How to connect an Android phone to your TV
(Pocket-lint) – For many people, phones have become the primary device for consuming content. However, some content deserves to be viewed on a bigger screen and maybe with a banging sound system too.
Sure, a lot of people have smart TVs these days, and a lot of content can be accessed through the TV’s native apps. But there’s always something missing from the list, and that’s almost never the case with smartphones that can access almost anything.
So how do you go about sharing content from your Android phone to your TV? There are a variety of methods, and they’re all pretty easy to set up, so let’s hook you up.
Connect wirelessly to a Chromecast or Android TV
Our favorite way to connect Android phones to the big screen is Chromecasting. To do this, you must either buy a Google Chromecast device or have a TV with Chromecast built-in. Most Android-based smart TVs have this functionality without requiring any additional hardware.
The good news is that Chromecast dongles are very affordable, and if you opt for the newer Chromecast with Google TV, you can turn any old TV into a full-featured Android TV for a reasonable price.
If you need to set up a Chromecast, we have a simple guide you can follow here. Once it’s up and running all you have to do is keep an eye out for the square Cast icon in the apps on your Android phone, the vast majority of content providers will have one.
If you tap the Cast icon, the app’s content will be streamed to your TV instead of your phone, and you can control playback with your handset.
If the content you want doesn’t have a Cast button, don’t worry, you can still cast it to your TV. You just have to mirror your screen instead.
Screen mirroring is activated differently on different devices. For example, on a Google Pixel, you can just pull down the notification/settings shade and tap Screen Cast. The same applies to Realme, Oppo and OnePlus phones. Samsung works the same way but is called Smart View instead.
If you can’t find a screencast option on your phone, try opening the settings menu and searching for “Cast” as that’s often where you’ll find something.
Wired connection with an adapter
If Chromecasting doesn’t suit your needs, you can always connect things the old-fashioned way. This method is particularly useful for mobile gaming as it has much lower latency than a wireless connection. Basically, by connecting a wireless controller, you can use your phone like a Nintendo Switch.
You have a plethora of options when it comes to adapters, but you will most likely be looking for a USB-C to HDMI adapter. You will then need an HDMI cable to connect the TV to the adapter.
Another great option is a USB-C hub, which can be used to connect additional USB devices and even charge the phone while connected. The phone must support HDMI Alt Mode for these adapters to work properly.
Older phones with micro USB may still work, but you’ll need a different adapter and make sure the phone supports MHL.
Once connected, your screen will be mirrored on the TV as if you were broadcasting screens wirelessly. There are some phones, such as Samsung, that support a Windows-style desktop experience when connected via HDMI. In this case, you have the option to choose between the desktop experience or screen mirroring.
Wireless DLNA streaming
If you don’t want to buy anything and already have a smart TV or games console, there’s a good chance they support DLNA streaming over Wi-Fi.
This technology works a little differently than Chromecasting, you can’t mirror your screen nor watch DRM-protected content like Netflix.
However, you will be able to cast your photos, videos and music to the TV wirelessly – which many people want to achieve.
The easiest way to do this is to download a DLNA casting app on your Android phone. There’s plenty to choose from, but popular options include AllCast, Cast to TV, and LocalCast.
Written by Luke Baker.