iPad Presenting 07: Wired iPad to VGA with the Apple Digital AV Adapter

Created: Wednesday, February 8, 2012, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:00 am



So much about presenting with an iPad depends upon how you can send the visual signals from your iPad to the projector or television outputs. We have already established that the wireless way of connecting the iPad to an output is far superior since it lets you hold the iPad in your hand and control your slides wirelessly – that way you are free to move around in your presentation venue – more often than not this approach requires an in-between device such as an Apple TV 2.

What we have not discussed so far is how you can use a wired option that lets you cable your iPad directly to an output such as a VGA capable projector or television. Well, this has been actually possible much before the advent of Apple TV 2 or even the iPad 2. What you need is the Apple Digital AV Adapter, and this product has been available in some form (or some name) or the other since the launch of the original first generation iPad. You can see how this looks in the picture below.

If you go to the Apple Store page for this product, you will read all sorts of bad reviews! One of the reviewers says: “People buy these accessories mostly to do demos of apps, or to mirror whatever’s on their device’s screen?…I found that it only works when playing video…” Yes, the reviewer has got it right — this product has limitations depending upon which iPad you are using:

  • iPad 2 users can use this product to mirror whatever they see on their iPad screens with few exceptions — even in those cases, you may see something else on the iPad screen but you will see what you expect to see on the larger screen projected.
  • iPad 1 users are not so lucky — and that’s because on iPad 1, only the Photos and Videos apps can send audio-visual signals to a projector or television output.

Beyond these limitations, the product works as advertised!

Trivia: When first released, Apple called this product the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter even though you never needed to connect this to the iPad Dock! You could connect it straight from the iPad to the VGA output. Maybe they just wanted to sell some iPad Docks by confusing buyers — but then they later renamed the product to Apple Digital AV Adapter.

See Also:
iPad Presenting 01 – First Questions First
iPad Presenting 02 – Presenter’s View in PowerPoint: Conversation with Rikk Flohr
iPad Presenting 03 – Air Display: Conversation with Dave Howell
iPad Presenting 04 – Add an Apple TV
iPad Presenting 05 – What is AirPlay?
iPad Presenting 06 – Connecting a TV or Projector to Apple TV

Categories: ipad, keynote, powerpoint

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