Video mirroring is the ability to mimic the iPad display on a TV or computer screen, and generally a confusing subject for iPad users. This is partially due to the fact that details on the official Apple page explaining video mirroring (see link) have been ran through an English to “marketing-speak” translator, leaving few answers and a vague, lingering desire to purchase a “new 30-pin to HDMI to wow adapter” – whatever that is.
Apples’ iPad specs page is more informative, and at first glance reading this page I assumed that both the first & second generation iPads would fully support this feature, after all they are both capable of running the same version of iOS and video mirroring doesn’t require a camera. I sadly report that I assumed wrong, as only the iPad 2 will fully support real screen mirroring – i.e. what-you-see-on-the-iPad2-appears-on-a-screen. I researched further and learned I can use either the Apple VGA Adapter (most projectors & computer screens) or Apple Digital AV Adapter to accomplish this.
This of course leaves the huge user base of first generation iPad users SOL, because the ability to mirror video on their device is largely decided by app developers. Some, definitely not a majority of apps for the iPad 1 will mirror video, you may consult this guide for a short list of these.
Apple would rather sell you a new iPad 2 if you are an educator (ie. underfunded school or library), business user, lecturer, salesperson, etc. This – even if your first generation iPad is more than capable of full video mirroring. Watch this clip or this one on YouTube for demonstrations of the iPad 1 performing full (real) video mirroring.
Knowing that the only reason that one can’t take advantage of this feature on the first generation iPad is because a setting called display-mirroring has been purposely set false instead of true, presents a strong argument for jailbreaking his or her iPad and changing the setting manually.