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How to connect your iPhone or iPad to the TV

Try these options if you want to see iPhone or iPad content on a larger screen. [...]

When you want to showcase videos, photos, and other visual content from your iPhone or iPad, the small screen is often just not enough. Fortunately, there are several different ways you can connect these devices to your big screen TV using several methods.

You don't even need a fancy Smart TV for this. We'll show you several simple methods of screen mirroring, from using a simple HDMI adapter to sophisticated wireless streaming.

Remember that the mirroring function for your iPhone or iPad is neither necessary nor the most practical solution if you want to watch streaming services like Apple TV +, Netflix or Hulu on your TV. Instead, you can buy an inexpensive streaming media player like a Roku Streaming Stick + or an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, connect them to your TV and control them with a suitable remote control.

Even so, the mirroring feature can come in handy when you want to play back videos recorded on the device, show off your photo library, present a slideshow, browse social media together, or showcase your iOS gaming skills on the TV screen. Read on for instructions on how to do this.

Connect an iPhone or iPad with an HDMI cable

The easiest way to connect an iOS device to the TV is to use a wired connection. If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with a Lightning connector, you can use the Lightning Digital AV adapter from Apple, which costs around 55 euros. Cheaper third-party adapters are available, but note that they don't support streaming video applications that use copy protection, such as Netflix (you'll need to provide your own cable too, so consider getting an HDMI cable too get one that's at least six feet long if you want to sit a comfortable distance from the TV).

It's easy to set up: just plug the HDMI cable into your TV at one end and the adapter at the other end, connect the Lightning cable to your iOS device, and tune the TV to the appropriate input. You can also connect a charger to the adapter's second Lightning port to keep your iOS device's battery from running out.

Most applications will only play the iOS device's display on the TV, but video applications such as Amazon Prime and Netflix may provide permanent playback controls when the video is played on the TV.

As with older iOS devices with 30-pin charging ports, Apple no longer sells its own 30-pin to HDMI adapter, but you can find third-party options, like this model from JIMAT, on Amazon. (It is important to note, however, that due to copy protection, these may not work with streaming video applications. The same applies to third-party Lightning adapters).

Apple has stopped selling its composite A / V cable, which you could use to connect iOS devices to older CRT TVs.

iPhone on Apple TV via AirPlay

If you prefer not to work with wires, you can also transfer video and audio streams to any Apple TV device via the wireless AirPlay protocol (159 euros for the 32GB model 2015, 199 euros for the 4K model) . This allows you to either play your iPhone or iPad display on the TV or stream video and audio from supported apps.

Here's how to play the content on your iPhone or iPad display:

  • Make sure that both the Apple TV and iOS devices are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  • If you have an iPhone X or later or an iPad with iOS 12 or later, swipe down in the upper-right corner to bring up Control Center. Otherwise, scroll up to reveal Control Center.
  • Tap the Screen Mirroring button.
  • Select your Apple TV from the list. (If you have multiple Apple TVs, consider labeling each one based on the room it's in).
  • On your iOS device, enter the four-digit code that appears on your TV screen. (By default, you only need to do this once for each device).
  • To disconnect the TV, follow steps 1 to 3 and then select “Stop Mirroring” from the list.

Remember that many video and audio applications do not require mirroring. Instead, you can just tap the AirPlay icon during audio or video playback. (it looks like a TV with a triangle at the bottom), then select your Apple TV from the device list. Alternatively, you can go to Control Center and tap the AirPlay icon (it looks like a concentric circle with a triangle at the bottom). Using AirPlay with these methods uses less battery than mirroring and allows you to use the iOS device for other tasks while playing music and videos on the TV.

Mirroring on Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast

If you don't own an Apple TV and don't feel like paying for an expensive adapter cable, you can use mirroring apps instead to share your iPhone or iPad screen on Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast devices.

Several apps offer this with varying degrees of success, but I've had good results with 2kit Consulting's screen mirroring apps for Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast. These applications use the iOS screen recording feature of iOS to capture a video from your iOS device and send it to the streaming player. (The TV apps for Roku and Fire also require you to download a separate app on the player itself, but the iOS app will walk you through the process).

However, there are some caveats: there can be delays, the video quality is not perfect, and you typically need to go through an ad before you can mirror unless you upgrade to the paid versions of these applications. Still, these apps are good enough for mirroring photos, websites, presentations, and social media feeds.

Note that Chromecast can also send video, audio, pictures, and information from thousands of supported applications to your TV. These apps allow you to play content directly on the TV so that you don't have to mirror your iPhone or iPad display.

After you've connected the Chromecast to your TV, use the Google Home companion application to connect the device to your wireless network. You should then see the Chromecast icon appear in supported apps. Tap on it, then choose your Chromecast from the device list. Once you start media playback, it will appear on the TV instead of your iPhone or iPad.

Roku players also allow you to share photos, videos, and music from an iOS device with the Roku mobile app. Once installed, just go to the “Media” tab to get started.

* Jared Newman reports on HR technology for MacWorld from his remote post in Cincinnati. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisor for technical advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for help in getting rid of cable or satellite television.

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