How to watch videos from your phone on your TV

Watching videos on your phone or tablet is great. Streaming those videos to your big-screen TV? Even better.

There are lots of ways to see your phone though your TV. Here’s how to enjoy those photos, watch videos and more.

Use a wire to connect

Nearly all smartphones and tablets can plug into an HDMI-ready TV. One cable end plugs into your phone or tablet while the other plugs into the HDMI port on your TV.

Once connected, whatever you display on your phone will also show up on your TV. You can check out pictures, watch video, surf the web, use apps and play games on your big screen.

Top reason to connect: It’s super simple—just one cable to connect. There’s no Wi-Fi connection or password.

Consider this: Most HDMI cables are 15 feet or shorter, but you can find some as long as 65 feet. The longer the better if you’re sitting on a couch that’s on the other end of a spacious entertainment room.

Go wireless

If cords are not your thing, get a gadget that plugs into your TV, connects to your home Wi-Fi and communicates between your phone and TV.

Google Chromecast™ is one example. With it, you can start watching a YouTube™ video on your phone or tablet and then easily pick up where you left off on your TV, and vice versa.

The Roku® Streaming Stick® lets you put your Android™ screen on your TV. Enable screen mirroring in your Roku settings and casting on your Android device, then click on the streaming icon that pops up on your phone or tablet to start viewing on the big screen.

If you use an iOS device, AirPlay® lets you wirelessly beam 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 such as Netflix®) to stream to the big screen.

Top reason to connect: Streaming movies and shows directly to your TV using these gadgets couldn’t be easier. The connection between them and your phone is a bonus.

Consider this: There are plenty of apps that support wireless streaming, including Amazon Instant Video™, Netflix, Hulu™, HBO GO®, YouTube and Vimeo™.

Get a smarter TV

If you’re considering a new TV, look for one that’ll communicate directly with your phone or tablet.

Check out Miracast™, which lets you stream your stuff with your home Wi-Fi. It’s compatible with Windows Phone® and Androids with 4.2 Jelly Bean or later, although not all Android devices can mirror your mobile screen via Miracast. Newer phones like the LG G4™ can do the job.

DLNA® stands for Digital Living Network Alliance. A DLNA-certified phone such as the Samsung Galaxy S 6 or HTC One® M9 can connect to a DLNA-certified TV, projector or set-top box as well as an Xbox One™, when you link them to your home Wi-Fi.

Top reason to connect: There’s nothing between your phone and your TV. No wires and no streaming gadget required.

Consider this: Want to make your current TV compatible with Miracast? The Belkin® Miracast Video Adapter plugs into your TV’s HDMI input. That’ll do the trick.