Connecting Apple TV to a VGA Projector or Screen

If you want to connect an Apple TV to a VGA screen or projector without a HDMI port then this article is for you.

HDMI to VGA

Every Apple TV has a HDMI port which carries the audio and video information to your display. If you do not have an input port on your display then you can purchase a converter that will connect your Apple TV and Display together. You may also need to buy a cable or two if you want both the audio and video signals to be sent to your display.

Connecting it up

This diagram shows you how the various components connect together:

Connecting Apple TV to VGA Projector

Parts List

Things to be aware of

HDMI carries both the audio and video signals so if your screen or projector doesn’t have a speaker (or the speaker isn’t powerful enough) then you may need to handle the audio separately.

If you are mirroring an iPad onto the Apple TV then it has a native aspect ratio of 4:3. If your screen natively outputs to 16:9 or 16:10 then you will probably see black bars either side of the mirrored image. Don’t fear though when you stream widescreen video the native aspect ratio of the display is recognised and the bars disappear.

Audio

You can send the audio to a separate set of speakers either as an output of the converter or from the Toslink port. Have a look at this article for more information concerning connecting amp and speakers through Toslink.

Best feature

What I like most about this setup is that if you have an older projector you still can have the full Apple TV experience without breaking the bank. This is particularly useful if you wish to wirelessly project images, video or presentations for your enjoyment or to help engage an audience.

  4 comments for “Connecting Apple TV to a VGA Projector or Screen

  1. John
    07/01/2014 at 1:40 pm

    Can you project an Ibook using this method ?

    • 07/01/2014 at 1:43 pm

      Yes you can. This works great if you want to use an iBooks as a presentation medium.

  2. Marcos Ghali
    10/12/2015 at 7:16 pm

    I use the HDMI to VGA converter but it doesn’t fill the whole projector screen. I tried to change settings of video output but no use. is there a solution to this? and does the new apple TV fix this problem?

    • 21/12/2015 at 10:30 am

      Try turning overscan off. You need to remember that the Apple TV outputs at 16:9, whilst the native resolution of older projectors tend to be 4:3. Some are better than others with dealing with the different aspect ratio. Your mileage may vary.

      All Apple TVs are designed this way, so if you projector isn’t playing ball, then it may be time for an upgrade.

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