How to Watch Movies You Download to Your iPad on Your TV

By Andrew Tennyson

You’ve downloaded a movie on your iPad – now you want to watch it on a bigger screen. The simplest way to hook up your iPad to a TV is to connect the two devices using Apple’s Digital AV adapter and an HDMI cable. Pairing your iPad with these cables allows you to stream sound and high-definition video signals at resolutions up to 720p to any television with an HDMI input.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple Digital AV adapter
  • HDMI cable
  • TV with HDMI port
  • Power cable

Step 1

Attach the 30-pin dock connector from the Apple Digital AV adapter to the port on your iPad. The 30-pin dock connector is the smaller of the two ends on the Digital AV adapter. The 30-pin port is located on the bottom of the iPad, if you are holding the device vertically.

Step 2

Insert one end of an HDMI cable into the HDMI port on the Digital AV adapter. The HDMI port is the smaller of the two ports on the larger end of the adapter.

Step 3

Plug the other end of your HDMI cable into the HDMI input port on your television. Some TVs have more than one HDMI input, so make a note of which one you use.

Step 4

Switch your TV to the appropriate HDMI input. Most TV remotes have a toggle button you can use to switch between inputs. In most cases, you can also select the desired input using physical buttons on the TV itself if no remote is available.

Step 5

Swipe through your iPad’s video library to find the movie you want to watch. Use iTunes if you downloaded the movie from the iTunes store.

Step 6

Open the movie. This will launch your iPad’s native video application. Content from the iPad will now display on your TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you intend to keep your iPad connected to the TV for an extended time, plug it in to a power source. The larger of the two output ports on the Apple Digital AV adapter lets you plug in a 30-pin dock-to-USB power adapter for this purpose.
  • The movies you can watch on your TV and how you can watch them will vary, depending on which version of the iPad you are using. The first generation iPad cannot do video mirroring, for example.
  • If you don’t have a TV with an HDMI port, you can follow the same steps using the Apple Composite AV cable. Plug the color-coded connectors into the matching ports on your TV.