Q: I have the old Universal Dock (the one with the circular IR reciever). I plan to buy an iPod classic soon, and I was wondering if I can play video through my dock? I hope I don’t have to upgrade my dock. If not through my dock alone, is there an accessory I could use to make it work?
A: The original Apple Universal Dock does in fact provide video out support for the new iPod models, as it incorporates the standard Apple authentication chip. Note, however, that unlike the new iPod video cables, the original Universal Dock does not incorporate a video-specific authentication chip but rather merely a generic authentication chip.
At this point, the iPod classic and iPod nano will enable video output with any Dock Connector accessory that contains any form of authentication chip, so they will work with the original Universal Dock. However, this could change with a future firmware update.
Note that the iPhone and iPod touch do require a video-specific authentication chip, so at this point only the Apple video cable accessories can be used to output video from either of these devices until such time as new third-party compatible accessories begin to appear.