How to Use the iPad Untethered (wireless) with VGA Projector or Smart Board

In a previous post, we extolled the virtues of using Apple TV ($99 The Hytech Lawyer Store) to enable wireless presentations with the iPad.  Imagine, a teacher being able to wander the room with a wireless iPad to check the progress of individual students while at the same time simultaneously mirroring the content of their iPad to a projector, TV or Smart Board.  For Lawyers  (who are also teachers), the ability to use an untethered iPad for presentations (which if properly prepared can be tailored on the fly) has numerous applications—hearings, presentations, mediations, etc.

There is, however,  one small technical problem with this vision of iPad presentation paradise for many users.  Most smart board systems and LCD projectors have VGA inputs and do not have the HDMI input used by Apple TV (note: HD TVs and some high end projectors do come equipped with HDMI).  The first attempt that many make to overcome this obstacle is to try a VGA-HDMI adapter cable.   Unfortunately, just using an adapter will not work because HDMI is digital, while VGA is analog.  You need a HDMI to VGA converter to convert the digital signal to analog.

On the recommendation of others, we purchased the LinkStyle HD Video Converter ($ 44.98 The Hytech Lawyer Store).  After extensive testing, we are pleased to report that it works well.  Admittedly, the picture quality is not as crisp as a digital signal using HDMI, but it compares well to the typical LCD projector image quality.  Note that VGA does not support audio.  However, there is a miniplug audio jack that takes the audio from the HDMI input and allows you to connect speakers or input to a sound system.

It may just be me, but I think that the ability to make a presentation using a wireless iPad has a serious cool factor.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about a VGA adapter falling out during your presentation.  You can also connect to power during the presentation if you are running low.  Most of all, I like the ability to change my presentation on the fly because the iPad is in my hands.  This allows the tailoring of the presentation to the audience; e.g., a judge asking questions.  Questions anyone?


How to Use the iPad Untethered (wireless) with VGA Projector or Smart Board — 10 Comments

  1. I have been using this method of presenting to my Law Practice Management class at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, FL, this semester. It works well, but depending on the size of the room, it is possible to walk too far from the Apple TV unit and lose the connection between it and the iPad. The app I use to present my PowerPoint slides is 2Screens. It allows you to mark up the slides as they are being presented. It also has a web browser and a whiteboard function.

  2. I am a high school English teacher and this concept is incredibly intriguing! I just want to clarify that I am understanding this correctly. The setup is:

    Projector (or SMARTboard in my case) – Connects to – LinkStyle HD Video Converter – wirelessly connects to iPad.

    I guess my question is this: How does the Converter connect to the iPad? Is an app required? Or is it bluetooth? Also, is a wireless internet connection required?

    I am seriously considering purchasing this for my classroom, but I want to be absolutely sure that it will work for my needs. Thanks!

    • Chrissy:

      You are missing a step. You need an Apple TV device ($99) and a WIFI connection. If your SMARtboard is capable of taking digital (i.e.,has a place to input an HDMI cable) then you do not need the HD Video Converter, but can connect the Apple TV device directly to the SMARTboard via HDMI cable. The iPad connects to the Apple TV device wirelessly via the shared WIFI connection.

      However, more likely your SMARTboard has a standard computer VGA connection (analog). In this case, you need the HD converter too. AppleTV cabled by HDMI to HD Converter Box cabled by VGA to SMARTboard. The iPad is again connected wirelessly sharing the internet connection. This setup allows you to wander the class room wirelessly while still controlling your SMARTboard.

      Let me know if you have any more questions

      Bill Latham a/k/a The Hytechlawyer

      • Thank you do much for the clarification. I misread this as being a separate entity from Apple TV. Maybe someday Apple will make this setup more user friendly!

    • iPad1 does not Mirror so it would be much less useful. For those apps such as Keynote that provide for presentation on the iPad1, I would expect it to work, but have not confirmed.

  3. How does Apple TV display your presentation? I understand I think how the iPad would use and app like Remote or 2Screens as you suggested but how/where does Apple Tv get the presentation to display from? Do you need the PowerPoint/keynote file on your iPad or somewhere else? I think I’m missing a step.


  4. Pingback: Lawyer’s Toolbox: Mirror your iPad and iPhone to PC Without Apple TV Using AirServer | The Hytech Lawyer

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