An Apple TV will work fine on a TV.
And it doesn’t even matter whether it’s a smart one or not.
But what about PC monitors?
Will you still be able to use your streaming player on it?
I’m sure you’re curious. And I’m here to fill you in.
Keep reading to discover:
- What you can do if the Apple TV-to-monitor setup isn’t working.
- The surprising answer on whether you can actually use an Apple TV on a monitor.
- 7 crucial things that you must know before trying to connect a monitor to an Apple TV.
- And a lot more…
Can I use Apple TV on a monitor?
You can use an Apple TV on a monitor. It’ll work on any output device that has an HDMI, DVI, or VGA port. And all monitors have at least 1 of those. Also, what makes it possible to use an Apple TV on a monitor is the streaming player’s WiFi function. So the monitor type you’ll use won’t be an issue.
Using Apple TV on a monitor – 7 things you need to know
#1: The Apple TV’s WiFi function is what allows it to work on a monitor
There’s a common belief that you need a Smart TV to use an Apple TV.
Let me clear that up now. That’s not true.
And as a matter of fact, you don’t even need a TV for your Apple streaming player.
Any output device will actually do. And that includes projectors and monitors.
But if you’re wondering how that’s even possible…
The answer lies in the fact that the Apple TV can connect to WiFi.
That’s why the output device doesn’t have to be smart.
The only thing that matters is it’s capable of projecting the Apple TV’s contents. And all monitor types can definitely do that.
#2: Apple TVs will work on any monitor with an HDMI port
If you take a look at the back of an HD or 4K Apple TV, you’ll see 3 ports:
Older models, meanwhile, have an additional port for an optical cable.
But the point is when it comes to connecting an Apple TV to an output device…
It’s done mainly through an HDMI connection.
So as long as your monitor has an HDMI port…
Hooking up an Apple TV to it is really easy.
All you have to do is connect the 2 through an HDMI cable. Then set up your Apple TV device.
And you should be able to start streaming in no time.
#3: Apple TVs work best on a 4K monitor
Let’s talk resolutions for a bit.
I’m sure many, if not all of you, have heard about 720p, 1080p, and 4K.
But what do those numbers even really mean?
Well, they refer to the number of pixels of a display. And the higher the number, the better the image quality.
So in essence, a 4K resolution is over 3 times as clear and as sharp as a 1080p.
Now, the 2017 and 2021 versions of Apple TVs already support the 4K resolution.
That means you’d be able to watch videos with the best picture quality.
But for that to happen…
Your monitor should also have a display for the same resolution. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of this feature.
The good thing about 4K monitors these days, though, is they’re affordable. In fact, you’ll find many under $300. Examples are:
Now, if you’d like to see how an Apple TV looks on a 4K monitor…
Watch this video:
#4: The best Apple TV for non-4K monitors
“What if my monitor doesn’t support 4K?”
Well, if that’s the case and you’d rather not buy one with a similar resolution…
Then the best Apple TV for you is the 5th-gen model. It’s also known as Apple TV HD.
The 32GB version costs about $150. That’s $30 less than the Apple TV 4K’s $180 price tag.
And with the exception of resolution support…
It’s pretty much identical to the 4K version.
So you’d still be able to enjoy the following features:
- Apple TV+.
- Siri remote.
- AirPods compatibility.
- Dolby Digital surround sound.
- Streaming from the most popular platforms such as Netflix.
#5: There’s no monitor size requirement for Apple TV
“Just how big of a monitor do I need for my Apple TV?”
The answer is any size will do.
Your Apple TV will work perfectly fine even on a monitor smaller than 20 inches.
And it’s really more a matter of personal preference.
If you’d like to use your Apple TV on a 12-inch monitor, it’s fine.
Meanwhile, it’s also not a problem if you’d like to watch on a 50-inch display.
Of course, the bigger, the better.
You’ll enjoy streaming more on a monitor with at least a 720p or a 1080p display. And those usually come on an over 20-inch screen.
But the bottom line is your Apple TV should function regardless of the display size.
#6: An Apple TV can connect to a DVI-only monitor
Now, before HDMI became popular for transmitting video and audio…
Most monitors used what’s called the Digital Visual Interface (DVI).
In simple terms, it’s a technology for transmitting a video from one source to another. It was invented in 1999. And the majority of monitors from the early 2000s had a port for it.
Unlike HDMI, though, DVI can only output a video.
But believe it or not, you can still use an Apple TV on a monitor that only has a DVI port.
It’s just that you’d also need the following to make it work:
Steps to connect an Apple TV to a DVI-only monitor
Step #1: Connect one end of the HDMI to DVI adapter to the monitor’s DVI port.
Step #2: Plug the other end of the HDMI to DVI adapter into the HDMI audio extractor.
Step #3: Connect one plug of the HDMI cable to the HDMI audio extractor.
Step #4: Insert the other plug of the HDMI cable into the Apple TV.
Step #5: Plug one end of the 3.5mm audio cable into the HDMI audio extractor.
Step #6: Connect the other end of the audio cable to your external speaker.
Step #7: Power on both your external speaker and the Apple TV. Just connect the 2 devices to a separate outlet.
Step #8: Change your monitor’s input source to DVI.
That’s it. You should now see your Apple TV’s home screen on the monitor. And the audio should come out of the external speaker.
#7: You can also use an Apple TV on a VGA-only monitor
So I just talked about DVI.
But do you know what came before that?
It’s the Video Graphics Array (VGA). It was developed in the late 80s. So monitors built in the 90s have this.
Now, the VGA is actually similar to DVI. The only difference is it uses analog signals and not digital like the DVI.
That means the image quality is also inferior on monitors that use this technology.
However, an Apple TV will still work on this type of output device.
And the steps to connect are almost identical to the DVI-only monitor. It’s just that you’ll have to use an HDMI to VGA adapter instead of an HDMI to DVI.
Further reading: Is Apple TV Worth It? 7 Pros And Cons
How to connect an Apple TV to a PC
To connect an Apple TV to a PC, use an HDMI cable. Plug one end of it into the Apple TV. Then plug the other into your PC. And select the correct input source on your computer. You should then be able to start streaming.
But for a more detailed guide, you may refer to the steps below.
Step #1: Grab your HDMI cable. And connect one end of it to your Apple TV.
Step #2: Insert the other end of the HDMI cable into your PC’s HDMI port.
Step #3: Connect the power adapter to your Apple TV. And then plug it into an outlet. This should turn on the device.
Step #4: Switch your PC’s input to HDMI. To do that, just press the Input button on your PC and select HDMI.
By now, you should see the Apple TV’s home screen on your PC’s monitor.
However, if it isn’t working, don’t worry. There are also several easy resolutions that you can do.
Fixes for an Apple TV that won’t work on a PC
#1: Adjust the HDMI cable
The HDMI cable is the most common reason why an Apple TV won’t work on a PC.
It could be due to a loose connection. But it can also be because the HDMI cable is already defective.
So the first thing you should do is to reseat the cable. And by that I mean unplug it from both the PC and the Apple TV. Then reconnect it.
Ensure that it’s firmly connected to both devices.
Now, if you’re still not seeing anything on your monitor…
The cable might be damaged. So find a replacement instead.
In many cases, using a fresh HDMI cable was what did the trick.
#2: Perform a power cycle on your Apple TV and PC
It’s also possible that either or both the Apple TV and the PC are glitching.
Now, that’s normal. And malfunctions on electronic devices are easily fixable.
All it takes is to perform a power cycle or a complete restart.
For a PC, a fast way to do that is by clicking the Windows icon and then Restart.
As for the Apple TV, you may restart it by unplugging it from its power source. And then plug it back after about a minute or 2.
#3: Check if the Apple TV is defective
There’s also a chance that the Apple TV has defects.
Now, this device is generally durable. With proper care, an Apple TV can last 4 to 7 years.
However, in rare cases, it may also show signs of wear and tear much sooner.
And to verify if that’s the case with your Apple TV…
Try to use it on another device first. Connect it to a TV or another monitor.
And if it really won’t work on any output device…
Then the best thing to do is to take it to a service center. An Apple Care expert should be able to diagnose the issue.
You may visit this page to find your nearest one. Just sign in with your Apple ID account.
And based on the address you supplied…
You’ll see where you can take your device for repair.