iPod touch video accessories

Q: My daughter has an iPod touch and I’ve noticed that Toys-R-Us is selling a Memorex iFlip 8.4” screen. It looks like a laptop that you can set your iPod in, flip the bigger screen on and watch videos and movies. This would be nice for long trips, but I’m wondering if it is compatible with her iPod? I would like to purchase this, but it doesn’t say anything on the box.

– Christina

A: Unfortunately, the Memorex iFlip is not compatible with any of the iPod models released after September 2007, which includes the iPod classic, third and fourth-generation iPod nano, the iPod touch and the iPhone. Essentially, the iFlip was designed for the fifth-generation iPod, however with the 2007 iPod releases Apple changed the requirements for video accessories to require a special chip to enable video output from these newer devices (see our article Apple locks TV Out in new iPods, breaks video add-ons for more information on this).

Sadly, most of these older fifth-generation video accessories were not updated to provide compatibility with the newer iPod models, so even though they are still being sold in many retail stores, they will only work with the fifth-generation iPod. The only portable video display that we have yet encountered that is designed for the newer iPod models is the Philips DCP951 (iLounge rating: C+), which we found to provide less-than-stellar screen quality, at least in its initial release.

The only other option would be to get a portable DVD player type of device with video input capabilities, and then purchase a compatible set of iPod video cables such as Apple’s own Component AV Cables. This is a less convenient solution, as it involves using a wired connection between the iPod and the display, but has the advantage of allowing you to choose your own display unit.

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