4 Ways To Connect Your Ipod
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4 Simple ways to connect your iPod to your TV and stereo
The Apple iPod has gone from clever gadget to the quintessential portable music player in just over ten years since its inception. In fact, the word “iPod” has become the catchword for all portable music players, much like “Xerox” is synonymous for copying or "Kleenex" with tissue. Today it is common for the average household to have multiple iPods amongst the different family members.
Portability has typically been the primary selling point of the iPod. Simply choose a good pair of head phones and you can take your music with you on the go (car, plane, train, walk, jog, etc.). While the portability is fantastic, why should your iPod be limited by headphones? Wouldn't it be great if you could take all of that music and play it back through your home theater or stereo system?
Thankfully the home theater industry has responded to the sky rocketing popularity of the iPod and several products have been developed allowing you to connect your iPod to your home theater and/or television. This article explores four of the best ways to do just that.
Option 1 - A simple cable ($15)
The simplest and least expensive solution to connecting your iPod to your home theater system is a specially designed cable. This $15 cable plugs into the headphone jack of the iPod and provides RCA jacks for audio and video. The cable is then plugged into corresponding RCA jacks on your home theater receiver or television.
Once connected, select the appropriate input on the stereo or TV to enjoy your iPods content. The content is selected by physically using the controls on the iPod itself.
TIP: When attempting to view videos or photographs stored on your iPod through your TV it is necessary to activate the TV OUT function on the iPod itself. Ex: To see a photo slide show on your TV enter the Photo menu, then enter the Slide Show Settings menu, and you should see an option for TV Out (see photograph at right). The options available for TV Out are "On", "Off", or "Ask". The best selection here is "Ask". If this setting is made each time you attempt to view a slide show the iPod will present you with a screen that says "TV Off" or "TV On". If you want to see the slide show on the iPod screen itself , select "TV Off". If you want to see the slide show on the TV screen, select "TV On". A similar set of steps would be followed for viewing videos under the Video -> Video Settings menu.
TIP FOR CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE A DVD PLAYER IN THEIR CAR: If your car is outfitted with a built-in or portable DVD player the iPod cable could be an incredible solution for you. Most car DVD players feature a set of "auxiliary" input jacks. These jacks allow you to hookup an external device such as a portable game system or in this case your iPod. This can be fantastic for two reasons; a direct connection to your car is the highest quality method of connecting your iPod to your vehicle and you can view any movies stored on your iPod (either from the iTunes store or movies you copied onto the iPod) in your vehicle. The movie viewing option can be particularly useful if you have kids as you can have multiple movie titles available at your finger tips without having to carry around a bunch of DVDs in the car.
Option 2 - iPod Dock Designs For Audio/Video Receivers ($99 For Yamaha Receivers)
If you are looking for a more advanced solution than the simple A/V cable, particularly one that provides remote control functionality, several companies offer specially-designed docks made to work exclusively for their line of A/V receivers. One such dock is the $99 Yamaha docking station (YDS). The YDS works with specific Yamaha A/V receivers which feature a specialized iPod dock port.
Upon placing your iPod in the dock, and selecting the appropriate input on your receiver, you will be able to view and navigate your iPods music library on your TV screen. The on screen display uses simple text based menus. You can even control the iPod from your couch using the standard Yamaha receivers remote control (yes, the remote control commands can be taught into third party learning remote controls).
While the iPod is docked, the YDS recharges your battery. The dock is small and discrete, with a classy color scheme that will compliment your components and furniture. Not compatible with iPod Touch.
TIP: The on-screen graphics are normally available only for music content. Certain iPod models will allow you to view photo or video content through the YDS but there would be no on-screen display, the remote control still works but the content would need to be selected through the iPods screen.
Option 3 - Third Party iPod Dock, Works With All TVs or Receivers ($229)
If you are looking for an on-screen display and remote control functionality but you do not have a receiver with a specialized dock connection, a third party iPod dock may be the perfect solution for you. Rather than utilizing proprietary cables that only work with specific receivers this dock uses standard audio/video cables to connect directly to ANY stereo system or television (with an open RCA or S-Video audio/video slot).
This dock provides a more advanced graphical on-screen display and full remote control functionality (remote is included). Again, the remote control can be taught into a third party all-in-one remote control.
The dock does charge your iPod and is compatible with most models except the iPod Touch.
Option 4 - Specialized Dock For Multi-Room or Backyard Applications ($189)
The first three docking solutions are really intended for indoor single room use where you have easy access to the iPod or to the TV screen so you can properly select your music. What if your home theater system is set-up for multi-room operation? What happens if you have speakers located in another area such as an adjacent room or in the backyard?
If you have this type of set-up (and use one of the previously mentioned solutions) the only way to change your musical selections would be to return to the main room. While this definitely works it is not the most convenient method available. For these multi-room or backyard applications you should consider a specialized iPod docking station that includes a unique radio frequency remote control.
Just like the third party dock, this docking station connects to your home stereo system, by using standard audio/video cables. The big difference here is rather than having an on-screen display on the television you are provided with a remote control that features its own small display.
The idea is to start the playback of your music in the desired remote location(s) (backyard, patio, kitchen, or any adjacent living area) and then you can physically take the remote control with you to those areas. The remote control works via wireless technology to send a signal back to your iPod and actually provide an on screen display (on the remote) of your musical selections. Choose what you want to listen to on the remote control and your musical selections will change, without having to return to the main room. This truly is a neat way to listen to and control your music from remote locations.
The docking station works with most iPods, except the iPod Touch, and does charge the iPod while in use. Because the remote control is a radio frequency device it cannot be taught into other universal learning remote controls.
Features and Benefits Summary
Have questions about one of these solutions? Would you like to order one of these options?
If you have questions about one of these iPod integration solutions feel free to contact us toll-free at 800-616-5354. We will be happy to answer your questions and ensure you choose the best solution your iPod and your needs. When you call you should ask for either Dave or Steve.
If you would like to order one of these options we generally have them available for prompt shipment. Currently, you can order six days a week by calling our toll-free 800-616-5354 line. We are also working on an on-line store which should be available in a July-August time frame. When the store goes live these options will be available for on-line ordering.