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Freeverse experiments with iPhone TV-out capabilities

updated 06:20 pm EST, Sun December 7, 2008

iPhone TV out capabilities

Freeverse has dabbled with an undocumented iPhone SDK feature that allows apps to use the TV-out function, according to Ars Technica. The developer applied the MPTVOutWindow class to its Moto Chaser game, creating a demo that played on an external display. Users still control the vehicle by tilting the device, but view the racing action on a TV instead of the touchscreen. The experience also benefits from the sound output routing to the TV or other A/V system.

The game ran best on the second-generation iPod touch, reaching a rate of 20 frames per second and considered "almost playable" by Freeverse producer Bruce Morrison. The public release of Moto Chaser for the iPhone includes a variety of optimizations that allow a rate of 26 frames per second.

The demo was created with less than a day's work at Freeverse, but lacks a main menu and throttle button. The company experimented with the TV-out feature solely to create a technology preview, and has no plans to integrate the API until Apple documents it in future SDKs. "We only use approved Apple methods and approved frameworks in our programs," Morrison said.

The performance would also need to increase before the public will see a TV-out version in the App Store. "Our video methods have room to improve, and we're positive we can bring up that frame rate with time and work," Morrison added. "But we won't release anything at 20 frames per second."

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Friggin Sweet

    Imagine standing in front of a 50" TV and playing your game. Even upscaled, the action would be boggling on many of the iPod games.

    I wonder if the graphics drive could output high-res video. As it stands now, the iPhone and iPodTouch use the same high-def video file and scale it down for the internal display. At this point, it'd be a matter of can the pos USB connection support taht kind of video bandwidth in real time.

    My guess- probably not.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Better go wireless

    otherwise the stress of continuous game play on that port will render it useless very quickly.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    don't think so...

    Um, you've got a 50" TV and you want to waste it with some little iPhone game? Maybe spend a couple of hundred dollars, get an xBox or ps3 and watch some HD game play.

    As for high-res video, Apple downloads both HD and SD versions of a show. I'm sure the SD version is what ends up on the iPhone, so I don't think you can watch that show.

    I'm not sure why mr. sawyer thinks the USB port on the iPhone will fry by actually just using it. But if he says so...

    As for wireless, if you tried doing that, you'd be hard pressed to get much more than a couple of hours out of the thing before it died (unless you plugged it in as well).

    But for all this, who's actually thinking of spending money on technology that could be rendered useless in the next iPhone OS update?

    h***, Apple killed a lot of existing power chargers with their last set of iPod hardware, by disabling firewire charging capabilities. And they didn't even tell the manufacturers (wouldn't you call them partners, almost?) they were going to do this.

  1. MindBlade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mobile Keynote!

    Keynote for iPhone would absolutely rock. Then I wouldn't have to lug my laptop everywhere for presentations. One less hassle when I travel.

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