Travel Tip: Watch Your iPad Movies on the Big Screen HDTV in Your Room

If you have an iPad 2, then you have the ability to mirror your display to either VGA or HDMI connections. While most hotels now have LCD/LED Flat Panels in their guest rooms, some even let you connect your own gear to them. Marriotts are known for this and while I was in Copenhagen I decided to watch some of my rented movies on the 32″ HDTV in my room.

What does it take to connect your iPad to a HDTV?

If your HDTV has an available HDMI port then it’s much easier as Apple sells an iPad HDMI (Digital AV) adapter. The best part about this adapter is that not only does it send the video and sound, but it also has a standard 30 pin connector so that you can attach your power/sync cable too. This way your iPad can be charging while you’re watching your video content. There is nothing really to setup. All you do is plug in the cable and adapter and your iPad 2 will automatically mirror its display to your HDTV.


What if my Hotel Room only has a VGA connection?

Not all hotels offer an HDMI connection. Some offer only a VGA connection assuming that you’ll be connecting your laptop. Before the iPad 2, Apple sold a VGA iPad Adapter. The good news is that this Adapter works just fine on iPad 2 as well. The downside is that the VGA connection doesn’t carry sound. So if you want to also output sound to your TV, you’ll need an adapter from your headphone jack out to RCA (left/right) connections or to a 3.5mm in.


The Bottom Line

If you’re on the road and you’ve got some time to kill and movies to watch, you might as well enjoy them on a bigger screen.

Here’s what you’ll want

Besides an iPad 2, you’ll want the following adapters/cables:

iPad HDMI (Digital AV) Adapter

Thin HDMI cable for easy travel (hotel rooms most likely will not have any cables for these connections)


If you want to be prepared for just about any connection, then you’ll want these too:

iPad VGA Adapter

Thin VGA Cable

3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable

3.5mm to RCA cable

4 Replies to “Travel Tip: Watch Your iPad Movies on the Big Screen HDTV in Your Room”

  1. Unless of course the kind folks at the hotel do not allow you access to the INPUT control on the menu, because the TV has no physical input button on the TV, (or they have disabled it, which is fun too) and also swapped out the remote for a lame simplified one (without an INPUT button, mind you) and therefore force you to stomach their rip-off “in room” service, and when you call the front desk and ask how to change the INPUT on the TV, they kindly say “you are not allowed to access the TV menus, please use the cable menus, thank you”.

    Happened more times that I care to share.

  2. You have solved my issue(s) several times , so I thought I would get your input on this one.

    I was wondering if there is a USB/ Charger combo similar to the Digital AV Adapter that has a charge input and a HDMI output ?

    I would like to be able to power my iPhone while attached to the USB connector for my car audio system.

    I can use bluetooth to stream Pandora for example, however in bluetooth mode, I do not get album art and access to my channels, where they work fine via USB.

    Appreciate any thoughts or suggestions as always.

    1. Sorry to bother you Terry. Just realized that USB port in car is also providing some charge much like when phone is attached to computer. No need for split cable like Digital AV connector.

  3. Hi Terry,

    Thanks for validating my theory. I can mirror my iPad2 display on my HDTV so I figured I should be able to do the same at a hotel with the same setup. Bodie
    Quirk makes a valid point though. Do you have any recommendations for addressing this prior to checking into the hotel? Maybe chatting with the audio/visual tech? Threaten to stay at another hotel maybe?:). Thanks again for your information. I see you’re a photographer. Do you use the PhotoShop Touch app? Do you like/dislike?



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