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01-03-2011, 05:20 PM #1Noosy HDMI iPhone / iPad Connector Review ? GIVEAWAY!
When Noosy designers came up with the idea for this simple dock connector to HDMI adapter, someone in the room probably said “this thing is gonna be HUGE!”
In some ways they were right. It IS huge. Especially when you compare it with Apple’s Camera Connector Kit. The Noosy HDMI Adapter is roughly as thick and as wide as an iPhone itself, just not as long. Even so, size doesn’t really detract from the usefulness of the product considering you’ll have to tote around an HDMI cable to attach it to your TV anyways.
Fit and finish are typical for a Chinese-knockoff-type product. It’s obvious Noosy has tried to emulate a lot of Apple’s design and packaging aesthetic. Still, it doesn’t look bad. The only thing that’s a bit awkward is how a heavy HDMI cable hangs off and looks like it’s stressing the dock connector. For our tests we just placed the iPad on a flat surface.
Throwing price totally out the window, Noosy’s HDMI Adapter is a very cool product – so cool that it leads you to wonder why Apple didn’t build it themselves? Wouldn’t it be cool to attach your iPad or iPhone to an external display to share it’s content? Apple thought so too. Let’s look at the ‘official’ external display alternatives out of Cupertino.
Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter $29
Apple Component AV Cable $39
Apple TV 2nd Generation $99
The VGA adapter does require a cable but many VGA monitors already have one attached so it’s a low cost option if you have a VGA input available. You’ll still need cables for audio though! The Component AV Cable comes ready to attach… video and audio, IF you can get to all the connectors on the TV.
We’re talking about usability here. Most HDTVs have a side input with analog composite and HDMI, but no component inputs. To find those you’ll need to get behind the set and attach them to the main inputs. Many HDTVs also have a VGA/DVI input, but again… around back. So the Apple Component AV Cable ends up being a nice value since it’s plug and play with built in cables. Neither Apple TV nor the Noosy HDMI Adapter come with an HDMI cable, so this can add a lot to their cost.
Apple TV is the only ‘official’ option for outputting iPad or iPhone video and audio over HDMI. A good case could be made that Apple TV and AirPlay are the real reason why HDMI output has been purposely left off i-devices in a decidedly ‘HDMI world.’
Here’s a real world usability example. Suppose you’d like to output a slideshow at a friend or relative’s house, or play them a recent home movie on their big screen TV. Which of Apple’s ‘official’ options would work on your aunt’s living room Samsung 55in HDTV… quickly and easily, at a holiday gathering, while all of your relatives stare blankly at you, their crowned tech guru while you’re fiddling and plugging cables?
You can throw most of Apple’s options out the window because you’re not removing your aunt’s TV from the wall and there’s only a single HDMI input on its side. You could AirPlay it via Apple TV, if you brought it. And if you wanted to take the time to set it up and recognize their straight-from-Verizon FiOS router (SSID and pass key are on the side sticker) on the other side of the house.
No. What you need is a simple HDMI connection. This is where the Noosy HDMI Adapter really shines: simplicity. It just does what it says. Plug it into the HDTV, select the input and everyone gathers around to enjoy. Afterwards you’ll be asked how you did that.
The only thing that gets in the way a little is Apple’s Fairplay copy protection scheme.
Once you’re connected, video content can play over HDMI… all except for the content that doesn’t. This isn’t Noosy’s fault – Apple controls what is ‘allowed’ to be output from the dock connector. Basically any content you’ve created and added to iTunes yourself will play just fine. But some movies and TV shows that are purchased/protected iTunes content will display the dreaded ‘Cannot Play Movie’ prompt. This includes ‘digital copy’ versions that come with some blu-ray titles.
At ModMyi we don’t condone piracy or stealing content of any kind. If you want to enjoy something that’s paid content, you should pay for it. That’s what makes it ridiculously infuriating when you want to play something that you’ve rightfully paid for that refuses to play… because you’ve paid for it.
No matter. There are tons of great apps out there on different platforms (like Handbrake) that will allow you to convert your purchased DVD or blu-ray movie into a compressed format that will play unhindered.
As long as you have internet access you can output YouTube content through Noosy to an HDTV just like media stored directly on your device. It’s not beautiful but it is YouTube.
Netflix is one of the best uses of TV output on iPad or iPhone. And it works seamlessly over the Noosy. Just hook it up and you can navigate with the touchscreen and your movie plays back on the attached TV. Simple. The resolution seems to be a step down from Apple TV Netflix playback but maybe you don’t have an Apple TV handy. More and more hotel rooms have HDTVs with connection boxes that have HDMI.
In addition to movies, you can output audio and music over the HDMI adapter through the iPod app or other audio apps. It’s a lot like AirPlay but hard wired and doesn’t require Apple TV or wifi obviously.
Aside from audio and video content, you can output picture slideshows from the Photos app and graphics content from other apps – as long as the developer has implemented it.
An interesting example is forScore, a sheet music PDF organizing/display app for iPad. Typically you just view your sheet music on the iPad screen but with the Noosy HDMI Adapter it mirrors the output to an external monitor. It doesn’t take much imagination to think of ways this could be used in other apps.
The Noosy HDMI Adapter instructions are a fun read if you enjoy the typical Chinese-to-English translation gaffs. Here’s an excerpt from the instructions:
1. This HDMI Adapter is compatible with iPad, iPhone 4, iPod touch 4G.
2. Support transmit the Video and Audio to HD TV or HDMI device.
3. Easily plug and play,no need external power supply,no need jailbreak.
4. Support 720P/1080P High Ddfinition signal output
5. Support videos , movies, MTV, Podcast,Youtube(online),photos,3D Movie, etc….
6. Support online video on internet webpage(support QuickTime).
7. Support online FM radio,MP3(iPhone4),photos on Powerpoint.
8. Can output the audio of the online games and TV programs.
9. Do not support the movies that were purchased through iTunes or locked with Apple’s Fairplay copy protection scheme.
10. The HDMI adapter is a small box, not the HDMI cable, very easy to carry to anywhere you like.
Most of the info seems right but we questioned a few of the claims, like “1080P High Ddfinition signal output. Currently, the first gen iPad is 720p output max. And who knows where the “FM radio” output is coming from either?
All things considered, is the Noosy HDMI Adapter useful? Definitely. Pricey? Maybe a bit, since you must supply your own cable.
Something to consider is that this adapter is not sanctioned or approved by Apple so a future software update could cause problems or even render it useless. For now though it seems to work well and if you really need HDMI output, Noosy is the only option.
Review by Larry Wiezycki. Larry works in TV and media production as part of an Investigative Team for a consumer advocacy law firm, James-Hoyer. He’s received 4 Emmy awards and has been an avid iOS and OS X user for years.