How to connect your iPhone to a TV
If you’re reading this, you must be familiar with one of the classic dilemmas of the modern age: You’re looking at something on your iPhone and you desperately wish it was on your TV across the room instead.
After all, why look at a small screen when a big one is right there? That YouTube video, TikTok, or vacation photo might really shine on your living room set, with the obvious benefit of making it easier to share that stuff with your pals during a hangout sesh. We have good news: Apple has made this process very simple over the years.
You can connect your iPhone to a TV using a wire. You know, like in the old days. You can also beam signals wirelessly between an iPhone and a TV, allowing your whole phone screen to show up in larger-than-life format. Heck, even products from competitors like Google can help out with interfacing an iPhone with a TV.
So, without further delay, here’s how to make your iPhone play nice with your TV:
Go old-school with a wire
An official iPhone dongle you may not know exists
Making just about any device output an image onto a TV has worked the same way across the board for almost 15 years. You connect one end of an HDMI cable into the device and the other into an HDMI port on the TV. Boom, done, your Xbox or Roku or what have you is spitting its signal out on your big TV. Perfect.
The obvious problem with iPhones in this regard is that they don’t have HDMI ports on them. They’re simply too large and bulky to be practical on any smartphone. That dinky little Lightning port on the bottom that you use for charging is going to have to suffice here. And to make that work, you’ll need to get Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter(opens in a new tab), which goes for a staggering $50.
Luckily, we’re not here to give buying advice. Get one of those if you think it’s necessary. It probably isn’t, as you’ll see in a bit, but you know your situation better than we could. If you do wind up buying that adapter, the steps for connecting, which appear on Apple’s website(opens in a new tab), are pretty straightforward:
Plug it into the lightning port on your iPhone
Connect one end of an HDMI cable into the adapter and the other into the TV or monitor you want to use
Switch to the correct input on the TV, if needed
Absent any weird glitches, that should be all you need to do. At that point, your phone’s display should mirror to the TV, allowing you to look at photos or play videos to your heart’s content. Some things might look a little odd since TVs use different aspect ratios than phones, but that’s the only real hiccup to this process. If that sounds too cumbersome or expensive, there’s a significantly easier and totally free way to do this.
Just use AirPlay
You’re probably at least a little familiar with AirPlay, but if not, it’s Apple’s wireless device-to-device streaming solution that solves the problem we’re discussing today with just a few taps on an iPhone screen. All you need is an iPhone (would be weird if you were reading this without one) and an AirPlay-compatible device. A great many recent smart TVs(opens in a new tab) and even Roku devices(opens in a new tab) work with AirPlay these days, though if you don’t have either of those, an Apple TV(opens in a new tab) streaming box does the trick, too.
The key to making AirPlay work(opens in a new tab) is identifying the AirPlay icon, which should appear when watching videos in a web browser or in some streaming apps. It’s a little rectangle with an upward-facing triangle on the bottom.
The AirPlay icon
Credit: screenshot: Alex perry
Press that and you’ll be given the chance to connect to any AirPlay device in the vicinity and beam whatever you happen to be watching onto the TV. It must be noted that both the iPhone and the AirPlay device need to be connected to the same WiFi network in order for this to work. If you don’t see the device on the connection list after tapping the AirPlay icon, that might be the issue.
Credit: screenshot: Alex perry
There’s also a way to mirror your iPhone’s screen to an AirPlay-compatible device, just like with that HDMI adapter, except without a big beefy cable getting in the way. If you swipe on your iPhone screen to bring up the Control Center, there should be a big button that, appropriately, says “Screen Mirroring.” Tap that, connect it to your AirPlay device, input the onscreen passcode if you must, and you’re in.
Assuming nothing went wrong, what you see on the phone will also be what you see on the TV. Obviously, there are drawbacks to this approach. You may not want the people in the room with you to see everything on your phone screen. Maybe hide the compromising text messages or embarrassing Google searches from view before you activate screen mirroring. That’s free advice and you should take it.
Using AirPlay to broadcast videos or mirror your screen to a TV is going to be the easiest way for most folks to share something on a phone screen with a room full of friends. That said, you can actually turn to a product from another big tech company to address this problem, too.
A Chromecast will get you part of the way there, too
In case you ever need to cast a black screen to your TV
Credit: screenshot: alex perry / youtube: Candrfun
Google’s Chromecast technology might be made by an Apple competitor, but it works seamlessly with iPhones all the same. All you need is a dedicated Chromecast device or a smart TV with Chromecast built in(opens in a new tab).
For iPhone users, this will be limited to a similar set of functions as AirPlay. You can beam things like streaming apps and YouTube videos directly from an iPhone to a Chromecast by hitting the Chromecast icon, which looks slightly different from the AirPlay icon but follows the same general principle. Choose a device to cast to and the video should show up on said device.
The limitation here for iPhone users is there’s no official way to mirror an iPhone screen to a TV using a Chromecast. Android owners can do it(opens in a new tab) all they want, in exchange for being saddled with those ugly green text bubbles, but if you’ve got an iPhone, screen mirroring isn’t exactly an option.
Regardless, there are so many other options for blasting whatever’s on your iPhone onto your TV that it almost doesn’t matter. Whether you want to kick it old-school with an expensive HDMI dongle, rock with AirPlay, or roll with a Chromecast, it’s never been easier to show a room full of people that YouTube video you’ve been obsessed with lately.
This story was originally published in April 2021 and was updated in July 2021.
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How to Connect Your iPhone to Your TV
By Randy Harward
Edited By Mike Strayer
Share | Nov 10, 2022
If you want to know how to stream from your iPhone to your TV, mirror your smartphone screen, or use your iPhone as a remote, we’ve rounded up the most common ways to connect your iPhone to your TV and how to do them.
- What do I need to connect my iPhone or iPad to my TV?
- How do I connect my iPhone to my TV with an HDMI cable?
- How do I use screen mirroring on iPhone with Apple TV?
- How do I cast my iPhone to my TV through Chromecast?
- How do I connect my iPhone to a Roku Streaming Device?
- How do I cast my iPhone to my TV with an app?
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Let’s be real. It’s been rough in the world lately—we all need a bit of a distraction sometimes, and that means knowing how to cast to a TV with your phone. Watching YouTube on your couple inch-wide phone isn’t enough for times like this. Full HD is. So buckle up because we’re going to teach you how to connect your phone to your TV, both wirelessly and wired.
What do I need to connect my iPhone or iPad to my TV?
There are a few different ways to connect your iPhone to your TV. Here is what you’ll need (in addition to the iPhone and TV) for each method described in this article. For more complete details, please scroll down to the corresponding sections below.
- Connect via HDMI: HDMI-to-HDMI cable, Lightning Digital A/V adapter (aka iPhone to HDMI cable adapter), open HDMI port on your TV
- Connect via Apple TV: Wi-Fi connection
- Connect via Chromecast: An open HDMI port on a Chromecast-compatible TV
- Connect via Roku: iPhone, TV, Roku streaming device, Roku app
- Connect via other apps: iPhone-compatible smart TV with AirPlay or AirPlay 2, or, for TVs without iPhone support, a DLNA-certified mirroring app (more on that below).
1. How do I connect my iPhone to my TV with an HDMI cable?
Hooking your phone up to your TV with a wired HDMI connection isn’t as convenient as casting from your phone to the TV, but wired connections do offer a more reliable streaming experience.
The simplest way to physically connect your iPhone to your TV is to use an HDMI cable from your phone to your TV’s HDMI port. You’ll need an iPhone-to-HDMI cable adapter to connect the HDMI cable to your iOS device. It’s called a Lightning Digital AV Adapter. You can get it direct from Apple for $49.00 or a bit cheaper ($44.96*) on Amazon.
The above Amazon link will also show you some third-party knockoffs priced as low as $13.99. Apple, of course, always recommends that you buy its products for optimal compatibility, but the third-party versions will get the job done and save you a good chunk of change. Just make sure it supports High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).
*Amazon. com Price; $44.96 (as of 11/10/22 1:21 p.m. PT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
How to connect iPhone to TV with HDMI
- Connect one end of the HDMI cable to your TV.
- Connect the other end to the adapter.
- Plug the adapter into the Lightning port on your iOS device.
- If you need to charge your device while using it, plug one end of a Lightning to USB or Dock Connector to USB cord into the second port on the adapter and plug the other end into a power source.
- Switch to the HDMI input on your TV.
2. How do I use screen mirroring on my iPhone with Apple TV?
If you prefer convenience over a ton of cords, we’ll show you how to use screen mirroring on iPhone. It’s exactly what it sounds like: what you see on your iPhone screen is what you’ll see on your TV. That includes everything from battery level to pop-up message notifications to whatever you were reading or watching—so be careful when you use this option. You don’t want everybody knowing your business.
How you go about it depends on what devices you have, but here’s what to do if you’re in the Apple ecosystem.
Just connect your iPhone to your AirPlay–compatible TV easily with an Apple TV and Apple’s AirPlay (or AirPlay 2) wireless protocol. This lets you stream videos, display photos, and other content directly or mirror your device’s display on your TV. It’s easier than it sounds, promise.
But if you’re worried, here’s exactly how to stream from your phone to your TV—Apple style.
How to use screen mirroring on iPhone with Apple TV
- Make sure your iPhone and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network—otherwise they won’t see each other.
- Open Control Center on your iOS device. On iPad or any iPhone other than the iPhone X, do this by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. On iPhone X, swipe down from the right of the notch.
- Tap the Screen Mirroring button. It looks like two overlapping rectangles.
- Select your Apple TV from the list that appears.
- If an AirPlay passcode pops up on your TV, enter the code on your iOS device.
- If you want to stop mirroring, open Control Center. Then, under Screen Mirroring, tap Stop Mirroring.
You can also use screen mirroring with an app and an AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV.
3. How do I cast my iPhone to my TV through Chromecast?
Chromecast users can use their iPhones to cast to any TV with a Chromecast with Google TV plugged in. This is a more affordable option since the Chromecast dongle costs only about $20.
How to cast iPhone to TV with Chromecast
- Are your Apple device, Chromecast, and computer on the same Wi-Fi? If not, make it so.
- Plug the Chromecast into the HDMI port on your TV.
- Install and open a Chromecast-supported app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap the Cast button. (It’s a rounded rectangle with a Wi-Fi symbol in the bottom left corner.) Select “Chromecast” from the list of available devices to cast to TV.
4. How do I connect my iPhone to a Roku Streaming Device?
There are a couple ways iPhone and iPad users can wirelessly connect their devices to a Roku streaming device.
Cast from your iOS device by doing the following:
- Make sure your iPhone and Roku device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- In a supported app such as YouTube or Netflix, look for the Cast button.
- Tap the Cast button, and select the Roku device from the list.
Use the “Play on Roku” feature of the Roku app by doing the following:
- Download the Roku mobile app to your iOS device.
- Launch the app.
- Choose the Photos+ option from the bottom navigation bar in the Roku app.
- Select the media you want to share to the Roku device.
It’s up to you exactly how to stream from your phone to the TV with Roku, since you have a couple options. We suggest testing both methods out to see which works best for your internet connection before settling in for a movie marathon.
5. How do I cast my iPhone to my TV with an app?
If you have a smart TV with built-in iPhone support, it should already have AirPlay (which we mentioned earlier). You can use AirPlay to connect your iPhone to your TV via screen mirroring.
If your smart TV doesn’t have AirPlay, you can try a third-party Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) app. DLNA apps enable you to play music and video content that’s not protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM).
Try using these DLNA apps to connect your iPhone to your TV:
- MCPlayer (Arkuda Digitial LLC)—Pro version is $4. 99 (free, limited-functionality lite version available)
- Nero Streaming Player Pro (Nero AG)—$0.99, has in-app purchases
Follow each app’s instructions in order to stream your iPhone to your TV.
Whatever combination of devices you have, we’ve figured out how to cast to your phone to the TV. So get connected, stream that content to the big screen, and kick back to enjoy the show!
How to connect your iPhone to your TV FAQ
For this article, we carefully tested a number of ways to connect iPhones to TVs using wired and wireless technology. We broke down five of the most successful methods into easy-to-follow steps to help you get connected. To learn more about our processes, check out our How We Rank page.
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How to connect iPhone to TV via HDMI – Vention
HDMI and Mini DisplayPort – high quality cables for video transmission
Sometimes we want to share videos and photos with friends, family and even business partners on our mobile phones. Your phone screen may not be large enough or it may not show the images you want to share clearly. In this case, HDMI comes to the rescue.
What’s even more interesting is that you don’t need a smart TV. The good news is that you can now connect your iPhone to your TV using HDMI in a few easy steps. A basic HDMI adapter can help you mirror your screen conveniently.
What is HDMI
This is a short form of high definition multimedia interface. The HDMI connector allows you to transfer high-quality and high-bandwidth audio and video streams between devices.
Audio formats: DTS, Dolby, etc.
Video formats: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 480p, etc.
HDMI also supports PAL/NTPC TV standards and is backward compatible with DVI. There are two types of HDMI cables:
Category 1 HDMI Cable: Supports 75MHz pixel rate and 2.23Gbps bandwidth. It can also efficiently transmit an uncompressed 1080i signal.
Category 2 HDMI Cable: Supports 340MHz pixel rate, 10.2Gbps bandwidth, 1440p and WQXGA resolutions.
Connecting iPhone to a TV with an HDMI cable provides more reliable streaming. The easiest way to make this connection is to use an HDMI cable from your phone to the TV’s HDMI port. Users will need an iPhone to HDMI cable adapter to connect the HDMI cable to iPhone or other iOS devices.
The process of connecting iPhone to TV via HDMI is simple. You don’t need any technical knowledge or skills. A few simple steps and you can enjoy watching photos and videos on the big screen.
How to Connect iPhone to TV via HDMI
The first thing you need to do is connect one end of the HDMI cable to your TV.
- Then connect the other end to the adapter.
- Gently plug the adapter into the lightning port on your iOS device.
- You can charge the device while it is in use. To do this, connect one end of the lightning bolt to a USB cable or the dock connector to a USB cable to the second port on the adapter, and connect the other end to a power source.
- Finally, switch to the HDMI input on your TV.
How do I use screen mirroring on my iPhone with Apple TV?
By learning how to connect iPhone to a TV using HDMI, you can enjoy videos and images on a wider screen. Do you prefer being organized and comfortable over a ton of cords lying around? Then we will share with you how to use screen mirroring on your iPhone. As the name suggests, screen mirroring displays everything on your phone, on your TV.
You need to make sure you have some privacy or feel comfortable sharing information on your phone with anyone around you before setting up screen mirroring.
You can easily connect your iPhone to an AirPlay-compatible TV using Apple TV and the Apple AirPlay wireless protocol. It allows you to stream videos and other content directly or mirror your phone’s display to your TV.
Advantages of HDMI
- The HDMI interface cable supports audio and video signals. This means you don’t need a separate audio or video cable. The connection process is simple and convenient, does not require technical skills. HDMI simplifies connection between devices as fewer cables are required.
- HDMI Interface – Convenient, available in many smart devices such as phones, laptops, tablets, and can be connected to a large TV for better viewing.
- The connection using an HDMI cable is better, providing better video quality and less transmission loss.
- Texts, images appear clearer on the screen when using an HDMI connection.
- HDMI offers two-way connectivity and auto setup. This is a huge relief for many users as they don’t need outside intervention to determine the best resolution or audio format.
- It can display true-to-life images with greater color depth by supporting various bit formats such as 10/12 bits.
- HDMI has a high signal integrity and therefore can transmit HD content without any modification or distortion.
- It also offers authentication and encryption of data transmitted over cables.
- HDMI transmits uncompressed signals and the signal quality is not degraded.
HDMI length matters
HDMI cable connection is solid and reliable. Users will not experience any fuzziness if the signal becomes weak. As a rule, all signals degrade over long distances. The level of degradation depends on the power of the transmitter, the level of interference and the sensitivity of the transmitter.
The longer the cable, the better the insulation. The length of the cable also determines how well the signal will get to its destination. Typically, the length is about 50 feet.
You should be fine with regular cables as long as your components are under 15 feet long. For example, if you want to run long lines between your home theater components and your projector, make sure your cables are rated for this.
Shipping HDMI cables can be a daunting task as there are so many options available on the market. You want to spend as little as possible to get the most bang for your buck.
Here are some important factors when choosing an HDMI cable
- 1. Connection type
- Video resolution source and display
- Distance between devices
- Special applications such as installation in dusty or humid environments.
- There are three types of HDMI connectors, and the biggest difference is their size.
- Standard HDMI connectors are commonly used on TVs, computer monitors, game consoles, and desktop computers.
- Mini HDMI connectors can be found on devices such as DSLRs, tablets, laptops.
- Micro HDMI connectors are commonly used on laptops, smartphones, tablets, portable media players, etc.
Before purchasing an HDMI cable, make sure that the package contains a QR code certified by the HDMI Licensing Administrator and the HDMI Forum.
We manufacture high quality and durable HDMI cables for personal and commercial use. We have a team to answer your questions or take your order. Contact us now or visit our website for more information.
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