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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I just bought the new ipod classic 160G and when i read this forum and found out apple had blocked the tv out i was pissed. But i bought a AV RCA USB Video tv cable from ebay which cost me $7.95 from oztechshop it plugs into the bottom of the ipod (not head phone jack) and to your av on your tv and this worked fine.

Posted by Jimmy Z on November 26, 2009 at 6:46 PM (CST)


I have an ipod touch 2g that I went looking for cables to connect to my tv for viewing from the ipod.  Went to ebay and bought 3rd party composite cables that I learned had no chip from apple, thus no video viewing on my tv.  Thinking that buying the purchasing the Apple composite cables would solve my problems, I went out and plopped down the $49 and went home to try it out.  Guess what??? It didn’t help, so what am I supposed to do now that even the Apple cable failed??? Poor sales relations going on here.  Can’t find a solution online and stuck with cables that can only be used for audio.  Any help??

Posted by Trib on December 1, 2009 at 7:05 PM (CST)


It looks like Steve Jobs is celebrating his new liver, from the open source donor community, by becoming even less altruistic. Now, that’s challenging fate, isn’t it?

Posted by JulianP on December 18, 2009 at 8:35 PM (CST)


Pay.. pay pay.. PAY more suckers!

Posted by Marcadr on January 11, 2010 at 1:37 PM (CST)


I recently purchased an ipod Touch 32Gb 3rd Gen, to replace my old 5g ipod video.

A big mistake - it won’t work with my incar adapter or any of my docking stations / video cables.  So much for having a standard dock!!!

This is the last item I will be buying with an Apple badge on it, unless Apple improve their product and make it backward compatible to existing accessories!  There are other issues with the Touch, which I won’t mention since they are not relevent to this article.

Posted by IMP on January 11, 2010 at 4:30 PM (CST)


The Classic outputs nothing to TV with a non Apple docking station. What an excellent way of stopping me from buying an Apple product EVER again.

Posted by Mangate on February 3, 2010 at 3:24 AM (CST)


thanks sooooo much

Posted by alexa on February 12, 2010 at 6:37 PM (CST)


Apple has now locked out all non apple dock connectors… I’m growing to hate Apple…

Posted by christopher Irvin on February 14, 2010 at 11:26 PM (CST)


I have an Ipod Classic and an Ipod Touch (64gb)... that’s like 700 bucks worth of hardware.  What’s worse is I already had the damn cable for my older 5G Ipod before I lost it… Now NO video output will work with Apple without paying them their 50 bucks.  I already hated the Apple store, which they basically force you to use if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone.  Now I have to pay 50 bucks to replace a cable I already own?  SCREW YOU APPLE.

Posted by Harry Manback on February 15, 2010 at 8:07 AM (CST)


Hello, i’m just writing to say that this is BS….I read these comments, before I ordered my AV cable, for my Brand New 120gb IPod, and I ended up buying the expensive apple cable, as to the suggestions of a lot of the comment’s here. Well I also ordered a generic one from HONG KONG that cost’s me 3.00 on Ebay, just as a test. Well Guess What??? They Both WORK IDENTICALLY !!!!! So forget the hype,and if there’s some chip in the new video cable, fine….but you don’t need it.(if you have the newest 120GB Ipod)  Save Your MONEY…Get the Generic One, contrary to most of the comment’s on this site. F*** Apple and the horse they rode in on,..sound’s like Coorperate BS, and 50.00 for a AV Cable is just THAT…BS !!!!!!

Posted by mel on May 21, 2010 at 6:56 PM (CDT)


It’s not BS, Mel.  I have a 5th gen iPod nano.  I bought that generic non-Apple cable on eBay for $4 to connect from the bottom (non-headphone jack) to my TV.  It plays for about ten seconds, then gives me a message that the “accessory” isn’t supported.

I went to the Apple store to ask but the salesperson I talked to was an idiot, suggesting maybe I switch the setting from NTSC to PAL.  I thought, dude, might as well wear a nametag saying “IDIOT.”

I don’t know what the answer is.  I’m NOT paying $50 for a cable.  I’m tempted to try to take my iPod back to the store, though I’ve had it a year, because it can’t do something they claimed it could.

Posted by RomanHans on November 19, 2010 at 9:04 PM (CST)


Heh, no, #1.  It’s not even remotely Redmonesque (the PC platform has always let you plug anything into anything, which is why we put up with Windows. But very, very Apple.

Posted by spiny norman on February 3, 2011 at 1:09 PM (CST)


I have a great stereo system that I have used with my ipod classic for a couple of years.  I just purchased an ipod touch and was wondering if there is an adapter out there so that i can connect it to my stereo system. Please help!

Posted by Jodi on February 18, 2011 at 8:24 PM (CST)


i got a new ipod dock and i have an ipod nano generation 3. when i plug it into the dock it wont play music or charge and the dock displays auth which im guessing means that it needs the authentication chip?? does this mean i will never be able to play my music through them?? the box says that the speakers are compatible with my ipod..PLEASE HELP!!!

Posted by KM on March 24, 2011 at 11:46 PM (CDT)

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