Friday, December 2, 2011

Connecting iDevices to the TV: an Apple-compatible AV Cable accessory from Pisen (品胜)

Some of us would like to connect a 1st Generation iPad or 3rd/4th generation iPod to display on a bigscreen LCD or LED TV, especially if this allows family and friends to watch Youtube and other streaming videos together, or be an active audience during an Angry Birds session. This feature, known as display mirroring, though incorporated by Apple from the iPad2 onwards, was not meant to be ready for the older devices, and is still not a fully supported feature on the older devices.

Jailbreaking your older devices will however unlock this feature, through the installation of free Cydia apps such as TVOut and TVOut2. The Pisen (品胜) AV Cable, developed by the Guangdong Pisen Electronics Co Ltd is one of the third-party accessories in the market that is affordable and at RMB 165 (approx. SGD 35) significantly cheaper than the official Apple adapter.

The Pisen AV cable is meant for connecting iDevices to any TV or Monitor via the older AV connectors (Red-Yellow-White). It also comes with a usb connector that works with the official Apple plug, thus allowing the iDevice to be simultaneously charging while connected to the TV. This is a critical feature because users do not have to worry about running low on battery midway through a movie. The Pisen AV cable can also be used in place of the default Apple charging cable so that users who are travelling, do not have to bring along two sets of cables.

The main design shortcoming of the Pisen AV cable is that the cable for the usb connector is very short. Hence the power plug will have to located very close to the AV connections in order for charging and display mirroring to take place at the same time.

In my test session, after connecting the iPad 1st Gen to the TV, I had to run the TVout app in order to configure the iPad to display properly on the TV in the correct aspect ratio. This was easily done.

After setting-up all the connections, the Springboard and LeTV mirror well on the LCD TV. The audio was also working properly.

The Pisen AV cable is a useful accessory that can revive your older iDevices that have been made obsolete by the newer iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. Given the proliferation of streaming apps such as, Hulu+, Netflix and LeTV, the older iDevices that have been jailbroken, can serve as portable media players at home. At SGD 35, this is an affordable accessory and an interesting device for all enthusiasts.

The manufacturer, Guangdong Pisen Electronics Co Ltd 广东品胜电子股份有限公司 ( is an established manufacturer of Apple accessories, including portable battery chargers. Their products appear to be well made and packaged. We will likely continue to see more of their accessories in time to come.

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