iPhone Firmware 2.2 SDK Reveals Undocumented TV-out Features

Well-known iPhone developer and blogger at Ars Technica, Erica Sadun has discovered that the updated MediaPlayer framework in the recently released iPhone firmware 2.2 Software Development Kit (SDK) offers an option to export video-out live to a connected TV screen.

Theoretically the undocumented feature will allow third-party iPhone apps to send video out through the dock connector to an external screen.

Erica Sadun explains:

"The MPTVOutWindow class allows your iPhone to send its video to a connected TV rather than to the built-in screen. Intended to be used with movies, the unpublished class creates a live video feed that is sent out through the iPhone’s connector port. End-users will need to buy a video adapter or cable to use this functionality."

She has even created a prototype iPhone app and later updated it with control screen and camera feed to demonstrate the iPhone video-out feature. This is what she has to say about the prototype:

"Supports two screens: one provided by the video-out cable, the other
on the iPhone itself. Buttons pressed on the iPhone affect what happens
on the video-out feed—in this case, flipping the display from landscape
to portrait and back."

You can checkout the video of the prototype in action below:

Greg "go2" Hartstein has also developed an impressive prototype to demonstrate some of the possibilities of the video-out feature as seen in the video below. He explains:

  • The first example simply uses the phone trackpad as a controller.
  • The second mirrors the phone window and the Video output.
  • The third extends the phone "desktop" onto the TV screen.

It will be interesting to see what iPhone developers or for that matter Apple will be able to come up with using this undocumented TV-out feature.

What do you think?

[via Ars Technica, Greg Hartstein’s homepage]

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