Apple's Lightning To 30-Pin Adaptor Doesn't Support Video And iPod Out

The iPhone 5 is using the new Lightning port, which means we need to buy adaptors at an additional cost if we want to keep using our old accessories. Unfortunately, those adaptors don't support video and iPod out.

The lack of iPod out doesn't exactly mean your iPod speakers are now dead and useless; iPod out is actually a feature that some car manufacturers (BMW, for example) use for their in-car displays. iPod out lets cars basically port the iPod interface onto their head units and control it from the car. Since this adaptor will no longer let you do that, you'll probably have to control your music from the iPhone and not your diamond-encrusted steering wheel.

As for the lack of video output in the adaptors, it looks like you can't use a Lightning adaptor in addition to one of these 30-pin to HDMi adaptors. If you want to do video out with your iPhone 5, it looks like you'll likely have to use Airplay over Apple TV. It looks like in the quest to shrink the iPhone cable, video and iPod out ended up as casualties. [CNN, iMore]


    Badly conceived and stupidly executed. Not just another proprietary connector, instead of adopting the microUSB standard, but a proprietary connector with a crippled adaptor. I'd hate to be an Apple shareholder right now! :/

      The stupid thing is microusb can do video out, why didn't they just use that. They could have had their own twist to that standard that also allowed audio out and control as well.

        Not to mention all iPhones sold in the EU have to have a MicroUSB adapter included in the box anyway.

          I did read somewhere that Apple is selling the USB connector for about 20 pounds and it's an optional extra

            Well, it's a legal requirement that a phone *must* support MicroUSB for it to be sold in the EU, so I very much doubt Apple would get away with selling an adaptor as an optional extra...

        This adapter can too. What it can't do (in exactly the same way as any USB standard) is analogue video out. The Apple connector has built in USB support as would the new one.

        Apples connector whilst being proprietary is simply an extension of USB - allowing it to do anything USB can.

          You are missing the point, which is why can't Apple adopt the same microUSB connector every other phone on the planet uses? Imagine how much better it would be for peripheral suppliers if they could sell a speaker dock that supported iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and every other phone OS that supports USB. Of course, that is precisely why they stick to thei rproprietary adapter - so they can leverage their market dominance to stop users from switching platforms. If MS or anyone else tried a similar tactic, they'd be sued to within an inch of their life.

            I'll go out on a limb and say that the real reason apple decided to go with their own connector is to have it capable of being used with either Thunderbolt or USB3 in the future. There is no standard for that. Being able to control the licensing is a tasty bnonus

      I'd like to be a shareholder right now - they're paying dividends, the stock is worth money, and outside of the tech community, no one's going to know until AFTER they've spent the money on the phone.

      Such a cop out though. They control this system spec, end to end, and still don't do it right.

      Yeah, I'd hate to be an apple shareholder right now. All that money would be a real concern.
      Apple closed last night at a record high on US markets.

      Yeah, with 1 share worth $683 I'd hate to be an Apple shareholder too ...

      HAHAHAHHA apple is doing so bad right now

    Remember when Nokia did this? Didn't work too well for them.

    Don't worry, they'll have an adaptor for that adaptor.

    I don't mind being an apple shareholder right now actually. I am up 2% today :)

    It just works!

    So is the new standard unable to do those things? or could a third party implement what Apple have not into an adapter?

      Its not a standard its what Apple chose to do ie. its proprietary (probably so they can slug 3rd party peripheral makers with another fee).

      No, the new connector is all digital. The modes it doesn't support are the analog signals the old connector used to have pins for.

    "Intelligent and compact adapter". I think they actually meant "Stupid and bulky".

    I was thinking about it and i actually dont think i need the adaptor. Use airplay to display video on screen, bluetooth for audio and might just keep my 4 for the ipod docks or as a spare iphone.

    The adoptor won't allow for video when using it (9 to 30 pin) but using a native connector (9 pin only), can it do video and everything else?

      Yes, Apple have said that Lightning-to-HDMI/VGA/whatever cables will be coming in a short while. The problem is the adaptor, not the new standard.

    Surely the loss of video out isn't that bad?
    How many people regularly plug their iPhone into a 30pin-HDMI adapter connected to a 1.5-3m HDMI cable to watch videos? I doubt that's a common use of the iPhone.

    For people with 30pin car connectors and displays that support the iphone UI, they've lucked out it seems. However, I would suggest that cabled audio through 30-pin is becoming a lesser technology in cars. Sure, it's better quality than Bluetooth, but... especially with the rise of Android and other smartphone manufacturers popularity, the 30-pin connector is less likely to be a common feature in cars.

    Take a step back and look at this rationally. Video out isn't a big loss.

      Unless you happen to belong to a gym were all the machines have 30pin Iphone connectors so you can watch videos ETC whilst working-out. Its a deal breaker for me I hope someone sues big time.

        Haha, based on that, a law suit should've been raised when we went from serial ports to USB.

        It's just evolution of technology.

      I've never used my hdmi adaptor, but now that Apple wants to take it away from me, I kinda wanna use it!

        Suing because they changed their adapter! haha

      "Lucked Out" means the opposite of bad luck. You've used it in completely the wrong way here.

        It's got different meanings in US and UK. I just used the wrong one. you got the idea regardless

    So other than charging the iPhone, WHAT THE HECK IS THE POINT OF THIS ADAPTER if there is no iPod / video out?!

      Did you even read the post??

        Did you?

      The adapter is there to pretend their is a solution. So you can also spend money on that before realizing it doesn't fix your problem :P

    You will get video out via an extra lighting to hdmi adapter... isnt that obvious...

    Its not stupid replacing the old 30 pin dock connector, they are already having legacy issues with it. If you want the system to come forward and advance then something has to change... its that simple.

    Using some sort of microUSB or MHL like android phones is silly. Forstarters, MHL is already fragmented and adapters are phone dependant. For people out there thinking micoUSB supports video, your wrong and should learn something about USB before you open your mouth. Your seeing video over USB communications. Which means that any device would have to have a USB port on it to accept video. Then decode the video and build a stream out of it. Not to mention the bandwidth limitations to sending full HDMI over a USB port (wont work).

      You're regrettably misinformed.

      MicroUSB certainly does support video. USB transfers packeted digital video (what you called 'video over USB') that needs a DAC to decode before sending to the TV. You can get a simple USB to RCA DAC for around $15. More advanced DAC units are available too. The target device doesn't need a USB input.

      On bandwidth, HDMI 1.4 channel peak bitrate is 3.4GB/s including overhead. USB 3 peak bitrate is 5.0GB/s, also including overhead. Peak bitrate for HDMI will transfer you 4096x2160 resolution. There are no bandwidth issues sending full HDMI over USB.

      You might like to consider learning something about USB yourself before you use incorrect information to criticise other people for not learning enough about USB.

        Forgot to mention, USB to HDMI converters are also quite cheap, around the $20 mark. No DAC needed there, just a simple transcode. From what I can see, the Apple HDMI adapter is more than twice that price retail.

        Lets work backwards here:
        1) Im pretty sure that the micro USB standard the EU has adopted is USB 2.0. Hence your argument fails, based on your bandwidth examples given. The micro USB 3.0 connector is different... Whilst backwards compatible, still different...
        2) What i said was correct and you have just misinterpreted it. I know you can transmit video via USB "packets". But people imply that you can simply shove a video signal directly down a USB cable which is wrong.
        3) It does require more then just a "DAC". Whilst these devices you use may be referred to as a DAC in a broad context, really what they are doing is: Enumerating as a USB device, decoding those USB packets, then converting them so they can be output onto several DAC's (1x video, 2x audio outputs).

        I apologise if i didn't make myself more clear, but i do know more then a thing or two about USB.

      Zombie Jesus is right and you are wrong I'm afraid. The standard is moving towards MHL over micro USB, and that's pretty identical for a number of phones from different manufactures. They can all use the same adapter to plug their micro USB directly into HDMI. It's very straight forward and been like that for a couple of years now.

        The "new" jack isn't even USB3... moving forward?? Ridiculous.

        Look up the Galaxy S3 vs other MHL supporting devices and you will see your wrong...

    I can't wait to hear their new excuse for not using USB. Is line-out gone too? Does "lightning" do ANYTHING USB doesn't? I'd respect this company so much more if they would just come out and admit that they just want to lock customers in and get a cut of profits from 3rd party accessories.

    New revenue stream. Buy own new iphone and upgrade all your ipod docks!

    I have always hated the 30 pin connector, every time I charge my phone it feels like something is going to snap as I plug the cable in. And it fills up with crap because of how big it is. I'm looking forward to the new connection, I'll now be able to plug my phone in when it is dark without worrying what way around it is.

    My guess is that the eight contacts on the Lightning connector are "adaptive", in that they change function depending on what is plugged in, unlike the dock connector which had dedicated pins for each purpose (FWIW, "iPod control" is on pins 12-13). I'm assuming the adaptor is just passive pin-to-pin mapping, so the omissions may well be physically mandated. Still sucks though.

    Still annoyed that Apple went with a proprietary cable again though. There's no technical reason (other than thickness) why Apple couldn't make a connector that accepted a microUSB plug for syncing and charging, while still providing extra contacts for additional proprietary features like this. Think like the USB3 connectors. They can take USB2 plugs with four contacts, while still providing the additional five plugs for USB3 speeds. That way Apple can still do their own thing but we can still have universal chargers and PC cables. Win win.


    "innovative" my ass..

    I dunno about you guys, but I've got craploads more things in my house that use Apple's 30-pin adaptor than a micro-USB.

    The adapter is horrid. How exactly do they expect that to work on a speaker dock where the device slots into the top of the unit. Plug the adapter in and then perch the new iPhone on top? That will look silly and would certainly not be very stable.

    Last time I checked MicroUSB wasn't reversible. Lightning FTW! ;)

      This is its truly only saving grace at this time.. and it's not a very big one either..

      I simply can't understand why they didn't make it at least USB3.0 compliant.. I don't care what the plug looks like.. I just want it to be functional and up to date.. this "new" lightning plug is out of date before its even been released.

      lumia 920, no need to plug it just put it down for wireless charging and wireless syncing

        I can charge my iPhone anywhere I can find a USB port. You do realize that the inductive charging pad has a cable plugged into it? Wireless charging is a gimmick in phones that just takes up valuable space. It's real use is in things that are supposed to stay close to the charging pad such as gaming or tv controllers.

    And so the downward spiral begins. Bye bye apple!..

    I hope they make a Lightning to RCA plug soon. That's how my car's satellite navigation/Video works: a 30pin with RCA leads (JVC KS-U30). I don't want to have to buy a new head unit to output video to my headunit.

    does the LIGHTNING cable support iPod out so I can at least control my iPhone with my headunit instead of using the iPhone?

      I am in exactly the same situation! Can't even get hold of a lightning adaptor if I wanted to!

    just spent almost $140 in new cables to "adapt" to alllllll the various things I have that I *USED* to be able to control/connect with my previous iPhone. It's pretty sad that it renders all high-end car stereo systems useless that utilize the dock connector to control the iphone (which usually gets hooked up and left in the glove box so you can control via the head unit). It's illegal to even hold your dang phone while driving now so how do they expect you to operate your music if it kills the control via the head unit? Control via bluetooth is SEVERELY limited compared to doing it via the dock as stated all over the web (not to mention audio quality is a big difference if you have a decent system). That optional cable for my JVC KWNT800HDT (Same situation as what Chapel mentioned above) was $35 bucks I think? and now it's basically useless - except instead of usnig my iphone 5 via bluetooth, now I just use my iphone4 and leave it psuedo-permanently connected in the glovebox without it activated on the cellular network. At least I can control all the music, use the extended navigation apps, pandora, iheartradio, etc etc etc - which all rely on connectivity through the dock to have FULL functionality.

    Then we have to wait for the lightning to HDMI adaptor - again, rendering useless ALL the previous custom routed cabling into furniture/wall/table mounts that I had connected to various places in my house... generally a huge pain in the ass for those of us who have integrated Apple's technology/convenience into our lives and now have to basically start from scratch.

    Ever been on kickstarter? I have backed numerous projects which were *just* shipping with the 30pin dock - BAM, now they all have to go back to drawing board or extend production timelines (Taktik iphone case, The Stand, Galilieo, lil' kikr etc). All great products - but I sure feel sorry for all those guys who now have to do a complete redesign...

    my 2 cents.

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