Because iPads can easily output to HDMI monitors using a simple adapter, you can display your KDS on a widescreen TV in your kitchen to make it more visible. Depending on which type of iPad you’re using, you might need either a Lightning Digital AV Adapter or a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter. Both of these devices are available from Apple, and we strongly recommend using Apple-branded adapters because of their reliability, warranty, and customer service.
For a more long-range solution, in instances where an HDMI cable is unworkable due to distance or other reasons, an Apple TV device can be used to display the KDS on-screen, or an Airplay 2 compatible TV may be used. This allows the KDS iPad to project to the HDMI TV wirelessly.
This guide outlines these options, in order to help you decide which makes the best sense in your restaurant.
Both the Lightning Digital AV Adapter and the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter require that you use an HDMI cable to physically connect the iPad to the TV. HDMI cables come in various lengths and thicknesses, and quality may vary. Do your best to source out high-quality HDMI cables, best-suited for the kind of environment they’ll be installed in. Remember, kitchens are often hot, humid places. Thick, shielded cables are more resilient in such environments.
Using a Lightning Digital AV Adapter
Most iPads created after 2012 feature Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector to charge the device, as well as connect it to various peripherals, including external monitors.
Doing so in your restaurant will require that you purchase an adapter from Apple, called the Lightning Digital AV Adapter. You may purchase this directly from Apple, from Amazon, or from another authorized Apple reseller.
Using a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter
Second generation iPad pro models featured a non-proprietary USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, allowing these iPads connectivity options above and beyond what was available with previous iPads. If the iPad you are using with your KDS features a USB-C connector, you will require a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and a Lightning adapter will not work.
Using an Apple TV
For a more long-range solution, in instances where an HDMI cable is unworkable, an Apple TV device can be used to display the KDS on-screen, or an Airplay 2 compatible TV may be used. This allows the KDS iPad to project to the HDMI TV wirelessly.
The iPad sends the video signal wirelessly to the Apple TV, which is then connected to the TV with an HDMI cable. This allows you to place a greater distance between your KDS iPad and your TV, without an HDMI cable extended directly from the iPad itself.
Using an AirPlay 2-Compatible TV
If you find yourself in a position wherein you are purchasing a brand-new “Smart” TV to use as a KDS display, then an AirPlay 2 enabled TV may be an option for you. This is akin to having a TV with an Apple TV device built-in.
The obvious advantage to this setup is that the iPad communicates with the TV completely wirelessly. Conversely, you may find that purchasing a new Smart TV is not the most cost-effective way to set up a KDS system in your kitchen.
The logo above indicates compatibility with Apple’s AirPlay technology. TouchBistro however cannot guarantee the quality of third-party products bearing this logo. Keep your receipts, and do your due diligence when sourcing out your KDS hardware. Doing some brief testing before purchasing is never a bad idea.