Tablets and phones are perfect for single users – lightweight with long battery life and bright, clear screens that make it easy for you, from watching movies to reviewing photos. We live in a golden age of content, thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, this is not so good when you want to share the experience with several people. Your perfect TV for that and we'll explore your options for putting your mobile content on the big screen.
To connect an Android phone or tablet to a TV, you can use an MHL / SlimPort cable (via Micro-USB) or Micro-HDMI, if supported, or cast the screen wirelessly using Miracast or Chromecast. In this article, we'll look at your options for viewing your phone or tablet screen on your TV. Here's how to connect your Android tablet or phone to your TV without spending a fortune or drowning in a sea of cables. We'll also see services that allow you to share your signatures, photos, and videos on the big screen – and those that won't be shared.
Connect Android TV Wireless
There is little to overcome the wow factor associated with streaming video directly from a tablet to your TV. The good thing about Android is that there is more than one way to do this. Miracast is a wireless standard that creates an ad hoc network between two devices, usually the tablet and a Miracast-compatible decoder. A growing number of TVs support Miracast without the need for extra hardware. Miracast uses H.264 for video streaming, which means efficient compression and decent full HD image quality.
Better yet: Miracast supports digital rights management (DRM), which means that services like iPlayer and YouTube can be streamed to a TV. However, not all services work – see below. Android devices with version 4.2 or higher support Miracast.
An (and friendlier) alternative is Google's Chromecast. This dongle, which in Brazil costs about R $ 220, is connected to a spare HDMI port on your TV and connects to your wireless network. Support for Chromecast is flourishing, meaning that content from services like iPlayer, Netflix, BT Sport, and more can be played with the Chromecast dongle, doing all the hard work instead of the tablet, and that's good news for battery life.
You can use Chromecast to mirror the screen of your Android device, letting you play on a tablet and start playing non-DRM-protected video on your TV. The same goes for anything the screen can display, including apps, games, and photos. You can also choose the more expensive Chromecast Ultra to stream 4K content as well.
BBC iPlayer also supports AirPlay. Note that you cannot use Sky Go to watch Sky shows on your TV via AirPlay.
Which devices support Chromecast mirroring?
Chromecast mirroring has now reached near ubiquity, with any device running Android 5 Lollipop or later capable of Casting Cast. All newer devices are supported, while Google says phones date back to the Samsung Galaxy S4 2013.
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is the standard interface of the day. If your TV was purchased in the last decade, it has an HDMI port, as do almost all decoders, game consoles, and a decent number of cameras and video.
The benefit of HDMI, in addition to its ubiquity (which means cheap), is that it accommodates HD video and audio simultaneously, allowing you to connect devices without worrying about watching a Full HD movie, but having to settle for the loudspeakers. tiny speakers on the tablet. This should also work on devices with only USB-C ports, so that the iPad Pro 2018 works as long as you have the correct cable.
HDMI plugs are supplied in three sizes as shown in the photo below. Common HDMI (or Type A, left) are the full-size ports you find on devices where space is not a problem: think of TVs, laptops, and game consoles. The sockets you are likely to find on tablets and phones will be Type C (also known as Mini HDMI in the middle) or Type D (Micro HDMI, right). Of these, the Micro HDMI, or Type D, the smallest.
However, you are not limited to buying a tablet with an HDMI output to connect it to your TV.
MHL or SlimPort
It's easy to understand HDMI – after all, a port that does only one thing. The downside is that not all tablets have an HDMI output, and very few phones do. The good news is that a couple of widely supported standards have emerged that allow Android owners to connect to external monitors using their microUSB port.
The standards in question are MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) and the latest SlimPort. Both look the same, which is obvious, as they simply use the microUSB port on an Android device to provide video.
Like HDMI, SlimPort and MHL support video and audio, with up to eight channels of surround sound available. Both typically require break boxes: a small dongle between the device and the TV that converts the phone signal into an HDMI compliant. MHL has gone through several versions: we are currently in version three, which improves the maximum resolution to 4K – although it costs a little more. It is the same as SlimPort and means that both standards offer quite similar technical specifications.
An advantage of MHL is the support of many TV manufacturers: look at the back of the TV and if the HDMI port has an MHL logo as above, you can use an HDMI to micro-USB cable to connect the two – the cable. HDMI power to your tablet or phone, meaning no extra adapters or cables are required. Bonus.
If your TV does not support MHL or if you have a SlimPort device, you will need an adapter. If you are using MHL, you probably need an external power source: MHL 3 can consume up to 10 watts from your host device. With SlimPort, no external power supply is required (it consumes a small amount of power from your device), making installation less confusing. However, both devices need a tablet screen to be on; therefore, break boxes usually come with a microUSB port so a charger can be connected.
Support for MHL and SlimPort varies greatly. With three different versions of MHL available and SlimPort, you will need to check your device specifications before purchasing an adapter.