All iPads iPad in teaching: Hdmi or Apple TV?

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by norwaypianoman, Feb 8, 2013.


What video output did you buy?

Poll closed Jun 24, 2014.
  1. None

    0 vote(s)
  2. HDMI Adapter

    2 vote(s)
  3. HDMI Adapter & Apple TV

    0 vote(s)
  4. Only Apple TV

    2 vote(s)
  5. Third party or other

    0 vote(s)
  1. macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Why are the pros and cons of both, when my needs are:

    Showing fairly good resolution powerpoint, video and maybe live notes on a rather big screen.

    And when needs is, that it must be stable and work in very different environments and setups.

    What shows what, airplay vs. Hdmi adapter.

    If you want to answer as generic as possible, it would be helpful for more than me. I have the new iPad, generation 3, iPad 3.

    Thank you very kindly.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2013
    Your poll is incomplete since you're completely ignoring the VGA adapter. I use my iPad (mini) for teaching, and I bought the VGA adapter. HDMI is still not very common in a lot of schools and offices, but VGA is pretty much everywhere.

    An Apple TV is useless unless you know that the only place(s) you'll be using it has a network that it works on. Typically, schools use weird wifi security measures that renders it useless.

    You could buy a cellular data-enabled iPad and use its WiFi hotspot feature to create a direct connecting to the Apple TV, but that still leaves you with only HDMI. You could buy a HDMI to VGA converter, but since it's a converter and not adapter, they will run you about half the cost of the Apple TV, increasing the total cost of the setup.

    Both an Apple TV, HDMI adapter, and VGA adapter would display the same resolutions with an iPad 3. That resolution is also decided by the screen you're connecting to, and in my experience, a lot of school projectors don't use anything close to 1080p.

    Btw, if you're doing PP presentations on your iPad, you should look at the Satechi Bluetooth Smart Pointer. Genius accessory for that use
  3. Abazigal, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013

    macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    Is your workplace using vga or hdmi projectors?

    If vga projector, you will need a vga to hdmi adaptor for your apple tv. However, the next, not-so-readily-apparent problem is that the image from your projector will end up filling just half the screen. You should be able to adjust the size of the projection, but it can be troublesome (especially if you need to adjust it back for the next person), or if the max setting is not enough.

    As mentioned, network restrictions can be a problem, especially if they block the ports required for airplay, which then forces you to tether either from your phone or ipad, or supply an alternate source of wifi (e.g.: bring your own router). Showing the latest itunes offerings can also be distracting.

    The advantage here is that you are free to move around the stage, or even the room while still being able to manipulate the screen (even moreso than a clicker app).

    Using a vga or hdmi projector means you have to be stuck behind whatever table you are presenting from (which may or may not be an issue). It is however, by far the most reliable and cost effective solution.

    The third option, if you have a laptop, is to spring for a copy of airserver, which lets you mirror your ipad to your laptop screen, which you then connect to the projector. This is by far the best, IMO, if not the most expensive, but it still needs both devices to be on the same network. I also invested in a cheap portable router and a monthly mobile wireless plan + dongle (because my telco didn't allow tethering at the time).
  4. macrumors 68040


    The only difference between the Apple TV and a HDMI adapter is that one is wired, and the other one is wireless, as far as the iPad is concerned.

    The VGA adapter on the other hand transmits analog signals as opposed to the digital signals of HDMI, hence the image quality is inferior.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2013
    That's a simplification on both accounts. Yes, the Apple TV ends up sending out an HDMI signal, and the iPad doesn't really care. However, it requires a compatible wireless network and a power outlet to get there, so it's not like you can just get the Apple TV instead of the HDMI adapter and use the in the same places.

    As for VGA, image quality might be inferior, but not in any way that matters for teaching. The TS is a lucky guy if he teaches somewhere that's fully HDMI capable, but in my experience, VGA is still king for teaching
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Ok folks, please look past the poll.

    I am sorry, Cptnodegard, I forgot the VGA adapter. I presumed people did not buy them any more. I was wrong. Thank you for very practical tips on Apple TV. Yes. I teach in some new buildings only. All with HDMI. Norway is full of money.

    Workplace is using very new systems with hdmi. I am most grateful for input on wifi and airplay. It is most useful. I stopped using laptops when iPad came. Maybe I should have bought and Macbook Air instead.

    Giuly. Thanks too.

    It seems like I should try the cable, so I can avoid the WLAN hassle. It is cheaper and more stable for teaching and presentation. I can sit much of the time yes.
  7. macrumors member

    May 14, 2011
    Some observations based on my experience:

    I have used the VGA adapter with my iPad in my classroom many times and it projects the iPad desktop very well through my projector. I'm sure that if I had an HDMI projector it would look even better. The only complaint I have with the cable adapters, other than you have to sit with the iPad somewhere, is that they don't connect tightly. I find them easy to dislodge. Also, now that I have an iPad mini I will either need to get an adapter for the adapter or buy the newer version because of the new style connection port on the recent iPads.

    We have wireless at my school and Splashtop remote is great if you want to control your Smartboard/Powerpoint/internet via the iPad and display it via your projector. It works very smoothly and I like that I can walk around rather than sit at my desk when doing a presentation. So far I haven't experienced any slowness or glitches...

    I have also used Airserver (a similar program is Reflector) to display my iPad desktop wirelessly through my projector. These worked great at my home but at my school my teacher laptop is on one wireless access and the "guest" access for my iPad is a different one. Unless you are on the same wireless it doesn't seem to work. Splashtop works fine at my school, however, even with this difference, so maybe I just set up something wrong in the Airserver program. It's a nice way to display the iPad screen wirelessly without needing the adapter cable (or Apple TV).

    My school has looked at Apple TV but since these other programs do the same thing and are cheaper we have decided to try them instead.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2013
    The Lightning version of the adapter is actually better than the 30 pin. It's unlikely to ever accidentally dislodge, however, considering the size/weight of the iPad mini, the cable might just drag the whole thing off the table xD

    Apparently not the part of Norway I'm in :p Not all schools, anyways.

    I'd try a laptop with Reflector/Airserver and see if that worked for you. If the classrooms have their own computers, you can even try to see if you can get those apps working there. Then you could stream wirelessly to those computers without spending an øre on hardware :D

    If there are computers in each room, they might be on a wired connection. If so, and it doesn't work, try a USB WiFi adapter with them, and see if that worked. I tried to get an iPad mini->Airplay->classroom computer w/Reflector setup working by plugging in a USB wifi adapter, but the network stopped the connection between iPad and computer.
  9. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    An ipad would definitely be the better choice if you want to be able to annotate directly over documents (say using the notability app and a stylus). The only issue is that you are still sitting behind a table, which isn't much different from a tablet laptop (which allows you to open multiple windows for easy switching between multiple programs).

    Anyways, my school is still using all vga projectors. Reason being that they suffice for the laptops issued. I am not sure of the costs though. But their resolution maxes out at 800x600. Hmm...I will try this with my friend's ipad mini and see if it appears any smaller compared to my ipad3 (never thought of it as a resolution issue).

    Always a pleasure to learn how other educators are using ICT in their teaching. :D
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2013
    Riverside, CA
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2013
    I have that pointer, and also wrote the review you're linking to ;) It is indeed an awesome accessory for any teacher, packed with tons of features.
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2008

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