iPod Video TV Playback Problem Solved

January 4th, 2006

For a while now, I’ve been unable to play video from my iPod video through to one of my TVs. Of course, the TV it didn’t work with was the good stereo one in the loungeroom, not the smaller crappy mono TV in the family room.

I finally found some info on the net that helped me fix this. It turns out that the iPod puts video, left audio and right audio onto different leads on an AV cable than what most video cameras use. I was connecting it up using red-to-red, yellow-to-yellow and white-to-white. Seemed sensible to me, but it’s completely wrong.

The technical reason Apple didn’t follow the traditional pinouts used by video cameras was so that you could plug a 3.5″ earphone jack into the same plug as the video jack, and still get stereo sound. If you plug earphones into a video camera’s 3.5″ jack, you’ll get sound in one ear and noise (the video signal) in the other. So it’s an understandable decision, but annoying when you’re not aware of it.

The correct connection setup is:

  • the red lead goes into the TV’s yellow jack
  • the yellow lead goes into the TV’s white jack
  • the white lead goes into the TV’s red jack

If you can’t remember the colour combinations, do it this way:

  • try different leads in different RCA jacks until you get a picture on the TV (none of the lead/jack colours should match, so there are only 6 combinations to try)
  • now plug the two audio leads in (there’s only one combination left where the colours don’t match)

Beauty, now it works!

So, why did it originally work on one of my TVs and not the other? It turns out I couldn’t see the jack colours behind that TV, so I just inserted cables until I got a video picture, and then plugged one of the sound cables into the mono audio jack. I’ve no idea why I didn’t think to try different combinations on the other TV!

Entry Filed under: iPod

4 Comments

  • 1. Johann  |  July 17th, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    I tried This with my ipod video 80 g and it still didn’t work any suggestions? i just get a ton of static and negative pieces of the picture no sound. Ideas? janda_gar@hotmail.com

    thx

  • 2. Darren  |  July 17th, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Did you try all the leads in all the plugs until you got a video picture? That seems to be the trick.

  • 3. Travis  |  September 28th, 2007 at 5:53 am

    Thanks, that little trick saved me money and worked like a charm.

  • 4. dfg  |  February 19th, 2009 at 11:01 am

    ok i did everything that was said here,i get the audio on both sides, but no video, after tryin all the inputs in diff. ways, any idea whats wrong?


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