Saturday, October 20, 2007

Apple 3rd Generation (3G) Nano -- How to get TV Out setup

Bottom Line:

1. If you have a TV/DVR or Cable Box with composite video (3 RCA inputs - red, white, yellow), you need the Apple Composite Video Cable.

2. If you have TV(HDTV)/DVR or Cable Box with component video (5 RCA inputs red, blue, green + 2 audio inputs), you need the Apple Component Video Cable.

*The Apple Universal Dock is not required for this setup but does allow you to use a remote control.

Okay - here is how I figured this out after much tinkering and a few trips to my local apple store. This was written as I was doing things, so some aspects are resolved with the notes above.

First, let me note that the problem is mostly related to those who have composite, not component video. Meaning, if you only have composite video input (just the yellow RCA input jack with the red and white audio inputs) instead of component video, then things seem a little more difficult. Let me explain.

If you have a more fancy-schmancy receiver such as HDTV or some DVR boxes (but not mine from Brighthouse), then you will likely have the red,blue green inputs. If you have the component video input, along with stereo input (a red and white input jack), then all you need is the new apple component video cable . This can be plugged in directly to your ipod and your receiver and you should be good to go.

Now, if you only have composite video (the red, white, and yellow inputs), you will need another route. Okay, first of all you will need the apple composite video cable and you *might* need the apple universal dock as well. I will explain why I say *might* below.

Alright, here's the problem I ran into though. My local apple store didn't have the apple composite video cable - they only had the third party version made by monster (the itv link cable ). So, I bought that cable and went home, hooked it up to my ipod and to my yellow,red, white inputs on my DVR. Of course, I set the settings on the Ipod to TV out, selected a video and then hit play. What I got was an ugly picture of a 30 pin cable on my Ipod screen and the message that "TV Out is selected Please connect output cable". Grrrrr....

I then went back to the apple store and picked up the universal dock . I went back home, put my ipod on the dock and stuck the monster cable into the back and hit play again. Okay, now some progress. The video showed up on the TV screen and looked pretty good (like a DVD). BUT.....NO SOUND! I double checked the cables, everything was in the right place.

Frustrated, I took the Ipod off the dock, with the video still playing, and plugged the monster cable directly into the ipod -- booo-yah! Sound and video and no error message!!!

So, here's the really weird thing - I have to do this EACH time I play a video. If I try to play a video with the monster plug directly in the back of the ipod, i get the error message. If I play the video with the Ipod in the dock, NO SOUND. Instead, I have to start each video with the monster cable plugged into the dock and the apple on the dock. Then, after it's playing, I have to take the ipod off the dock and plug it in directly to the monster cable. Weird, but it works.

Now, my plan is to order the apple composite cable and see if it works better than the monster cable. Plus, I wonder if you can bypass the dock with the actual apple cable since I really don't know what the actual role of the dock is in the process since my technique is jury-rigged.

Okay, the final thing I will say is that the old way of doing this - with a 1/8" cable plugged into the line out of the ipod or the dock, no longer works at all. In other words, don't buy this apple ipod AV cable - it's useless with the new nano

Well, I hope this rant helps someone who is having the same problem - and if anyone knows a way for me to do this with less rigging, please do let me know. Thanks.

**Update -
My Apple Composite video cable arrived today via FedEx. I plugged it in directly to the Nano and to my input on the DVR. Everything worked great first try - none of the rigging described above with the itv link cable by monster (that's going back to the apple store today). Only small glitch is that the sounds is a bit low and requires the TV/stereo receiver to be turned way up - but everything else is fine.

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