9 ways to connect your phone to the TV

Smartphones and tablets are good for watching videos when you’re traveling or out of town. But if you’re at home, watching a film on a big screen is much more enjoyable. There are many advantages: better picture, nicer sound. You can lie down on your favorite sofa. 

Connect phone to the TV

You can show your phone screen on your TV. And it’s not difficult at all.

If your TV has built-in Wi-Fi, it’s easy to set up a connection with your smartphone or tablet. If not, don’t feel bad. There are a few other options on how to do it. We’ll explain them in our article. We’ll explain everything step by step and detail what you’ll need for each option

First, you need to decide whether you want to use a wired or wireless connection. Wired connections may require your phone or tablet to be close to the TV. But they also provide a more reliable connection. Wired connections are quick to set up but can be frequently interrupted.

USB, HDMI, Wi-Fi – choose what you like and watch videos on the big screen.

How to connect your phone to your TV via USB

Which phone is right for it: a smartphone with the Android operating system, a usual mobile phone.

Special requirements for your TV: USB port.

Additionally, you’ll need a USB cable.

The easiest way to connect, allowing you to use your mobile device as a flash drive. However, only the media files stored in the phone memory: photos, video, and audio can be played back.

What do you need to do?

  1. Connect the TV to the phone with a USB cable.
  2. Select the USB port on the TV as the source.
  3. If necessary, confirm the connection mode on the phone.
  4. The folder structure or the list of files scanned and recognized by the TV is displayed on the large screen. What you see will depend on the model of the device.
  5. Use the remote control to navigate and view.

How to connect your phone to the TV via HDMI

Which phone is right for it: Android smartphone, iPhone.

Special TV requirements: HDMI connector required.

What else you’ll need: An HDMI-compatible cable or adapter for your phone.

This option allows you to use the TV as an external display while playing games, watching movies, or surfing the Internet. The picture from your mobile device is mirrored, which means that the TV shows everything that is happening on your smartphone screen.

Depending on the connector type of your phone, you will need a suitable adapter or cable. It will have an HDMI connector on one side and micro USB, Lightning, or USB-C on the other. It is worth remembering that the device runs out of power quickly when in image streaming mode, so adapters usually have a connector for charging.

Before buying a USB-C adapter, make sure your smartphone supports image output.

How to connect?

  1. Connect your smartphone and TV with a cable that fits the devices. If you are using an adaptor, insert it into your gadget and already connect a normal HDMI cable from your TV to it.
  2. Select the appropriate HDMI connection on your TV as the signal source.
  3. The picture will automatically appear on your TV. If it doesn’t, open your smartphone’s settings and change the screen resolution.

There are also less popular wired technologies – MHL and SlimPort. They have their disadvantages and advantages. We’ll take a look at them, though.

how to connect your phone and tablet to the TV

How to connect your phone to the TV using MHL technology

Which phone is right for it: an Android smartphone.

Special TV requirements: HDMI connector required.

What else you will need: a micro USB to HDMI cable (passive MHL).

MHL is one of the first wired standards for connecting Android tablets and smartphones to TVs. It is supported by many Android gadgets. It uses technology that allows you to transmit audio and video via the micro USB port of your device.

TVs and monitors that support this standard have at least one dedicated HDMI port that also provides power. To connect your phone to your TV, simply plug in the micro USB to HDMI cable.

Even if your TV does not support this standard, you can use it. You need an MHL cable or adapter with separate HDMI and micro-USB ports. The HDMI end plugs into the TV as normal, and the micro-USB cable connects to the USB port or the AC adapter.

How to connect your phone to the TV using SlimPort

Which phone is right for it: an Android smartphone.

Special TV requirements: HDMI connector required.

What else you’ll need: A SlimPort HDMI adaptor. The micro-USB plug connects to the phone, the USB plug connects to a powered USB port or a power adapter, and the HDMI cable connects the adapter to the television

SlimPort is another wired technology that is similar to MHL. One of the main differences is that power input is not required. In case there is no power supply, your device will simply not charge, but the HDMI connection will work. SlimPort is supported in some models of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This is especially true for LG and Google devices.

If your device has a SlimPort, you will need a SlimPort adapter. The adapter will have a micro-USB connector on it. Plug this into your mobile device and then connect an HDMI, VGA, or DVI cable between the adapter and the display. The cable required depends on which SlimPort adapter you have.

The SlimPort uses a single cable to transmit audio and high definition video from a tablet, smartphone, or another mobile device to an external display (TV, projector, PC monitors).

What is the key difference?

The key difference is that MHL outputs via the HDMI standard while SlimPort uses the VESA standard. This means that it can output to HDMI as well as VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort.

How to connect your phone to a TV via Wi-Fi Direct

Which phone is right for it: Which phone is suitable: An Android Smartphone.

Special TV requirements: A model that supports Wi-Fi Direct.

What else would you need: No additional accessories are required.

It is a wireless connection in which the mobile device and the TV are connected directly via Wi-Fi. You don’t need a router in this case. And the TV acts as an access point to which your smartphone is connected. And you can send media files to the big screen using the standard Send menu.

What to do?

  1. Open the network settings on the TV and turn on Wi-Fi Direct.
  2. On your smartphone, go to Settings and select the “Wireless networks” menu item. Next → Wi-Fi → Wi-Fi Direct.
  3. After scanning for available devices, select your TV.
  4. Use the “Send” menu on your smartphone to send media files. These can be a photo, videos, and audio files.

How to connect your phone to your TV via DLNA

Which phone is right for it: An Android smartphone.

Which TV is right for it: A device with DLNA support.

No additional accessories are required.

In this case, the connection is made via a router. In this case, the TV can be connected to the home network via cable and the smartphone via Wi-Fi.

DLNA functions allow you to view media files from your mobile device on the big screen.

How do I set up the connection?

  1. Make sure that your TV and your smartphone are connected to the same network.
  2. Activate the DLNA function in the TV settings.
  3. Launch the standard Android gallery and open the desired media file.
  4. Go to “Menu”, select “Choose player” and click on the name of your TV in the list.
  5. For advanced settings and to stream files from other apps, install a media server app from Google Play. For example, the popular BubbleUPnP.

How to connect your phone to the television via AirPlay

Which phone is right for it: iPhone.

Which TV is right for it: No special TV requirements.

What you will need: Apple TV (this is Apple’s smart media device).

It’s the most convenient way to connect your iPhone to your Apple Media Receiver TV. The proprietary AirPlay feature streams content to Apple TV over the air. And you can do presentations, play games and watch photos and videos.

Apple TV

What to do?

  1. Make sure your iPhone and Apple TV are connected to the same network.
  2. Open “Control Point” on your smartphone and tap the “Screen Repeat” button.
  3. Select Apple TV from the list.

How to connect your phone to your TV via Miracast

Which phone is right for it: an Android smartphone.

TV requirements: Any TV that supports Miracast technology.

What else you’ll need: nothing or a special adapter (depending on the capabilities of your TV).

Miracast technology is also designed to mirror the screen of mobile devices on your TV and works in a similar way to AirPlay. It streams data from your phone, tablet or computer. On a Smart TV, the technology can be built-in. And with a special adaptor, you can add it to any TV with an HDMI port.

What to do if you have a Smart TV?

  1. Open the network settings on your TV and enable Miracast.
  2. On your smartphone, go to Settings, select Wireless Monitor from the Screen menu and enable the function.
  3. Select the TV in the list of found Miracast devices.
  4. The image from your smartphone will appear on the TV screen as soon as it is connected.

Depending on the model, there may be special features for connection. Check the instructions for your TV.

What to do if you need an adapter?

  1. Purchase a compatible adaptor. Preferably, choose universal models that support Miracast, Chromecast, and AirPlay.
  2. Plug the adapter into the HDMI port. If required, use a USB cable to connect power to it.
  3. Select the HDMI port on your TV to which the adapter is connected.
  4. Download the app from the QR code on the screen and connect via it.
  5. Or use the standard Android function by activating it under Settings – Screen – Wireless Monitor.

How to connect your phone to the TV via Chromecast

Which phone is right for it: an Android smartphone or an iPhone.

TV requirements: no special requirements.

What else you’ll need: a Chromecast set-top box.

Chromecast is another wireless media streaming technology from Google. To use it, you need a branded set-top box that connects to any TV via an HDMI connection.

You can then watch videos from the gallery and various apps, as well as play and hold presentations by mirroring the screen of your mobile device. There’s the regular Full HD version and the more expensive 4K version.

How to connect?

  1. Buy a Google Chromecast adapter.
  2. Plug the set-top box into the HDMI socket of your TV and connect the USB cable for power.
  3. Switch to the HDMI port of the set-top box and connect it to the Wi-Fi network.
  4. Download the Google Home app for Android or iOS to your smartphone.
  5. Open the app and carry out the initial setup by logging in with your Google account.
  6. Launch the content in a compatible app, tap the broadcast icon and select the Chromecast device from the list.

Which connection method should you choose?

You have already known the 9 ways to connect your smartphone or tablet to the TV. Which one you have to choose depends on the devices you have. 

In addition, there are other important aspects to consider:

  • USB, DLNA, and Wi-Fi Direct are obsolete, but they can be used as backup options. Nowadays, the current options are connected via HDMI cable or wirelessly via Miracast, Chromecast, or AirPlay. Which one you choose depends on your smartphone and TV.
  • If you have an Android smartphone and a Smart TV, just connect via Miracast. If your TV is regular, buy a Miracast adapter, a Google Chromecast set-top box, or a compatible HDMI cable. USB cable, DLNA, or Wi-Fi Direct are alternatives.
  • If you have an iPhone, buy an Apple TV or a universal adapter that supports Miracast and AirPlay.

We hope our article will help you understand how to connect your phone and tablet to the TV. You can choose the right method and enjoy watching your favorite videos, photos, or listening to music.

David Romero

Website Chief Editor: David Romero, is our chief security officer. He spends a lot of time analyzing various software that can keep you safe in real life and online as well.

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