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Hooking up your iPad to a TV

Posted by adamwlewis | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 20-08-2010

Tags: , , , , , ,


First off, why would you want to hook up your iPad to your TV? The answers to this are… limited actually. The iPad doesn’t hookup to your television like most laptops, which basically show your entire laptop display on the TV screen. When you hook up your iPad to the television, it allows apps to send data to the television, much like a DVD or Blu-Ray player. This means you aren’t going to hook your 9″ iPad to your 46″ plasma and play FieldRunners, view your calendar, or check your email. The only real reason for connecting  your iPad to a TV is for playing videos, either directly from the iPad or from an application like: YouTube, NetFlix, ABC Player, etc. Apple claims that you can view photo slide shows as well, but I’ve been unsuccessful in doing so.

Another thing to remember is that not all applications will stream video your to television. I haven’t tried many, but I do know that YouTube and NetFlix work just fine, as well as videos stored locally on the iPad. According to an Apple service representative I spoke to yesterday, it is “up to the app developer if they want to allow that or not.” So, if you have a certain video app that you want to play on your television, check with the application developer before investing in the hardware required to hook your iPad up to your TV.

So, if video steaming to your TV is what you’re wanting, and the application you want to use supports it, how do you hook the iPad to your television? Luckily Apple did make this press simple (but not cheap). For $49 you can purchase an Apple Composite AV Cable or Apple Component AV Cable. Which one you’ll need really depends on what type of connection your TV offers. Composite inputs are three RCA type connectors, colored red, yellow and white. They are pretty standard on all TVs and have been around since the 1980’s. Component inputs look the same as composite, but are comprised of five RCA connectors colored red, green, blue, white and yellow. Whichever connection you choose, hooking it up to the iPad is as simple as hooking anything else up… just plug it in. There are no settings to modify (unless you’re outside of the U.S. and need to set your output type from NTSC to PAL) and once the cable is connected to both the TV and the iPad, you’re good to go. Simply launch your video app (like NetFlix) and click play, then let the iPad do the work.