iPad 2 to HDTV: Rid iPad 2 of ungainly Apple Digital AV Adapter

By SteveJack

I love using my iPad 2 with my large HDTV for everything from games to video to surfing the Web, but the ungainly weight and bulk of Apple’s Digital AV Adapter ($39) plus up to two cords hanging off that is not an optimal setup for longterm use.

Until Apple figures out a way to cut the cord, I at least wanted a way to streamline the setup, so in order to get the weight and bulkiness of Apple’s Digital AV Adapter away from the iPad 2, I found the dockXtender, a 30-pin Male to 30-pin Female Dock Extender Cable. Unfortunately, they’re no longer making the custom (up to 14-foot) cables), so the longest is only is 6 feet long (US$25.95). The 6-foot dockXtender still achieves the goal since the Apple Digital AV Adapter and power wires will at least be on the floor, not hanging off the iPad 2, but it’s still a bit messier than it has to be.

UPDATE: April 6, 2011, 10:58am: Scratch that, the dockXtender cable doesn’t work with Apple’s Digital AV Adapter. We’re still looking for a working solution [MacDailyNews Ed.]

Does anyone know of a longer 30-pin Male to 30-pin Female Dock Extender Cable that’s available today? If so, please let me know!

The best solution would be a short HDMI cable that stays behind the TV along with the plug that powers/charges iPad 2 (a second 30-pin connector built into the Apple Digital AV Adapter lets you charge and sync your device while it’s connected to your HDMI-compatible display). With a longer 30-pin extension cable and a short HDMI cable, the only thing coming out from behind the TV to iPad 2 would the nice, clean extender cable that users can wind up and hide away when not in use. Why Apple doesn’t make such a cable is beyond me.

iPad 2 with Apple Digital AV Adapter and 30-pin Extender Cable

Someday, hopefully sooner than later, people will come across this article and laugh at a time when we needed ways to better deal with wires between our iPads and our big screen TVs!

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.


  1. I don’t get it- won’t the Apple TV stream from your iPad to the TV? Seems to me that the $99 Apple TV is a better deal than the $65 cable solution (for just $25 more than the cables, you get to stream from your iPad as well as all your computers).

    1. That’s right, you don’t get it. The Apple Digital AV Adapter does much more than AirPlay.

      SJ: I haven’t found a longer extension cable, but I’m looking. Thanks for the great idea, this solves a pet peeve of mine!

        1. It allows you to mirror what the iPad is showing. One main use is for things like games where you can play them on your TV. You can also browse the web, or indeed do anything beyond watching media which is what airplay allows. Real Racing 2 is also supposedly going to get an upgrade so that the game displays on the screen and your iPad is used as the steering wheel and the display shows a track map and other data. This connector expands your iPad onto a bigger screen, or indeed onto 2 screens.

        2. Air Play only streams audio/video to the TV (video out some call it), which means, with Air Play you have to be playing an audio file or a movie or video in your iPad, nothing else.

          The HDMI cable allows for you to connect your HD TV as a secondary display, so that you can see whatever your iPad is displaying (mirror some call it). Sort of like when you connect a second monitor to your PC/notebook.

      1. Airplay also has an overhead and slight delay. It is not ideal for playing video games where one would need realtime synch between iPad and the TV.

        I am sure a future version AppleTV will support full HD and improve on the sync delay.

        Go Apple…

  2. Ultimately this wire thing will go the way of the dinosaurs, perhaps much sooner than currently thought possible.

    Astonishing…the technological advances in the multi-media & computer realms in just the past 5 years. And as astonishing… even a very old computer is still functional way out there on the edge of the solar system – http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/

    1. full9, if you read the description on that page you link to says:

      “The Custom Length Dock Extender Cable does not connect video (composite or S-video)”

      So I don’t think it would work so well for this specific use case.

    2. Me bad. Sorry guys. I didn’t read the entire page.

      I agree nonetheless with the article. A longer cable would help a lot. But hopefully in the near future it will be done wirelessly through Apple TV.

  3. How about everyone who is interested in longer cables contacting CableJive at service@cablejive.com

    If enough people write to them and politely ask for, if not custom lengths, at least longer stock cables, then they might realize there is a market and start producing them.

    Be nice!

  4. I’m with you on this pet peeve. It also goes for the ungainly dvi-to-display port adapter I have to use with my macbook. The stupid cord is only about 3″ long, so I can’t hide it away either. And while I’m ranting, why can’t the cords on the back of the Apple Monitors be hidden away behind the piece that holds the monitor so they can be routed inconspicuously into a grommet on my desk?

  5. At first I thought this was pretty whiney, then I realized that yeah, that’s a good point; so I’ve ordered a 6′ “Dock Extender” from those guys. I’m *VERY* surprised that MonoPrice doesn’t offer anything remotely associated with this area.

  6. I’ve had problems with this company’s cables. I bought two 6 foot charger cables, you know, a longer version of the one Apple supplies. One doesn’t work at all, and the second works poorly.

    I do have a 10 foot charger cable bought from Griffin. That I got from OWC. It works perfectly. But it’s got a bigger connector, and is a heavier cable. I don’t know the gauge of wire in apple’s cable, or the one from this company, but it’s possible it’s not heavy enough to carry power more than about 3 feet reliably, though for syncing it works well enough.

    I suggest buying two of these Griffin cables, and a USB to USB adapter. Hopefully this won’t be too long for USB. But if not, it would solve the problem. You might have to tape the adapter to the cables to make sure it doesn’t pop off during strenuous use.

    You could try two charger cables from this company, but as
    I said, I don’t trust the reliability.

  7. in my above post I made an error. Actually, both Griffin cables will have male Apple connectors, so you are forced to use one cable from this company after all. Sorry for the confusion. I hope they prove more reliable than their 6 door charger cables.

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