Trying Out the New Digital AV Adapter for the iPad 2

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The most interesting new accessory from Apple for the iPad 2 is the Digital AV Adapter, aka the cable that  lets you do HDMI mirrored video output from the iPad 2 to your HD TV. I knew as soon as Apple announced these at the iPad 2 unveiling event that I wanted one, and I picked one up along with my new iPad on Friday afternoon.

This afternoon is the first chance I’ve had to try the new cable out. After just a quick play around with it, I’m impressed. There’s zero setup required to make this work – all you need is the Digital AV Adapter cable ($39 from Apple), and HDMI cable, and an HD TV. You plug one end of the HDMI cable into a free HDMI slot on your TV and the other end into the Digital AV Adapter. Then plug the Digital AV Adapter into the connector port on your iPad 2, and choose the right source (for the HDMI slot your used) on your TV, and away you go.

Video mirroring basically means sharing your iPad 2 screen to the TV. So everything you do on the iPad 2 is shown on the TV screen, regardless of what app you’re using. Audio is also shared from apps that support it – it worked a charm from the awesome Aweditorium music discovery app for me today.

Here’s Apple’s description of the Digital AV Adapter on their iPad 2 accessories page:

Put your slides, movies, photos, and everything else that fills your iPad screen on an even bigger screen — your HDTV. The new Apple Digital AV Adapter mirrors exactly what you see on your iPad so that everyone in the room can enjoy it on your widescreen TV, video projection screen, or other HDMI-compatible display. It even routes digital audio to screens that support it. And a second built-in 30-pin connector lets you charge your iPad while it’s mirroring. So you don’t have to worry about running out of battery mid-meeting, mid-scene, or mid-trip down memory lane.

This is definitely an iPad 2 accessory that I’m going to use a lot – at home and also for presentations at business meetings, and for the occasional bit of iPad training. I’m also very glad to hear that it works with a VGA Adapter as well, as my friend Joe pointed out at iSource today:

However, what you might not be aware of is that this works with the Dock Connector to VGA Adapter sold by Apple as well.    Obviously, this has some major benefits – you can use a monitor as your display (as pictured below), or connect iPad 2 with a projector to display pictures, documents, or anything else.

Have any of you tried out the Digital AV Adapter yet? If so, what do you reckon of it?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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5 thoughts on “Trying Out the New Digital AV Adapter for the iPad 2”

  1. Sounds really useful. I notice you wrote “iPad 2” throughout. Does it not work with the original iPad? I would like one but am not going to be getting an iPad 2.

    P.S. Ordered some of those mobile cloths on your recommendation and they work great!

  2. I have 2 questions I wonder if you or a reader can answer about this.
    1) Any tests on this cable with the first ipad?
    2) How is the quality of the cable compared to the Component Video cables Apple also offers?

    Thanks for any help someone can provide.

  3. @Canadian – glad you’re impressed with the Mobile Cloth. I continue to be as well.

    @Canadian and Steven – I believe the new cable is only ‘fully’ usable on the iPad 2, as in to use for video mirroring, though it looks like it supports straight video out on the original iPad. It certainly doesn’t seem to recognize my iPad V1 for the video mirroring.

    @Steven – I can’t really compare the quality to one of the component video cables, as those only ever let you throw YouTube or a limited number of apps onto a TV screen. I never used them much, and obviously not for apps like Photos and Keynote which I used today with the Digital AV Adapter.

  4. The Digital AV Adapter does work on the original iPad. However, it does not work with every app. I want to show photos using an external monitor, and would like to use my PhotoManager Pro app, which is excellent, but it does not work with the adapter.

    Apple’s native iPad Photo app does work with it, but it is a TERRIBLE app. How in the world does Apple think (non-Mac) users will be happy with a photo app that DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO CONTROL THE ORDER OF THE PHOTOS????

    By the way, the Apple people have been aware of this problem for several years, but refuse to fix it. This is the kind of insensitivity to customers that annoys me and a great many other people about Apple.

    Their way, or there’s the way!

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