Tip of the Day #003: Small to Big Screen

ipadtotvHere’s some Practical Help that gives you tips on how you can get music, video and other stuff from your smartphone or tablet to a larger screen, like your TV. Chris Gardner describes the most common ways that work well for the most popular platform: iOS, and the most popular tablet: the iPad. These tips will also work with Google Android and Microsoft Windows tablets and smartphones.

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pdfdownloadFor a handy printable tip sheet (Adobe PDF), please click this link: TOD #003 iPad to TV (Adobe PDF)

Here are three different ways you can get your iPad to show on your TV.

  1. You can buy an Apple TV for $99 and hook that to your TV with an HDMI cable.
  2. You can get a Google Chromecast dongle for $35, whenever they aren’t sold out, and plug that directly into one of your TV’s HDMI ports.
  3. You can buy a wired dongle and an HDMI cable and hookup your iPad to your TV with that. Dongles are $35-50, and an HDMI cable can run you $10 or more.

Here’s a hint that works for any method: you don’t need an expensive HDMI cable, the cheapest one will work just fine, just make sure it’s long enough to reach the couch!


airplayimageThe Apple TV is the most expensive solution, but gives you tons of other options. Don’t forget to buy an HDMI cable because it doesn’t come with one. This is a great solution for folks looking to get a divorce from their cable, FIOS, or satellite TV service. Your iPad already has Airplay built-in. There’s just a little setup to do the first time like all devices. But after that, sending your screen to the TV is simple. In iOS 6 and prior, just double-tap the home button to call up the app list, swipe to the right and you’ll see the airplay icon. Tap it and go! In iOS 7, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and choose the Airplay icon. You can even use your iPhone or iPad as a remote!

chromecastThe cheapest solution is Google’s Chromecast, which plugs right into your TV’s HDMI port. I’ll warn you, it can be a little complicated to set up, and it’s pretty limited as to what it’ll do. Currently, you can surf the web using Google Chrome’s web browser, and play Netflix and Youtube videos. I expect in the coming months that list will expand quickly. For using it with Android tablets and smartphones it’s great, and also nice to use with PCs or Macs, since it will play Adobe Flash videos. The toughest part is that right now it’s very hard to find one to buy!

HDMI_CableimageIn-between those is simply buying an HDMI cable and an adapter to get your iPad to show on the TV. This is easiest and simplest method (e.g., lowest technical know-how needed). Except for that pesky cable running from you on your couch to the TV! Just plug it in and you’re ready to go. And you can use your iPhone or iPad as a remote!

Using my iPad on my big-screen TV is sweet, I can mirror just about everything with the Apple TV, including websites, email, and any app. I like playing Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the various TV and movie apps – like TBS and HBO Go. Give it a try, you might get hooked!

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