How to Watch Videos from Your Smartphone or Tablet on Your TV

Watch videos or play games on a much larger screen with these wired and wireless options.

Screens on smartphones today are getting bigger in size and better in quality, making watching videos and playing games more enjoyable than ever. Tablet screens are no slouch either. But nothing can top watching a movie on your 60-inch HDTV.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to connect your smartphone or tablet to your TV, so you can stream movies or share photos on the biggest screen you own—all without physically transferring any files.

Here are some options for connecting your devices—and a few accessories and apps sure to improve your viewing experiences.

Connect via streaming media device and apps

Some smart accessories help you stream content from your smartphone or tablet to your TV. The NETGEAR Push2TV® Wireless Display Adapter, for instance, lets you stream your personal media collection to your TV using Wi-Fi on your home network. It also supports Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast™ (seamless screen-sharing technology on Droid Maxx by Motorola and Droid Mini by Motorola) and Intel® WiDi.

Another smart accessory to try is Google Chromecast. Setup is easy. Simply plug Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Then, grab your mobile device and stream videos and music to your television. For example, you can stream content from your laptop’s Google Chrome™ browser tabs or your YouTube app to your television. Visit this list of Chromecast-supported apps to see which of your favorites will work.

Connect via HDMI

Many smartphones and tablets can use an HDMI cable (or an MHL to HDMI adapter) for a direct hookup to an HDMI-ready TV. Simply plug one end of the cable into your device and the other end into your TV. Once connected, what appears on the device will also appear on the TV, so you can look at pictures and video, surf the web, use apps or play games. Be sure to select the HDMI cable that’s compatible with your device.

To take full advantage of your surround sound system while streaming content from your phone to your TV, connect the Push2TV Wireless Display Adapter to your television via HDMI cable and plug it into a wall outlet or TV USB port. It’s small in size so it will lie inconspicuously next to your television.

Connect via DLNA or Miracast

There are two different technologies built into mobile devices and TVs that let you easily send media content from smartphone to TV over your home Wi-Fi network. A DLNA® (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified phone, such as the LG G3, can connect to a DLNA-certified TV as long as both devices are connected to the same Internet router.

Miracast technology, however, allows a smartphone to communicate with any other Miracast-certified device (not just a TV) over a Wi-Fi network. For example, the Belkin Miracast Video Adapter allows your devices to communicate directly with each other, rather than through the router, letting you push content wirelessly from your compatible device onto your HDTV screen. Setup is easy: Plug the adapter into your HDTV’s HDMI port, follow the quick installation guide and start streaming.

If both smartphone and TV are from the same manufacturer (whether they use DLNA or Miracast technology), they may come with apps that facilitate the connection process or even allow you to mirror your tablet screen directly on the TV. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S® 5 uses the AllShare® app to stream content to compatible Samsung HDTVs.

Connect via app

Several popular streaming-video subscription services have complementary apps that work between your mobile devices and your television—no cable required. This means that you can watch a video on your smartphone, stop it and then resume watching where you left off on your compatible Internet TV or vice versa.

As you can see, there are many options to connect your smartphone to your TV. Knowing what technologies your phone and TV use will help you figure out which option works best for you.

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. DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license. LG, LG Life’s Good, and the LG logo are registered trademarks of LG Corp. Galaxy S® is a trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Get the Tech

Google Chromecast™ Accessory
Belkin Miracast™ Video Adapter Accessory Shop
Samsung Galaxy S® 5 Smartphone

Local To You

Set Zip Code

Set Your Zip Code

Become an Insider