I bought a generic “Apple AV Component Cable” to connect my Apple iPad and iPhone to my ancient TV, because genuine Apple product isn’t available any more. The TV in my apartment is a Philips 32″ and belongs to my landlord, on the positive side it has a big screen, on the negative side it’s really old and has no digital inputs . After some research on the internet I decided that component video would probably give the best signal on the TV as the TV had the three connectors (total five with the audio). YPbPr or Component video sends video signal over three connectors, two for audio.
For analogue connections to TVs composite video and SCART is reckoned to be the worst, next best is S-Video and the best is component.
I’m using iPad 3 and iPhone 4s, and the cable I can report that this cable DOES NOT WORK with my TV and shop wont take it back 😦
The reason I have discovered is that the signal that my TV wants is a PAL signal and an interlaced signal, 576i, the cable/Apple device is sending 576p (progresive signal)
Reason for this is that the component video on the iPad 3 and iPhone 4s is progressive scan ie 480p or 576p. Changing the settings in the Apple device from PAL to NTSC doesn’t help, nor does turning the setting for Widescreen On and Off.
Note: interlaced an older system of sending pictures, where the lines on the screen are sent only on every other “scan”. This means picture generally not as good as progressive scan where every line is sent of every “scan”.
The picture just moves quickly up and up and up (and so on) the screen, like “scrambled” with all the settings I tried.
My research concluded that I could get an interlaced signal to the TV, but I need an Apple Composite AV cable to do it – 480i (NTSC -USA) or 576i (PAL – Almost everywhere else).
From Apple page on iPhone 4s – “Video out support at 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)”
From Apple page on iPad 3 – “Video out support at 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cable sold separately)”
Buy an Apple Composite AV Cable, which is what I did in the end. The picture is more than OK, much better than I expected and very watchable. It’s also superior to the broadcast picture from the cable company. The iPad plays most of my mp4 movies flawlessly, just need to copy them from files into iTunes.
Note to self – I should always take the time to research what I’m buying in detail, saves hassle, time and money.
If you want to connect your Apple device to a TV, check carefully the specs for your devices, these are listed on Apple website (or with some Google’ing. Some older TVs do not support progressive scan signals, so 480p and 576p wont work. If in doubt then get the composite video cable, which does actually give a really nice picture anyway.