More Bad News: Apple Locks out TV Out on iPod Classic and Nanos

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I don’t know what’s going on in Cupertino, but these guys are treading on dangerous ground. You can only kick your customers so many times before they just leave. After enraging almost every iPhone early adopter in the world, today iLounge has another very upsetting discovery.

Those new iPod Classics and iPod Nanos? Yeah…the video out on them doesn’t work with non-Apple produced accessories.

From the article:

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.

This means that most of the portable displays that people have purchased are completely worthless, and the only way you’re going to get your video out of those devices and onto a television is if you buy an Apple built dock and cables. The new Dock w/ Apple Remote runs $49, and the Composite or Component cables to hook that into a television run another $49 bucks.

That means you’re going to be out another $100 just to play the video from these devices on your television.

I’ve got to tell you, I find this much more upsetting than the iPhone price drop. This is just a bad idea, and I think what makes me the most angry is Apple making yet another really bad decision with the products that were announced on Sept. 5th.

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Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo is a technology enthusiast and digital strategist with a fervent passion for Apple products and the innovative technologies that orbit them. With a background in computer science and a decade of experience in app development and digital marketing, Kossi brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the Apple Gazette team.

29 thoughts on “More Bad News: Apple Locks out TV Out on iPod Classic and Nanos

  1. Apple is a major corporation, not geeks best friend.

    Their recent collaboration with Starbucks tells me I can be certain that the above is true. There’s no more happy hippie Steve Jobs when he lets his company associate with a company like Starbucks. They’re one of the most unethical companies of the US. I hope they’re never opening stores on every corner in Denmark where I live. 7-11 and McDonald’s is more than enough.

    Apple probably wants you to buy Apple TV instead. Make money, that’s their aim. Branding, Steve, etc, or not.

  2. Hold your horses….maybe it is just a bug? A simple fix.

    But then again, if you could watch all your iPod content on the TV, why would anyone buy an Apple TV? Maybe Apple knows this.

  3. Come on the is not possible….Is Steve Jobs on some kind of DRUGs?
    First selling Locked iPhones.. ok .. but now selling 1/4 locked iPods..
    I was going to order 2 ipods classic but after this…I’ll use my 5,5gen video until it’s no loger hardware fixeble.

  4. The old iPods used the headphone jacks as TV out. The new use the dock plug. That is probably the whole reason why some “old” stuff does not work anymore. It does not make sense to waste the energy for the TV out when no TV is connected. It can not “see” the old TV out because it is in the wrong plug.
    No panik, if you want to build that stuff smaller and smaller you have to sacrifice the combiened jacks.

  5. @Dirk

    Most Video Out connectors on iPod connect via the Dock. The ones of these that are manufactured by third parties with Apple Authentication chips in them no longer work.

    This is a new change with the latest iPods. Previously the Dock connection worked just fine. I actually connect my iPod to my bedroom TV pretty regularly to watch Podcasts. I wouldnt’ be able to do that with a new iPod and my current equipment.

  6. I think Apple’s market share had gone to its head, and their recent stock fall proved that they can’t act all Microsoft like… here’s hoping that they will return to their roots.

  7. Here comes more griping. I hope you people that absolutely have to buy Apple products the first day it comes out are learning a few lessons. Why don’t you just wait a few days or so and find out the capabilities of the product. It sure would save you a lot of grief. I wouldn’t have sweated it since I bought the Apple dock and headphone video-out cables when I bought my 5G iPod w/video. Does Apple always guarantee backwards compatibility with third-party iPod products? No! But this stuff about Apple betraying the loyal few is very sad. New Apple purchasers will have to buy from scratch anyway. I’ll also bet it’s just a firmware fix. Did the outputs change or something?

    I hope you decide to return the product if it doesn’t satisfy you. That will send a better message to Apple that users don’t like getting screwed over. I wonder how many people actually use the video out capabilities. I think I used it once, but that’s because I already had a MacMini hooked up to my HD TV. I think the new products are terrific, but just don’t meet my requirements. I’d prefer to let you guys sort out the deficiencies before I purchase any future Apple products. That way I won’t get as many unpleasant surprises.

  8. It Really isn’t that bad, in all honesty, you don’t necessarily need the dock component to get video going through the system, and in the component or composite set you are getting a wall charger too, something that would be very handy if you are plugging your ipod into a tv at a friends house or hotel or even your room when your ipod isn’t fully charged. Also this could just be a bug, though i haven’t read much into this it might not be but i for one am happy to buy the cable accessory pack, because mainly i would like the a/c adapter and for the extra 30 NZD im willing to pay that as to get a goo component cable here is about that anyway

  9. Hmm, I’ll have to think about whether I should be upset about being reasonably assured that the device I plug my $200-$400 iPod into won’t bork it.

  10. This is really upsetting me and I am sure very, very pissed! I paid my 599 8g iphone and faced the reality 100 bucks (store credit?) When new apple is about to release, I was so excited with new ipod, but after this news ? I decided just to watch and watch without any excitement at all. I am done with apple. I bought a Nokia N95, I am now gazing at Nokia N98!

  11. man, i would not have bought my 160 classic if i had known this, i just the AV Out feature all the friggin’ time. lame. i like this little thing, but this is just wrong; iPod returned.

  12. I just bought the new nano and am trying to run it through a Pioneer AVIC-D3 car navigation unit. The TV Out will not change on it. I would go back and buy the 5G 30GB but they are sold out everwhere.

  13. I have the same prob. I just bought a Pioneer D3 and the new nano now to find out I cant play videos on it!! Im ticked. Someone needs to write a fix for it!

  14. This is SOOOO effed. The lamest part is that not only do they not own up to the change, (they pretend like the old docks and cables just ‘don’t work’ with the new iPods,) but they don’t even alert their employees to the change. Knowing about the TV Out lock, I went into the Mac Store on the way home today to see if the new cable had come out yet, and the employees there had no idea what I was talking about.
    I was stunned to find that the iPod AV cable packaging had changed, now pretending to work with all video ipods, (it would if TV out was unlocked,) so I figured that a software update had come out today that fixed the lock. The only employee that knew anything about the lock said that it would probably be fixed with a software update and still tried to sell me the cable. I’m glad I didn’t buy it, as I now know that no such update has occured.

    It better, though. I have more faith now that they changed the AV cable packaging… that means that until the fix comes they are guilty of false advertisement.

    Apple better either fix this mistake, or own up. This whole acting dumb routine is really effed.

  15. Hi, I just bought a new 5.5g 80gb Ipod i think its called and I cannot hook it up to my car to play video through the monitors.

    I have done research which shows that you have disabled the TV out functionallity when not using Genuine Ipod technology.

    In all honesty, I couldnt give 2 f%&ks about paying an extra $50 to get a cable but as if I want to have a docking station in my car and then have to put the Ipod on it and then find somewhere to sit it so it doesnt fall over damaging the Hard Drive. WTF, Seriously.


    A standard 3.5mic to L/R Audio and 1x Video.

    Like the old one, I wish it worked but since I just bought it to play in my car it is somewhat of a disappointment really.

    What can you do about this? Anything? Do you even care about consumers? One day, things will happen and you will wish you gave a sh!t about the customer and the product.

    This just confirms what I have been saying about Apple for the last 10 years. I thought I would kive you a go and get with the program but obviously I should stick to following my instinct and stay away from POS W@NK FACTOR PRODUCTS LIKE YOUR PRODUCT

  16. @P!$$3D P3T3

    This is not Apple’s official site. If you want to complain to Apple about a product, check out

  17. The issue is not about the ipod classic not being capable of outputing TV thorugh the headphone jack, the issue is the software. My classic worked just fine outputting to the TV until they ran an automatic software update and took away that feature. An Automatic Software update is also what “killed” my 3rd gen. Planned obsolescence perhaps?! The only trick is: my iPod is only 3 weeks old. Now thats just planned stupidity. The only apples I will buy form now on are going to be edible.

  18. After staying away from Apple for years I just went out and kitted up half of the family with these damn things.

    I will be reverting back to anything but Apple.

    Viva the Archos.

  19. Having just purchased a Classic 160, I’m very upset to learn the hard way I have to shell out another c-note to get a function to work that I’ve already paid for. And of course this is after, purchasing some accessores that are never going work. I hope they choke on it because it will be the last red cent they get out of me. I should have bought the Archos 605 160GB.

  20. I have 160Gb ipod , universal dock, and 3 wire AV cable .Tv function doesn’t work. How to repair it ? Also I have remote control but it is useles because menu function doesn’t work. How to resolve this problems and make my Apple staf fully working ? Please Help me.

  21. i got a classic 160gb to replace my 60gb for video in my car pioneer avh5900p headunit,the 160 video doesnt work anymore on the tv out since my last update,so i use my older 60gb and didnt do the latest update and its ok for tv out…cheap shot apple won’t be buying apple again.

  22. Man i fucking hate apple for this i mean whats really the god damn problem with having people watch videos that they have on there iPod in a tv without speading over a hundred dollars to do it? NOTHING considering how that they already bought the what used to b 500 dollar or so iPod from you.

  23. Yes this really freaking bad… I have a Clarion Max675vd with the Video Cable that allows me to watch
    movies i have on the 7″ screen. Now that I finally get an Ipod Video. Shit does work and i called Clarion and they confirm that it is not compatable with the Ipod Classic … Oh well looks like i’ll be returning the freaking Ipod Classic and get a use 5th Gen Ipod video

  24. So what you all saying is i go out and get an ipod. it will work if i don’t do the automatic software update.

  25. Pretty much all new ipod (classic, touch) will NOT work without their “special” cable that they have kindly created to help the video look its best. please, they just want people to cough up more dough after all the money it costs to buy the new ipods, only they have the cable necessary to make the newer ipod work…

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