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7 Easy Steps To Use Apple TV Without HDMI Cable (2023)

Can You Use Apple TV Without HDMI Cable

An apple a day may keep the doctor away. 

But can an Apple TV make the use of an HDMI cable unnecessary as well? 

And while I may not be a doctor…

You’ll be glad that I’m not away today… 

‘Cause I’ve got the answers you’re looking for.  

Continue reading to find out: 

  • Whether you can enjoy your Apple TV wirelessly. 
  • 7 easy steps to use your Apple TV even without an HDMI cable. 
  • Must-know consequences for not using an HDMI connection on your Apple TV. 
  • And this is just the beginning…

How to use Apple TV without HDMI cable – 7 steps

#1: Choose the appropriate adapter

As you already know, Apple TVs are set-top boxes that allow you to stream Internet content. And all you need to do is connect 1 to your TV. 

But here’s the thing: 

Apple TVs only have an HDMI port. 

But, your TV may not have an available HDMI port. Or, it’s not HDMI-enabled at all. 

Either way, you’ll need the help of an adapter.

“What’s that?”

It’s a helpful device that connects 2 different ports. 

Basically, it’s like an interpreter that helps remove a language barrier between 2 people.  

With that said, you need to have the right adapter. So you can successfully link the Apple TV to your TV. 

“How do I choose the correct adapter?”

Step 1: Check all your TV ports 

Aside from HDMI, here are the most common video ports you can find on your TV: 

  • DVI.
  • VGA.
  • DisplayPort.
  • Thunderbolt. 

And to help you identify what each of them looks like…. 

You can watch this helpful video below: 

But, you could find an RCA port if you have an older TV model. And this port has 3 jacks, specifically: 

  • Red.
  • White. 
  • Yellow.

So now that you know the available ports on your TV…

All you have to do is…

Step 2: Buy the correct adapter

Don’t know where to buy 1? 

I’ve got you covered. 

Here are all the HDMI converters I highly recommend, all available on Amazon: 

Note: These adapters need electricity to work. So, you must plug them into a power source via a USB cable

#2: Connect the adapter to your Apple TV

Specifically, link the adapter’s HDMI end to your Apple TV’s port. 

#3: Plug the adapter’s other end into your TV

Directly connect the following adapters to their respective ports: 

  • HDMI-DisplayPort.
  • HDMI-Thunderbolt.

But for HDMI-VGA, you need to tighten the 2 screws on the VGA head. Doing so secures the connection. 

Moreover, match each of the 3 RCA jacks to the port with the same color.   

Turn On Your TV

#4: Turn on your TV

  1. Connect the TV to a power source. 
  2. Press the Power button on your remote.

Or you can do this if you don’t have a remote:

  1. Locate your TV’s Power button. 
  2. Press and hold the button until your TV turns on.  

#5: Switch your TV’s source input

This depends on the port to which you connected your Apple TV. 

For example, change the TV’s source to VGA if you used the VGA port.

With that said, follow these steps to switch your TV’s input: 

  1. Press the Source or Input button on your remote. 
  2. Select the correct source.

Or you can also use these instructions as an alternative: 

  1. Locate the Menu button on the TV. 
  2. Press the button. 
  3. Select Source
  4. Choose the right input.  

Note: Some TVs don’t show sources right away. That’s because they scan for input devices when you use the Source function. That said, it may take you a moment to find your device.

#6: Set up your Apple TV

Step 1: Connect your Apple TV to the Internet

As you already know, your Apple TV needs Internet access to work. And for you to achieve that, you’ve got 2 choices:

A wireless or a wired connection. 

For the wireless option, you need to join a WiFi network. 

Pro tip: If you have another iOS device that already has Internet access. Tap the device to your Apple TV to connect to the same network.  

Now, for a wired 1, you need an ethernet cable. Once you have it, plug in 1 end of the cord to the Apple TV. And the other to your router or modem. 

Step 2: Follow the on-screen instructions 

Use your Apple TV remote to select the: 

  1. Language.
  2. Country. 
  3. Region. 

Moreover, you’ll be asked if you want to use Siri, a.k.a Apple’s virtual assistant. And I recommend you do it as an AI asisstant can make your life easier. 

Step 3: Log in to your Apple ID

Simply enter your email address and your Apple ID password. 

“I don’t have an Apple ID.”

If so, you can create 1 here instead. Just enter your account details and follow the instructions. 

#7: Start your Apple TV experience 

Now, you can watch your favorite movies and TV shows. 

But if you want to elevate that Apple experience, you can subscribe to Apple TV+. Doing so will give you access to countless Apple Originals. 

You might also be interested: Can Alexa Control Apple TV? DIY How-To Guide 

Can Apple TVs be wireless?

Apple TVs can’t be wireless. Preferably, they link to a TV via an HDMI cable connection. However, adapters allow users to access Apple TV’s features if a TV doesn’t have an available HDMI port. Regardless, they need cords or a wired connection to work. 

But, once you plug in an Apple TV to your TV… 

You’ll gain access to an exclusive feature that doesn’t involve wires

I’m talking about: 

Apple AirPlay

AirPlay is a wireless streaming technology made by Apple for Apple users. 

So, if you have an Apple device, like: 

  • iPad.
  • iPhone.
  • MacBook. 

You can project what’s on their screen to your Apple TV like a mirror. 

In that way, you can enjoy the content on your big TV screen. Which is such an upgrade from watching only on your little device.

And remember, you get to do that without any cable. 

Talk about convenience. 

Pro tip #1: You can use AirPlay to stream music from your Apple device to compatible speakers. It’s a great alternative to Bluetooth. 

Pro tip #2: AirPlay also allows you to project videos and photos to another Apple device. That way, sharing content from 1 gadget to another is easier. 

Editor’s pick: (9 Fixes) Airplay Not Working On Apple TV

What can you watch on an Apple TV without a HDMI cable?

You can watch different content options on an Apple TV without an HDMI cable. That includes traditional TV channels and streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

Plus, Apple TV also has a variety of apps offering content you can “watch.” Some of which are: 

  • News. 
  • Games. 
  • Weather reports. 

With that said, you can still access Apple TV’s standard features. That’s even if you don’t use an HDMI cable. Because what’s important is you connect your Apple TV to a TV and the Internet.

However, even if you can still view content on your Apple TV without HDMI… 

Not using an HDMI cable reduces the video quality of your Apple TV. 

And that’s because these cords are optimized to send HD video and audio signals. That’s why they’re favored on movie streaming devices, such as: 

  • HDTV.
  • Set-top boxes.
  • Blu-ray players.
  • Computer monitors. 

So, even if your TV has 4K resolution, you can only stream at standard quality at best. That means you won’t be able to maximize your TV experience if you don’t connect via HDMI. 

Moreover, the available content could be limited due to HDCP issues. 

‘”What’s that?”

HDCP stands for High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection. And it’s used to manage the digital rights of movies and series. 

Basically, content providers apply this to prevent copyright or unauthorized access. 

Now, HDMI cables are HDCP-enabled. That means if you don’t use 1, these providers won’t let you see the movie you want to watch. 

And that’s because they can’t protect their digital rights during your viewing session. 

As a result, you could hear a movie’s audio, but your TV screen would be pitch black. 

So, consider those consequences if you don’t use an HDMI connection. 

With that said, you could opt for an HDMI switch hub to have more HDMI ports available. In that way, you can use your Apple TV at full throttle.

Or, you could replace your old TV with a new 1 that has HDMI functionality. And here’s what I recommend: