Technology Untangled: Display your iPad on the big screen at trial

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technology-bourThe iPad is a convenient and useful personal device for many daily work (and play) activities. However, when it comes time to show what is on your 9.7-inch screen and share it with others, the iPad can use a little help. Today we will look at what you need to do in order to share your display on an HDTV or a projector while in court, a meeting or mediation.

There are adapters available that will allow you to wire your iPad directly to an external display, and I will discuss them later. For courtroom settings, however, I think that a wireless connection method is a better solution because it allows more freedom of movement and there’s less to trip over. The device that can facilitate this is a $99 black box called Apple TV. With it, you can send a Wi-Fi signal from your iPad and display your screen image on any device that accepts an HDMI input.

Apple TV is intended primarily as an entertainment device. It functions as a streaming media player for Netflix and similar online content. If streaming is all you are interested in, there are better and less-expensive alternative devices such as the Roku. The important function for work purposes that is included with the Apple TV is the AirPlay feature with Mirroring. It puts your small screen on the big screen.

The instructions included inside the Apple TV package surprisingly contain no information about using this feature. It almost seems that AirPlay is an afterthought. The only mention is on the box. It briefly says that you can wirelessly mirror the screen of your iPad on your TV. The mirror function is the most important feature for our purposes. Fortunately, there is plenty of detailed information available online by visiting

In order to send a signal from the iPad to the Apple TV, both devices must be communicating through the same local network via a wireless router. It is a straightforward matter to connect the Apple TV to your router and enter the router password. This works fine for displaying your iPad through your own home or office Wi-Fi, but it presents a major drawback for court or other locations. You don’t want to depend on or connect through someone else’s public Wi-Fi router.

There is a solution for this Wi-Fi dilemma, but it involves more hardware and more configuring. This begins to step us beyond the “untangled” range of Technology Untangled, but stay with me here. What you will need is a portable travel Wi-Fi router. They are designed to interconnect all of your Wi-Fi devices, whether or not you have an Internet connection. Apple offers one, the AirPort Express ($99), but there are less-expensive similar devices such as the TP LINK TL-WR700N Wireless Router ($29). Be sure to pre-configure this router to “talk” with both your iPad and your Apple TV before you go to court.

Now that we have the wireless connection sorted out, let’s use it to present in court. You will need to connect an HDMI cable from the Apple TV box to the HDTV or the projector. HDMI sends both the high-definition 1080p video signal and the audio signal to the TV. Verify that both devices are talking to your portable router. Bring up the iPad multitasking bar by double clicking the Home button. Swipe to the right until you see the Mirroring icon, which looks like a rectangle with an upward pointing triangle at its base. Click on it and put a check next to the Apple TV AirPlay choice, then swipe the Mirroring switch to ON. Your iPad screen should now be showing on the TV. When held in portrait mode, your iPad screen only uses about one-third of the television display area. When held in landscape mode, the enlarged display area looks much better.

Now you can use your iPad as normal to display documents, videos, spreadsheets, photos, whatever you need to provide a persuasive presentation! One quirk I noticed is that when videos are played in full screen mode, they are not simultaneously displayed on the iPad, but instead only on the big screen. Also, the audio will only be heard on the big screen, but the volume can be adjusted from the iPad’s volume control.

If after all of this, the wireless configuration seems like too much trouble, there are wired solutions. For the iPad 2, try the Apple digital A/V adapter ($40). For the newer iPad with Retina Display or the iPad Mini, buy the Apple Lightning digital A/V adapter ($50). Both of these will also require a long HDMI cable to stretch from the iPad to the TV.

If you have any questions or problems with taking your iPad to the big screen, please drop me an email and I will be glad to help.•


Stephen Bour ( is an engineer and legal technology consultant in Indianapolis. His company, the Alliance for Litigation Support Inc., includes Bour Technical Services and Alliance Court Reporting. Areas of service include legal videography, tape analysis, document scanning to CD and courtroom presentation support. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues