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The Ways to Play Your iPad Videos on Your TV

User Margaret sents us an email:
“I recently shoot some videos on my iPad, which I saved and it goes to my photo albums. However, when I try to connect the iPad to my Samsung TV with a USB cable, I can see the photos but it doesn’t show the video. Thanks.”


Unfortunately life and media device connectivity isn’t that simple. The following is a guide to some of the techniques you can use when you just want to play iPad videos on your TV.

Direct connection with cables

USB isn’t suited to video hook-ups and it is further complicated by Apple’s proprietary connection systems, but all is not lost. Provided you have an iPad and your TV has an HDMI input, then all you need is one of Apple’s Digital AV adaptors. The official Apple model costs around $59 but you can find cloned adaptors selling on ebay and Amazon for under £10.00. Adaptors for iPhone 5 and iPad 4 and Mini fitted with the newer Lightning connector are also available but they cost significantly more. If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI input you could use a composite AV adaptor cable for iPad/Phone. They also cost £10.00 or so online but picture quality won’t be as good. Finally, a couple of exotic options. If your TV supports DNLA (Digital Network Living Alliance) network streaming or it is connected to an Apple AirPlay compatible device then you can set up a wireless connection between your iPad and the TV but needless to say neither method is cheap, or simple.

Using your Apple TV

If your home is fully equipped with Apple products, the easiest way to watch home movies privately is by using an Apple TV.  Provided you are running iOS 4.3 or greater, when the video files are still on your iPad, you can view them directly on the AppleTV using AirPlay. Simply turn on your Apple TV, tap on the AirPlay icon and select which AppleTV you want to view your videos on.

Copy files to USB thumb drive

If you just don’t want to mess with cables every time you want to watch a home movie, you may be able to watch your video files from a USB thumb drive.  Many of todays home theater appliances come equipped with a USB port.  The challenge here is getting your home videos into a format that your device can display.  To convert mine, I have always used Handbrake (Free, Mac).  Handbrake is capable of reading in a wide variety of video formats and can export to the industry standard H.264.

If you are looking for a solution that works just as well, but is available through the Best iPad Video Converter Review List, then try Wondershare Video Converter Pro($35.95, Win)  or iSkysoft Video Converter for Mac ($35.95, Mac).  Like Handbrake, these iPad Video Converters can convert all of your home movies in a batch process.  Unlike Handbrake, they can also encode your home movies to DivX, a popular video format that a lot of older home theater equipment still supports.  Once you have your home movies in the format that you need, simply copy them over to your USB thumb drive and plug it into your home theater equipment.

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