I think we can all agree when I say:
Everybody loves a bigger screen!
And of course, what bigger screen can we have than our television screens, right?
Smart TVs are becoming more and more popular these days. Because of advanced technology, we can now connect our mobile phone to Smart TVs!
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But how do we do that?
There are two primary ways to do it, and we’re here to show you both of them! These two ways are easy as pie, and we are sure that even a tech newbie can follow them.
For the latest tips, tricks and hacks, check out our dedicated section for Android Tricks.
Using cables is the easiest way to connect your Android phone to your TV for non-techy people, at least. In this method, you will only need a suitable cable for your device.
But here’s the deal:
Since there are a lot of cable types, you need to be sure that you have the correct one. Also, you have to make sure that the cable is working.
You can also connect your smartphone to your TV wirelessly! Of course, provided that you have the proper tools.
We didn’t mean screwdrivers and pliers as tools. As long as you have a stable Wi-Fi network at home, you’re good to go.
So, you might be wondering:
How long will it take for you to connect your smartphone to the TV? Well, if both of them are in the same Wi-Fi network, then you’re halfway there!
To help you further, here is a guide on how to connect your Android phone to a TV.
How to Connect Phone to TV – Using Android Phone or Tablet
Using USB to HDMI Cable
If you buy a new large screen high definition TV these days, we’re 99.9% sure it will have an HDMI input port. Using the port is the easiest way to use if you want to connect your phone to your TV using a micro USB to HDMI cable.
HDMI, short for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is a standard for viewing videos on your TV because the standard supports high definition – meaning that the quality of videos shown through this interface is relatively good.
The first thing you need to make sure of is if your Android phone supports HDMI output. Most people assume this will be the case, but there are only several smartphones that have this feature.
Before buying cables, it is best to ascertain if your Android smartphone supports HDMI output. If you confirm from the official documentation that it does, then the next portion will tell you what cable to use.
However, if you’re not sure, do not fret. You can skip the portion below and move over to the wireless connection section.
What Cables Do I Need?
From the list above, you will see that there are two types of HDMI output ports on Android devices. Most of the newer smartphones use the USB-C port as the HDMI output port. Some phones use a Micro USB MHL port – that is, a Mobile High-Definition Link port.
Micro USB to HDMI Cable (MHL Cable)
If you have a phone that has an MHL port, like the LeTV Le Max Pro, or the older HTC One or HTC One XL – it would usually come with a Micro USB to HDMI cable (MHL Cable). That’s what you would need to connect an MHL-enabled Android phone to your TV.
Connect the Micro USB to HDMI cable (MHL Cable) to your phone, and then connect the other end to the HDMI input port on your TV, and you are good to go.
USB Type-C to HDMI Cable
For smartphones with HDMI output through the USB-C port, the HDMI output cable is not usually provided by manufacturers, and you would have to purchase either an official accessory cable or a third-party accessory.
Once you have the cable, it will be as simple as connecting the cable via your phone’s USB-C port and the other end to the HDMI input port of your TV.
Using Wireless Technology
If connecting your phone to your smart TV via HDMI is not an option – either because our phone does not support HDMI output or because, for some reason, you are not able to get the cables needed – then there are other ways to connect your phone to your TV.
First up, we recommend that you explore connecting your smartphone to your TV wirelessly. If you haven’t checked out the technology available to make this possible, you’d be surprised at how easy it is.
Secondly, there are other types of cables available that you can use to push images from your smartphone to your TV. We explore these in the next sections.
Because Wi-Fi networks are almost ubiquitous in homes these days, it is that much easier to use this network to connect your phone to your TV wirelessly. If your TV and your phone are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network, then you’re halfway there.
Check out these two methods you can use.
Using Google Chromecast
There are smart TVs, which have the internal hardware and features to be able to connect to your Wi-Fi network, and therefore the internet.
But there are also plenty of TVs which people bought in that short period before smart TVs were a thing – these, of course, have no internet capabilities.
Enter Google’s genius device – Google Chromecast.
The Chromecast a dongle that you connect to your TV’s HDMI port, and gives it the ability to connect to the internet. Specifically, it also allows you to stream videos, images, information, and instructions from your phone to your TV quite easily.
Once you’ve got yourself a Chromecast dongle, connect it to your TV via the HDMI cable. It also requires a power source plugged in via its USB port, but you can use one on your TV or power it from a wall plug with an adapter.
Using MiraCast Technology
Miracast is an older wireless display standard that will allow you to connect your phone to your TV wirelessly. Miracast is available in some devices running Android 4.2 or earlier, and fortunately, a lot of older smart TVs have Miracast capability as well.
The first thing to check is if your TV and your smartphone both support it – and you will need to look into official documentation for this. Once you’ve confirmed that both can use it, then you’re on your way.
You need to make sure both your TV and smartphone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Then you enable the “Wireless Display” feature on your smartphone under settings or tap the “Cast” toggle on Android’s Quick Settings.
Doing this will show you a list of available Miracast-enabled displays that you can connect to and start casting your phone’s screen too. Pretty easy, eh?
Using an HDMI to AV/RCA Converter
The only real reason why you would consider connecting your smartphone to your TV using an AV cable – also called an RCA cable or composite cable – is if the options we provided above are not working for you.
This situation will also be possible if you have an old CRT or flat-screen TV that does not have an HDMI input port. In that case, we will have to get creative and use the AV/composite port that is the only one available on your TV.
A bit of warning, though. There are a lot of videos on YouTube claiming to have done this – and logically, it should work. But a lot of variables could work against you in this, and so there is a big chance it might not work.
That said, check out the process below.
What Tools Do You Need?
First, you will still need a phone that is confirmed to have the HDMI output feature, in which case you can check the list we gave above or check with your manufacturer if your phone supports this. Second, we need an HDMI output cable – whether via USB-C or MHL. (See HDMI section above.)
Third, we need an HDMI-to-composite video converter. These are third party devices that you can buy from your local Radio Shack or online from Amazon or eBay.
But what is its use?
Your phone outputs video in high definition (HD) format, but an older TV will not be able to accept video like that, much less display it on its standard definition (SD) display. So we need a device that will down-scale the HD output from your phone to an SD signal that your TV will accept and be able to display.
Last, we need an AV cable to connect your video converter to the TV.
You’ve Got the Tools, Now Make It Happen
In theory, this should work. But as mentioned, the number of elements between your phone and your older TV equals the number of points where the process may fail.
To start this, you connect your regular HDMI output cable to your phone and the HDMI input port on the converter device. Then you connect the converter to your old TV via an AV/composite cable.
Make sure that you select the AV input on your TV and check if your phone’s video output is now viewable on your older TV set.
This section is a bonus. You are not going to be able to stream data from your phone to your big screen TV using Bluetooth, but there are several useful situations where this would be needed.
Smart TVs will usually accept a Bluetooth connection for streaming audio. If you’re playing music from an app like Spotify, you might want to connect to your TV, which probably has a better sound system.
In this case, you can pair your TV with your smartphone. There should be no problem connecting a smart TV with a Bluetooth feature to your smartphone.
In some cases, you can pair your smartphone with the TV via Bluetooth to use your phone either as a remote control device or a gaming controller.
Commonly Asked Questions
How to connect your phone to the TV?
You can’t connect all phones to a TV, and not all TVs will allow you to connect a phone. In most cases, if you have an Android phone, you can use either an HDMI to USB cable, a Google Chromecast, or an Android TV Box to connect your phone to your television.
How to connect your phone to the TV with USB?
Depending on the phone model, a phone should feature a USB 3.0 port for it to be able to connect to a TV and project its display. For this to work, you will need an HDMI to USB cable, or else the phone won’t be able to connect to a TV with USB if it doesn’t support it natively and meet the requirements.
How to connect your phone to the TV wirelessly?
There are three possible ways to connect your Android smartphone to a TV wirelessly. You can either use a Google Chromecast, Android TV Box that supports MiraCast, or a smartTV that supports MiraCast or has a built-in Chromecast.
You also need to ensure that you’re phone and TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi for it to work.
You can do a lot of exciting things with an Android device and television for relatively little expense. Usually, when people are looking for a way to connect their smartphone to their TV, what they mean is that they want to be able to have an additional, bigger screen and sound system for content that they usually access with their phone.
However, phone-to-TV interaction isn’t limited to just that. If you want to turn your phone into a universal remote, that capability is entirely within your reach with Android.
If you want to play a music video while you tidy up the living room, you can do that too. The trick is getting the equipment you need to accomplish the results that you want and having the appropriate expectations for the kind of method that you use.
I would recommend Google Chromecast above all else. It’s both inexpensive and flexible. Once you get used to having it, you won’t know how you lived without it!
The other choices are more challenging, but with a bit of work, works as well. Is there a particular workaround that you have to connect your phone to your TV? Share it with us in the comments section!