How to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV

How to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV

Summary: Here are two ways to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV.

TOPICS: Hardware, Apple

It's a Saturday morning, and since I have some free time I thought that I might use them to answer a popular question from the Hardware 2.0 mailbox.

How do I connect my iPhone/iPad to my TV?

For the purposes of this piece I'm going to assume that since you own an iPhone/iPad/iPad mini that you have a TV that's new enough to have an HDMI port.

OK, if your TV has an HDMI port them you have two choices. One option will cost you $49, and the other will cost $99.

Let's start with the cheaper of the two options – using Apple's Lightning digital AV adapter cable. This is simply a cable with a Lightning connection on one end, and mini HDMI on the other.

(Source: Apple)

This adapter will allow you to mirror whatever is on the screen of your Lightning-enabled iPhone or iPad – including apps, websites, photos, video, slideshows, and more – on any HDMI-equipped TV or display, up to 720p HD.

The adapter will also carry audio from your iDevice to the TV.

If you want to pipe content to a display that has a VGA connector, use the Lightning to VGA adapter, which will also cost you $49.

That's the cheap option. The $99 involves buying for yourself an Apple TV set-top box and hook this up to your TV using an HDMI cable, which, oddly enough, is not included in the box.

You might be able to save yourself a few bucks by buying a refurbished Apple TV from Apple, which sell for $75.

(Source: Apple)

The Apple TV will allow you to not only connect your iDevices to your TV, but also allow you to stream iTunes content, and access other services such as Netflix and YouTube.

Which should you go for?

Personally, I like the Apple TV, because it has more features than just an adapter.

But the downside of this device is that it is bigger than a Lightning to digital AV adapter and is also requires a power cord. However, if you are looking for a portable solution, then maybe the adapter will suit your needs – even if it does cost an eye-watering $49!


Topics: Hardware, Apple

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  • Apple TV for me

    There are a lot of nice set top boxes. And we already have an xbox.... But a console that could do iTunes and show all the movies I already have was a bonus, and the ability to push a button on the Mac or iPod and have the screen go wirelessly to the TV was very cool.
    • I've used both methods but I use Apple TV exclusively for this task now.

      But I have a question, 'FenceSitter. (And perhaps AKH knows the answer as well).

      I know Apple TV can display 1080p video content. However, I do not know the resolution of content streamed from an iOS device to an HDTV via Apple TV? I tried looking at Apple's Apple TV spec page for this information but I couldn't find any helpful info.

      For example, if I wish to mirror my iPad display to an HDTV set, will the mirrored image from my iPad be displayed in 1080p or 720p resolution? (That goes for static photos or video content.)

      I thought that certain apps, like TEDS and 60 Minutes displayed their streamed video content in 1080p but I could be wrong.

      Can you satisfy my curiosity?
      • Airplay Streaming is 1080

        AirPlay Mirroring only nets you 720. So it really depends on the app
        • Out of interest

          Is there much ChromeCast support in iOS, outside of Google's apps?

          Android is pretty well served (is can get anything I've thought to try), just curious about iOS.
          • A few apps offer support for it,

            but outside of Chrome, VLC, and very few other things, there's not much support for that little stick.
  • How to connect your BlackBerry 10 to your TV

    Plug in the HDMI cable. It's all native to BlackBerry. No adapter to buy. Besides, BlackBerry Z10 has higher resolution and higher pixel density than Iphones, so the picture will look better on a TV.

    BlackBerry also has USB hub capabilities, so you hook up your mouse and keyboard and you can use it as a desktop pc. No adapters to buy or extra money to spend.
    • That's nice and all,

      but outside of work emails, there's not much of a reason to get a BB10 device. :)
      • Thats Nice and All

        Nice dig...I think many would be surprised . Access to almost anything on net does not require a special app, altho have to pay for Netflix. How many timelapse movie apps do u need?
        But even the most ardent BB fan boy cannot defend BB marketing , or initial software stability or selection on previous new hardware releases.
    • @Blackberry

      "Besides, BlackBerry Z10 has higher resolution and higher pixel density than iPhones, so the picture will look better on a TV."

      Nope. If you have an HDTV version of a film on an iPhone and you play it through an ATV, the result will be the best possible image displayable on an HDTV.

      "BlackBerry also has USB hub capabilities, so you hook up your mouse and keyboard and you can use it as a desktop pc. No adapters to buy or extra money to spend."

      This is fine if you like lots of wires. An Apple BlueTooth keyboard will connect seamlessly with an iPhone. I don't know why you'd want to use a mouse.
  • When will ChromeCast work with iOS?

    That will allow me to use my iPad/iPhone just like I currently use my iMac and MacBook and cast to my 60" plasma.
    NoMore MicrosoftEver
  • Best tablet to HD tv solution

    A 2011 playbook with 1080p output on Hdmi to hdtv clearly out performed ipad air using Airplay to Apple tv in a head to head challenge . We used same 1080p utube...Bombers Over Arizona..
    The video choked using iPad air... and was not as sharp. Could be my wifi.....but is fast Express level.

    If u want to mirror ur own ipad videos , or utubes or hd movies wireless from iPad.....make sure u are happy with quality. To do best quality hd video presentations, strange as it may seem, i usb download from my Mac itunes to a Playbook.....then Playbook via hdmi to projector or hdtv.
    • Your Playbook

      requires a direct connection to the TV. An iDevice or Android device does not. Also, I'm chalking it up to poor WiFi setup; I have a 3rd gen Time Capsule (dual-band simultaneous A/B/G/N) with both my iPad Air and my AppleTV 3 connected to 5 GHz, and zero problems.
  • What about old ipad with 30-pin connector?

    Is there a way to connect a ipad with the old 30-pin connector to a TV?
    • There are 30 pin versions of the HDMI and VGA adapters,

      along with a component video cable set (if you don't mind 480p).
  • "the cable, Man...the cable..."

    Don't forget that ATV costs $99 and (Brandname Here)-Super-Mega-Ultra-Bestest HDMI cable they'll up-sell you costs another $129.
    • $129 cable

      You'd be nuts to spend that much for an HDMI cable. Aside from the very cheapest HDMI cable at Fry's (tried it and it sucked) any HDMI cable will work just fine. Only spend $129 if you want the gold plated and moon dust encrusted HDMI cable with special pixie dust enhanced copper.
  • They'll attempt to upsell you on the cable,

    but everyone knows a $3 monoprice HDMI cable works every bit as well as a $30 Monster HDMI cable or a $300 audioquest HDMI cable.