Hardware Review: iPhone Video Cable

by postbreak

The iPhone and iPod Touch both support video output through a new cable with an interesting design. I like to think of the cable as a squid, something that can tangle up in an instant leaving you helpless looking for a way out. Joking aside the cable is very functional, allowing you to not only charge your device, but connect it to a TV for crystal clear video.

There's a reason you don't see the rest of the cable.

There's a reason you don't see the rest of the cable.

Realistically thinking the iPhone or iPod Touch is the worst device for any sort of lengthy video. Weighing in at around 1GB per hour you’ll run out of space fast. Your 8 or 16GB touch will fill up fast and at $500 for a 32GB version you’re wasting money if you just want to load it up with movies to carry around. For $250 you can get a 120GB iPod Classic (or even less if you can snag an older model 5G) and achieve essentially the same output while carrying an assortment of videos.

So why did I buy this over priced cable and why would take interest in it? Well the iPhone and iPod Touch both do wifi and being able to pull up YouTube on your friends TV is pretty entertaining. Your phone isn’t limited to video output as well. There is a homebrew application called ScreenSplitr which allows you to output just about everything you see on your iPhone to your television. You can surf the web on your TV or show anyone in the room your blurry iPhone pictures. One thing you cannot do is play games as the refresh rate is not 1:1.

Bonus!

Bonus!

I found a hidden gem inside the cable’s packaging as well; a free USB wall charger. The reason I worded it like that is because no where on the packaging, except a cut off picture, shows the included part. It’s like a bonus to help you feel better about spending around $40 for a cable.

See the charger cut off on the side?

See the charger cut off on the side?

So after all, is this cable worth your hard earned dollars? That depends on if you watch a lot of videos and tend to share with friends. I often record the TV show The Office, convert it for my iPod, and bring it to a friends house to share so this cable was a no brainer. I also have a 5G iPod Video with an 80GB hard drive that handled the task just fine however I always forgot to grab it. I know I will always have my iPhone with my however the next hurdle is if I will have the space to fit the damn videos.

Just look at that... (Click for full size)

Just look at that... (Click for full size)

There is also the question of what kind of person are you. Are you the crazy bleeding edge type of person who needs to use Component to watch videos with it’s 5 connectors. Or are you like me who believe the composite yellow, red, and white will be found on just about every television so you opted for compatibility? I honestly don’t know if the component cable will look better on a TV than the composite one but at the same time it’s still video converted down so how good could it look?

I paid a whopping $42 for this cable at a Radio Shack and even then that was a pricing error. Was it worth it? Probably not but I really do enjoy watching my DVDs on the go and this cable lets me do just that.

(last image src:roughlydrafted.com)

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