Quick Tip: Showing PowerPoint Presentations on the iPad (Part 2)

In Part 1, of Showing PowerPoint Presentations on the iPad, we focused on a few apps used to present in the courtroom or to clients. In Part 2, we are focusing on the hardware.  Specifically, we are going to address the Apple TV wireless setup.  This wireless setup is particularly helpful if you are doing courtroom presentations using PowerPoint, Keynote, or courtroom-specific apps like TrialPad.

Apple TV

The first thing to note is Apple TV is not a television or monitor.  It is a device (small box) that plugs into your HD projector or HD large monitor/TV.  It receives the wireless video signal from your iPad and delivers images and video to your projector or large monitor.  The Apple TV device looks like this:


What you Need

  • A high-definition TV (HDTV) or projector that can display 720p or 1080p video
  • Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) $99 at any Apple Store
  • An HDMI cable $10-$30
  • Sometimes you will need an HDMI to VGA Converter if you do not have a projector with an HDMI input, or if the courtroom only has VGA inputs at counsel table.  This is a lower quality display than HDMI, but it works fine and is sometimes essential.  An example: the Kanex ATV Pro, which runs $49.95
  • Wireless Router (small or somewhat portable).  I recommend that you do NOT rely on public WiFi in the courtroom or elsewhere.  Connectivity is too spotty.  I bring my own wireless router.  Here are just 2 of dozens that would work fine:
    • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11n Dual-Band Wi-Fi Wireless Router, Model A1354 ($99)
    • Linksys Dual N Band Wireless Router – WRT610N 802.11n ($50)


  1. Setup Wireless Network:  Set up your wireless network with encryption.  You may want to have your IT folks do this to save time.  If you are adventurous, it isn’t difficult.  Here are two excellent guides from PCWorld that can help:
    How to Set Up a Wireless Router
    How to Secure Your Wireless Network
    Write down your network name (SSID) and password and keep them in a safe place.  I write mine on a label and affix it to the inside of my router box or Apple TV box for convenience.
  2. Connect Apple TV to your Television or Projector:  Unbox your AppleTV, plug in the power cable, and plug in the Apple TV device via the HDMI cable into your HD television or projector.  Turn on your television or projector and switch the input to the HDMI source where the Apple TV is connected.
  3. Setup AirPlay Password:  Using the Apple TV remote control, under Settings > AirPlay, select On and add a password.  Note the password in a safe location.  I also write it on a label and affix it to the inside bottom of the AppleTV box.
  4. Connect AppleTV to Wireless Network:  Under Settings > General > Network, select Configure WiFi and select your wireless network from the list and enter your network password.  It may take a couple minutes to negotiate the connection.
  5. Turn Off Apple TV Screen Saver:  Under Settings > Screen Saver, select Never.  This will prevent Apple TV from showing wild animals in the middle of your presentation in the event that it sits idle for more than 5 minutes!
  6. Connect your iPad to Apple TV:  Double-click on the iPad Home button so it reveals the multi-tasking dock at the bottom.  Swipe the Dock to the Right.  You will see an additional button/icon for AirPlay.  Tap on the AirPlay button, select your Apple TV and turn Mirroring to the On position.  In a few seconds, you should see your iPad displayed on your large screen.ipad-ppt
  7. Backup Plan – Wired Setup:  Always have a backup plan!  In the event something goes wrong, bring your iPad to VGA adapter or iPad to HDMI adapter so you can plug your iPad directly into your television or projector.  I bring both adapters out of paranoia.  Both cost $15 – $20 each and can be purchased at any Apple store or online.
iPad to VGA Adapter
iPad to HDMI Adapter


Additional Resources

Official Apple TV Setup Guide

Kanex ATV Pro HDMI to VGA Adapter ($49.00)


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