One of the coolest features of the Apple TV is the ability to “mirror” the display from your iPad or iPhone onto your TV screen.  This enables you to watch almost anything that you can watch on your iPad/iPhone on your TV.

Why is this useful?  Well, the Apple TV doesn’t have as many “apps” as Roku has.  However, iOS devices DO have tons of apps.  You can use the iPad app to watch shows on your iPad, then use your Apple TV to “project” a show to your TV screen.  This gives your Apple TV access to a whole new world of viewing options.

So, how can you watch your iPad’s display on your TV?  As you might have guessed, you’ll need an Apple TV.  If you don’t know what that is, you can read my detailed review here.

Apple TV

If you have an Apple TV and iPad/iPhone, getting the AirPlay “mirroring”, as Apple calls it, to work is not hard (Apple has made it much more user-friendly in the latest iOS releases).  Here’s how to do it:

First, turn on your TV, your Apple TV, and your iPad/iPhone. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPad/iPhone screen to reveal the Control Center at the bottom:

iPad Control Center

Tap the AirPlay button. If you don’t see it, check the troubleshooting section at the end of this article.  If it worked, you should see the popup below:

Apple AirPlay

Currently, iPad is selected.  Select your Apple TV device instead.  Wait a couple of seconds, and voila! Your iPad’s screen should appear on your TV!!  You can even rotate your iPad and see it in landscape mode on your TV!

If you don’t see it, try power cycling your Apple TV.  If still nothing, check the troubleshooting guide at the end of this article.

Note that you will probably have to adjust the zoom setting of your TV if you want it to fill the whole screen.  This sacrifices some resolution, but it’s not that bad at all on most sites I checked (much better than old SD-quality TV still).  On my Sony remote control, this button is labeled “WIDE”.  Here is the end result:



If the Airplay icon is not showing up on your iPad, check the following things:

  • Make sure you have an iPad 2 or later, iPhone 4S or later, or an iPad Mini.
  • Make sure that your Apple TV is 2nd or later.
  • Make sure that both your Apple TV and iPad can access the Internet and that they are on the same Wi-Fi network (the Wi-Fi network name should be the same).
  • Make sure Airplay is turned “on” on your Apple TV.  Go to Settings -> Airplay.
  • Try rebooting your wireless router, iPad/iPhone, and Apple TV.
  • Wait a few minutes with your iPad and Apple TV on.  I’ve seen cases where it takes a while before the Airplay icon shows up.
  • If all of these fail, try Googling “Airplay router settings” for your router. Some routers need special settings for Airplay to work.  Here is one example:

How is this working for you? Please leave a comment below with your experiences. – Brian

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If you have a question about this article, leave a comment below. If you want advice on TV reception, leave your zip code. I try to reply to all comments. I hope this article was helpful to you. - Brian

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