A Few Simple Tools to Hook Up Your iPad to Your TV

With MusicEdConnect 2018 just around the corner, I planned a group lesson week so I could attend all the sessions.  My clients love that I am updating my teaching skills.  And when I told my students that I would be geeking out with music teachers from all over the world, one of my students said, “That’s SO awesome!”

Starting on Saturday, we will be having group lessons at our home & I want to make sure it’s a fun, educational time for all of my students.  While I typically have connected my iPad wirelessly, there were a couple little glitches last group lesson.  Even though I had tested out everything beforehand, Murphy’s Law hit & I was rushing to get everything set up in time.  Who wants that?

A few simple tools

Whether it’s avoiding Murphy’s Law, wireless connections that aren’t always great, or just having a backup plan in place, a few simple tools can make your TV a great screen to show what is on your iPad.

A Few Simple Tools to Hook Up Your iPad to Your TV (small)

The items you will need are:

  • TV with HDMI portHDMI has been around for quite some time so chances are your TV already has this.
  • Apple’s Lightning Digital AV AdapterI bought mine at Best Buy, but they are available though Apple & Amazon as well.
    • While you are able to get this through Amazon as well, using the 3rd party adapters is something you do at your own risk.
  • HDMI cableThe one I am using is almost 8 feet long, but really it just needs to be long enough to easily access your iPad once it is all plugged in.
  • iPad power sourceYour regular iPad power adapter will work just fine.   The main thing is that a USB connection will not provide enough power without the power adapter.  (I tested out both ways.)

A few simple steps

Step 1:

Plug-in the HDMI Cable into the HDMI port on your TV.  It usually can be found on the back of the TV.

HDMI Cable     Plug into the HDMI Port

Step 2:

Plug-in the HDMI Cable into the HDMI port on your TV.  It usually can be found on the back of the TV.

Apple Digital AV Adapter     Plug into the AV Adapter

NOTE:  If your iPad uses a 30-pin power adapter, Apple has a 30-pin digital AV adapter.  I have not tested out this connection (my devices all can use lightening connectors), but wanted to share this option as well.

Step 3:

Plug-in your iPad power adapter into the digital AV adapter.  Be sure to the power is coming from a power bar.

Plug in power adapter to AV adapter

Step 4:

Plug-in your iPad into the digital AV adapter.

Plug in iPad to the digital AV adapter

Step 5:

Watch your screen go from blue to showing your iPad screen!

TV Shows iPad Screen


We all know Murphy’s Law LOVES to get involved.  It takes a moment to go from the blue screen to showing your iPad.  If that moment doesn’t happen, there are 3 possible fixes.

  • Check the HDMI adapter.If it is not firmly in place, the connection is not complete.  (This was the problem I had the first time I tried this.)
  • Unplug the digital AV adaptor from your iPad.Wait to the count of 10 & plug it back in.
  • Check the input source on your TV.If, for example, your kids were playing video games & left it on a different input source … no matter how great the connection is, it just won’t show.
    • If you are not sure what the input source should be, test each one.

A Group Lesson To Remember

I always have my iPad hooked up to a big screen during group lessons! It is something my students have come to expect & it helps me run group lesson more efficiently.

The advantages to projecting to a bigger screen are:

  • Student find it much easier to see & read images (like rhythms, composer facts, etc.)
  • Your TV has much larger speakers than the iPad.  If you have a sound bar hooked up to the TV, you will have even better sound quality.
  • By using an HDMI cable, there is no loss  of picture quality or connectivity between devices.

I would love to hear how you use this tech tip in your studio!  Share in the comments below or send me an email.

I hope to see you at MusicEdConnect 2018 next week.  Be sure to say hi in the chat box!

Have a great weekend!

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