How to connect your iPhone to your TV

Want to enjoy your mobile media on a big screen? Here's how to stream your iPhone's photos and videos to your TV

Apple iPhone 4

iPhones are great, but sometimes you don't want to settle for showing off your photos or watching videos on a small screen while you're sitting in front of a big one--such as your living-room TV. Here's how to hook your iPhone up to your TV, with or without wires.

Connect an iPhone with HDMI or Composite cables

You can connect iOS devices to a TV in a few different ways. One of the easiest and most reliable methods is to use a wired connection.

If you have an HDTV with an available HDMI port, you can purchase an Apple Digital AV adapter.

1. Plug the adapter into your device’s 30-pin iPod connector. 2. Plug one end of an HDMI cable into the HDMI port of the adapter, and the other end into an available HDMI port on your TV. 3. Switch your TV to the appropriate HDMI input. For earlier models such as the iPhone 4, the original iPad, or the fourth-generation iPod Touch, the display won’t be mirrored, but it will show photos and videos in supported apps once you start playing them on the device.

The adapter also replicates the iPod connector, so you can charge your device while playing the content.

If your TV doesn’t support HDMI, or if it doesn’t have an available connection, you can link your device to the set through an analog connection, using an Apple Composite AV cable.

1. Plug the adapter into your device’s 30-pin iPod connector. 2. Plug the yellow video cable at the end of the adapter into an available analog video port on your TV. 3. Plug the red and white audio cables at the end of the adapter into the red and white audio ports corresponding to the yellow video input on your TV. 4. Tune your TV to the appropriate composite video input. The display won’t be mirrored, but it will show photos and videos in supported apps once you start playing them on the device.

Connect an iPhone to a TV With AirPlay or DLNA

If you prefer, you can connect your device to your TV wirelessly, through a couple of different technologies.

Apple developed a wireless technology called AirPlay specifically for streaming content from iOS devices to other devices that support it.

1. Make sure that your iPhone is on the same wireless network as your other AirPlay devices. 2. On your iPhone, double-tap the Home button. 3. Swipe the list that appears to the right, until you get to the volume and AirPlay settings. 4. Tap the AirPlay button to bring up a list of supported AirPlay devices on your network. 5. Tap the device to which you would like to stream. A TV icon next to the device indicates that you can stream images, video, and/or audio, while a speaker icon indicates that you can stream only audio. In the example below, we selected our Denon AVR receiver. If you have a second-generation Apple TV and an iPhone 4S, you can select Mirroring here to mirror your device’s display to your TV wirelessly.

Open the app with the content you would like to stream, and begin playing.

If you don't want to shell out for an AirPlay-capable device, you may be able to use DLNA instead. These days, many modern TVs support streaming from a local network (wired or wireless) via the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) standard. If your TV supports DLNA (or sometimes just "UPnP") streaming, you can use your iPhone as a DLNA server. Just download and install a DLNA-server app -- Media:connect, for example -- and you're good to go.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael King

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?