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How to Connect & Play iPad Videos, Movies On Your TV

User Elisa G. send us the question:

How do I connect my iPad to my TV so I can project my iPad screen onto my wide-screen TV? Do I need a special cable or app to do this? Thanks.


Apple provides options for both standard definition and HD TV, with cables or streaming over Wi-Fi.  Here is a guide on how to connect iPad to your TV so you will be watching YouTube videos, photo slideshows, movies, etc. on the large screen with everyone else in the living room.

Connect the iPad to your HDTV via Digital A/V Adapter

The best way to get your iPad hooked up is through Apple’s Digital AV Adapter. One end plugs into your iDevice, while the other attaches to an HDMI cable, and finally, into your TV (or receiver). The iPad is capable of 720p video with the Digital AV Adapter, and the iPad supports up to 1080p, though streaming a movie will still max out at 720p.

To use the HDMI cable (Apple Digital AV Adapter):

  1. Plug the dock connector into your iPad
  2. Plug an HDMI cable from your TV to the HDMI port on the adapter
  3. Plug a dock cable from the dock port on the adapter to a USB port on your Mac or Windows PC or A/C adapter for charging (if you so choose)
  4. Set your TV to the appropriate input (might be HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc.)
  5. Mirror the video on your iPad 2 or launch a video-out app like iPod, Keynote, etc. on previous generation devices.
  6. Enjoy!

Connect the iPad to your TV via component cables

If your television doesn’t support HDMI, or if you are simply running low on HDMI outputs on your HDTV, you can also opt for connecting the iPad to your TV with component cables.Apple sells an adapter for component cables, which break the video out into red, blue and green, and an adapter for composite cables, which will work with older televisions that only accept a single cable for video.

To use the composite or component cables:

  1. Plug the dock connector into your iPad
  2. Plug the USB connector into an A/C power adapter or Windows or Mac PC (if you so choose)
  3. Plug the RCA cables into the correct ports on your TV
  4. Set your TV to the right channel (might be called Video or AUX)
  5. Launch a video-out app like Netflix, Air Video, etc.
  6. Enjoy!

Connect the iPad to your TV via Wi-Fi streaming (AirPlay)

If you have Apple TV, you can stream movies from your iPad’s video collection to your Apple TV, which will do the work of putting it on your HDTV for you. You can also stream video from AirPlay-supported apps like ESPN, IMDB, Justin.tv, PBS and Discovery Channel.

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Launch YouTube (or other video apps)
  2. Find the video you want to watch
  3. Tap the AirPlay button
  4. Select Apple TV from the list
  5. Enjoy!

There you go, that’s how to connect your iPad to your TV. If you have any questions or any other video tips to share leave them in the comments!

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3 Comments »

  • Robbie said:

    My I pad will not display all apps on tv. Netflix and Hulu work fine, crackle, YouTube, and others won’t play on tv….any help would be appreciated. Thank you
    Robbie kearce

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