There are times when you’re watching something on your phone and want to share it with the room or simply view it on a bigger screen. Those with Android devices have several options, including built-in features, third-party apps, and wired connections. Let’s break down your options, from the simplest to the most complex solutions.
Cast With Chromecast
If you have a Chromecast dongle or a smart TV with built-in Chromecast support, but you have to see if the app you want to watch on TV supports cast, or not?. If so, you can send content from your phone to your TV with a few taps.
Supported apps include Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Google Photos, although many of them are already streaming on Android TV or Chromecast with Google TV.
Make sure your device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast or smart TV and tap the square icon in the app. Select the compatible device you want to cast. A cast is an ideal option for apps with copyrighted content, as apps like Netflix will turn off the video if you attempt screen mirroring.
Screen mirroring is best for apps that don’t contain protected content or that officially support transmission. You will need a compatible Chromecast or smart TV to use this feature, once it can be connected to the Google Home app.
Once the device is added to your Google Home, Open the app and tap the plus (+) icon in the top left corner to add the device, if needed. Otherwise, tap the device you want to cast and tap Cast my screen at the bottom to place your phone’s screen on the TV.
When you’re done, tap Stop mirroring in the app.
Some Fire TV and Roku streaming devices also support screen mirroring, though check with Amazon and Roku, respectively, to ensure compatibility for your specific device.
Support for screen mirroring may vary by the manufacturer since the feature was introduced with Android version 5.0 Lollipop.
Many phones have a Cast button built into the phone’s settings or under the settings drop-down shade. Like Samsung devices have something called Smart View to connect and share to and from your mobile device.
Connect With an Adapter or Cable
If you don’t have a Chromecast compatible device, you can use an HDMI cable and adapter to connect your phone to your TV and mirror what’s on your screen. You have several options here, and which one you choose will depend on the type of screen you’re connected to, how long it lasts, and—most importantly—whether or not you need to charge your phone while doing so.
The simplest option is a USB-C to HDMI adapter. If your phone has a USB-C port, you can plug this adapter into your phone, then connect an HDMI cable to the adapter to connect to the TV. Your phone must support HDMI Alt Mode, which allows the mobile device to output video. This method will use your charging port unless your adapter has a charging port.
If you have an older Micro USB-style port, you’ll need a micro USB to HDMI adapter. With this method, your phone must support a different protocol called MHL. If you have a supported phone, plug it into the adapter, then plug in the HDMI cable and connect it to the TV.
Stream With DLNA
If the previous options don’t work for you, most internet-connected TVs support a streaming protocol called DLNA, which will let you stream your own music and videos to your TV. Be warned, though, that Netflix (and any DRM content) won’t be supported here. Fortunately, this still covers most things you might want to send from your phone to your TV.
LocalCast is a simple and free app that you can download on the play store and lets you stream your own music, photos, or videos to a DLNA device like a smart TV or console. It also supports streaming to Chromecast targets, which is useful if you want to share your own files on your TV without mirroring your entire screen. The app even lets you stream from Google Drive, Dropbox, and web pages. AllCast is similar to LocalCast, but you have to upgrade to the premium version to remove the ads.
The popular media management app Plex also works as a DLNA streamer, though in a less direct way. A Plex server running on your computer can host music, photos, or videos, and stream them to your TV. You can use the mobile app to browse your library, pick which media to stream, and send it to the television via Chromecast or DLNA.
The downside to using the Plex app is that the computer where you set up your server will need to be on and connected to the internet any time you want to stream your files. However, Plex does allow you to host media files far larger than the ones that would fit on your phone.