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My mother got an iPad 2 and rarely ever uses her old computer anymore. She mostly uses it to look things up and watch video in the different Swedish TV-channels apps (like SVTPlay or TV4Play). The problem is that she has no way of viewing them on anything else but the iPad so she told me that she and my dad actually sat on the sofa in front of the TV looking at the iPad screen to see a show that they had missed. I was thinking that I should solve this problem for them for her birthday in a month.

What is the best, and most importantly, easiest way for them to watch these videos on their TV instead? I'm not sure if the apps support video out but since she has an iPad 2 I was thinking of video mirroring.

The real question is if it would be better to only use the cable directly to the TV or if they would gain from having an Apple TV so that they could wirelessly control the program from the sofa. The cable is a very direct and physical interaction that is easy to understand but it's not very long so you'd need to get up to pause the program.

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Your question is subjective in that you're asking us to assign a value for better as it pertains to a person unknown (at least to most of us). I'd vote for the AirPlay via AppleTV option myself, but it will be another input on the tv and will require some learning. Give it a try and if it doesn't work out you can always source a longer cable. –  jaberg Feb 12 '12 at 18:09
    
@jaberg From what I understand the cable option plugged in to the TV would also be another input!... –  markhunte Feb 12 '12 at 20:28
    
@markhunte is correct that the cable option would also require switching the TV input. The additional complexity of using AppleTV would pertain to the UI and switching video sources on that device. –  jaberg Feb 13 '12 at 8:07

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If money is not a problem I would recommend Apple TV.

Apple TV has the advantage of begin wireless, and as you said, your parents will be able to control it from their seat. This quite useful for watching watching shows, but even better for other things, like looking at pictures on your iPad on the big screen, for example.

On the intuitiveness, if your parents already know how to access the multitasking bar at the bottom of the iPad it is pretty easy: just a switch away. Practically speaking, easier than dealing with walking, plugging it in, and having to stand up to input things to the iPad, or dealing with a long cord.

Apple TV has many other advantages/features: Photo Stream through iCloud, Netflix, Youtube, flickr, Internet Radio, WSJ, Movie Rentals, TV Show Store, etc. I don't know how many would your parents use/need, and of course Movies and Shows come for an extra cost, but its something to keep a thought on.

It's $40 dollars more expensive though. If your parents don't need such features, they don't mind a cord, and if they don't really need controlling their iPad while displaying something on the big screen, than it's some good $40 to save, but if you can spare it I think you get plenty of extra features and wireless commodity from it.

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Another option is if you have an old Mac lying around just hook that up to your parent's tv and use AirServer. Alternatively you can pick up a Mac Mini on ebay quite cheaply and use that. Then you have the full power of a Mac that can be used for many things (backup hub for other Macs in the house) as well as an AirPlay terminal.

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The easiest thing to do would be to buy an Apple TV. I don't know about you, but I find cabling to the TV cumbersome and how far away you can sit is an issue. You want to have your iPad on your lap when you're viewing content on the TV, getting up each time to change something isn't very practical, call me lazy I guess.

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Your simplest option may just be the Apple Digital AV Adapter and a long HDMI cable.

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While the Apple TV is certainly the slicker, more elegant option, I agree that a long cable is simplest. This is what we've done. –  james.garriss Feb 13 '12 at 1:05

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