Have you ever wanted to connect your iPad, iPad Mini or even iPhone to a computer monitor or that massive 110inch TV screen? Did you know that it’s possible and you only need a Lightning Digital AV Adapter? Assuming you already have the HDMI cable, otherwise you will need a HDMI cable as well. There is also no need for an extra cable for the audio connection as the HDMI cable will also carry audio from your iDevice to the TV. You can also use the headphone connection on your iPad to connect external speakers.
The level of functionality you will receive varies depending upon which device you own, if you have an older device you will need the older 30pin connector, luckily a 30 pin connector version is available. If you own an iPad 2 or later then full 1080p is supported, whereas older devices only support 720p. There are a couple of other differences, older devices such as the original iPad support video out, this means apps can display content on the screen but, depending on the app, might not display what you expect or anything at all. Photos, presentations and videos all display as expected. Newer devices support video mirroring, this displays exactly the same content on the larger screen, however some apps may have been designed to display different content or a different view of the same content. For the vast majority of apps and content this setup works without a hitch and you will be using your new iPad HDMI adapter within minutes, unfortunately there are some exceptions, Hulu Plus and Comcast On Demand are the first to spring to mind. Both of these apps do not allow any of their content to be displayed using the iPad HDMI adapter, we’re unsure if this is due to copyright or other legal issues or if this is the companies deciding it may harm other areas of their business, whichever it is I’m sure you will agree that it is extremely annoying. There are other apps that take the same policy, to determine if an app supports video mirroring through the iPad HDMI adapter you need to contact the third party developers using the contact details available on the info page of the app within the app store. A benefit of the iPad HDMI adapter, especially a genuine version, that many people forget is you are able to charge your iPad or iPad mini while the lightning connection is in use.
There are a couple of minor issues, on some other devices you may receive an error saying “This accessory is not supported”, if your device is on the compatible list just dismiss this alert and carry on. Your screen may have some issues displaying the device, this is due to the video resolution being displayed, if your monitor, TV or projector offers an “auto detect” you should be able to optimise the video being displayed.
There is also an alternative, Apple TV supports video mirroring over Wi-Fi using AirPlay, which means no need to sit close to the screen and a free range of motion is available when using the iPad. Apple TV cost only $99 which, although is twice the cost of the genuine Lightning Digital AV Adapter from Apple, does have the added benefits of NetFlix, Hulu Plus and even YouTube, which is worth the extra.
It costs anywhere from $19.95 – $49.00, which is a large price range and depends only upon where you buy it. Non genuine versions can be purchased from as little as $6 but it’s worth shopping around to try and find the genuine version at a reasonable price. I think this is an incredibly good deal, especially for people using their iPad to deliver presentations, as they are able to connect their iPad directly to the projector. If you are a customer facing professional such as a salesmen, project manager, etc. who uses an iPad while visiting customers I think it is a must, using Apple TV in this environment would look unprofessional and could possibly be unreliable, otherwise in the normal consumer environment I would opt for Apple TV.