They may seem like an odd combination, but the iPod photo could be the perfect
choice for anyone who wants to view photo slideshows on an HDTV. The iPod photo
can store thousands of digital photos, and syncs with a Mac or PC via iTunes. It will
read any slideshows you've created in iPhoto on a Mac or Photoshop Album on a PC
and copy them to the iPod. Alternatively you can tell it to copy a folder full of
images from your hard drive as a slideshow.
Also, with the addition of an optional camera connector($29), you can copy photos
directly from a digital camera and automatically create a slideshow from them on
the iPod photo. All slideshows can be set to music.
To connect the iPod photo to an HDTV you'll need to first make sure that your
HDTV has composite video and audio inputs and then purchase the iPod photo AV
cable ($19) from Apple. Connect the iPod to your TV, select the appropriate input
and hey presto, your slideshow can be seen in beautiful, bright widescreen glory on
It's worth bearing a few things in mind when creating slideshows for HDTV. First of
all, the screen of an HDTV set has an aspect ratio of 16:9 (length: height) so if you
size your photos with this aspect ratio you'll be able to fill the screen without
cropping the photo or seeing ugly black space around it. Secondly, the resolution
required for optimal viewing on HDTV at full screen is less than that needed for
printing even an A4 image. So if you only intend viewing your photos on-screen,
whether on your computer or HDTV, you can save space on your iPod photo by
reducing the capture resolution on your digital camera. If you set it at three mega-
pixels, that will be enough to allow you to crop photos to the correct aspect ratio
and still view them at the highest possible quality on an HDTV.
Of course, the iPod photo can store more than just photographs. Anything that can
be saved as an image file, such as JPEG, can be included in a slideshow, so you
could even use it to carry around business presentations which can be viewed by
anyone with access to a TV or projector.
Robert Armstrong is a contributor to The HDTV Tuner - a guide to the kit, the technology and the
programming on HDTV.