TV with USB and HDMI inputs

It’s a question we’re asked often: can I connect my iPad to my TV’s USB port? The short answer is no, you can’t.

The confusion is understandable, since a lot of modern TVs allow you to plug in a USB flash drive and play video from it. However, with the iPad – and most tablets – that’s not an option. Even though Apple’s Camera Connection kit includes an adaptor with a USB port, it can’t be used to output video.

iPad camera connection kit 30-pin

The iPad can be connected to a TV, but you’ll need Apple’s Digital AV adaptor in order to get the requisite HDMI output. It’s also possible to buy an analogue AV adaptor for older TVs with only a VGA or component input, but HDMI is the best option if your TV has a free port.

You can find out exactly how this works in our guide: How to connect your iPad to an HD TV

iPad connect to TV via AirPlay

Another option, which is also covered in that guide, is to buy an Apple TV. Both the second- and third-generation Apple TV devices support AirPlay whereby you can send video and audio wirelessly from your iPad to your TV.

Apple TV

If you just want music, you can buy an AirPlay or Bluetooth speaker system for wireless audio streaming, or simply use the iPad’s headphone jack (and the appropriate minijack cable) to connect it to the line (or aux) input of any hi-fi system that has one.

If you want to add Bluetooth to an old hi-fi that has no wireless capabilities, there are numerous options including the Arcam rBlink and Bayan Audio StreamPort

Arcam rBlink