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How to Connect Your iPhone to Your TV

Whether you need to mirror your smartphone screen or use your iPhone as a remote, we’ve rounded up the most common ways to connect your iPhone to your TV and how to do it.

1. What do I need to connect my iPhone or iPad to my TV?

There are a few different ways to connect your iPhone to your TV. Here, in short, is what you’ll need (in addition to the iPhone and TV) for each method described in this article. For more complete details, please see the corresponding sections below.

  • Connect via HDMI: HDMI-to-HDMI cable, Lightning Digital A/V adapter, open HDMI port on your TV
  • Connect via Apple TV: Wi-Fi connection
  • Connect via Chromecast: An open HDMI port on a Chromecast-compatible TV
  • Connect via Roku streaming device: iPhone, TV, Roku streaming device, Roku app
  • Connect via apps: iPhone-compatible smart TV with AirPlay or AirPlay 2 or, for TVs without iPhone support, a DLNA-certified mirroring app (more on that below).

2. How do I connect my iPhone to my TV with an HDMI cable?

The simplest way to get connect your iPhone to your TV is to use an HDMI cable from your phone to your TV’s HDMI port. You’ll also need an adapter to connect the HDMI cable to your iOS device.

Apple sells the adapters you’ll need. The fare is typical of Apple—expensive, but the product is well-made.

Apple always recommends that you buy its products rather than knockoffs. But an adapter from Amazon or another third party will get the job done and save you a few bucks. Just make sure it supports High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

Pro Tip: HDCP is an anti-pirating measure implemented by many streaming providers. If the adapter doesn’t support this protocol, you can’t play content from several services, like Netflix and HBO® NOW.

Here are the steps to connect your iPhone to your TV with your HDMI:

  1. Connect one end of the HDMI cable to your TV.
  2. Connect the other end to the adapter.
  3. Plug the adapter into the Lightning port on your iOS device.
  4. If you need to charge your device while using it, plug one end of a Lightning to USB or Dock Connector to USB cord into the second port on the adapter and plug the other end into a power source.
  5. Switch to the HDMI input on your TV.

3. How do I connect my iPhone to my TV with Apple TV?

If you prefer the wireless life, connect your iPhone to your AirPlay–compatible TV easily with an Apple TV and Apple’s AirPlay (or AirPlay 2) wireless protocol. This lets you stream videos, display photos, and other content directly or mirror your device’s display on your TV.

The setup is about as easy as it gets:

  1. Make sure your iPhone and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network—otherwise they won’t see each other.
  2. Open Control Center on your iOS device. On iPad or any iPhone other than the iPhone X, do this by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. On iPhone X, swipe down from the right of the notch.
  3. Tap the Screen Mirroring button. It looks like two overlapping rectangles.
  4. Select your Apple TV from the list that appears.
  5. If an AirPlay passcode pops up on your TV, enter the code on your iOS device.
  6. If you want to stop mirroring, open Control Center. Then, under Screen Mirroring, tap Stop Mirroring.

4. How do I cast my iPhone to my TV through Chromecast?

Chromecast users can use their iPhones to cast to any TV with a Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra plugged in. This is a more affordable option since the Chromecast dongles cost only about $35.

  1. Are your Apple device, Chromecast, and computer on the same Wi-Fi? If not, make it so.
  2. Plug the Chromecast into the HDMI port on your TV.
  3. Install and open a Chromecast-supported app on your iPhone or iPad.
  4. Tap the Cast button. (It’s a rounded rectangle with a Wi-Fi symbol in the bottom left corner.) Select “Chromecast” from the list of available devices to cast to TV.

Many popular smart TV brands now come with Chromecast already built in. Just look for the Cast button!

5. How do I connect my iPhone to a Roku Streaming Device?

There are a couple ways iPhone and iPad users can wirelessly connect their devices to a Roku streaming device.

Cast from your iOS device by doing the following:

  1. Make sure your iPhone and Roku device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. In a supported app such as YouTube or Netflix, look for the Cast button.
  3. Tap the Cast button, and select the Roku device from the list.

Use the “Play on Roku” feature of the Roku app by doing the following:

  1. Download the Roku mobile app to your iOS device.
  2. Launch the app.
  3. Choose the Photos+ option from the bottom navigation bar in the Roku app.
  4. Select the media you want to share to the Roku device.

6. How do I cast my iPhone to my TV with an app?

If you have a smart TV with built-in iPhone support, it should already have AirPlay (which we mentioned earlier). You can use AirPlay to connect your iPhone to your TV.

If your smart TV doesn’t have AirPlay, you can try a third-party Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) app. DLNA apps enable you to play music and video content that’s not protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Try using these DLNA apps to connect your iPhone to your TV:

  • McPlayer (Arkuda Digitial LLC)—Pro version is $4.99 (free, limited-functionality lite version available)
  • Nero Streaming Player (Nero AG)—free, has in-app purchases
  • UPnP/DLNA Streamer for TV (iStreamer)—free, has in-app purchases

Follow each app’s instructions in order to stream to your TV.

Final take

Whatever combination of devices you have, there’s a way to stream content and cast videos on the big screen. Get connected—then kick back and enjoy the show!

How to connect your iPhone to your TV FAQ

Can I mirror my iPhone on my TV?

Yes, you can, but you’ll need an Apple TV streaming device to do it or an AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV. If you got one of those (pricey) bad boys, all you have to do is connect your iPhone and Apple TV to the same Wi-Fi network and tap the AirPlay icon.

Another way to mirror your iPhone on your TV is by using a Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) app like McPlayer (free lite version or $4.99 pro version), Nero Streaming Player (free w/in-app purchases), or iStreamer’s UPnP/DLNA Streamer for TV (free w/in-app purchases).

Can I view pics from my iPhone on my TV?

Yes, you can. Just use AirPlay to connect to your Apple TV and show off your puppy pics. Or hook up an HDMI cable with dongle and check out all those Insta-worthy selfies on the big screen.

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