Share your photos with all your friends and family at the same time; record movies and show them on a big screen; send your favourite tunes to your TV sound system; watch a movie from your iPad on your TV, and more.
So how do you connect them up? And how techie does it get? There are two main solutions – with or without wires. So here are the options for each (the good news is that you don’t have to be an audio-visual whiz to set it all up)…
Connect an iPad to a TV without wires.
This is where Apple TV® comes in. It may not be the cheapest option, but this is the only recommended wireless solution.
It means you can keep hold of your iPad and use it as a remote, while sending the display to your TV.
Apple TV® is also perfect if you’re a gamer, as you’ll be able to get stuck in without being restricted by wires.
Apple TV® uses AirPlay® to connect with your iPad. If an app interacts with AirPlay®, it can send full screen video to the TV. But even apps that don't support AirPlay® will work via the Display Mirroring feature, which replicates your iPad screen on your TV.
Another bonus of Apple TV® is the pre-installed apps on the device. If you watch Netflix, Hulu Plus or Crackle, you won't need to connect your iPad to enjoy streaming video from these services. You can load up the app directly on Apple TV®.
Apple TV® also works with the iPhone and iPod Touch, allowing you to stream video through AirPlay® or just use your stereo system speakers to play music.
Connect an iPad to a TV with wires.
There are a couple of options from connecting your iPad to your TV using cables. These include:
1. Apple Digital AV Adapter.
This is probably the easiest way to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV. The adapter simply plugs your Apple device into your TV's HDMI port. You'll also need a standard HDMI cable which you can pick up from most electrical retailers.
A bonus with this option is that the adapter also allows you to connect a USB cable into your iPad, so it helps keep your battery from running low while you’re bingeing on Netflix. You can also stream your movie collection from you PC to your iPad to your HDTV using home sharing. This is a great way to finally switch from DVD and Blu-Ray to digital video, without losing the chance to see it on your big screen TV.
2. Composite/component cables.
If your television doesn't support HDMI, or if you’re running low on HDMI outputs on your HDTV, you can also connect the iPad to your TV with composite or component cables.
Unlike the Apple Digital AV Adapter, the component and composite cables won’t support the Display Mirroring mode on the iPad, so they’ll only work with apps like Netflix and YouTube that support video out. They also fall short of 720p video, so the quality will not be as high as the Digital AV Adapter or Apple TV.
3. Apple VGA adapter.
With this adapter, you can hook your iPad up to a TV equipped with a VGA input, a computer monitor, a projector and other display devices that support VGA. Lots of new monitors have multiple display sources, so you could even switch between using your monitor for your PC and using it for your iPad.
The VGA adapter will also support the Display Mirroring mode. But it doesn’t transfer sound, so you’ll need to listen through the built-in iPad speakers or through external speakers hooked up through the iPad's headphone jack.
What’s the best ‘iPad to TV’ method for you?
If you’re into gaming and you don’t want the restriction of wires, than Apple TV® is perfect for you. If you’re planning on watching TV and movies through your television, the HDMI adapter or the component cables are cheaper options, and may be better for you.
But if you plan on using a computer monitor or want to use your iPad for large presentations with a projector, the VGA adapter may be the best solution.