How to Stream to Your TV With iPad or iPhone

Stream music, apps, movies, and more

What to Know

  • You can stream content from your iPad or iPhone four different ways: Using cables & adapters, Chromecast, Apple TV, and DLNA.
  • The easiest method is to use a Lightning Digital AV Adapter with an HDMI cable but you can also get an app for TVs that support DLNA.
  • Some of these methods work for all iPhone and iPad models running any iOS version, but others have strict minimum requirements.

This article explains four ways to enable streaming on your iPad or iPhone so you can see your device's content on a television screen.

Stream to the TV With Cables & Adapters

apple lightning to hdmi adapter
Apple Inc. 

Possibly the easiest way to stream from iPad or iPhone is to connect a cable, but you can't use just any cable. Because iOS devices use Apple's proprietary Lightning connector, you need a special adapter.

Apple's Lightning Digital AV Adapter (usually around $50 from Apple.com) is the first half of what you need to stream to your TV. The other half is an HDMI cable for connecting the adapter to the TV.

Once you switch the input on your TV to the HDMI port the cable is plugged into, you'll see your iPad or iPhone on the TV. From there, you can stream apps, photos, videos, and more straight to your TV.

Use Chromecast to Stream With iPad or iPhone

Google Chromecast 3rd Generation
Google 

Apple isn't the only company that offers a streaming device for iPhone and iPad. There's also the Chromecast from Google that's similar but works wirelessly.

Chromecast works much differently than the adapter in that not everything on the screen can be streamed to the TV. Streaming is app-specific, meaning that you must have an app that supports Chromecast to see the content on the TV.

While there are lots of apps that support Chromecast, you're limited in that you can't stream your iPad or iPhone home screen, nor can you open just any app and stream the whole thing to your TV. You need extra software to make AirPlay work with Chromecast.

  1. Make sure the Chromecast and iOS device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

    This is the easiest way to connect them together, though there are ways to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi.

  2. Open a Chromecast-compatible app.

    Some examples include Netflix, YouTube, Google Photos, and Hulu, but there are many others, including games, movie apps, sports apps, etc.

  3. Select the cast button (a square merged with a Wi-Fi icon).

  4. If asked, select the correct Chromecast from the list that you want to stream your iPad or iPhone to.

Stream With Apple TV

4th Generation Apple TV
Apple Inc.

If you like to keep all your devices centered around the Apple brand, but you want to stream to the TV wirelessly, check out the Apple TV.

Apple's set-top box can do lots of things: stream Netflix, HBO, or more; play games from the App Store; deliver music from Apple Music; and serve as a hub for HomeKit-compatible smart home devices. Of course, it also lets you stream content to the TV from your iPad or iPhone.

All iOS devices and the Apple TV support AirPlay, an Apple technology for wirelessly streaming audio and video between compatible devices. In this case, use AirPlay Mirroring, which lets you stream your device's screen to your TV.

Make sure both the Apple TV and your iOS device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and then connect to the Apple TV through Control Center.

When you want to stop streaming from your iPhone or iPad, open Control Center, tap Apple TV, and then choose Stop Mirroring.

Stream iPad or iPhone to the TV Using DLNA

family with TV and technology
Eric Audras / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images

You don't always need to buy extra hardware to stream your iPad or iPhone to your TV. If you've got a smart TV that supports DLNA, all you need is a compatible app.

Not all apps work the same way, but the specific instructions for using the app with your TV should be included in the app or on the developer's website.

If your TV supports DLNA, install a compatible app on your iPhone or iPad, add content to it, and then use it to stream to a TV on the same Wi-Fi network as your iOS device.

Some examples of DLNA-compatible iOS apps include 8player Pro, ArkMC, C5, MCPlayer HD Pro, TV Assist, and UPNP/DLNA Streamer for TV.

Some protected content, such as videos from the iTunes Store, might not be playable using these apps because they don't support DRM.