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. Mr Smith, while most reading these posts are too busy making money or cranking out what passes for justice in our legal-techocrat order,I have often attempted to resist your cynicism, well thought out cynicism I admit. Please know that I give up, I can resist your logic no more. From Locknarian Platonic Guardians, through the incorporation doctine, to substantive due process, to Roe, to the latest demands that all states redefine the foundational stone of all civilized social order, the history of America's fall from Grace is inscribed on the dockets of the judiciary. From the federal judges' apostasy of a kind that would have caused John Jay to recommend capital punishment, to the state judges' refusal to protect the sanctuary of the state constitutions, seeing in them merely a font from which to protect pornographers, those who scream "f*ck the police" and pemubras and emanations following the federal apostates, it has been the judiciary, by and large, that has brought the Experiment in Ordered Liberty to an end. The Founders had great and high hopes that they had designed the third branch to save the Republic from such a time as this ... rather the third branch has allowed itself to be used to drag the Republic into rat infested sewers from which no nation has ever returned. Save me from tomorrow:

  2. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  3. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  4. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  5. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied