How to connect your iPhone or iPad to your big-screen TV
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Try these options when you want to view iPhone or iPad content on a bigger screen.
By Jared Newman
TechHive Feb 1, 2022 3:00 am PST
When you’re trying to show off videos, photos, and other visual content from your iPhone or iPad, there are too many times when the small screen just won’t do. Fortunately, you can connect those devices to your big-screen TV through several different methods.
You don’t even need a fancy smart TV to do it. We’ll show you several easy methods for screen mirroring, ranging from using a basic HDMI adapter to sophisticated wireless streaming.
Keep in mind that if your goal is to watch streaming services such as Apple TV+, Netflix, or Hulu on your television, mirroring your iPhone or iPad is neither necessary nor the most practical solution. Instead, you can buy a low-cost streaming media player such as a Roku Streaming Stick+ or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, plug them into your TV, and operate them with a proper remote control. Here’s a link to our guide to the best streaming devices.
Apple TV 4K (2021)
Still, mirroring can be useful if you want to replay videos you’ve recorded on the device, display your photo library, present a slideshow, communally browse social media, or show off your iOS gaming skills on the TV screen. Read on for instructions on how to do that.
[ Further reading: Do you need a special HDMI cable for 4K and 8K TVs? ]
Wireless mirroring with AirPlay
The easiest way to mirror your iPhone or iPad to your TV is through Apple’s wireless AirPlay protocol. This allows you to either stream your entire screen’s contents straight to the TV, or beam just the video and audio from within supported apps.
While AirPlay used to require an Apple TV streaming box, it now works on most modern Roku devices, select LG TVs from 2018 onward, select Samsung TVs from 2018 onward, select Sony TVs, all Vizio SmartCast TVs, and 2020 Fire TV Edition TVs from Toshiba and Insignia.
Here’s how to mirror what’s on your iPhone or iPad display:
- Ensure that both the TV device and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network. (For TVs with AirPlay support, make sure you’ve set up their smart TV software.)
- If you have an iPhone X or newer or an iPad running iOS 12 or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner to reveal the Control Center. Otherwise, swipe up for Control Center instead.
- Tap the screen mirroring button, which looks like two overlapping boxes.
- Select your TV from the list. (If you have multiple AirPlay-compatible devices, consider labeling each one based on the room it’s in.)
- On your iOS device, enter the four-digit code that appears on your TV screen. (By default, you’ll only need to do this once for each device.)
- To disconnect from the TV, follow steps 1 through 3, and then select “Stop Mirroring” from the list.
To start mirroring your screen wirelessly to an Apple TV, just open Control Center and select “Screen Mirroring. ”
Jared Newman / IDG
Keep in mind that with many video and audio apps, mirroring isn’t necessary. Instead, you can just tap the AirPlay icon during audio or video playback—it looks like a TV with a triangle at the bottom—and then select your Apple TV from the device list. Alternatively, bring up Control Center and tap the AirPlay icon (it looks like a concentric circle with a triangle at the bottom). Using AirPlay with these methods consumes less battery than mirroring, and it allows you to use the iOS device for other tasks while music and video play on the television.
With most video apps, you can hit the AirPlay button to send video to the TV instead of mirroring your display directly.
Jared Newman / IDG
Connect an iPhone or iPad with an HDMI cable
While a wired HDMI adapter isn’t as convenient as AirPlay for screen mirroring, it’s a more straightforward way of connecting, especially if Wi-Fi is flaky or unavailable.
For an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with a Lightning connector, you can use Apple’s Lightning Digital AV adapter, which costs about $40. Cheaper third-party adapters are also available, but be aware that these will not support streaming video apps that use copy protection, such as Netflix. (You’ll also need to supply your own cable, so consider getting an HDMI cable that’s at least 15 feet long if you want to sit a comfortable distance from the TV.)
Apple’s official Lightning Digital AV Adapter is pricey, but it’ll let you mirror an iPhone or iPad on your TV with no hassles.
Jared Newman / IDG
Setup is easy: Just plug the HDMI cable into your TV on one end and the adapter on the other, plug the Lightning cable into your iOS device, and set the TV to the appropriate input. You can also plug a charger into the adapter’s second Lightning port to keep your iOS device’s battery from draining.
Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter (model MD826AM/A)
Most apps will simply mirror the iOS device’s display onto the television, but video apps such as Amazon Prime and Netflix might offer persistent playback controls while the video plays on the TV.
Some video apps, such as Netflix, provide handy media controls when the adapter is plugged into a television.
Jared Newman / IDG
As for older iOS devices with 30-pin charging ports, Apple no longer sells its own 30-pin-to-HDMI adapter, but you can find third-party options, such as the JIMAT model shown below, on Amazon. (It’s important to note, however, that these might not work with streaming video apps, due to copy protection. The same is true of third-party Lightning adapters.)
JIMAT 30-Pin to HDMI, Dock to HDMI TV AV Cable Adapter Video Converter
Apple no longer sells its Composite A/V cable that enabled you to connect iOS devices to older tube TVs.
Mirroring to Fire TV and Chromecast
If you don’t want to buy a compatible AirPlay device or HDMI adapter, you can use mirroring apps to share your iPhone or iPad screen on Fire TV and Chromecast devices instead.
Several apps offer this with varying degrees of success, but I’ve gotten good results from 2kit Consulting’s Screen Mirroring apps for Fire TV, and Chromecast. These apps use iOS’s Screen Recording feature to capture video from your iOS device and send it to the streaming player. (With the Fire TV app, you’ll also need to download a separate app on the player itself, but the iOS app will guide you through the process.)
2kit Consulting’s Screen Mirroring apps aren’t as sharp or responsive as AirPlay mirroring, but they’re a good enough alternative for Fire TV and Chromecast devices.
Jared Newman / IDG
Some caveats do apply: You’ll experience some delay, video quality isn’t perfect, and you’ll usually have to sit through an ad before you can mirror unless you upgrade to the paid versions of these apps. Still, these apps are good enough for mirroring photos, websites, presentations, and social media feeds.
With Chromecast, be aware that you can also send video, audio, pictures, and information to your TV from thousands of supported apps. These apps will allow you to play content directly on the television, so you don’t need to mirror your iPhone or iPad display.
To stream media directly through Chromecast instead of mirroring your display, just look for the Cast button in supported apps.
Jared Newman / IDG
After plugging the Chromecast into your television, use the Google Home companion app to connect the device with your wireless network. You should then see the Chromecast icon appear in supported apps. Tap on it, and then select your Chromecast from the device list. Once you begin media playback, it will appear on the television instead of your iPhone or iPad.
With Roku players, you can also share photos, videos, and music from an iOS device using the Roku mobile app. After installing, just head over to the “media” tab to get started.
Author: Jared Newman
Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.
Big-Screen Viewing: How to Connect Your iPhone or iPad to Your TV
Mobile devices have bigger screens than ever before, but sometimes your iPhone or iPad display is still just too small for streaming video or watching the game. Fortunately, most TVs now have their own native apps for content streaming. However, sometimes you just need your phone screen cast to the television.
If you don’t have a smart TV or need something specific like a web page, you are not out of luck. Whether by software trick or hardware hookup, it’s easy enough to connect your Apple device to any TV for a true big-screen experience.
Connect With Apple AirPlay
The easiest way to connect wirelessly is with Apple’s AirPlay feature, which comes built into your mobile device’s operating system. It allows you to mirror or cast content from your iPhone or iPad to your AirPlay 2-compatible(Opens in a new window) smart TV, Apple TV, or certain Roku devices(Opens in a new window). Chromecast, which uses Google’s Cast protocol, supports casting but not mirroring for Apple devices.
To use AirPlay, make sure your streaming device or smart TV is connected to the same home Wi-Fi network as your iPhone or iPad. Open the Control Center on your device and tap AirPlay Mirroring, then select the appropriate destination. Whatever is on your mobile device’s screen will be mirrored onto your TV’s screen.
You can also send individual pictures and videos to your television by selecting the Share icon inside the Photos app. Tap AirPlay from the pop-up menu and choose a destination. AirPlay works with third-party apps to stream media—including music, podcasts, movies, TV shows, and more—from your favorite streaming services to the television.
If you’re frequently sending media from your phone to your TV, simplify the process by going to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff on your mobile device. Tap Automatically AirPlay to TVs and set to Automatic. If you pick Ask, you’ll see a prompt before media is sent to the TV. Security-conscious people can require an AirPlay code(Opens in a new window) before your device connects with an Apple TV.
One warning regarding this method, though: In crowded Wi-Fi environments, AirPlay video might break up or stutter. It should work fine in most homes, but if you have a problem, a cable might be your best choice.
*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains(Opens in a new window)
Connect With a Cable
VGA adapter (left), Digital AV adapter (right)
You can connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV with a cable if you have the right kind of adapter. Apple makes a Lightning Digital AV Adapter(Opens in a new window) to connect with your TV’s HDMI port, and a Lightning to VGA Adapter(Opens in a new window) to plug into VGA-compatible peripherals.
Amazon also sells many third-party Lightning-to-HDMI cables, which are cheaper than options from Apple, but be warned: They won’t work if they lack High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which prevents pirates from capturing high-def digital content.
If you don’t already have one, you will also need an HDMI(Opens in a new window) or VGA(Opens in a new window) cable that can connect from the adapter to the compatible plug in the back of the TV. Any one will do, so buy the least expensive one. If you don’t know which cable is right for your TV, our cable guide should be able to help you.
(Credit: Getty Images)
Connect your iPhone or iPad to the adapter via the Lightning port, then connect the adapter to the cable. Hook the cable into the back of the television. You should then be able to switch the TV’s input to the corresponding port with the cable to view your device’s screen.
When playing television or films from iTunes or a streaming service like Netflix, the adapter will max out at 1080p, even if you’re trying to watch something in 4K or higher. Also be aware that certain games and services do not work with dongles, and anything sent from your device to the TV will be delayed by a few seconds, making it less ideal for gaming.
The adapter does not require power to work, but you may want to keep your device charged if you plan to use it for a prolonged period of time. Apple’s official adapters have an extra Lightning port that can be used to connect your iPhone or iPad to a charging cable while you watch media. However, third-party adapters may not have this feature.
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Connect With a DLNA App
If you have an internet-enabled TV, it probably supports DLNA, a generic form of media streaming available on many different manufacturers’ products. Check the DLNA database(Opens in a new window) to make sure your television is compatible. Apps like MCPlayer HD(Opens in a new window) allow you to share media files and stream them to a smart TV.
With one of these apps, you can stream unprotected music and video files—in other words, home movies, personal recordings, and anything not protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) on your iPhone or iPad. Media purchased through the iTunes Store won’t work with these apps.
However, when it comes to DLNA, you’re not limited to your iOS device. Some apps will look at media stored on other devices, like your PC, and act as a go-between to set up streaming from PC to TV, for example. Devices you can stream to include TVs, game consoles, and PCs. You don’t have to convert any videos or install special codecs to make it work.
If your TV doesn’t show up when trying to use an app, you may need to activate its DLNA function. Go to the TV’s internet connection menu and look for an option to stream from a PC or home server. That’s DLNA.
DIY Media Streaming
There are more DIY ways to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV. For instance, you can get an Android-powered TV stick, plug it into the back of your TV, and install the Kodi media server app(Opens in a new window). The stick will play unprotected music and video from the built-in apps on your device by using the AirPlay button, but it won’t support screen mirroring or protected video streaming (so no Netflix).
However, if you’re not familiar with Kodi, and aren’t interested in learning how to use it properly, this approach can be more trouble than it’s worth. The sticks are slow, buggy, and unreliable, and Kodi support tends to break. While this is definitely a way to save money over an Apple TV (and the stick can run any Android app on your TV, which is cool), what’s your time worth? Probably more than the $50 difference.
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How to connect an iPad to a TV – 6 connection methods
Is it possible to watch a movie or play on a large display for an iPad owner? The answer to the question is yes, if you connect it to a TV. How to do this, the article tells.
How to display an image from an iPad to a TV
There are many ways to synchronize with a TV. Everything can be divided into 2 types:
- with a cord;
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Ways to connect an iPad to a TV
Here are six options for connecting an iPad to a TV. The methods are suitable for synchronizing your gadget with a TV of any company, including Samsung, LG, Sony, etc.
Via Apple TV and AirPlay
Apple TV allows you to quickly and easily connect your iPad to your TV. The feature of the “apple” set-top box is the transfer of content from Netflix, YouTube and other similar services, the playback of audio from iTunes.
Content is transferred from the tablet to the TV using AirPlay. The development makes it possible to watch a movie, play, run a program – everything will be displayed on a large display. The picture is of high quality, and no additional cords need to be connected.
To use Apple TV, you need:
- Connect the device to the TV via cable. Usually it’s USB.
- Enable AirPlay by going to settings.
- Provide the set-top box and the gadget that interacts with it with access to the network via Wi-Fi.
- Double-clicking on “Home” is required to enter the multitasking panel, where you can adjust the volume and brightness levels.
- Click on Airplay again. The device will be determined: it will be visible on the panel.
- Select a prefix, and then turn on the option “Mirroring” – “Video repeat”. With its help, the TV screen can play the role of a second monitor, completely copying everything that happens on the tablet.
That’s it. If the name of the TV to which the set-top box was connected appears on the iPad screen, then the task can be considered successfully completed.
Learn: How to transfer movies, photos and videos from iPad to computer and vice versa: 7 ways
Using Google Chromecast
You can also connect your iPad to TV using a compact device from Google. Externally, the device resembles a classic USB flash drive, however, instead of a USB port, it is connected to HDMI. As with AirPlay, no additional cables are required, but Internet access is a must.
How to connect:
- Go to the Apple Store and download a special application.
- In the settings menu, select Chromecast.
- Allow Wi-Fi access.
- The TV will display content in HD quality with minimal delays.
With HDMI cable
All you need is the correct cable with plugs to match the connectors. If the tablet has mini or micro HDMI, and the TV has a standard-sized interface, then you need a similar cord. Most often, a special adapter is required – Lightning Digital AV Adapter. Otherwise, everything is simple: on the one hand, the cable is connected to the TV, and on the other hand, to the gadget, for example, to the iPad Air.
The main advantages of this connection:
- The cable can transmit both image and sound.
- The picture is broadcast in FHD resolution.
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Using a VGA adapter . To complete this task, you will need an adapter with the appropriate plug.
- connect the gadget to the TV via cable;
- pull back notification shade on iPad;
- enter settings;
- allow using the device as a storage medium.
When a message appears on the TV screen with the text “New Device Found”, the synchronization was successful.
Note : this method allows you to use the “Mirroring” technology, but only the image will be broadcast. VGA does not transmit audio. Speakers must be connected to output sound.
Connecting an iPad to a TV, for example 32HB50GU, via USB is very easy. The convenience lies in the fact that the cable comes with the tablet. In addition, USB is in most devices, not even the newest TVs. This option is also suitable in cases where you need to connect an iPad to a projector.
What you need to connect:
- plug one end of the wire into the socket on the TV;
- the second is to connect to the iPad.
Note : this method allows you to use the device solely as storage, which means that some functions, such as accessing the Internet, watching videos online, will not be available.
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help of the server software. You can find a lot of similar software in the AppStore: Belkin MediaPlayer and analogues.
Step-by-step instructions will be described using Belkin Media Player as an example. When using other applications, the steps are similar, and the differences are minor, so you can figure it out intuitively.
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It does not take much time to connect an Apple tablet to a TV. You just need to choose one of the proposed methods – one that matches the functional features of the TV and the preferences of the owner.
How to connect iPad to TV via USB, Wi-Fi or AirPlay
Everyone loves to lie on the couch with their iPad in their hands and watch their favorite videos, movies or series. But the relatively small monitor of the device does not allow you to fully enjoy this action, so the desire to connect the iPad comes by itself over time, and the question arises: how to connect the iPad to the TV?
- Using USB
- Using Apple TV and AirPlay
- Using HDMI cable
- Using VGA
- Wi-Fi connection
The most popular and easiest way to connect an iPad to a TV is via usb. The peculiarity of the presented method is that it does not matter which TV: an old LG or a new Samsung. The main condition is the presence of a USB port.
The connection procedure is simple:
- Insert one end of the usb into the socket on the TV, and the other end into the iPad;
- When “new device found” is displayed on the screen (depending on the models, the inscription may change, but the essence is the same), it means that the iPad was successfully connected to the TV.
Worth a look! This method of connection has become irrelevant for the iPad 2. At one time, this was discussed at the presentation of the product. But for the iPad mini, the option remains working.
Using Apple TV and AirPlay
Apple TV is the current method of connecting Apple products to a TV. In addition to the main streams from video hosting sites like Netflix and YouTube, it becomes possible to play your own audio and video recordings from the iTunes service. And the main advantage of the connection is AirPlay support. This feature allows you to broadcast various programs directly to your TV.
Figure 1. Apple TV
How do I connect my iPad to my TV using Apple TV? The only way that allows you to connect your iPad 2 and iPad mini wirelessly. Using this option, you can transfer any music, watch HD-quality movies and play video games.
- Connect the Apple TV to the TV and turn on the AirPlay service. Go to the “Settings” menu in the AirPlay subsection;
- See if the iPad and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. This condition must be met;
- By clicking on the icon Home twice, we will call the multitasking panel, which we will need further ;
Figure 2. Home button
- Our next section is volume and brightness control . After that, we press directly on the AirPlay monk itself;
Figure 3. Adjusting the brightness and volume
- Your set-top box should appear on the panel that appears. Select it and turn on the “Video repeat” function. In the English version – Mirroring.
Figure 4. Enabling the Mirroring function
- If all the steps were performed correctly, then the screen of your iPad should appear on the TV to which the Apple TV is connected.
Using an HDMI cable
The built-in Digital AV Adapter allows you to connect your iPad to your TV using HDMI. Transferring video and audio files in HD quality is the main advantage of this connection method.
The first iPad with a built-in adapter is capable of transmitting quality up to 720p. Subsequent models from 2nd to 4th iPad can transmit 1080p quality. Although the difference is not very visible to the human eye.
Connecting via HDMI cable, as in the above situation, Mirror Display technology, it allows you to “reflect” the image from the iPad to the TV screen. This connection method is mainly used for the fourth iPhone, 4S and iPod Touch. Subsequent models: iPhone 5, iPad 4 use a different connector – Lightning . Under it, respectively, you need an adapter of a different type – Lightning Digital AV Adapter . The process is the same, but the transmission quality of the latter is much better.
- Connect the Digital adapter to the iPad;
- We connect the HDMI cable to the TV, and then to the adapter;
Tip: If you want to achieve better playback quality, then connect the HDMI cable not directly to the TV, but to the receiver you purchased.
- Selecting the correct Input for HDMI using the remote control;
- To check the result, go to the photo section on your iPad and select a photo. If everything was done correctly, then the selected picture should appear on the TV screen.
Visual video instruction:
The VGA adapter allows you to connect your gadget not only to a TV, but also to a computer monitor, projector and other devices capable of transmitting an image with a VGA connector.
Worth a look. This connection method allows you to transmit a picture using Mirror Display technology, but no sound is reproduced. Therefore, either speakers additionally purchased for the iPad or speakers built into the gadget will be used.
Figure 5. VGA adapter
It all depends on the situation: it is preferable to connect the iPad to the TV via an HDMI cable, and to a computer or projector – VGA.
For a better perception of information, watch the video:
The standard programs available on the gadget do not provide the ability to connect the iPad to the TV via a Wi-Fi connection. The answer to the question: is it possible then to display the picture in this way, and it is quite simple (you will have to download free third-party software for this):
- First of all, you need to go to the App Store service and download two programs: Samsung Smart TV Now and Samsung SmartView for iPad . The first allows you to transfer and view files from the gadget, and the second allows you to use the iPad as a control panel.
- You need to connect the TV itself and the gadget directly to one Wi-Fi network.