There are times when your iPad screen is the best display for the tasks at hand, but then there are times when you just want to kick back and enjoy your favorite TV Show or movie on the big screen. If that show is saved on your iPad, what are you to do? Connect to the TV, of course. Join us for a quick breakdown some of the available options to connect iPad to your TV.
Through Apple TV with AirPlay
Much like Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV is a way for you to connect most Apple devices to your HDTV. With the Apple TV you can stream YouTube videos, Netflix, and the music and movies in your iTunes library. The Apple TV supports AirPlay, a feature used to wirelessly connect your iPad to stream media if the app supports it. Even if your app does not support it, screen mirroring is still an option, meaning whatever is on your iPad will also be displayed on your HDTV. The Apple TV connects to your HDTV via HDMI, so you should be able to expect high quality video output.
This option is the most expensive on this list, but is the only option that is wireless making it perfect for using your iPad as a wireless TV remote, and can even provide console-like experience for games that support AirPlay.
An HDMI Audio-Video (AV) adapter allows you to connect your iPad to an HDTV via High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). The original iPad can only display a resolution of 720p (1280 x 720) while all other models can display up to 1080p (1920 x 1080).
Much like the Apple TV, an HDMI adapter supports media streaming on supported apps, movie streaming via home sharing, and also screen mirroring in case there is a lack of app support. This means you can view any movie, and play any game on your HDTV without any problems. All you need is this adapter, an HDMI cable to be connected to your HDTV and to the adpater, and you’re good to go. This option is the best non-wireless option to connect your iPad to your HDTV to date due to its video quality and simplicity.
The composite cable is a cable that connects through the 30-pin Apple connector on one end, and splits into USB and RCA connectors on the other end. The RCA connector is composed of three connectors: the red and white for audio (left and right) and yellow for the video. The USB is only used to provide a power source. As this is a more outdated option, this adapter with lightning connectors on the other end for newer iPad versions may not be available, so you might need to purchase a Lightning to 30-pin adapter.
This option does not support screen mirroring on the iPad, meaning it only works on apps that support video out. Also, the resolution of the display is limited to only 720p, which could be a deal breaker. The good part? Most projectors still do not have an HDMI port so this option may come in handy if connecting your iPad to a projector is what you want.
Unlike all the other options in this list, connecting your iPad to your TV via a Video Graphics Array (VGA) adapter only carries the video, and not the audio, so using this may require you to use your iPad’s built-in speakers or an external speaker connected to your iPad’s headphone jack.
Unlike using composite cables, VGA adapters support screen mirroring, making it perfect for computer monitor displaying, projector presentations, and the like. Really need to use HDMI? No need to worry as you can also use a VGA-HDMI adapter to connect it to your HDTV (most of these adapters come as a freebie when purchasing a laptop with no VGA).
If Apple’s solutions are not to your liking, or if you’ve got a Chromecast already installed in the home, you have a basic solution available to you. Google’s Chromecast is built to stream media to the TV, and isn’t really made for mirroring your iPad display on the TV, but users of services like Netflix can get setup and running in a few minutes. Best of all, Chromecast can be made available to almost all computers and mobile devices in the home.
For the more basic streaming service, check out the Chromecast for $35 on Amazon today.