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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Forget the laptop? Use your iPod/iTouch/iPhone to view slideshows on TVs.

Some iPod models allow you to play a slideshow with music and transitions, either on its own display or on a television. Models that can display to a television currently include:

  • Fifth Generation iPod (iPod with video)
  • iPod with color display (also known as iPod photo)
  • iPod Touch
  • iPhone

If you're not sure what iPod model you have, see "Identifying different iPod models."
To access slideshow settings, select Photos > Slideshow Settings. Although iPod nano has a color display, it won't output a slideshow to a TV.

Choosing the display

  • To display slideshows on the iPod display, set TV Out to Ask or Off.

  • To display slideshows on a television, set TV Out to Ask or On.

If you set TV Out to Ask, iPod will give you a choice of display every time you start a slideshow. The first time you use a TV, you'll probably need the Tips for TV viewing and Connecting to a TV sections below.

Slideshow settings

  • To set how long each slide is displayed, select Next Slide and choose a time.

  • To set the music that plays during slideshows, select Music and choose a playlist.

    Tip: If you're using iPhoto, you can choose From iPhoto to copy the iPhoto music setting.

  • To set slides to repeat, set Repeat to On.


  • To set slides to display in random order, set Shuffle Photos to On.

  • To set slides to display with wipe transitions, set Transitions to On.

Playing a slideshow

  • Select any photo or album and press Play, or select any full-screen photo and press the select button.

  • Play/Pause will pause the music and slideshow.


  • To skip to the next or last photo, press the Next/Fast-forward or Previous/Rewind button.

Connecting to a TV

iPod models that support displaying video on an external video source can do so in two different ways.

Method 1 (Composite video)

Using the AV cable connected directly to the top of the iPod or to the line out port on the Universal Dock.

Method 2 (S-video)

Using S-video when the iPod is in the Universal Dock.


Method 1 setup (Composite video)

This method can be used when the iPod is either in or out of the dock. Additionally, you would need a television or other video device that has RCA inputs.


  1. Connect the AV cable into the iPod (where the earbuds would normally connect) or to the line out port on the Universal Dock.

  2. Connect the red RCA connection into the right audio input of the television.

  3. Connect the white RCA connection into the left audio input of the television.


  4. Connect the yellow RCA connection into the video input of the television.

Tip: The RCA input connectors on a television are usually color coded to match the colors on the AV cable.

Method 2 setup (S-video)

This method provides slightly better image quality and should be used if possible. This method requires a television or other video device with S video inputs. Additionally, S-video can only be used when the iPod is in the Universal Dock.


  1. Place iPod in the Universal Dock.

  2. Connect a S-video cable to the S-video out port on the Universal Dock. This connection provides the video signal.

  3. Connect the other end of the S-video cable to the S-video input on the television.

  4. Connect the AV cable to the line out port on the Universal Dock. This connection provides the audio signal.

  5. Connect the red RCA connection into the right audio input of the television.

  6. Connect the white RCA connection into the left audio input of the television.

Some televisions may need to be set to channel 3 or 4 or "video" to receive input. Check with the documentation for your television if you're not sure.

Important: You should only use the included cable. Other RCA video cables won't work. Though other cables may look similar, only the Apple iPod AV Cable works with the iPod Headphones and AV port.

Tips for TV viewing

NTSC or PAL?

Compatible iPod models can deliver video out in either NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) or PAL (Phase Alternation Line) video formats. You will have to set the TV Signal setting to either NTSC or PAL when viewing on a television. These are two different broadcast standards, and your TV will only work with one of them. If you don't know which your TV is, simply try both settings to find the one that matches.

NTSC is the standard broadcast signal received by televisions in the United States. PAL is the standard broadcast signal received by televisions in many European countries.

The main difference between NTSC and PAL is that NTSC delivers 525 lines of resolution at 60 half-frames per second, whereas PAL delivers 625 lines at 50 half-frames per second.

iPod will attempt to guess the appropriate video format to use based on the geographical region that it was sold in. If the incorrect video format is used, the image displayed on the television will be poor or garbled. Additionally, if the incorrect video format is selected, it can be changed in the following menu location:

Photos > Slideshow Settings > TV Signal

Video input on TV

You may then need to select the correct video input on your television. If you're not already familiar with the input features of your TV, you'll need to read the manual that came with your TV. If the TV is not set correctly, the slideshow will not appear.

Don't forget the sound

The video cable does not carry sound, so you'll need to use the regular audio connections regardless of which display you choose. Run an audio cable from the Line Out port on your Universal Dock to an input on your TV or receiver, for example.


(...next, loading a PowerPoint on your iPod...)