When you try to view videos, photos, and other visual content from your iPhone or iPad, there are too many times when the small screen will not do so. Fortunately, you can connect these devices to your big screen TV through several different methods.
You do not even need a fancy smart TV to do that. We show you several simple methods for screen mirroring, ranging from using a basic HDMI adapter to sophisticated wireless streaming.
Remember that if your goal is to watch streaming services like Apple TV +, Netflix or Hulu on your TV, mirroring your iPhone or iPad is neither necessary nor the most convenient solution. Instead, you can buy a cheap media player, such as a Roku Streaming Stick + or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, connect them to the TV and use them with the right remote control. Here is a link to our guide to the best streaming devices.
Still, mirroring can be useful if you want to play videos you̵
Connect an iPhone or iPad with an HDMI cable
The easiest way to connect an iOS device to a TV is to use a wired connection. For an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with a lightning connector, you can use Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter, which costs around $ 40. Although cheaper third-party adapters are available, be aware that these do not support streaming apps that use copy protection , such as Netflix. (You must also provide your own cable, so consider getting an HDMI cable that is at least 15 feet long if you want to sit comfortably away from the TV.)
Setup is simple: Simply connect the HDMI cable to the TV at one end and the adapter at the other, connect the zipper cable to your iOS device, and plug the TV into the correct input. You can also connect a charger to the adapter’s second lightning port to prevent the iOS device’s battery from draining.
Do not miss our guide to all the shows available on Apple TV +
Most apps will only mirror the iOS device’s screen on the TV, but video apps such as Amazon Prime and Netflix can offer continuous playback controls while the video is playing on the TV.
For 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, such as this model from JIMAT, on Amazon. (However, it is important to note that these may not work with streaming video apps due to copy protection. The same applies to third-party Lightning adapters.)
Apple no longer sells its Composite A / V cable that made it possible to connect iOS devices to older TVs.
iPhone for Apple TV via AirPlay
If you prefer not to handle wires, you can also stream video and audio to any Apple TV ($ 149 for the 32GB 2015 model, $ 179 for the 4K model) using the AirPlay wireless protocol. This allows you to either mirror the iPhone or iPad screen on the TV, or transfer video and audio from supported apps.
To mirror what’s on your iPhone or iPad screen:
- Make sure both your Apple TV and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- If you have an iPhone X or later or an iPad running iOS 12 or later, swipe down from the top right corner to reveal the Control Center. Otherwise, swipe up for Control Center instead.
- Press the “Screen Mirroring” button.
- Select 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 displayed on the TV screen. (By default, you only need to do this once for each device.)
- To disconnect the TV, follow steps 1 to 3, then select “Stop mirroring” from the list.
Remember that mirroring is not necessary with many video and audio apps. Instead, you can just tap the AirPlay icon while playing audio or video. (it looks like a TV with a triangle at the bottom), and then select Apple TV from the device list. Alternatively, you can take up the 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 it allows you to use your iOS device for other tasks while playing music and video on your TV.
Mirroring for Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast
If you do not have an Apple TV and do not want to pay for an expensive adapter cable, you can use mirroring apps to share your iPhone or iPad screen on Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast devices instead.
Several apps offer this with varying degrees of success, but I have gotten good results from 2kit Consulting’s Screen Mirroring apps for Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast. These apps use iOS’s Screen Recording feature to record video from your iOS device and send it to the streaming player. (With the Roku and Fire TV apps, you also need to download a separate app on the player itself, but the iOS app will guide you through the process.)
Some caveats apply: You will experience some delay, video quality is not perfect, and you will usually need to sit through an ad before you can mirror unless you are upgrading to the paid versions of these apps. Still, these apps are good enough to mirror photos, websites, presentations and social media.
With Chromecast, you need to be aware that you can also send video, audio, photos and information to your TV from thousands of supported apps. These apps let you play content directly on your TV, so you don’t have to mirror your iPhone or iPad screen.
After connecting Chromecast to your TV, use the Google Home companion app to connect your device to the wireless network. You should then see the Chromecast icon appear in supported apps. Tap it, then select your Chromecast from the device list. When you start media playback, it appears on the TV instead of iPhone or iPad.
With Roku players, you can also share photos, videos and music from an iOS device using the Roku mobile app. After installation, just go to the “media” tab to get started.