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How to connect an iPad to a TV

Connecting an iPad to a TV

There are a few instances where the relatively small display on an Apple iPad isn’t sufficient. It’s an excellent tool if you’re watching content by yourself. However, if you want to show a video clip or holiday photos to a large group, crowding around an iPad will diminish the experience.

While you can’t make your iPad’s display bigger, you can show its content on your TV screen. Depending on your setup, you can do this in a few steps that won’t require in-depth knowledge of electrical systems.

Connection methods

Wireless

The easiest way to connect your iPad to your television is through Apple’s wireless AirPlay connection. You can use AirPlay to stream or share content from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch but only if you have an AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV or an Apple TV streaming device. Connect it to the same Wi-Fi network as the TV, find the video you want to play and tap on the AirPlay icon.

Typically, you can stream videos from Netflix and content from YouTube on your iPad. However, if you want to show off your latest holiday photos, you might need to tap on “Share” first before the AirPlay option becomes available.

There is a slightly different process if you want to display your iPad’s screen instead of sharing a video. But, again, you can only do this with an Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV.

When both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, swipe down on your iPad to bring up the Control Center. Tap on the Screen Mirroring option and select the suitable gadget from the list. You might need to enter the AirPlay passcode from the TV on your iPad to make the wireless connection.

with cable

A different method for connecting your iPad to your TV is through a dedicated adapter or cable. Assuming your iPad has a Lightning connector, you will need a Lightning Digital AV Adapter or a Lightning to VGA Adapter, depending on your TV.

First, you must plug the Digital AV or VGA adapter into the charging port on the bottom of your iPad. Then, connect the corresponding HDMI or VGA cable to the other end of the adapter, and plug the loose end into your TV’s HDMI or VGA port.

Turn on your iPad, and what’s there should be visible on the TV screen. Depending on the port you connected it to, you might need to cycle through your TV input source. There is also a port for a Lightning to USB cable to charge your iPad while using it.

What you need to buy to connect your iPad to your TV

Apple TV 4K 2021 (64 GB)

If you don’t have a smart TV compatible with AirPlay 2, then the latest Apple TV streaming device is an excellent option. Not only can you connect your iPad to your display, but you also get access to plenty of streaming apps. This model has double the storage capacity of the standard device and comes with a Siri remote.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Vizio 58-Inch M7 Series Premium 4K Smart TV with Apple Airplay 2

Vizio 58-Inch M7 Series Premium 4K Smart TV with Apple Airplay 2

Few TVs can beat this gigantic 58-inch LED display, which will display your iPad content in ultra-sharp 4K resolution. In addition, the TV comes with a built-in Chromecast streaming device and Dolby Vision and HDR10+ to improve color, contrast and brightness. It can connect to Wi-Fi but has an Ethernet port at the back for a wired connection to the router.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Apple Lightning to Digital AV Adapter

Apple Lightning to Digital AV Adapter

To connect your iPad to your TV through a cable, you need this adapter if your TV has an HDMI port. The adapter lets you mirror apps, presentations, websites, slideshows or streaming services and is compatible with HDMI-enabled projectors. In addition, it has a maximum output resolution of 1080p (standard high definition).

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Apple Lightning to VGA Adapter

Apple Lightning to VGA Adapter

If your TV is a bit older, the chances are good that it has a VGA port. In that case, you need this adapter to mirror your iPad’s content on your TV. It lets you project whatever is open on your tablet at a maximum resolution of 1080p. However, unlike HDMI, VGA doesn’t support audio transmission, so your videos won’t have any sound.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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