How to Watch Your iPad Videos on a Big TV

You may love watching movies on the iPad, but there are limitations to a smaller screen, even one as stunning as the Retina display. Friends won’t crowd around to watch with you, as good as it is, so Apple offers two ways to display video from your iPad to a TV:

  • AirPlay: Through the AirPlay feature, you can wirelessly stream movies — commercial flicks or videos you shot — as well as photos and music from the iPad to an Apple TV box that’s connected to an HDTV. Start watching the movie on the iPad and tap the AirPlay button that appears in the video controls.

    You can watch only one screen at a time. Tap Apple TV to stream to the TV through the Apple TV box. Tap iPad to watch on the iPad.

    You can multitask while streaming a video. Therefore, while the kids are watching a flick on the TV, you can surf the web or catch up on e-mail.

    Although you can stream from an iPad to an Apple TV and switch screens between the two, you can’t stream a rented movie that you start watching on Apple TV to the iPad.

  • AV Adapter cables: Apple sells two $39 cables — one each for digital AV (HDMI) and composite video connections — that let you connect your iPad to a standard (composite) or high-definition (HDMI) television, projector, or other device that has an HDMI or composite video inputs. Apple also sells Lightning–to–Digital AV and Lightning–to–VGA adapters at $49 each for use with the fourth-generation iPad and beyond.

    If you have a more recent iPad, however, the appropriate Digital AV (HDMI) adapter also lets you mirror the iPad screen on the connected TV or projector. So not only can you watch a movie or video, but you can also view anything else that’s on the iPad’s screen: your Home screens, web pages, games, other apps, you name it.

    Although the composite adapter has its cables built right in, the Digital AV adapter doesn’t include an HDMI cable, so you have to supply one yourself.