Are you looking for ways to stream Netflix movies from your laptop or mobile device to your TV screen? If yes, then you might want to consider using an HDMI cable.
HDMI cables are becoming increasingly common these days. They allow you to connect devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. to TVs, monitors, projectors, and other display devices.
However, some people are still wondering whether they can use a Lightning cable linked through to an HDMI cable to connect their mobile device to a television in order to watch Netflix.
In this article we’ll be exploring how this is possible, and why some problems might arise when you try this.
So, Does Lightning To HDMI Work With Netflix?
The short answer is that it all depends on the model of your iPhone or iPad. In fact, there’s no guarantee that it will work at all!
If you’re using an Apple iPhone 7, 8, X, or XR, then you won’t have any luck connecting to a TV via Lightning to HDMI. This is because Apple has made changes to its operating system which prevent you from doing so.
If you’re using an older version of iOS (iOS 11) however, then you should be able to do so. You just need to make sure that the following conditions are met:
Your iPhone or iPad must be connected to the same network as your TV.
You must have an active internet connection on both your phone and your TV.
Your phone must be set up to share the internet connection over Wi-Fi.
If all of these conditions are met, then you should be good to go.
How Does Lighting To HDMI Work With Your Phone?
When you plug in a Lightning to HDMI cable into your iPhone or iPad, the cable will automatically detect the presence of another lightning port on the back of your device. It will then attempt to establish a connection between them.
This means that if you’ve got an iPhone 7 or newer, then you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your phone to connect to your TV. However, if you’re using an older model of iPhone, then things could get tricky.
Why Might I Get A Connection Error When Trying To Connect My Device Via Lightning To HDMI?
There are several reasons why you might experience a connection error when trying to connect your iPhone or iPad to your TV via Lightning to HDMI:
The first reason is simply that your phone isn’t compatible with your TV. If you haven’t tried before, then you may find that your TV doesn’t support Lightning connections.
Another possibility is that your TV may not be compatible with your iPhone or iPad. Some modern televisions don’t support older versions of iOS.
And finally, you may simply be unable to connect to your TV due to a poor signal strength. If you live somewhere where there are lots of buildings or trees around, then you may struggle to receive a strong enough signal.
Ultimately though, the main issue you’re going to have lies within something that’s called HDCP ( High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) . This is a security protocol used by many different companies to protect copyrighted content.
HDCP prevents unauthorized copying of digital video signals. The problem arises when you try to connect your iPhone or tablet to your TV via Lightning. Because of this, the Lightning ports cannot pass the HDCP checks required for the connection to succeed.
Adapters For iPhones No Longer Being HDCP Compliant
These issues arose after 2017 when Apple began enforcing HDCP compliance requirements. As such, some manufacturers decided to remove their HDCP compatibility. For instance, Samsung removed HDCP compatibility from its 2018 TVs.
As such, if you’re experiencing problems with your iPhone or iPad attempting to connect to your TV via Lightning, it’s likely because your TV does not support HDCP.
What Can I Do About This?
Well, you could always buy a new iPhone or iPad instead of using your old one. But if you really want to use your existing device, then you’ll need to take some steps to bypass HDCP.
Fortunately, these are steps that are pretty easy to do. The easiest and least technical is simply by buying yourself another HDMI cable.
These cables usually come with a built-in splitter which allows you to split the output of your cable so that you can connect two devices at once.
For us to be able to stream our phone’s input onto our TV all we have to do is connect our phone to one end of the splitter, and the Lightning to HDMI cable through to the other side of the HDMI.
However, if you’d prefer to avoid spending money on a second cable, then you may wish to consider purchasing a USB-C to HDMI adapter. These adapters allow you to plug in your iPhone or iPad into your computer, and then connect the resulting HDMI port to your television.
This way, you won’t have to worry about any additional cables. However, these adapters aren’t cheap. They can be quite pricey, so they’re certainly not an option for everyone.
If you decide to go down the route of using a USB-C to HDMI adapter, then you will also need to ensure that your computer supports USB-C connections. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck using an adapter that only works with Macs.
You can also get an HDCP stripper cable, or even an app for iOS. This will help you remove HDCP protection from videos before you play them. It’s important to note however, that removing HDCP protection isn’t enough.
You still need to make sure that your TV supports HDCP. These strippers are basically just software that removes HDCP encryption from a file. So by downloading one of these apps you’ll be able to convert any video into a format that your TV will understand.
However, there are some downsides to using these programs. Firstly they’re not always 100% reliable. Secondly, they don’t always remove all the information from the video so you may lose audio or other data. Lastly, they aren’t always compatible with every device.
Is It Netflix’s Fault Why iPhones Can’t Stream Netflix On Projectors?
So now we’ve established what the main issue is when using a lightning HDMI, you must be wondering who enforced this?
Well it would be easy to suggest that Netflix introduced these safeguarding methods to stop people from streaming their Netflix account onto their TV’s but actually this was Apple’s doing.
Apple has been implementing HDCP since 2015 and as you could imagine, this started off with Apple TV 4K. Therefore if you’re on the current IOS unfortunately apple have completely blocked this.
Instead you’d most likely be best getting an Amazon Fire Stick or a Roku stick to watch Netflix through your TV, or instead, check to see if an independent Netflix app can be downloaded.
Why Can’t iPhones Stream Netflix On Projectors?
If you try to stream Netflix on a projector and you get past the enormous hump that is HDCP you’ll notice that the video quality is terrible. This is because projectors are unable to display high definition content in the same way that it can be streamed directly to another device.
In order to view high definition content on a projector you’ll need to purchase a special screen called a DLP (Digital Light Processing) screen. These screens are expensive and require a lot of power to run.
Another thing to keep in mind is that projectors use digital light processing technology. Digital light processing technology uses a very specific color spectrum. When you stream Netflix on a projector the colors are going to look really bad.
Can I Use Apple Airplay To Stream Netflix From My Phone?
The short answer here is no. The reason why is that Apple’s crusade to stop supporting HDCP carried over to airplay after 2017, meaning Airplay also doesn’t support HDCP.
As well as this, Apple airplay only supports 720p resolution which means that you’ll never be able to stream HD content via Apple airplay.
Downscale When Finding Workarounds For HDCP
When looking at ways around HDCP you should also consider that the more complex the method, the lower the quality of the overall stream becomes.
For example if you were to take a screenshot of the Netflix website and then re-stream it back to your TV, you’ll end up with a low quality image.
This works the same way with the methods discussed above, especially with HDCP strippers, because of the way that they work, you’re generally going to be downscaled a whole resolution, for example if you’re on 1080p you’ll be downgraded to 720p.
But as with all things, it really does depend on the device that you’re using. For sure though if you complicate your stream with many different extensions you’ll be experiencing lag and stuttering from your stream.
Overall, it can be frustrating trying to get your lightning to HDMI to work properly when trying to stream Netflix. Because of various HDCP complications and issues with the connectivity of so many devices, it really can be a hassle.
However, there are some great solutions out there such as the ones mentioned above, but again, it really depends on what device you’re using.
If you want to find something that will allow you to stream Netflix without any problems, then instead you should consider just purchasing an Amazon Fire stick, or any other streaming device that you can simply place into your TV. But if not, there are ways you can get around it.