July 28, 2012, 7:43 AM — The iPad's king-size display is great for watching a movie by yourself, but it's not so great for group screenings. Fortunately, getting it working with the HDTV in your living room for impromptu movie nights, vacation photo slideshows, or YouTube viral video marathons isn't difficult. Depending on your needs and preferred uses, you'll be working either with a wired adapter (HDMI, VGA, or Composite video) or with an Apple TV and AirPlay--we'll walk you through both methods in this article.
Wirelessly Mirror Your iPad With Apple TV and AirPlay
Thanks to Apple's AirPlay technology in the new Apple TV, you can easily mirror your iPad's display to your HDTV wirelessly--assuming, of course, that you have the new Apple TV, which will run you about $100. If you plan on regularly using your HDTV with your iPad at home, this is the most elegant method available, but it's also the most expensive (and you probably aren't eager to park yet another box beneath your HDTV).
Setting up AirPlay with an Apple TV is pretty straightforward. The hardware requirements are an iPad 2 or iPad 3 running iOS 5 or later, and a second- or third-generation Apple TV running software version 5.0 or later. You'll also need a Wi-Fi network to connect the iPad to the Apple TV, since the iPad doesn't have an ethernet port.
Once your iPad and Apple TV are turned on and connected to the same network, double-click the Home button on your iPad to make the Recently Used Apps bar open on the bottom. Swipe from left to right until you see an icon consisting of a rectangle with a triangle in front of it (it's a stylized HDTV). Tap that icon, and you'll see a list of available AirPlay devices on your network; select the one you want to use, and toggle the Mirroring switch to On. At this point your Apple TV should display your iPad's screen on your HDTV.