How to Stream a Video to an iPad

By Anne Hirsh

Only certain types of video can stream to an iPad. If you are having trouble getting the videos you want, they are most likely streaming in an unsupported format. Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are common streaming video types used by computers, and the iPad's operating system does not support either. To stream videos onto your iPad, you must find videos that are in the proper format, such as HTML5. Fortunately, many popular video streaming sites offer iPad apps with compatible formats.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet connection
  • Credit card (optional)

Step 1

Connect your iPad to a high- speed Wi-Fi connection. You can try to stream video on 3G, but Wi-Fi is stronger and better for data-heavy activities such as video streaming. For best performance, tap the "Settings" icon and make sure your Wi-Fi connection is on, and then turn your "Cellular data" connection off by sliding the virtual switch to the "Off" position. This ensures your video will stream over Wi-Fi, not 3G. It will also preserve your battery life by preventing your iPad from constantly searching for a 3G connection.

Step 2

Tap the "App Store" icon and enter the name of the site where you normally stream video into the search box. For example, if you stream from Netflix, type "Netflix" into the search. If you use YouTube, the YouTube app is already loaded on your iPad, so you do not need to download the app. For Hulu, you can download the Hulu Plus app for free, but using Hulu Plus or Netflix requires a paid subscription to those services. Many TV networks, such as ABC and PBS, also offer free apps with video streaming for their TV shows.

Step 3

Select the streaming service you want, and then tap the "Free" button beneath its icon. Tap "Install" and enter your iTunes password. The iPad will install your new app.

Step 4

Launch your new app, or tap the YouTube app if you want to search there for videos. If you already have an account with the service, such as Netflix or Hulu, enter your username and password. If not, follow the on-screen instructions to sign up for an account. This process may require a credit card.

Step 5

Tap a video to select it or browse for videos using the search box within your app. You may need to tap a "Play" symbol if the video does not begin streaming automatically. Most videos will launch into full screen or widescreen mode when you tap them and start playing as soon as they have enough data streamed to your device.

Step 6

Tap the video at any time to bring up the video controls, such as the volume and pause button. The controls will auto-hide after a few seconds to allow you to view your full video area.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the site you normally stream from does not have an app and its video will not play on your iPad, you may not be able to stream those videos. However, you can search for "video converter" in the App Store, as there are some apps that claim to be able to convert non-compatible formats into compatible formats for streaming. Performance of these apps is not guaranteed, and most cost a small fee, so download and use them at your own risk.