If you have an iPhone or iPad and want to connect it to your TV, there are a few ways to do it. Whether you want to put your vacation snaps on display, show everyone your crazy gaming skills, or watch your favorite YouTube videos on something bigger than a mobile screen, we’ve got you covered here.
use physical cables
The cheapest, and possibly the easiest, way to connect your iPhone or iPad to a TV is to use Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter. It’s available through the Apple Store for £49/$49 and doesn’t include the required HDMI cable, although they can be found quite cheaply on Amazon (£4.99/$6.99). It’s a premium, but that should come as no surprise to long-time Apple fans.
It’s a handy piece of kit that lets you connect to any 1080p HDMI compatible TV and also comes with a second Lightning input, allowing you to charge your iPhone or iPad while using the Lightning port to mirror your display to your TV. no more battery problems!
It’s worth noting that the Lightning Digital AV Adapter is designed for use with Lightning devices; if you have a recent usb-c compatible ipad pro you will need to opt for a usb-c-to-hdmi cable (like this one) and users of older 30 pin products need something like this.
Using Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter, or any third-party alternatives, is a fairly straightforward process:
- connect one end of an hdmi cable to your television and connect the other end to the adapter’s hdmi port.
- connect the adapter to the lightning port of your iphone or ipad.
Once you have everything connected, simply turn on your TV and navigate to the correct hdmi input. You should then see your iPhone or iPad screen on your TV, ready to share photos, videos, or just about anything else. The aspect ratio may not match your TV when scrolling through apps depending on the device you’re using, but this issue should resolve itself when it comes to media playback.
use apple tv and airplay
While using a cable to connect your iPhone or iPad to a TV works fine, it’s a bit of an inconvenience having to plug in your phone every time you want to watch content on the big screen, right?
That’s where Apple’s AirPlay technology comes in, the technology offered by Apple’s Apple TV range, starting at £149/$149 for the 2015 model or £179/$179 for the 4K model, along with a limited number of smart TVs. . It’s a more expensive option than using a cable, but it offers wireless connectivity and everything the Apple TV range has to offer, from catch-up TV to a library of exclusive Apple arcade games.
if you have an apple tv and want to connect your iphone or ipad, you can choose between two options: screen mirroring or media playback. We talk you through both here.
mirroring your screen
Screen Mirroring does what it says on the tin: it shows everything you have on your iPhone or iPad screen on your Apple TV, allowing you to display games, video calls, and just about anything else on your TV. As with the wired connection, the aspect ratio will likely be different from your TV, although this depends on the orientation and aspect ratio of your iOS device.
if you want to mirror your screen to your TV:
- Connect your iPhone or iPad to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV. It can connect without doing so, using a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but the results aren’t as reliable.
- Access Control Center on your iOS device. If you’re on an iPad or Face ID-enabled iPhone, swipe down from the top-right, and if you’re on an older iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of the display.
- Tap Screen Mirroring, and then tap your Apple TV. (If you’re running iOS 10, tap AirPlay and then select your Apple TV).
- Swipe up to exit the Control Centre.
- Your iPhone or iPad display should now be wirelessly mirrored on your TV.
If you just want to use airplay to play music, photos, or videos on your TV, there’s no need to mirror your entire screen. In fact, by selecting your Apple TV as your streaming output, you may see better performance compared to playing media through full screen mirroring.
To play music and watch videos from your iPhone or iPad on your Apple TV, follow these steps:
- Start playback on your iOS device. This can be anything from music in Apple Music to a video playing in Safari.
- Access Control Centre by swiping down from the top-right on a recent iPhone or iPad, or swipe up from the bottom on iPhone 8 or earlier.
- Tap the circular icon above the media controls to access your output.
- Tap your Apple TV to connect.
- Your media should now play on your Apple TV without displaying your entire display.
It’s worth noting that while this method should work with media across most applications, developers can opt out of the technology if they wish.
for android counterparts, here is how to connect android to tv.