Connecting Your iPad to a TV

I’ve described how Netflix is a great app for portable viewing. What about if you want to watch Netflix or other iPad movies on a television? Rest easy. It can be done.

Woody, Buzz and the gang enjoying the "big screen"

If you have the Netflix app, you may not need to connect your iPad, if you have your cable or satellite box connected to your home network. If so, you merely order programming through Netflix and watch on TV, no iPad needed. If you aren’t set up that way, the iPad is a good solution. Also, you may have other movies on your iPad. By using the one of the solutions below, you can do it.

For me, my television and cable connection is in one room, while my Internet connection is in another. I could call a technician and have the situation remedied and have my TV and Internet sympatico, but I don’t want to fork over a couple hundred dollars to a technician.

Multiple Solutions

As best I can tell, there are five ways to connect your iPad to a television: composite adapters (iPad dock, yellow/red/white video/audio cable and USB cable); VGA adapter (for older TVs); component cable; WiFi for those have TV connected to home network; and HDMI adapter.

Simple iPad Connection

I previously had no reason to connect my iPad 2 to my TV, but though I’d give it a try, especially since it would help me get more use from the Netflix app. My choices for connecting, due to my present home network situation, was either component or HDMI. I chose what seemed like the most simple and least expensive, the component connection. The Apple Component AV Cable ($30) makes this solution very simple. It’s literally plug-n-play.

Simply plug the dock connection-end to the iPad and the familiar red, white and yellow connections to one of your free TV component inputs and your iPad screen is mirrored on the television; apps, movies, pictures, anything. In my experience, picture quality didn’t seem to be completely true, but it was sufficient.

The HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connection may be the best option for total clarity and true representation. To establish the HDMI connection, Apple recommends using their Digital AV Adapter ($39) and an HDMI cable. Again, it’s simple: HDMI cable to TV and to the AV adapter, AV Adapter to iPad. Boom, you’re there.

With the HDMI connection, according to Apple, you’ll get up to 1080p HD resolution for most apps on the iPad 2 and 720p for movies.

So, for between $40 and $60, you can turn your iPad into a projector and enjoy anything on the iPad on the big screen.

Image courtesy Alan/Falcon.