if any of the expensive Apple cables will solve my problem?
Tia Lars E

Posted by Lars E on March 30, 2008 at 8:26 AM (CDT)


bacchus: The authentication chip is already more or less available to third parties. Certain non-cable-related accessories such as the MyVU video goggles and Creative and DLO video docks already incorporate the necessary authentication chip.

Most third-party manufacturers have likely found that they cannot really produce a cable that is competitive in price with Apple’s own cables after factoring in the costs associated with the Made-for-iPod program and the authentication chips themselves.  It’s more likely we’ll only see third-party manufacturers using the authentication chip for other types of video accessories.

Lars E:  No iPod model currently available will output any interface elements such as Cover Flow to an external screen, regardless of the cables used.  There are some more expensive third-party docks available or coming out soon from companies like Creative Labs and DLO that provide their own on-TV menuing, but this is independent of the iPod screens—they just read the content on the iPod as a computer would, and generate their own on-TV menus.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on March 30, 2008 at 4:09 PM (CDT)


Well people, we know what comes next. Headphones, usb cables and line out cables will NOT work unless they bear the Apple logo. These cables have an embedded chip which the player will read before allowing the iPod to work. Prices for standard earbuds will be $49.99, and USB cables for syncing will be a fearful $24.99.

Thank you,
Steve ‘The New Hitler’ Jobs

Posted by rOCK on April 3, 2008 at 12:44 PM (CDT)


apple can shove everything else! this is the last piece of apple junk I buy! To hell with em! Jobs needs to quit acting like everyone is bill gates and trying to screw him somehow! Microsoft wins again and they werent even trying this time! lol.. apple is on my blacklist!

Posted by sam on April 7, 2008 at 1:17 PM (CDT)


I feel ripped off by apple. I bought the 40 gig ipod and the 80 gig ipod 5 generation and then I baught the 160 gig one. as I already had the AV cable and a Iluv portable DVD player with the ipod conection, now I can’t use any of them. shame on you apple. actually it your loss. I will never buy any of your product again. I hope other people would benifit from the review and stop buying stupid apple product because they are simply for the billion of dollars they can make by being didhonest…...

Posted by Rafik Darnakh on April 14, 2008 at 5:10 PM (CDT)


I think its unfair to me right. I recently lost my 80gig in Hawaii and replaced it with the 160 classic.  I sync with my PC but i cannot watch my movies after spending 349.00. Does anyone knows if the cheaper cables on ebay works?  HHHHeeeelllppppp

Posted by zx7ryder on April 15, 2008 at 4:06 AM (CDT)


Apple blows.  I had a Creative Zen MP3/Video player before I got an 80G iPod Classic for my 40th birthday.

The only thing I like better about the iPod is the storage capacity (80G vs 30G). 

I’ve always tried to avoid Apple products for just this kind of thing.  People buy them for the “cool” factor, but honestly, they’re not much better than cheaper players, and in cases like this, they’re worse.  You’re locked into their hardware and software, and you have to pay a premium for add-ons. 

In addition to stuff like this, iPods only play videos in the H.264 format, and they don’t even provide any conversion utilities last I checked.  My Zen’s software would detect videos that needed to be converted and walked you through the process.

Someone needs to teach these bastards a lesson.  This is one case where I hope Microsoft can use their clout to beat Apple back a bit.  I’m tired of their virtual monopoly on MP3 players and accessories.

Posted by Mike Cico on April 24, 2008 at 9:10 AM (CDT)


Well Apple.  After visiting one of your stores to get help on just why my new 160gb ipod would not send video to TV out… And having your employee completely clueless about this change. I have returned my “defective” ipod.  I hope it costs about $49 dollars to process my return.  GREED!!!!!!

Posted by Bill on April 26, 2008 at 10:20 PM (CDT)

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