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Iphone 3GS is capable of playing 1080p video

Not capable of displaying it though
Fri Aug 21 2009, 13:37

REPORTS THAT THE LATEST IPHONE is capable of playing high definition video at resolutions of up to 1080p have got the Interweb all of a buzz.

No doubt it won't be long before Macolytes are baiting potential Zune HD purchasers and owners of Samsung's 720p-toting Omnia HD.

Despite the official Apple line that the ubiquitous handset, which every other device maker on the planet is trying to replicate, is only capable of playing video files at 480x320, a poster on a Chinese tech forum Weiphone has suggested otherwise.

The poster reported that the Samsung chipset in the Iphone 3GS was indeed capable of playing back files at resolutions of up to 1080p and 30fps, a claim which has since been partially confirmed by the folks at Engadget, complete with video.

Conspiracy theorists all over the web are suggesting that Apple has deliberately disabled the feature in order to preserve battery life and prevent overheating. But given the recent track record that is probably a good thing.

However, although the device is technically capable of playing back 1080p files, it is in no way capable of displaying them. Why would you want to take up huge amounts of space on your Iphone's hard drive with files that you can only show at the screen's 480x320 native resolution? That's a lot of faffing about for downscaled video, despite the bragging rights.

It's true that you can hook up your device to an HD TV using the dock connector or an AV cable. But the AV option uses composite video, and the dock connector can manage S-Video at best which typically outputs at 480i, or 576i in some cases.

There is a silver lining, however. There are enough redundant and unconnected pins on the Iphone's 30 pin dock connector to, at some point in the future, allow full HDMI video output.

So you can look forward to watching full HD movies played from your Iphone (3GHD perhaps?) into your 42-inch plasma at some point in the near future, but not quite yet. µ



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