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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

81

I own a shuffle, a 5.5 iPod, an 8 gig iPhone and now the 160 Classic.

I can’t believe Apple didn’t tell us about the TV Out change.  And now we can’t even purchase the cables.

I’ll have to purchase them because I use video out as much as I do audio, but if they don’t fix this with a software update, it will be the last Apple purchase I make.

Posted by Sucker on September 11, 2007 at 7:19 PM (PDT)

82

So we have to wait for the HongKong guys to catch up - then we buy an ipodclassic-cable for 1$+S/H wink

And for all the guy whining with their 200$ iphone - I bought an 1x1,8GhzG5 when it was released and 2 months later, it had 2CPUs and was 400$ cheaper - THAT was a ripoff ...

Posted by DHeld on September 12, 2007 at 12:36 AM (PDT)

83

This is ridiculous. After having a friend of mine lose my 30g iPod (yes we’re still friends) a couple months ago, I finally broke down and bought a brand new, shiny 80g iPod Classic. After spending hours loading the thing up with songs, pictures and videos I try to play it on my TV though the $75 Monster AV cord I bought with the 30g. Apparently this isn’t an ‘approved’ video-out product so….....kinda pissed.

I’m seriously considering returning the thing and getting stuck with the 10% re-stocking fee. Oh, and it doesn’t come with a case either, not even the crappy sock thing. Ridiculous

Posted by Neill Esss on September 12, 2007 at 12:44 AM (PDT)

84

This will be cracked in under a month, just like all other DRM and copy protection.

Posted by tomtiki on September 12, 2007 at 8:36 AM (PDT)

85

You guys aren’t seeing the big picture. In order to offer HD content Apple is going to have to do the same things your HD TV manufacturer and others (including Microsoft and Sony and etc.) have had to do; add things like support for HDCP. You don’t notice it on your TVs because it’s not being fully implemented yet. But it will be.

Yes, it sucks that our old peripherals may not work on the new iPods, but it would suck even more if we couldn’t watch the HD content that’s coming soon to an iPod near you.

Make no mistake, these new iPods are not the same as the old iPods. They’re not music players with video playback tacked on. And they’ll be doing a lot than they’ve ever done in the near future. This isn’t about selling AppleTVs, this is about being ready for the next step.

Posted by Maggie on September 12, 2007 at 8:45 AM (PDT)

86

Maggie,

The specifications listed on Apple’s web site indicate that the iPod is SD only - not HD. Sorry, but this is not the next step. It would be doubtful that they could ever get the crunching power needed for HD into the iPod.

Posted by Scott on September 12, 2007 at 2:09 PM (PDT)

87

This is flat out lame and is starting to resemble the same type of logic as our wonderful administration in DC.  I have no intention of watching tv on my apple monitor. All I wanted to do was drive displays without getting into somethings as horsey as a dvd player. Remember your audience Jobs! We like your innovations and we live to innovate by using them to full potential.

Posted by Anthony on September 12, 2007 at 5:37 PM (PDT)

88

I just purchased a 80G iPOd Classic yesterday to output iPod video to TV. I am greatly disappointed as I found out last night that the Video OUT option is locked out. Shame to Apple for not advising intended purchasers.

Posted by Jehu Chan on September 12, 2007 at 5:38 PM (PDT)

89

Im gonna say it is a DRM issue because the head phones port has four connections (1. audio left 2. audio right 3. negative 4. video. the video connection is the second from the top.) so one would assume the head phone jack is enabled for video but apple disabled it through the firmware. Why? pressure from the a55holes at the MPAA.

Posted by dead bunny on September 13, 2007 at 12:51 PM (PDT)

90

Most important question:

Once you unlock it with an “apple approved” peripheral, does it stay unlocked?

ie. can I plug it in to my friend’s official apple video dock, turn on video-out, then use my el-cheapo cables (or expensive non-approved dock)?

Posted by Wes on September 13, 2007 at 2:07 PM (PDT)

91

Just a Thought…

What if you Connected to an Apple Dock and Past through it to another AV Device.

Or

SendStation Dock Extender (https://www.sendstation.com/us/products/dockextender/ ) Or another device Like it with an Authenication Chip In it Connected To the iPod Then to another AV Dock Connector AV Device might work.

Bob.

Posted by Bob Dole on September 13, 2007 at 5:54 PM (PDT)

92

the iPhone logo was removed from the bottom of Apples listing for these cables - really disappointed in this - I was really hoping that the iPhone could do video out.

Posted by Ariza on September 13, 2007 at 11:39 PM (PDT)

93

Its a bit like Toyota releasing a car that will only work on Toyota approved roads but they failed tell you that at their launch or when you purchased the car. I feel ripped off.

Posted by ian on September 14, 2007 at 8:03 AM (PDT)

94

I want to play MP4s I created.

First, went and bought the Nano3 = $200. Mac store says try this composite cable = $19.
Nice; audio is flowing. Can’t get TV Out switch turned on though.

Mac store says I need universal dock and cable. Return cable, buy dock/cable combo kit for $100. Nice; audio flowing, TV Out now on.

Still no video to TV.

So, back to the Mac store. Return iPod, universal doc and cable. Priceless.

I am not sure but I am suspecting the only video that will play is authenticated video, and the only place to get authenticated video is from iTunes. Do you think Apple is not disclosing the DRM b.s. because it will repel buyers?

Go Amazon.

Posted by On The Fly on September 14, 2007 at 8:22 PM (PDT)

95

Well like a lot of you I got the 160 gig Classic and yup screwed my self 3 times buy ging back and forth to Best Buy to get a new one till now. I’m pissed because I have a Pioneer D3 with the I pod cable and yet cant use the video now. So Apple you can kiss my ### and I will be returning you crap and get my self a ZUNE and place it next to my Xbox 360 just to look at.

Posted by Matt on September 14, 2007 at 8:56 PM (PDT)

96

Has anybody tried it with a DLO Homedock Deluxe yet?  I just got an 80GB Classic and I want to get a Homedock, but am waiting to find out if it works with video out.

Posted by Matt K. on September 16, 2007 at 12:56 PM (PDT)

97

I just purchased an 80 GB iPod Classic and it works just fine with the DLO HomeDock Deluxe v2 (i.e. the new silver version). I updated the firmware on the iPod to 1.0.1 (or was it 1.01???) and the firmware on the DLO HomeDock Deluxe to v2.0.2. The Video Out works just fine. The only thing that doesn’t seem to work with the DLO is the album art. I can’t get it to display on the DLO eventhough it shows up just fine on the iPod Classic.

Posted by TheOfficeMaven on September 16, 2007 at 1:04 PM (PDT)

98

man i just bought an ipod classic for 250 dollars and apple has the gawl to charge me another 50 to unlock the video out?

maybe i dont want theyre extra accessories.
its time for some hacking.i bet i can unlock it.

Posted by paul on September 16, 2007 at 9:42 PM (PDT)

99

New iPods will not work with DLO’s Home Dock Deluxe V2 (FW Upgradeable dock) for video…you’ll only get sound out until DLO finds a fix if possible.  I have the 160gb Classic and it will not show video.  DLO stated they are looking into it and hope to have an answer in a few weeks.

Posted by rkent57 on September 17, 2007 at 9:26 PM (PDT)

100

WTF? This is what I call arrogant. Boy am I happy to own an 60 GB 5G that still can do regular and affordable video out!!!
Isn’t it likely that someone will come up with a hack or something as it is obviously only a firmware issue?

Posted by monti on September 18, 2007 at 6:25 AM (PDT)

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