In my previous universe, you could buy a video cable (looks like usual mini-connector to RCA cable but I think the video/sound connector sequence is odd) for an iPod and play movies on a TV. I never tried it, the resolution was too low for even our crummy TV and my 4G iPod is clearly a music player first and a video player marginally. Besides, there wasn't anything for the kids, and we never have time to watch movies or tv ourselves.
Then word of iTV came out, and the fact that iPods output video seemed to have been forgotten. In this case Pogue does something very odd -- he mentions output from the iPod then forgets it a paragraph later ...
New at Apple: Smaller iPods, Bigger Ideas - New York Times: "Playback on a TV (for example, when connected to the computer or the iPod’s optional video dock) is exactly what Apple says it is: near, but not quite, DVD quality...Huh? Is this some kind of bizarre supernatural mind control? If you carry the cable, you can play it on anything that accepts RCA inputs. The ultra-crummy DVD player our kids uses has a jack for that, and of course all semi-modern TVs do.
..Who, exactly, is interested in movie downloads at all? Compared with DVD’s, movie downloads offer limited selection, very little savings, no DVD extras and no surround sound. The files are huge, the quality isn’t even up to DVD standards, and you can’t play your movies on a friend’s TV or a DVD player in the car.
So what am I missing here? If iTunes has some of those Disney's kids movies you can't buy any more (Disney is weird/evil that way), we may even buy one. We'd need to buy the cradle though, a 4G iPod battery won't last through a movie without external power.
Update 9/21/06: The iTunes 7 update also updates the resolution capacity of the 5G iPods.