How to Connect an iPhone or iPad to a TV
You can easily connect any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a TV screen or even many projectors with the help of a wired connector adapter and HDMI cable. As long as the recipient TV, display, or projector has an HDMI input port, you can mirror the iPhone or iPad display directly to that screen. This is great for presentations, demonstrations, watching videos or movies, and so much more. The output video can be a maximum of 1080p HDTV resolution, and yes both video and audio are transmitted, mirrored from iOS to the TV screen.
If you don’t want to use HDMI, you can also use a wireless method with AirPlay as described here too.
Requirements for Connecting an iPhone or iPad to a TV / Projector with HDMI
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with a Lightning connector port
- TV, HDTV, or digital projector that has an HDMI input – this will be the target display for mirroring the iOS screen to
- HDMI cable – a reasonably long length is preferable for many situations
- Lightning Digital AV Adapter for iPhone & iPad
This is what the Lightning to HDMI cable looks like, it also has a lightning port on there if you wish to charge an iOS device or have it connected to a power source while in use.
Once you have all the hardware, the remaining setup is extremely easy to get the iPhone or iPad connected to a TV screen.
Connecting the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a TV, Display, Projector, with HDMI
- Be sure the iOS device is powered on
- Connect the Lightning Digital AV Adapter to the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Connect the HDMI cable to the Lightning AV adapter then also connect the HDMI cable to the TV, display, or projector you wish to export the iOS screen to
- Toggle the settings on the TV or projector to the appropriate HDMI input, this differs between TV, displays, and projectors, but typically it’s within the “Input” options on displays
- When the correct HDMI input is found, iOS will detect the secondary screen and immediately start projecting the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch display mirrored on the TV
You can now use iOS as usual, with the screen mirrored to the other display or TV. Play a video, game, run through a presentation, show a demonstration, play a slideshow, share pictures on a larger screen, whatever you want to do on the iOS device is now in full screen on the TV.
Note if the device is oriented vertically, large black bars will appear on both sides of the mirrored iOS screen. Because of this, you’ll likely want to turn off orientation lock so that you can rotate the iPhone or iPad screen into horizontal position to better match the wider screen TV display. This is particularly important for watching movies and video from an iOS device connected to a TV:
It also helps with apps that support the horizontal / widescreen format too, like Safari.
Without rotating into horizontal mode, the picture will simply display on the TV or projector smaller than it would otherwise if widescreen is possible, like playing a movie.
So while using a wired connection and HDMI cable is less fancy than using wireless like AirPlay, there’s also much less troubleshooting required since you basically just connect the cables and you’re good to go. You can go aboutconnecting a Mac to a TV in a similar cabled fashion, which is equally as useful, though doing that requires a different adapter than what is necessary for connecting an iOS device to a TV screen as we’ve covered here.
Of course, using a cabled solution may not be as fancy as mirroring a display wirelessly with AirPlay, but it works nearly flawlessly and there’s so little setup involved that it can be great solution for those who don’t mind the wired connection. If you have an Apple TV and want to use the AirPlay solution instead, you can read more about that here.