So you’ve got a TV and you’ve got an Android smartphone or tablet. How do you get the data from your Android onto your TV?
There are a few different ways to do that. Today, I’m going to explain the best ways to connect any Android to a TV.
Perhaps the simplest way to connect Android tablets or smartphones to your TV is through HDMI.
This tip is easier for tablets because you already have an HDMI port, which means you can connect any HDMI cable from your tablet to your TV to instantly use your TV as a display.
The benefit to HDMI (among other things) is that it streams HD video and audio at the same time, which means you can connect your Android and enjoy your TV’s speakers (or speaker system) at the same time.
HDMI may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a huge advantage that Android tablets have over Apple’s iPad.
HDMI is also ubiquitous (unless you’re using Apple products). If your TV was purchased in the last 10 years, it has an HDMI input. And you’d be hard-pressed to find an Android tablet without an HDMI output slot.
However, some miniature tablets (and Android smartphones) will have a mini HDMI port or micro HDMI port (yes, these are two different things). You can find adapters for both of these ports for under $10.
Consider SlimPort and MHL
While HDMI is the obvious standard for connecting Androids to TVs, there’s a new rising technology called SlimPort and MHL. These technologies deliver video and audio simultaneously and can even support up to eight channels of surround sound.
MHL is a good solution if you’re using an Android device without HDMI support. All you really need is a microUSB port and an adapter for your TV.
MHL Stands for Mobile Highdefinition Link. There’s also SlimPort, which is basically the same technology, but it’s just a little newer.
To use this technology, you’ll need to buy a small dongle called a breakout box. This dongle attaches to your TV and converts data from your Android into data readable on your TV.
One of the cool advantages of MHL is that it supports resolutions up to 4K (the same as SlimPort).
To find out if your TV supports MHL, check out the back of your TV and look around the HDMI port for an MHL logo. If you see that logo, then you can use HDMI to micro-USB cable to connect the two.
Support for MHL and SlimPort varies widely between devices. There are three different versions of MHL available and some devices don’t support MHL, they only support SlimPort.
The Microsoft Surface and Galaxy Tab 3 both support MHL, for example, while the Nexus 5 supports SlimPort.
It still feels amazing to wirelessly beam the display from your Android tablet or smartphone to your TV. It’s one of those “wow” moments that you can use to impress people at your next party.
The best part is that there are multiple ways to beam your display to your TV. Here are the two most popular ways.
Miracast is a wireless standard that basically creates a network between your TV and your Android. An increasing number of TVs support Miracast. If your TV does not, then you might find that your set-top box supports Miracast. If you already have Miracast support, then you don’t need extra hardware. Android devices running Android 4.2 support Miracast.
Accessing Miracast is pretty straightforward. Open your Android settings menu, look for the Device section, then tap Display. Scroll down on this menu until you see Cast Screen. Look for the Menu button at the top of your screen and find Enable wireless display.
Your device will begin scanning for nearby Miracast devices and then display them in a list under Cast Screen. Miracast receivers that are powered on and nearby will appear in this list.
The main advantage of Miracast is that it simply outputs the contents of your Android display onto your TV. It doesn’t require you to use an app with Chromecast support: everything on your Android device is now on your TV. It’s that easy.
Priced at around $30, it’s tough to beat Chromecast in terms of cost-effectiveness and ease of use. You slide the Chromecast into a spare HDMI port on your TV and then connect it to your wireless network.
Many popular Android apps now have Chromecast support. Look for the Chromecast button in apps like YouTube, for example, and you’ll instantly be able to stream directly to your TV.
Most popular Android devices now support Chromecast mirroring. However, if your phone was released in 2013 or earlier, then it may not have Chromecast support.
There are other ways to get mobile data onto your TV, but these are the most popular. Let us know of any additional tips in the comments section below!