(Pocket-lint) – For many people, phones have become the main device for consuming content. However, some content deserves to be viewed on a larger screen, and perhaps also with a capable sound system.
Of course, many 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, which can access almost anything.
So how do you share content from your Android phone to your TV? There are a variety of methods, and they’re all pretty easy to set up, so get hooked up.
Wireless connection with a Chromecast or Android TV
Our favorite method of connecting Android phones to the big screen is through Chromecasting. To do this, you’ll either need to buy a Google Chromecast device or have a TV with Chromecast built-in. Most Android-based smart TVs have this feature without the need for additional hardware.
The good news is that Chromecast dongles are very affordable, and if you opt for the new Chromecast with Google TV, you can turn any old TV into a full 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 look for the square-shaped broadcast icon in your Android phone’s apps, the vast majority of content providers will have one.
When you tap the cast icon, content from the app will stream to your TV instead of the 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 stream it to your TV. You’ll just have to mirror your screen instead.
Screen mirroring is enabled differently on different devices, on a Google Pixel for example you can simply pull down the notification/settings shade and tap on Screen Cast. The same goes for Realme, Oppo and OnePlus phones. Samsung works the same way, but it’s called Smart View instead.
If you can’t find a screenshot option on your phone, try opening the settings menu and searching for “Cast”, as you’ll often find something there.
Wired connection with an adapter
If Chromecasting isn’t meeting your needs, you can always plug things in the old fashioned way. This method is particularly suitable for mobile games, since its latency is much lower than that of a wireless link. Plus, if you connect a wireless controller, you can essentially use your phone like a Nintendo Switch.
You have tons of options when it comes to adapters, but you’ll probably 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 connect additional USB devices and even charge the phone while connected. The phone will need to support HDMI Alt Mode for these adapters to work properly.
Older phones with micro USB may still work, but you will need a different adapter and make sure the phone supports MHL.
Once connected, your screen will be mirrored to the TV, just like you’re screencasting wirelessly. Some phones, like Samsung for example, support a Windows-style desktop experience when connected via HDMI. If so, you will be given the option to choose between desktop experience or screen mirroring.
DLNA wireless streaming
If you don’t want to buy anything and you already have a smart TV or games console, chances are they support DLNA streaming over Wi-Fi.
This technology works a little differently than Chromecasting, you won’t be able to mirror your screen, or watch DRM-protected content such as Netflix.
You will, however, be able to wirelessly transmit your photos, videos and music to the TV – something many people are looking to achieve.
The easiest way to do this is to download a DLNA streaming app on your Android phone, there are plenty to choose from, but popular options include AllCast, Cast to TV and LocalCast.
Written by Luke Baker.