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Apple's new Digital AV Adapter: what it will and won't do

Apple introduced the iPad 2 today and along with it rolled out a few new accessories to accompany its new tablet. One new cable to hit the retail shelves is the Digital AV adapter, which can be used to pipe content from your iOS device to your TV. Not just iPad 2-specific, the adapter is compatible with the iPhone 4, the original iPad and the 4th generation iPod touch (although it is somewhat limited on those devices, see below).

One side of the adapter plugs into the 30-pin connector on your iOS device while the other connects to an HDMI cable attached to your HDTV. Right next to the HDMI plug is a second 30-pin connector that lets you charge your iOS device while you are connected to your TV. When you purchase the adapter, don't forget to have a spare HDMI cable as the adapter is packaged alone in its box.

Before you grab one of these adapters, take note that there is a major difference in functionality between the iPad 2 and the older iOS devices. The iPad 2 is the only device that supports mirroring and 1080p HD. With the second generation tablet, you can send your apps, presentations, websites and more to your HDTV in full HD. The only exception is movies, which are streamed at 720p. The iPhone 4, iPod touch 4th gen and iPad will only push over 720p-quality slideshows and movies. The adapter will also send over digital audio to TVs that support this feature.

The Digital AV adapter will be available for US$40 from the Apple online store and in Apple retail stores when the iPad 2 becomes available on March 11.

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