How to Watch Videos from Your Smartphone or Tablet on Your TV
Viewing movies, flipping through pictures and playing games on the go may be convenient, but getting it all on a big screen at home is still better.
While watching movies and shows on smartphones and tablets can be a fantastic experience, thanks to bigger and better screens and more entertainment choices, there’s still a time—a party or family movie night for instance—when enjoying content on your television or projector is preferable.
Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to connect mobile devices to your big screen—with or without wires.
Connect via HDMI
Nearly all smartphones and tablets can use an HDMI adapter for a direct hookup to an HDMI-ready TV. Once connected, whatever you display on the device will also show up on the TV, meaning you can check out pictures and video, surf the web, use apps or even play games on the big screen. When you want to play games, or when you don’t want to leave the room for technical problems (such as losing your Wi-Fi connection), a wired HDMI connection is your most rock-solid option.
Depending on your living room setup, you may also want an extra long HDMI cable. Most cables run from 10 to 15 feet, but you can also find cables as long as 65 feet, which is ideal if you want to control what you watch from the convenience of the couch.
Send video with Miracast®
Miracast is a technology built into some TVs that lets you stream media content from compatible Android™ and Windows Phone® devices over your home Wi-Fi network. Phones and tablets with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or later have access to Miracast, although not all Android devices and computers have the ability to mirror your mobile screen via Miracast. Newer phones like the LG G4™ can do the job.
On the receiving end, many smart TVs have Miracast functionality built in, and Amazon’s Fire TV, as well as the Roku® 3 and Roku Streaming Stick™ all support it. That means you see your favorite TV show on the big screen from an app such as Netflix®. Microsoft also just started supporting Miracast streaming on its Xbox One, though only for tablets running Windows 8.1.
If you have none of those devices and just want to make your TV Miracast compatible, the Belkin® Miracast Video Adapter, which plugs into your display’s HDMI input, will do the trick.
One of the benefits of Miracast is that it’s usually easy to set up and activate. Often, as in the case of Roku devices, it’s as simple as enabling screen mirroring on your Roku device, then just clicking on a streaming icon that automatically pops up on your phone or tablet to start viewing on the big screen.
A DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)-certified phone such as the Samsung Galaxy S® 6, S® 6 edge or HTC One® M9 can connect to a DLNA-certified TV, projector or set-top box as well as an Xbox One, when both devices are connected to the same Internet router.
Stream with Apple TV®
Airplay—used by iOS devices—wirelessly beams music, photos and video to your set-top box. You’ll need an Apple TV, but once you’ve got that it’s as easy as selecting the Airplay icon from iTunes® or the Videos app (or another supported app—see below) to stream to the big screen.
Apps for streaming
Many popular streaming video services have apps that let you easily send movies and shows from your device to your television. The apps make it easy to start watching a video on your smartphone or tablet, then pick up where you left off on your TV, and vice versa.
Evan Shamoon has contributed to various print and web publications, including XLR8R, Men’s Journal, Polygon and Rolling Stone. You can follow him on Twitter at @giantmecha.
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This content was created by an author contracted by Verizon Wireless to provide helpful information on mobile technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.
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