The other week I had the opportunity to connect my iPhone to a series of HDTV LCD monitors ranging from 19″ to 42″ via Apple’s component video cable link. Not only was I skeptical of the purchase of yet another video and/or iPhone cable set from the start (I already own the composite video version of the same product… why not just use that?), but initial picture quality on my test films played back from the iPhone were dark to say the least.
However with some minor tweaking of the monitors themselves, the darkness disappeared and I was treated to some first-rate digital video playback. Test units ranged from LG’s low-end small screen lineup to Sharp’s “Special Edition” lineup; the Sharp required the most tweaking of all, it produced the best picture once properly tuned. The picture quality was also significantly enhanced on both projects when using the component cable instead of its composite counterpart. Besides, the composite version is no longer sold on the Apple Store website; I saw few left on the shelves when I visited the Fifth Avenue store, but perhaps this bodes ill for its component cousin…
Test videos included Iron Man standard edition one of my personal favorites, the Dogs of War starring Chris Walken and Tom Berenger. One was a DRM version from the iTunes store, the other was ripped from my personal DVD collection using HandBrake (2500 kbps). While there were some artifacts visible during certain portions of each, both were relatively minor to the point that I could not tell the difference between a DVD played back on a 42″ wide HDTV monitor.
For all frequent travelers (most hotels are equipped with LCD TVs, however small, complete with component or composite inputs), or for the professional exile, this method comes highly recommended by one who knows. Trust me on that one, I’ve had plenty of practice with the nomadic lifestyle lately… Enjoy 😉