It’s one thing to consume media on your iPhone or iPad, but once in a while you want to watch it from your TV or a larger screen. Fortunately, you can connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV and enjoy content on a big screen.
There are several methods you can use to accomplish this. We’re going to show you the most common methods you can use and the requirements needed to stream content on your iPhone or iPad.
Cables and Adapters
Connecting your iPhone or iPad to your TV using a cable is the simplest and easiest way to stream content.
However, it doesn’t work with any cable out there – you need Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter. But that’s not all: you still have to connect the adapter to your TV using an HDMI cable. Here’s how it works:
1. Connect your iPhone or iPad and your TV with the adapter cable and HDMI cable.
2. Switch your TV’s input to the HDMI port with the cable.
3. Plug the USB end of the Lightning adapter cable into the adapter.
4. Plug the other end into a power outlet because it’ll need power to play.
5. Your TV is now connected to your iPhone or iPad and is a duplicate of the iPhone or iPad’s screen.
6. Stream your content on your TV.
Note: make sure you’re using the right version of the Digital AV Adapter for iOS devices, as there are two models available – the Digital AV adapter connects to an HDMI-equipped TV, while the VGA Adapter plugs into peripherals compatible with VGA.
Third-party cables are available, but they don’t have High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). This means they won’t work if you want to watch content from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and on-demand video from DirectTV and others.
Apple TV and AirPlay
Apple’s streaming device, Apple TV, helps you stream content wirelessly to your TV. You can also play games from the App Store, play music from Apple Music and much more.
You can use AirPlay, which is supported by all iOS devices and Apple TV, to stream content wirelessly between devices – a process known as AirPlay mirroring.
Mirroring your iPhone or iPad to your TV via Apple TV is an easy way to watch content when you don’t want pesky wires coming in between. You can also mirror your device’s content if your TV supports AirPlay 2, such as Samsung (2018-2019 models), 2019 LG and Sony models, and Vizio (2017-2019 models).
To watch content on your TV from your iOS device, follow these steps:
1. On your iPhone or iPad, swipe down from the top to open the Control Center.
2. Tap the “Screen Mirroring” icon.
3. Select your Apple TV in the list of AirPlay devices, which brings up a passcode.
4. Enter the passcode on your iPhone or iPad. It will start streaming what’s on your iPhone or iPad.
When you’re done streaming, go back to the Control Center, find your Apple TV which will be highlighted and tap it, then select Stop Mirroring.
Note: AirPlay may not work well with slow Wi-Fi, interference or older Bluetooth devices, so you may experience stuttering or break up of the stream in such cases. If this is your situation, you’re better off using a cable.
Apple TV isn’t the only streaming device you can use to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV. Google Chromecast is a great alternative, though it works wirelessly, plus it doesn’t stream everything that’s on your screen to the TV.
The Chromecast dongle is app-specific, though, so you’ll need an app that supports it to see the content on your TV so that AirPlay can work with Chromecast. It plugs into your TV’s HDMI port easily and casts content wirelessly from your iOS device, except Apple limits the ability to mirror your whole screen to its first-party products.
Many apps offer support for Chromecast, but each integrates differently, so your only option to stream content is from an iOS app.
To do this:
1. Connect the iPhone or iPad and Chromecast to the same Wi-Fi network.
2. Open an app that’s compatible with Chromecast, like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Spotify and more.
3. Select the cast button and, if prompted, select your Chromecast from the list.
4. Stream your content to your TV.
This method requires an Internet-enabled TV that supports DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), and a compatible app.
DLNA is a type of media streaming provided by manufacturers of different TVs, so if you have the right app on your iOS device, you can add content to it and stream to your TV. The devices have to be on the same Wi-Fi network, though.
DLNA-compatible apps for iPhone or iPad include TV Assist, ArkMC, and others, which don’t all work in the same way. However, you can get the specific steps to use them with your TV from the app or the developer’s website.
Note: DLNA-compatible apps don’t support Digital Rights Management, so they may not play some protected content like music or videos purchased from the iTunes Store.
We hope you now know how to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV and stream content. The simplest method is to use a cable, but it can be problematic, too, so the wireless method, using AirPlay, works best and you don’t have to pay anything to enable it.
We’d love to hear what methods you use to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV. Share with us in a comment below.