How to Stream Video From an iPhone

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You might think that streaming video from an iPhone's small screen to something a bit bigger, like a computer monitor or an HDTV, should be a no-brainer. It isn't -- not until you install the right software or hook up the right equipment, that is. To stream video from an iPhone with iOS 7 you need either an Apple TV, a third-party program on your computer or a video adapter cable. When you have one of these, the process is painless.

Using Apple TV

  • Use AirPlay to stream videos from your iPhone with iOS 7 to a TV using your Wi-Fi network and an Apple TV. Most video apps, like Netflix, YouTube and Movies have an AirPlay icon in the app. For other video apps, swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone's screen, tap the "AirPlay" icon and select the "Mirroring" option. Videos stream in up to 1080p resolution. Depending on the app and the video, the stream displays at a full 16:9 aspect ratio. If you rely on the iPhone's native mirroring, you are limited to a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Streaming to a Computer

  • Streaming video from an iPhone to a computer is an option if you install an app like AirServer, X-Mirage or AirParrot. Microsoft Windows doesn't support AirPlay without such an app. Apple computers running OS X Mavericks do support AirPlay but won't accept connections from an iPhone. Most of these apps are available as free trials, so you can test them before making a purchase.

Connecting to HDMI

  • For the price of a Lightning Digital AV Adapter, connect your iPhone to the HDMI port of any HDTV and stream video and audio on your big screen. The adapter also works with compatible projectors and monitors. For older TVs, Apple offers VGA and composite cable adapters. These connections can't stream audio, so you'll need external speakers for your iPhone if you want everyone in the room to hear a movie. Just as with AirPlay, resolution and aspect ratio depends on the app. Netflix, for example, delivers full 16:9, 1080p resolution. Other apps and native iOS mirroring are limited to 720p resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. Remember to power up your iPhone before watching a long movie unless your adapter supports a separate cable for charging the iPhone as you watch.

Streaming Live Video

  • If you're more interested in streaming video from the iPhone's camera than streaming movies playing on its screen, a host of apps can do this for you. FaceTime, which is the iPhone's own video chat app, can stream audio and video calls to any Apple computer or iOS device. Other apps for streaming video include Skype, Seen and Google Hangouts. These only work on computers or other mobile devices, and the person with that other device needs his own account before you can make a connection with your iPhone.

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  • Photo Credit gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images
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