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

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

61

I just bought me a 80G classic ipod with an AV cable today. I was very excited to plug it into my car and I couldn’t turn on the TV out. Got home, googled ipod TV out and found out that I have to spend another 50 dollars to make TV out out. I guess I will pay to get one, and I won’t buy any apple product after this.

Posted by rapidtiger on September 8, 2007 at 1:07 AM (CDT)

62

Yes, once again it looks like people are willing to jump all over Apple, assume the worst, and not bother to find out the truth. It makes complete sense that the old AV cables no longer work with the iPhone (as explained in a comment above) because that extra ring on the jack is now occupied by a microphone. Its not quite so clear why that would be necessary to transfer that to the newest iPods, but I’m sure there is a reason - even if its just cost savings as the entire line now seems to share a lot in common with the iPhone.

The last time this happened, when the AV cables were released for the iPod 5G, everyone jumped to the conclusion that Apple had done it just to sell their proprietary cables… which was ultimately proven false - it was the original vendors that introduced the AV cable that had purposely made them incompatible by running the video on one of the old audio channels and moving that audio channel to the newly added ring in the headphone connector. Apple, of course, couldn’t implement this idiotic, proprietary configuration because they already had millions of iPods with headphones that supported audio in the standard audio headphone jacks. So, Apple did the right thing and added video to the headphone jacks in a way that didn’t break the old audio-only headphones. Everyone jumped all over them then, claiming Apple “arrogance” and “anti-consumer tactics” because people are, generally, idiots.

I’m confident that this current situation will have a similarly valid explanation that will probably, once again, actually make me respect Apple a little more.

Posted by Brad on September 8, 2007 at 5:52 AM (CDT)

63

apple are money grabbing basterds. The only reason they would restrict video output would be to make even more money than the already are. Apple can do whatever they like now and get awa with it because such a large majority of consumers are apple suck ups.

Posted by nick on September 8, 2007 at 7:53 AM (CDT)

64

Was seriously considering a Touch…now no way.

I’ve bought into the Apple products hook line and sinker the last few years- iPod, nano, iMac… but if things go this way, with exclusion of 3rd party, I’m done.

Posted by Mike on September 8, 2007 at 11:14 AM (CDT)

65

Chiming in, again, here.  This isn’t just about the cable.  My Sonic player doesn’t use the cable, the iPod docks to it.  My Sonic player wasn’t cheap and the quality is quite good.  Everything else that uses the pin connections still work!  The only thing that the customer has been locked out of, at this point, is the video-out setting.  Back to that cable discussion, if I hooked my existing a/v cable up to the new iPod and I actually had the control to change it to video out but it wouldn’t play due to a design change, I would have no problem with that.  But, Apple has locked you out - period!!  This should not be glossed over.  It seems like people are forgetting, this is a company whose responsibility is to make money for the shareholders.  They can make mistakes and they can be just as greedy as any other company.  It is about survival.  Marketing is what gives you that love for the company, really good marketing.  Even if you love Apple, it is OK to hate the behavior.

Posted by sgrmba on September 8, 2007 at 11:54 AM (CDT)

66

Chiming in, again, here.  This isn’t just about the cable.  My Sonic player doesn’t use the cable, the iPod docks to it.  My Sonic player wasn’t cheap and the quality is quite good.  Everything else that uses the pin connections still work!  The only thing that the customer has been locked out of, at this point, is the video-out setting.  Back to that cable discussion, if I hooked my existing a/v cable up to the new iPod and I actually had the control to change it to video out but it wouldn’t play due to a design change, I would have no problem with that.  But, Apple has locked you out - period!!  This should not be glossed over.  It seems like people are forgetting, this is a company whose responsibility is to make money for the shareholders.  It is about survival.  Marketing is what gives you that love for the company, really good marketing.  Even if you love Apple, it is OK to hate the behavior.

Posted by sgrmba on September 8, 2007 at 11:57 AM (CDT)

67

“It makes complete sense that the old AV cables no longer work with the iPhone”

Dude - read the article we are talking about the new iPod classic and nano NOT the iPhone.  Of course you are free to believe what you want but you’re argument is obscuring the real issue and not on point.  It would make a little more sense if we were talking about the iPhone but we’re not. 

The fact is that Apple has by default turned off video out - meaning that the device will not output video unless connected to some sort of approved device.  If it is to support some new and improved standard can’t wait to hear about the benefits of this new standard.

As of right now if this is the new ‘standard’ by which future Apple products will operate as others have stated they are going down the Sony way of doing business not good.

Posted by dreamon on September 8, 2007 at 12:12 PM (CDT)

68

It is very disappoiinting when I hear of Apple doing this kind of thing. I guess you could take many inexpensive accessible technologies and put up roadblocks that, the best we can tell, are unnecessary and add nothing except undeserved wealth to the highwayman.
Not unlike the kind of thing I might expect of Microsoft, when Apple pulls this same BS it’s very disheartening. Apple has occasionally displayed little fits of arrogance at the expense of their customers, I hope the trend isn’t growing.

Posted by hank on September 8, 2007 at 12:20 PM (CDT)

69

I believe this has to do with content creators - remember NBCU’s complaint about Apple not doing enough.  So possibly higher resolution content (480x360?) is coming and output to TV will be tightly controlled.  Maybe this is as far as Apple agreed to go in order to get the new resolution.

We’ll know soon enough.  Several rumored items are pointing to another announcement in Oct, likely related to AppleTV.

Posted by mark on September 8, 2007 at 12:24 PM (CDT)

70

I’m referring to:
- Engadget report of rental movies in the iTunes problem resolution page.
- Jobs comment last month that he’d have more to say about AppleTV soon.
- NBCU discontent.
- Vudu launch and Windows Media Center upgrades for content.

Posted by mark on September 8, 2007 at 12:28 PM (CDT)

71

Wow, you learn something new every day! I have an Ipod 5.5G and never realised you could use the headphone port with an a/v cable! I’ve always used my universal dock - guess I won’t miss it then! :)

But still, it doesn’t seem to be the best way to win over your customers!

Posted by Andy on September 8, 2007 at 5:54 PM (CDT)

72

This can’t be to stop piracy on current content since once buying an Apple cable all piracy would be re-enabled.

I think this signals a soon to be announced Apple HDMI Cable and HD movie quality that can only go out through HDMI and would provide the protected path DRM requires.

Posted by stwf on September 8, 2007 at 6:08 PM (CDT)

73

I am assuming this restriction applies to the MyVu as well?  I was in the market for a 160G Classic and a Nano, but I won’t buy either one of them if they don’t support my MyVu which I have become addicted to for viewing video on long trips.

Given the MyVu cost $300, this has larger implications for me than a new cable for $50.00

Posted by MattD on September 8, 2007 at 8:20 PM (CDT)

74

The BIG question is…. Will it remain “unlocked/ON” once you unlock it on an Apple authorized Dock?! Or does it revert to “locked/OFF” once you Undock it??????

Posted by D on September 8, 2007 at 9:19 PM (CDT)

75

All I want to know is if my old apple dock and av cable from my old ipod photo will unlock the video out on the ipod classic?

Posted by poppyljg on September 8, 2007 at 9:40 PM (CDT)

76

Shocking. Feeble attempt to get su to buy Apple TV units. But not surprising.

Posted by drevo_uk in UK on September 9, 2007 at 4:20 AM (CDT)

77

hi, i just pre-ordered a classic and i bought the universal dock, but it doesn’t have the av cable, since i already own a product with the chip can i buy a non-official av cable or do i need the apple av cable to work?
thanks

Posted by Takao on September 9, 2007 at 5:22 AM (CDT)

78

if it was just DRM, then just downrez for the old cables!

“Made for iPod” accessories are about the only reason I’ve bought 3 generations of iPods.

I don’t buy @ the iTunes store, and now it looks like I don’t need to buy @ the apple store either. 

and to think I was seriously considering a macbook pro for the next laptop.  not!

Posted by Highgrovemanor on September 9, 2007 at 7:51 PM (CDT)

79

Sorry Apple, you just lost another sale with this bit of updating to your newest iPods.  Was planning to stop by the Apple store when I saw this news, not anymore…..

Posted by nogo on September 10, 2007 at 8:01 PM (CDT)

80

I just purchased a new 160GB iPod Classic on Saturday Night, made a special trip into NYC to pick it up (over 2hr. trip), and was thrilled with it until I discovered a problem with my unit - the “Video Out” option didn’t seem to work, at all!  After several hours of trying to determine if there was something physically wrong with my unit or if the software had been corrupted, etc. (after several “Soft Resets” and “Restores”) I determined that something was in fact wrong with it…Apple struck again with their Stupidity! 

How can you change something like this and not notify your paying customers?  How can the Apple web site not mention this nor even indicate that a “new” cable is needed to “unlock” the video output of the iPod Classic? 

Not only did I waste close to $100 bucks on buying a Monster Cable Composite Cable for my 5 Gen 60GB iPod that will now not work with my new 160GB iPod Classic, but about 8hrs. of my time trying to trouble shoot Apple and their foolish acts.

In case you too are wondering if your iPod is broken, it is not it is just Apple being Apple…now the question comes…keep it or return it…I think I will RETURN IT TO APPLE!!!

Additionally, to add insult to injury the Apple iTunes store and web site also fail to tell you that their “Games” Will NOT Work on your new iPod Classic, even though they actually tell you that they do…So Don’t Buy Any Games They Will NOT Work on the iPod Classic.

Posted by Emilio on September 11, 2007 at 12:59 PM (CDT)

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