What's the best iPad TV app

Connect iPhone to TV: The best Apple TV alternatives

René Resch

We'll show you the best alternatives to Apple TV to connect your iPhone or iPad to the TV.

EnlargeWe'll show you the best alternatives to Apple TV to connect your iOS device to the TV

Streaming content from the iPhone or iPad to the television is of course most convenient with an Apple TV. Content is easily transferred with a tap on the airplay function, including selecting the recipient device.

Mirroring the iPhone or iPad screen is also particularly easy with an Apple TV. Again, you don't need any extra apps, investments or detours. You open the control center in your iOS device, tap on the screen synchronization and select your Apple TV.

But not everyone owns an Apple TV or is willing to pay the high price for Apple's streaming box. There are other possibilities, these are sometimes quite simple, but can also be a bit more complicated, and some of the possibilities are associated with additional investments. In this article we will show you some of the alternative options.

Amazon Fire TV

Since Apple launched its Apple TV + streaming service last fall, the manufacturer has overtaken its strategy a bit. A year ago it was not possible to stream content from the iPhone or iPad to a TV connected to the Amazon Fire TV Stick. The official Apple TV app has been available in the Amazon Store since autumn, with which the content from Apple TV + and the content from the iTunes Store can be played. This was not possible with external apps, as the content was DRM-protected. If you want to play Apple Arcade on your television, you still have to resort to other solutions. Apple Music is not available for Amazon devices as an extra app, but in a roundabout way as an Alexa skill. Apple Music via Alexa can be set up on Fire TV, Echo and Sonos devices with Alexa support. You have to note that Amazon's voice assistant works a little differently than Siri when it comes to commands.

Google Chromecast

The Chromecast function, if it is available in the apps, works perfectly with the iPhone. Content from Youtube, Netflix, Spotify and many other partner apps that support Chromecast can be easily streamed. The range of available apps is quite long.

An iPhone screen mirroring to a Chromecast device is much more complicated, but in principle possible. An additional app is required on the Chromecast for this, which serves as an intermediate station between the iPhone and the television. AirReceiver costs just under three euros in the Play Store, but there is also a free light version to try out.

Buy Google Chromecast for 39 euros

Current TVs with Airplay 2 support

If you have purchased a current television set in the last few months, it may be that your device supports Airplay 2 ex works or that it can support it after a firmware update. Newer models from Sony, Vizio, LG and Samsung in particular can play the content using the new streaming standard. All televisions that can support Airplay 2 can be found on this page. A rule of thumb is here: You can look for the new function on models from 2019 and newer, only a few Samsung televisions from 2018 can already use Airplay 2.

HDMI adapter

The iPhone or iPad can also be connected to a TV set using an HDMI adapter. With this method, the picture and sound are sent to the TV at the same time. Another big advantage: the adapter can be used to transmit images and sound to the television even without a WLAN connection. To do this, you need a Lightning cable, an HDMI cable and the Lightning Digital AV adapter from Apple. In the Apple Store this costs 55 euros.

Buy Lightning Digital AV Adapter from Apple for 55 euros

Alternatives to the expensive Apple adapter are available on Amazon, for example, although we cannot assess the quality of the alternative adapters at this point. The alternatives are already available on Amazon for around 20 euros.

Buy an HDMI adapter alternative from Amazon for 19.95 euros

TV, DLNA apps and HDMI adapters

Sometimes, however, you don't need an extra device to send content to your TV. Some TV manufacturers already offer suitable apps or are at least DLNA-capable (Digital Living Network Alliance, or DLNA for short). Samsung supports Airplay 2 with the latest models, this solution does not require any additional apps or adapters. The iOS app “Smart View” is available for older models. This means that content such as photos, videos and music can be streamed from iOS devices to a Samsung Smart TV from 2018 and earlier without any problems.

➤ Samsung Smart View for iOS

The catch: not every TV manufacturer offers suitable apps or these only exist as Android versions.

If so, you might be lucky enough to have DLNA on your television. With the “TV Assist” app, you can turn your iPhone or iPad into a DLNA server with which your television can communicate. In this way, content can also be sent to the television. Thanks to the free basic version, you can test without risk whether this function works with your TV.

➤ TV Assist for iOS

The last option would be HDMI adapters that support Airplay and DLNA, these are available on Amazon from around 30 euros. However, function and stability are difficult to predict with these alternatives.

Buy the Airplay / DLNA adapter from Amazon for 39.99 euros