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

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

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Friday, September 7, 2007
News Categories: iPod Accessories

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.

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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.*

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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.

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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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Comments

21

Camenbert, do you even know what vertically integrated means?  controlling the cables certainly does not mean vertically integrated.

Posted by zip22 on September 7, 2007 at 10:00 AM (PDT)

22

I actually find this more appalling than the $200-screw-job on early iPhone buyers. (Thanks for the $100 in Apple Store credit, but still, it kinda sucks.) I was seriously considering getting a 160GB iPod Classic (using my $100 credit) so I could once again fit my entire iTunes library in my pocket. But I will not pay an additional $49 for the “right” to watch on my TV. Apple, you just lost a sale.

Posted by Muero on September 7, 2007 at 10:08 AM (PDT)

23

larouche- I think that explanation actually makes more sense, given that the old Apple dock products (universal dock, Hi Fi) allow you to select TV out.

But we won’t know for sure until someone tries this with say a cheap 3rd party dock to video out cable. You can find those on EBay and Amazon for $10 or so, I doubt they have any encryption/lockout hardware to enable video out. Something like this-

http://tinyurl.com/2hzljy (amazon.com)

Posted by madmaxmedia on September 7, 2007 at 10:09 AM (PDT)

24

Reminds me of Fall 2005 when the top-mounting accessory port and firewire were discontinued.  Everyone cried foul then too.  But somehow Apple survived and iPods and their accessories sold more than ever.

If they just dropped video out through the headphone port, I’d say that’s fine as long as they haven’t messed with the dock connector.

Posted by dodo on September 7, 2007 at 10:17 AM (PDT)

25

It’s actually understandable. New iPod Clasic outputs video at 480p. You could do a very good analog recording of the video if they hadn’t implemented the lock. It’s because of the DRM! Maybe that’s why there are rumors of a price cut on tv shows.

Nevertheless I hate it and am really deciding whether it’s not better for me to keep my old 5.5g 30gb iPod.

Posted by Maticek on September 7, 2007 at 10:27 AM (PDT)

26

@Maticek: now that makes perfect sense.  Regrettable, but understandable.  But 480p component output (which my Sony TV can upscale) would be sweet (better than composite or S-video anyway).

Posted by dodo on September 7, 2007 at 10:40 AM (PDT)

27

”Anyway, I think the actual explanation is that Apple has simply discontinued video out through the headphone jack. You may be able to use any cheap video out cable that goes through the dock connector. The old Apple dock still works as well.”

Actually this does NOT appear to be true.  In addition to removing the headphone video out it sounds like they have completely locked video out (including from the dock connection) and that only apple approved accessories will allow for video out. 

The article mentions that devices such as the iflip which use the dock connection do not work with the new classic.  So a dock connector cable alone will not remedy the situation but you need an actual device which will communicate with the ipood and enable the video out feature.

I was on my way to pick up a new classic today but will now wait until we learn more about this….

I thought they said no features were removed only added to the new ipods?  Sounds like they lied….

Posted by pleasedontrotmyapple on September 7, 2007 at 11:00 AM (PDT)

28

..or it could be a bug in the software?

Posted by Anijake on September 7, 2007 at 11:08 AM (PDT)

29

K. Pilkington, you don’t get a dock. Just cable and USB adapter.

I personally am very disappointed with this decision. Absolutely no reason for it.

Posted by Josh on September 7, 2007 at 11:14 AM (PDT)

30

@ pleasedontrotmyapple- Oops, thanks for the correction.

That’s really too bad. It has nothing to do with DRM, because there are products that will output the video. Just apparently not all of them.

I wonder how ‘tight’ the lockout is. I would still guess that cheap working video cables will be on EBay within a couple of months.

Posted by madmaxmedia on September 7, 2007 at 11:17 AM (PDT)

31

“..or it could be a bug in the software?” 

Isn’t this an Apple product we are talking about here not MS?  So a firmware update is coming?  One would assume they could update this if they wanted to but I doubt it will be changed.

“I wonder how ‘tight’ the lockout is. I would still guess that cheap working video cables will be on EBay within a couple of months.”

I sure hope so, certainly delays one purchase until we find out…

Posted by pleasedontrotmyapply on September 7, 2007 at 11:23 AM (PDT)

32

Has anyone tried to plug it into the Apple TV?

Probable wont work…cause there will have to be an update to the Apple TV first.

This makes me believe that the apple tv and ipod/touch are prepped to interact.  This would add 40/160 gigs of space to the ipod/touch and settle down some of the detractors.

Me…got my Apple TV…imac G5 20 inch..ipod nano.  I didnt want the iphone cause im in Canada.  This touch is perfect for me.

Posted by Richard on September 7, 2007 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

33

I won’t claim to know what Apple’s really doing but it seems to me that too many are going off about things that they don’t know enough about yet.

Some things to keep in mind…

1. It’s obvious that Apple has removed the feature to connect to a tv via a cable from the headphone jack.

2. Apple has licensed the dock connector if I recall ever since the original 5G ipods came out.

With this in mind I will take a wild guess that Apple is merely enforcing things now so that other hardware companies are not making money off of their products.  That’s perfectly understandable and within their right. 

With that said I’m guessing that anyone who has a license through Apple will be fine with their products. That’s just my speculation though until I hear a more official word.

Posted by Jim on September 7, 2007 at 11:45 AM (PDT)

34

“...got my Apple TV…imac G5 20 inch..ipod nano.  I didnt want the iphone cause im in Canada.  This touch is perfect for me.”

which is great if you never leave your house.  Also wouldn’t you prefer to watch videos on your 20” iMac or regular TV at home ? 

Canada is a great vast country and it’s fun to get out an explore it. Wouldn’t it be nice to take your ‘80GB’ iPod Touch along for road trips….

still think Apple needed to find a way to fit more memory into the touch to help differentiate it from the iPhone.

Posted by couchsurfer on September 7, 2007 at 11:50 AM (PDT)

35

“With this in mind I will take a wild guess that Apple is merely enforcing things now so that other hardware companies are not making money off of their products.  That’s perfectly understandable and within their right.”

probably right but obsoleting several rather pricey accessories that customers may have purchased seems like another bad PR move on there part.  Compatibility is a major issue in technology and limiting the compatibility of your products is a backwards step not forwards. 

Just so you can sell a few more video cables seems kind of crazy but what do I know I’m just a stupid consumer….

Selling ‘approved’ compatible cables alone for a reasonable price rather than stick it to you would silence a lot of complainers like me….

Posted by whatever on September 7, 2007 at 11:58 AM (PDT)

36

And…they just made my decision for me. I was considering upgrading my iPod video 5g to the “classic”, but not if I have to buy another cable to watch it on my tv.  And what becomes of my glorious DLO HomeDock Deluxe???  No thanks, Apple.  This time, you blew it.

Oh, and don’t even mention an iPod “Touch” unless it has at least 30 gigs….come on, now!

Posted by Scott on September 7, 2007 at 11:59 AM (PDT)

37

“And…they just made my decision for me. I was considering upgrading my iPod video 5g to the “classic”, but not if I have to buy another cable to watch it on my tv.  And what becomes of my glorious DLO HomeDock Deluxe???  No thanks, Apple.  This time, you blew it.

Oh, and don’t even mention an iPod “Touch” unless it has at least 30 gigs….come on, now!”

exactly….when they came out with the whole iPod approved accessories campaign they essentially made a commitment to customers ensuring compatability.  Yeah, yeah it’s a new model and things change but then why did you call it iPOD Classic? 

Only to obsolete them seems kind of crazy….I would be kinds pissed at Apple if I was DLO or one of there other ‘approved’ providers….

Owner of Apple iPod is atempting to send video to their TV through non approved methods cancel or allow?  How about force owner to go out and purchase soemthing else…

Posted by whatever on September 7, 2007 at 12:10 PM (PDT)

38

Actually…....I do take my apple tv with me.  We have a 1975 Boler…We went on a two week trip in the rockies and watched the movies on our 32 inch.  Got to view the slideshows from out digital camera before we even left the camp site.  Aint life great!!!!

Posted by Richard on September 7, 2007 at 12:11 PM (PDT)

39

Wow.  If Microsoft pulled this, the fanboys would be calling for Gates’ head.  How anyone, fanboy or not, can defend this is well beyond me.  Apple has turned as evil as Microsoft ever was.

Posted by malren on September 7, 2007 at 12:16 PM (PDT)

40

Wow…this touch ipod is soooooooo bad.

I know!!!!!  I’ll go buy a Zune!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Richard on September 7, 2007 at 12:19 PM (PDT)

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