I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I don’t purchase physical media all that often. Most of the movies I buy are purchased via iTunes. The reason for this is because iTunes has a good selection of movies, I can play movies on any of my computers, and my movies can be loaded onto my iPad and iPhone. If there is a downside it’s the fact that plugging a computer into a friend’s television isn’t always a straight forward way to watch a movie and most movies played via a computer on a CRT television look like shit.
Realizing the iPad is far more portable than a television and that I sometimes like to bring movies to my friends’ houses I decided to purchase a set of Component AV Cables for use with my iPad and iPhone. Last night was the first time I actually used them and I’m happy to report they work great. The test movie was the high definition version of Tron: Legacy which looked absolutely great playing off of my iPad. It also beat the Hell out of trying to hook a laptop up to the television. Being everything has a downside one is apparently made using the iPad, there is no remote control. If you want to pause the move you have to go over to the iPad and tap the pause button on the screen. Not a big deal but it’s honestly the only downside I could find to this setup.
While playing a movie on an external display you can turn the iPad’s screen off and the movie will continue to play. However if you leave the Video app the movie will stop playing which is probably a side effect of allowing other applications to utilize the video-out capabilities of the iPad. I will also note that if you get an e-mail or other message on the iPad while it’s hooked into a television the notification sound plays on the television so it’s a good idea to turn your networking capabilities off while watching a movie if you get as many e-mails as I do.
Needless to say I really like the iPad as a video playing device. There is no real setup required beyond plugging the component cables into the television and pressing play on the iPad.