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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Um, staggering in what way? You make it sound like all you get is a cable. But really for that price, you get the cable, a universal dock, and a USB power adapter. Is that not a good deal.”

For 49.99 you get the cables and a wall adaptor. No universal dock.

Posted by ssd on April 27, 2008 at 3:28 PM (CDT)


I feel so goddamn stupid buying this 160gb classic. For some, this issue is just about replacing a 5$ video cable and they don’t understand why all the whining. But in my case, I have spent a lot of money and a huge amount of time installing myself an ipod integration kit for my car’s dvd system. Then I spent some more time troubleshooting this sneaky and unmentioned “feature” of the classic. My time and money are important to me and never have they been as baffled as this by any company before. Not only will I never purchase another apple product again, but I will make it a personal mission to encourage everyone I know to boycott them. I hope somebody with more time on their hands sues their ass.

Posted by John on April 30, 2008 at 11:35 AM (CDT)


My guess, this is to satisfy Movie Studios and not Apple.

Posted by Alan on May 1, 2008 at 2:36 PM (CDT)


“My guess, this is to satisfy Movie Studios and not Apple.”

That much is clear, what isn’t clear is why *Apple*, knowing full well how many millions of dollars worth of *Apple* authorized accessories featuring video out had been purchased in the previous two years, went ahead an implemented the lock down knowing they were intentionally breaking functionality of a lot of expensive devices.

Besides, it’s not like the lock down won’t be completely circumvented by some sort of pass through dock off of eBay for $10 before long, so why make a useless gesture to appease studios who aren’t going to stop dealing with you because people can pay to watch their movies on last year’s video dock.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on May 1, 2008 at 2:59 PM (CDT)


I bought the Classic 80Gb just recently, rented a movie from I-Tunes and just spent half the day trying to get the video out to work. I remember how easy it was with my daughter’s older model to use the dock that came with my DVD/Surround sound unit. Manual online starts out with “If you have an AV cable from Apple…” What a crock. Wish I’d seen this article first.

Posted by Chris on May 3, 2008 at 6:29 PM (CDT)


No, it doesn’t work with other third party cables through the dock connector. And here we are 8 months later, NO Apple update, NO reduction on the proprietary cable price or at least an inclusion of a dock, NO cheaper alternatives on eBay., NO response from Apple.

Apple iPod classic 160 GB     $350 + tax
Previously purchased cables and docks   $25 and up
Proprietary Apple cable         $49.99 + tax + S/H

Apple not giving a s#!&        Priceless

I feel you John. I usually avoid these kinds of issues with lots of research, but in this case I was so happy with my 30gb, that when I decided to upgrade to the 160 I didn’t even think about searching for issues. I feel like an idiot now and I too will make it a mission to discourange anyone I know (especially all the “Apple is better than Ms” people) from buying Apple. Want an mp3 player? Get a Zune.

Posted by raulrocks on May 7, 2008 at 4:06 PM (CDT)


I have Pioneer Elite AV receiver that I connect my 80gig to and watch videos.  I have a nano and downloaded the Indy 500 race.  Apple’s little Nano device locked up my 1500 receiver with this tv out crap.  Sure all I had to do was reset my Elite but there is no mention of this crap in the owners manual.  If it is mentioned it is so dame cryptic only a lawyer could find it.  I always have repected apple as an innovater.  This is sad for the video part of apple.  Apple just dug them selves out of a whole by not letting thier machines be cloned.  Now they are doing the samething here by satisfying “Hollywood” at the expense of the customer.  Shame on Apple for giving in.  Hooray for Blue-ray for fighting the power!!!

Posted by Charles on May 8, 2008 at 7:53 AM (CDT)


“My guess, this is to satisfy Movie Studios and not Apple.”

I wish this myth would just die, since it comes from people trying to let Apple off the hook for what has obviously been a very consumer-unfriendly decision on their part. 

I have generally been a fan of Apple over the past few years, but I’m not blind to their faults, and this is just plain wrong on their part, and I’m not going to make any excuses for them or cut them any slack by trying to shift the blame to somebody else like the movie studios.

(I’m no fan of the MPAA either, but both credit and blame should always be laid where it’s due).

There is absolutely nothing in the video lock-out that the movie studios would care about.  I would only buy into this being the movie studios’ fault if Apple hadn’t manufactured both component and composite AV cables for the new iPod models.  If they had an HDMI/HDCP accessory only, then perhaps you could argue that it was to prevent piracy or enforce some other type of lockout the studios would want.

However, since Apple themselves will happily sell you cables that can be used to connect the iPod to pretty much any recording device—even via component connections, it’s not as if this restriction has been put into place to prevent piracy, and there are few other reasons why the movie studios would care about such things.

Some have suggested that this is to provide for future HD content on the iPod…  Again, however, it would be a trivial matter for Apple to require a compliant accessory for 720p/1080i/1080p output without affecting one’s ability to play standard 480i through existing accessories.

The accessory lockout is about one thing—control.  Not control by the movie studios (since if they had anything at all to do with this, we wouldn’t have AV cables among the authorized accessories), but control by Apple over the third-party accessory market.  There might be a slightly altruistic aspect here—after all quality accessories that work properly can only be a good thing, but let’s not forget that Apple makes a great deal of money out of licensing third-party accessories as part of its “Made-for-iPod” program, and allowing manufacturers to make cheap accessories provides no revenue to Apple, and undercuts their “legitimate” third-party accessory manufacturers.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on May 13, 2008 at 11:12 AM (CDT)


Ok, how’s this for the icing on the (excuse my Frech) f^%$^ cake…I suck it up and buy the damn cable (because I got a $50 gift card for my birthday) and the video out to my TV is in black and white!

I checked the setting to see if there was some sort of “color” setting, but couldn’t find anything. Googled it, biut nothing came up. Am I missing something??? I ain’t keeping a $50 cable that only outputs in black and white.

I’m really disgusted right now.

Posted by raulrocks on June 3, 2008 at 7:03 PM (CDT)


A few days ago I bought an Altec iMV712 audio/video mobile device as a gift to my younger sister so she could dock her ipod nano and listen to music and see videos. But to our surprise the video would not show up on the screen of the Altec device, only audio and a random message on the screen “no ipod sync”. When I contacted Altec they told me same thing said in this article, that without notice apple made the ipod video feature unavailable to their “made for ipod” devices that had video capabilities. I was unsure to buy the device but since the price was half of the 2007 $350 introductory price and it was an unusual desktop device with a decent screen size (8.5”) I could not pass. But I now feel forced to exchange it for something else. Another reason why I never liked the manipulating apple/ipod market.

Posted by marky on June 4, 2008 at 2:20 AM (CDT)


Using iPod Classic / Nano 3G with Video 55

To enable your “Classic” or “Nano 3G” iPods the ability to watch videos on your Sonic Impact Video55, please follow the steps below:

Step1) Update the iPod to the software version 1.0.2
Step2) Switch on the TV Out option.
Step3) Place the iPod in the Video55 dock and switch the Video55 on and play a video.
Step4) At this time, you will be viewing only the blue screen.
Step5) Go to the Menu on the Video55 and change the source from iPod to Video and then back to iPod. It will now play videos. Any control of forwarding the video or going to the next video you will have to use only the next/skip button on the iPod.

Posted by MikeyD on December 18, 2007 at 11:58 PM (PDT)

Thanks MikeyD. works fine for me. I have a Classic with 1.0.1 firmware

Posted by savipod on June 22, 2008 at 10:43 PM (CDT)


I wonder why the f00k Apple did this. To play videos you MUST have the Universal Dock. Totally C0CK!!!!

Posted by NUCLEAR-TNT on June 30, 2008 at 3:20 PM (CDT)


OMG, Do you know how many FRUSTRATING HOURS I have spent since Nov. 2007 til now -July 2008 trying to get my Classic Video iPod 160 GBs to output to a TV? How many different cables, (at least 5) portable docks (2) with composite cable outputs on them. I tried different cables and different TVs (5)
I am really P-Oed Those are a lot of frustrating hours that I will never get back.  And I definitely would have bought an Apple iPod dock if they actually had them for sale. Apple seems to take a long time for the iPod accessories to come out, so you are forced to go find what you want from a third-party source.
So now I have to go back to two different stores to return the products I bought yesterday. Oh Joy.
Very unimpressed with Apple right now.

Posted by Jeff Yardley on July 1, 2008 at 2:53 PM (CDT)


i have just bought a new ipod nano,‘apple’ universal dock and ‘apple’ composite AV cable.when i connect to the AV socket on my samsung TV all i see is ‘‘no signal’’ displayed on the TV.what d i neeed to do to hear the music and see my pictures through the telly?.

Posted by andy potter on July 11, 2008 at 5:57 AM (CDT)


Someone asked if new iPOD owners can confirm this.  I have a new 5G iPOD and YES, I confirm this.  My video iPOD (Model: MA446LL) does not output video to my Altec Lansing IMV712.

Posted by mcsejung on August 21, 2008 at 7:21 AM (CDT)


Gee .. I was saving up to buy a 160gb IPOD.  A friend got me hooked on the how easily it could hook up to speakers and play videos.  Now I am going to have to look somewhere else.  This really sucks. 

I think this is a bad strategy that will back fire in the long run.  I am now looking elsewhere - that is a net $600 loss for Apple.  ie $300 that they could have gotten from me and $300 market share shift to another company.

Bone headed move

Posted by paul on September 10, 2008 at 9:04 AM (CDT)


I just bought an Arcam rDock for my iPod Classic. And after an evening trying to get the video to display my photo’s on screen I searched the internet only to find out what nor Apple or Arcam is telling there customers: IT WON’T WORK !!!!!

I won’t try to tell how I feel about this. But I can say it comes with a lot of &%*&@#*

F*ck Apple !!!

Posted by Jozef on September 24, 2008 at 5:51 AM (CDT)


I have to say this is the biggest pile of crap I have ever heard which has really turned me of off Apple Ipod… I have been trying to make my Ipod 80 gig to work on my tv for over a month researching on Apples website which gives you step by step instructions how to set it up but no where says that you have to have an approved Apple cord. Between all the Ipods in our household I have given Apple nearly $1000 for Ipods now I have to spend even more money for the cable and all my old stugg including a Memorex IFlip, Doc station, and av cords that value $500+ and it is all trash now that we recently upgraded all of our IPODS. What a bunch of S&!#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Huffman on September 28, 2008 at 4:21 PM (CDT)


Hmm has anyone tried the numerous TV cables available now?
(just google : “nano 3g chip tv cable”)... seems like lots of happy customers, on e b a y too….

Does this mean the china-made product manufacturers cracked the authentication chip?

Posted by boochee on October 4, 2008 at 9:41 AM (CDT)


I’m glad to see so many other people had issues with this.  I was completely livid, stunned and more when I found that this was the actual problem and not my equipment.  I love the iPod!  I use it for everything!  I have become addicted to downloading videos and t.v. shows, etc.  However, I don’t have the money to be throwing around on a regular basis.  I sold my older iPod for a newer version and what do I find?  The apple corporation screwing me over for more money.  I refused to pay.  I called in to corporate customer relations and filed a complaint.  I followed up that call with several more.  I sent in feedback on the Apple website 20 different times with quotes off of message boards not unlike this one.  I wrote a personal letter and mailed it.  After all that, they still had no idea what I was complaining about.  Finally, I said this was an ethics issue and asked for someone higher up on the corporate chain.  I demanded a free dock and cable with all the patience and zen I could gather.  They agreed upon this after mentioning they have had this issue surface before.  So, I urge everyone to bother the f@*&$ out of Apple and demand compensation for their unethical practices.  Be patient, vigilant, courteous, specific, or just raise hell.  The more people in bigger numbers fight back, the more lawsuits or doormats are a part of history.

Posted by Michael Swenson on October 8, 2008 at 10:14 AM (CDT)

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