How to mirror the iPad's display on large monitors

Erik Eckel explains the options for using adapters and AirPlay to mirror iPads' displays on larger monitors for meetings, presentations, and seminars.

Poorly informed critics knock the iPad for "lacking business functionality." But the truth is the iPad possesses tremendous professional potential. That's one of the reasons Apple just sold three million of the tablets in four days. Yet, despite all the hype surrounding the device, many business users are unaware of just how easy it is to leverage iPads for presentations, in meetings, and when hosting seminars.


Possibly the easiest method for connecting iPads to large displays is using adapters. One end of the $39 Apple Digital AV Adapter plugs into the iPad's dock connector. The adapter's other end contains an HDMI port, enabling users to connect an HDMI cable to monitors, video projectors, conference room displays and widescreen flat panels. Since the adapter leverages HDMI technology, the adapter passes both audio and video information to the display.

Business professionals that rely upon iPads to fuel presentations need not worry the iPad's power will flake out. The Digital AV Adapter includes a built-in 30-pin connector to enable the tablet to continue charging while powering the presentation.

Using the Digital AV Adapter, the iPad's display can be mirrored to HDMI-compatible displays. Whatever appears on the iPad's display appears on the external monitor to which the adapter is connected. Video quality is impressive, as the iPad's display is mirrored in up to 1080p HD with movies playing back in 720p HD.

The $29 Apple VGA Adapter is another alternative. The device enables video mirroring on iPad 2 and later iPads. Using the VGA adapter, slideshows, video and other presentation material can be displayed on VGA-compatible 1080p HD screens. Just as with the Digital AV Adapter, movie playback is at 720p HD on compatible monitors.


Using an Apple TV connected to a large screen, presenters can also use iPads to wirelessly stream videos and even mirror the iPad's display on large monitors. AirPlay makes it possible. The technology enables iOS devices to stream audio and video to a display connected to the Apple TV.

The iOS and Apple TV devices need only to be on the same Wi-Fi network. When the two devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, the AirPlay icon will automatically appear (assuming AirPlay is enabled within the Apple TV's Settings menu). Tapping the AirPlay icon within specific apps streams the app's contents to the large screen display.

Users can also mirror the iPad display on the large screen (connected by an Apple TV) by selecting the feature on the iPad. To do so, users should press the Home button twice, scroll to the right to access Controls and press the AirPlay icon (which appears as a rectangle pierced by a triangle).


Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...


Great article. Thanks! The big problem is the lack of true, full and complete compatibility. Files created on Mac are NOT compatible with iOS devices if they contain special formatting, special fonts, backgrounds, colors, tables, figures, transitions, animations, audio and video. And now just think about Flash or Java. Actually, there are also incompatibilities between Micrososft Office for Mac versus Windows. And even within Office for Mac versions and within Mac OS X versions, as there are also incompatibilities within Office for Windows versions and within Windows operating system versions.


So not only does make their money on the iPad but then you need special adapters to hook up anything else. You need a $40 adapter to hook up to an external screen, a $40+ adapter to connect a camera to it [they couldn't include a mini USB port as mini USB ports are common in most [all?] recent camera. Would need an adapter to hook ujp a [non-Apple] smartphone that has tghe standard micro USB port. Ya think Apple is doing this on purpose [especially if you need to carry these adapters when on the road].


With tight margins and the credit situation as it is they need to eek out a few dollars somewhere. Or maybe they just like to get you by the tender parts and twist cash out of you. I think the former is true. It's been a great sales roadmap for them and nobody else can touch them yet. WinMobile???? Too early to say but Android (and I have a few) has no chance with no common dock and no common connectivity app. It's too fragmented and piecemeal even for me. I want something you plug in like an Apple IOS and it does it's stuff and can be used in the car etc. Anyone thinking Android is close is seriously misguided. So.. until then just keep paying Apple for those bol-ons that should be free. What option have you got? NONE !


Now you know why they charge $30+ for a simple sync cable for their gadgets, $50+ for an iPad case cover, $40 for a HDMI adapter, ... Apple just loves to take people's money.

Editor's Picks