Everybody loves a bigger screen! Smart TVs are becoming more and more popular these days and because of advancements in technology, you can now connect your mobile phones to your Smart TVs!
But how do you do that? Well, there are two ways to do it, and I’ll show you both. If you don’t know how to connect Android phones to TVs, the most basic way is by using cables. This is especially useful for non-techy people. In this method, you’ll only need the right cable for your device.
You can also connect your smartphone to your TV wirelessly! Of course, provided that you have the proper tools. As long as you have a stable Wi-Fi network at home, you’re good to go.
Note: For the latest tips, tricks, and hacks, check out our dedicated section for Android tips and tricks.
Connecting your phone to your TV: 4 options
1. Use a micro USB to HDMI Cable
You can use an HDMI cable to connect your phone to your TV!
Take note that you have to make sure your Android phone supports HDMI output. Most people assume this will be the case, but there are only several smartphones that have this feature
If you’re not sure, don’t 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. (MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition Link.)
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 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’re good to go.
USB Type-C to HDMI Cable
For smartphones with 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. Same as the process for the MHL.
2. Use your WiFi or Bluetooth
If connecting your phone to your smart TV via HDMI is not an option, then there are other ways to connect your phone to your TV.
I recommend that you explore connecting your smartphone to your TV wirelessly. If you haven’t checked it out, you’d be surprised at how easy it is.
Because Wi-Fi networks are almost ubiquitous in homes these days, it’s much easier to use a 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 a Google Chromecast
There are smart TVs, which have the internal hardware and features able to connect to your Wi-Fi network. But there are also plenty of flat-screen TVs which have no internet capabilities.
Enter Google’s genius device – Google Chromecast.
The Chromecast is 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 via your WiFi connection
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 devices running Android 4.2 or earlier, and fortunately, a lot of older smart TVs have Miracast capabilities as well.
The first thing to check is if your TV and your smartphone both support it – and you will need to look into its 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 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. Choose your television. After which you can now stream from your phone to your TV.
3. Use 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 you have a standard box-type TV without an HDMI connector.
If you have an old CRT or flat-screen TV that does not have an HDMI input port, this method will work for you. In that case, you’ll have to get creative and use the AV/composite port that’s 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 there’s also a chance it might not work.
What tools do you need?
First, you will need a phone that has an HDMI output feature, in which case you can check the list I gave above or check with your manufacturer if your phone has it. Second, you need an HDMI output cable – whether via USB-C or MHL. (See HDMI section above.)
Third, you’ll need an HDMI-to-composite video converter. These are third party devices that you can buy from your local Radio Shacks or online from Amazon or eBay.
What does it do? Your phone outputs video in high definition (HD) format, but an older TV won’t have the technology to access that, much less display it on its standard definition (SD) display. You 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.
Lastly, you’ll 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, 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.
4. Use Bluetooth
This section is a bonus. Some Smart TVs have Bluetooth streaming capabilities, wherein you can watch videos and use apps from your phone and cast it on the TV. Although not all Smart TVs have this feature.
Also, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can do a lot of exciting things with an Android device and a television for relatively little expense. Usually, when people are looking for ways on how to connect Android phones to TVs, it means that they want to be able to have a bigger screen and sound system for content that they usually access with their phones.
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 the reach of your Android device.
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 me in the comments section!