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4 simple ways to connect your iPhone to your TV

Camryn Smith

Aug 24, 2023 — 5 min read

Want to connect your iPhone to your TV? Using a cable or even wirelessly, it's easy to watch your streaming apps, music and even see your holiday snaps on the big screen.

Most of us are used to watching videos and listening to music on our iPhones and iPads.

But did you know it’s really simple to send video and music from your phone to your TV (and even your home stereo)?

There are several simple options, ranging from plugging in a cable to beaming the signals wirelessly via a smart TV or Apple TV. Airplay is probably the easiest way to connect your iPhone to your TV, but you’ll need an Airplay-compatible smart TV. If you don’t have one, using an HDMI cable is still a simple process. 

On this page:

Connecting your iPhone to your TV with an HDMI cable

This might be the cheapest way for you to use your apps and see your favorite content on a bigger screen, and the good news its it’ll also support both sound and video – and is really simple. If you have an iPad, this method might also be useful for you – although you may need a different type of adapter (also known as a dongle).

What you need:

  • HDMI cable
  • Digital AV Adapter
  • TV with an unused HDMI port

When buying HDMI cables, there’s a huge selection to choose from.

Think about your budget, interests and most common uses. Also bear in mind the cable will need to run from the back of your TV to your iPhone – so make sure you buy one that’s long enough.

Additionally, when buying any cables making sure that your iPhone and iOS software are compatible with the one you choose.

How to connect your iPhone with an HDMI cable and the Lightning Adapter

apple lighting adapter
  1. Connect one end of the HDMI cable to a free HDMI port on your TV. Look for it on the sides of the TV and also behind it. It should have the HDMI label on it – make a note of the number.
  2. Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the Lightning Digital AV Adapter.
  3. Connect the Lighting connector to your iPhone.
  4. Turn on your TV and use your remote control or the TV controls to switch to the correct HDMI port you just plugged the cable into.
  5. The picture and sound from your iPhone or iPad should appear on screen.

Using a Plug and Play cable to connect your iPhone to your TV

If you have a TV that allows you to connect a USB to your phone you can get a Plug and Play cable that has an HDMI side, a USB connection and also the Lighting side for your iPhone, instead of having to buy two different cables. But bear in mind that certain HDMI cables will not support paid subscriptions and apps.

How to connect your iPhone with a Plug and Play cable

  1. Connect one side of the HDMI cable to the HDMI port as well as the USB side in your TV. Look for ports with the HDMI and USB label on it.
  2. Connect the Lighting side into your iPhone.
  3. Turn on your TV and look for the HDMI input you chose.
  4. Start enjoying what is on your phone on your TV.

Connecting your iPhone to your smart TV

Some models of smart TV actually have iPhone support built in – look for a feature called Airplay on your TV’s specs.

For TVs that don’t support Airplay, there are specific apps, depending on the brand of your TV, that allows you to mirror what you are seeing on your iPhone on your TV. This way you can play games and stream your paid subscriptions on a big screen.

What you need:

  • A smart TV
  • Your iPhone compatible with your smart TV operating system
  • A mirroring app

Depending on the brand of your smart TV there might be a brand-specific app to stream photos and videos directly from your iPhone and you can also use the app as a remote control. If you don’t have a TV-specific app, the Nero Streaming Player app lets you mirror the content in your iPhone directly to your smart TV.

How to connect your iPhone to your smart TV

  1. Download the app. In this case, we are using Nero Streaming Player as an example.
  2. Connect your iPhone and your smart TV to the same Wi-Fi connection.
  3. Choose what you want to stream and select the button that lets you stream specific content from your iPhone into your TV.

Connecting your iPhone to your TV with Airplay

If you have an Apple TV, you can use its features to almost instantaneously connect your phone to your TV. You can use the options to stream music, presentations, share photos on your TV, see videos and more. Some of the latest TVs also have Airplay built in, meaning you can connect directly using the process below.

What you need:

  • Apple TV or an Airplay compatible TV
  • A compatible iOS device

If your iOS device is compatible, just follow these instructions to connect your phone to your TV with your Apple TV.

How to connect your iPhone with Apple TV

  1. Connect your iOS device and Apple TV to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Depending on the version you have, swipe up or down to show and open the Control Center. For iPhones with iOS 12 or later, swipe down. For earlier versions, swipe up.
  3. Tap Screen mirroring and select your Apple TV or Airplay-compatible TV from the list. If AirPlay is an option and appears on your TV screen, enter the name in your iOS device.
  4. Choose the screen orientation — vertical or horizontal — that you want the TV to show by simply turning your phone – the TV dispaly will adapy automatically.
  5. Enjoy your favorite content on the big screen.

This option is also how you connect an iPad and iPod Touch to your Apple TV.

Big screen or small screen, you decide

Once you connect your iPhone to your TV with the option best for you, you can start viewing everything that you see on your phone on your TV – you aren’t limited to just video; you can also mirror the screen, which is great for looking at pictures and even browsing websites.

Remember that for a better view, you can turn your phone sideways. Usually, videos do this automatically on both your phone and your TV, and even if your phone is horizontal, it will change to full landscape view on your TV.

The apps that only work horizontally won’t change to sideways or vertically since they are not programmed to do so.

Remember: If you want to know how to connect your iPad to your TV you can use the same steps.


Can you cast your iPhone to your TV?

Yes, there are multiple ways to connect your iPhone to your TV. Apple Airplay is an easy way to do it wirelessly. 

No, you don’t need an iPhone to connect to your TV. Most smartphones can be connected through a USB or HDMI adapter.

As long as your laptop has an HDMI port, you can connect it to your TV. 

No, you can connect your iPhone to any smart TV wirelessly, or to any type of TV with an HDMI cable. 

Camryn Smith

Written by:

Camryn Smith

Associate Writer

Camryn Smith is an Associate Writer with Allconnect.com. She specializes in writing about the broadband industry and helping consumers navigate complex internet service purchasing decisions…. Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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