HDTV and the iPod Photo: A Perfect Marriage?

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 your HDTV.

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.

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