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How to Play YouTube Videos From Your iPad to a TV

User Jenny sent us the question:

Is it possible to connect my iPad to the TV and play videos from the YouTube app on the TV?

As with iPods and iPhones, the iPad lets you play the video on the portable device and watch it on a connected TV screen. Apple makes several cables and adapters specifically designed to connect iOS devices to televisions, monitors and projectors.

When shopping, check to make sure the cable or adapter will work for the type of video you want to see on the TV screen. Most products can pipe over YouTube clips, photo slideshows and videos from the tablet’s built-in apps to the TV — but may not be able to show the video output from games or other iPad apps.

The $40 Apple Digital AV Adapter can mirror whatever is on your iPad 2 screen on the TV’s display, but you also need an HDMI cable to go with it. (Although the adapter can play videos and photo slideshows on the TV, full mirroring is not supported on the first-generation iPad.)

To use the HDMI cable with Apple Digital AV Adapter to play YouTube video from iPad to TV:

  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 YouTube video on your iPad 2 or launch a video-out app like iPod, Keynote, etc. on previous generation devices.
  6. Enjoy!

If you have a second-generation Apple TV and a robust wireless network, you can skip the cables altogether and stream video wirelessly with Apple’s AirPlay technology. (The Apple TV has its own built-in YouTube channel, though, so you can skip the cables and the iPad itself if you just want to watch video clips on the big screen.)

Anyone else have other suggestions for Jenny? Let her — and all of us — know.