Another Technology Rant

Posted 2009.08.15 7.25 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

Time for another rant about what ticks me off with technology.

They keep changing the accessories.

On what seems like a regular basis, suddenly all your accessories aren’t compatible with the newest gizmo. I’ve been through this with the cellphone companies, both Nokia and Sony/Ericsson have rendered all their A/C adaptors and car adaptors obsolete by changing the specs. There’s no reason for this. Other than, they’ve decided it’s time to sell more adaptors. Seriously – the sub-mini phono jack is a fine standard for headsets and the coaxial DC jack is fine for power. All your stupid annoying proprietary molded plastic plugs just earn you more hate – and a deeper level in hell every time you change them on us!

However, my specific ire today is not for cellphone companies – although they, and virtually every other tech company is guilty of this at one time or another. No, today I am ranting again about Apple.

So last night I decided I wanted to watch a certain movie on my tv in my bedroom. I bought & downloaded the movie a month or two ago from the iTunes store, and have watched it on my computer once or twice, but now I want to see it on an actual TV. So I poked around and checked and found that indeed, you cannot burn purchased movies to a DVD. (You can burn purchased music to CDs, so I had hoped maybe movies would work the same.)

Oh well – there’s always another way. I have an “Apple universal dock” on which I spend about $50 and it has an AV port on it. So I unplugged that from my computer and dug up an AV cable and hooked it all up to my TV, after first transfering the movie to my iPhone. Figuring I’ll just run the movie on the iPhone and play it to the TV. The iPhone has TV-out and it was all set up right.

So I try, and I’m getting sound but no picture. Wierd. I stop it, recheck the settings on the iPhone, then the settings on the TV. I check all the cables. Try again. Same problem. I fiddle some more, and ultimately spend almost 30 minutes trying to find out why it doesn’t work. Eventually I got to the point where there was no sound, no picture. Dangit. Finally I just gave up and watched something else. 🙁

While watching something else, I went to the apple support site to find out why my dock and av cable weren’t working. Oh. Not compatible with iPhone. Bastards. The iPhone and latest iPods don’t use the AV port on the “universal dock”. You have to buy a $70 cable that has AV ports on it. Though if you want to use a remote control you can plug the $70 cable into the $50 dock. Damnit.

All I want to do is watch a $15 movie on my television. And I can see where this is going. $70 for a fucking cable is outrageous. That is almost 1/3 of the price of an Apple TV box. Or 1/4 the price of an Apple TV box and an HDMI cable. With an Apple TV box I could watch any of the movies I’ve downloaded on my computer, plus access my music, or even directly access the iTunes store to rent movies, and even access “you tube” to watch stuff there. Well I guess I could watch Dr. Tran in wide screen HD maybe.

Curse you Apple for making me even consider buying an Apple TV!  Curse you!

4 Comments

  1. malmal says:

    If the plug fits, then it’s a matter of pinouts.[ maybe pinouts.ru ]
    Then a soldering iron is your best friend.:)

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the tip!
    I suspect they’ve rejiggered something in both the hardware and the software to make the older stuff incompatible. I did have a look inside the dock and it’s all micro-tiny surfacemount stuff, .1 or .2mm traces. I’m no longer confident about hand soldering stuff that small. 🙁
    My dad thinks the apple tv is the bees-knees so maybe I’ll just end up getting it (grumble grumble grumble). I have a dozen or so movies in itunes, so it wouldn’t just be for the one flick.
    Cheers!

  3. malmal says:

    .1 mm traces and micro SMCs- now you have to get into your laser mode and build a laser solder “iron” instead of a balloon destructor.:)

  4. […] this all goes back to a rant last week about not being able to watch a downloaded movie on my television. The cheapest solution would have been to simply go out and buy […]

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