Monday, January 11, 2010

Apple iPhone and AV Cables

An Off-beat subject for my Blog; but something I just felt I wanted to share. Call me slow, call me late on the up-take, none the less someone out there might be interested and inclined to do the same.

I recently heard about using AV cables on an iPhone or iPod Touch to view videos and pictures on your television. So I 'Googled' AV (AV= Audio/Visual) cables with an iPhone and went to 'You Tube' to see what I could come up with. To my surprise, I found many articles on what to and what not to do when using AV cables. For example, some cables will not work with earlier iPhones and some won't work with current iPhones. So you have to make sure which cables to use; 3G generation iPhones have a special chip to prevent any AV cable from being used. There are a lot of AV cables ranging in price from $9.95 to $50.00 or more; but please make sure the cables you get are iPhone 3G compatible if you have the 3G series or later. Once you have decided on the AV cables you are going to use, you will need to go to "Settings" on your iPhone or iPod and scroll down to "iPod" open scroll down to "TV Out". Change the TV signal to NTSC which is standard for the United States and Canada. Having read and watched all I could, I chose to go with the Official Apple Composite AV Cable priced at $49.00 from Apple and Apple Stores. If you are so inclined, you can save .12 cents by purchasing it at your local WalMart for $48.88. Even if the Apple set seems quite pricey, it is the best buy in the long run.

Inside the box, you will find; typical with Apple, a well packaged product. One neat thing is a separate Apple USB charging plug. This plug is just like the earlier plug included with the first and second generation phones believed by many to be better then the current charging plug that comes with the 3Gs series phones. An instruction sheet, warranty info sheet and a large coil of white cables with three RCA plugs on one end and joined to one lead going to the 30 pin iPhone/iPod connection plug and a second lead going to a USB plug. Very cool as now you have the ability to keep your iPhone/iPod connected to AC power while watching the images on your TV thus not draining the battery.

Now, basically one attaches the red, white and yellow cables to the corresponding ports on your television. Most late model televisions have provisions either in the front or the back and in many cases both. Then attach the other end into your device. Set your TV to AV from your TV remote and if all is well you will have pictures on your TV screen using your phone/pod to control start, pause or stop.

We have an older Toshiba 32 inch tube set and I can tell you we were very pleased with the video we watched. For our experiment, we chose to watch an episode of Glenn Martin DDS, and animated comedy, downloaded from iTunes. The University of Michigan has a Podcast every Saturday morning covering a range of topics and I look forward to watching them all. There are many available and they are free.

Now I can let my wife sleep-in in the morning, plug in my iPhone and sit back with a cup of coffee and watch these podcast in peace and quite. Once the wife is up there is no more peace and quiet, the dog will get up; wants outside, wants to be feed and played with. The television gets changed to the Food Channel and I'm relegated to watching what I want using my ear buds and the iPhone screen.
Now ask me if I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning or not!

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