(Pocket-lint) – For many people, phones have become the primary device for content consumption. However, some content deserves to be watched on a bigger screen, and maybe with a banging sound system, too.
Sure, many people have Smart TVs these days and lots of content can be accessed via the TV’s native apps. But there’s always something that’s missing from the list, and that’s almost never the case with smartphones, which can access just about everything.
So, how do you go about sharing content from your Android phone to your TV? There’s a variety of methods, and they’re all fairly easy to set up, so let’s get you hooked up.
Wireless connection with a Chromecast or Android TV
Our favorite method for connecting Android phones to the big screen is 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 functionality without the need for additional hardware.
The good news is that Chromecast dongles are very affordable, and if you opt for the newer Chromecast with Google TV, you can turn any old TV into a full-featured Android TV for a reasonable price.
If you need to set up a Chromecast, we’ve got a simple guide that you can follow here. Once it’s up and running, all you need to do is look out for the square-shaped cast icon within the apps on your android phone, the vast majority of content providers will have one.
When you tap the cast icon, the content from the app will be streamed to your TV rather than the phone, and you can control the playback with your handset.
If your desired content doesn’t feature a cast button, don’t worry, you can still cast it to your TV. You’ll just have to mirror your screen instead.
Screen mirroring is activated differently on different devices, on a Google Pixel, for example, you can just pull down the notification/settings shade and tap on Screen Cast. The same is true for Realme, Oppo and OnePlus phones. Samsung works the same but it’s called Smart View instead.
If you can’t find a screencast option on your phone, try opening the settings menu and searching for “Cast” as you’ll often find something in there.
Wired connection with an adapter
If Chromecasting doesn’t fit your needs, you can always plug things in the old-fashioned way. This method is particularly suited to mobile gaming, as it’s much lower latency than a wireless link. Plus, if you hook up a wireless controller, you can basically use your phone like a Nintendo Switch.
You have a wealth of options when it comes to adapters, but you’ll most likely be looking for a USB-C to HDMI adapter. You’ll then need an HDMI cable to connect the TV to the adapter.
Another great option is a USB-C hub, this can allow for connecting additional USB devices and even charging the phone while connected. The phone will need to support HDMI Alt Mode in order for these adapters to function correctly.
Older phones with micro USB might still work, but you’ll need a different adapter, and make sure the phone supports MHL.
Once connected, your screen will be mirrored on the TV, just as if you were screencasting wirelessly. The are some phones, like Samsung for instance, that support a Windows-style desktop experience when connected via HDMI. If that’s the case you’ll be given the option to choose between the desktop experience or screen mirroring.
DLNA wireless streaming
If you don’t want to purchase anything, and you already have a smart TV or games console, there’s a good chance they’ll support DLNA streaming over Wi-Fi.
This technology works a little differently to Chromecasting, you won’t be able to mirror your screen, nor will you be able to watch DRM-protected content such as Netflix.
You will, however, be able to wirelessly transmit your photos, videos and music to the TV – which is what a lot of people are looking to achieve.
The easiest way to do this is by downloading a DLNA casting app on your Android phone, there are loads to choose from, but popular options include AllCast, Cast to TV and LocalCast.
Writing by Luke Baker.