Hello Mi Fans,
There are times when you're watching something on your phone and you want to share it with the room, or just see it on a bigger display. Those with Android devices have a few options, including built-in features and third-party apps. Let's break down your choices, from simple to more complex.
Cast With Chromecast
If you have a Chromecast dongle or a TV with built-in Chromecast support, your best bet is to see if the app you want to watch on TV supports casting. If so, you can send content from your phone to the TV with a few taps. Supported apps include Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Google Photos. Just make sure your device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast/smart TV. Then tap the cast icon in the app, and choose the compatible device to which you'd like to cast.
This option is ideal for apps with copyrighted content, which often block traditional screen mirroring. Netflix, for example, will black out the video and only play audio if you try to play something while screen mirroring.
Android Screen Mirroring
Screen mirroring, however, is good for apps without a Cast button. Note that while Android has supported screen mirroring since version 5.0 Lollipop, some phones are better optimized to use it than others.
There are two ways to do this. On some Android phones, you can pull down the settings shade and find a Cast button with the same icon you'd find inside your apps. Tap this and it will share your entire screen.
If not, install the Google Home app. Navigate to Account Mirror device Cast Screen/Audio (above) to cast your display to a compatible device.
Samsung Galaxy Smart View
Samsung's Galaxy phones, meanwhile, have something called Smart View, which allows you to connect and share to and from your mobile device.
Connect With an Adapter or Cable
If you don't have a Chromecast-compatible device—or if your phone isn't optimized for it—you can use an HDMI adapter or cable to connect your phone to your TV and mirror what's on your screen.
You have a few different options here, and which one you choose will depend on the type of display you're connecting to, how long, and most importantly whether or not you'll need to charge your phone while doing it.
USB-C to HDMI Adapter
The simplest option is an HDMI adapter like this one from AmazonBasics. If your phone has a USB-C port, you can plug this adapter into your phone, and then plug an HDMI cable into the adapter to connect to the TV. Your phone will need to support HDMI Alt Mode, which allows mobile devices to output video. This method will take up your charging port, though.
USB-C to HDMI Converter
If you need to charge your phone while you mirror it, then you'll want a converter like this one, which plugs into the USB-C port, then gives you an HDMI port, as well as another USB-C outlet. You can plug in a charger and an HDMI cable and mirror your phone as long as you need.
Micro USB to HDMI Adapter
If you have an older Micro USB-style port, you'll need a different adapter, like this one. With this method, your phone will need to support a different protocol called MHL (here's a list of phones that support MHL). If you have a supported phone, hook it up to the adapter, then attach an HDMI cable and connect it to a TV. This particular adapter also includes a charging port on the side, so you can keep your phone topped up while you watch.
Stream with a DLNA App
Finally, if the previous options don't work for you, most internet-connected TVs support a streaming protocol called DLNA. With this, you can stream media files from your phone—or any of your other devices—to your TV.
Be warned, though, that any files you do stream can't have any Digital Rights Management (DRM) features, which means you'll have to stick to your own music and videos; Netflix wouldn't be supported here. Fortunately, this still covers most things you might want to send from your phone to your TV.
Stream with LocalCasts
LocalCasts is a simple, free app that lets you stream your own music, photos, or videos to a DLNA device like a smart TV or console. It also supports streaming to Chromecast targets, which is handy if you want to share your own files on a TV without mirroring your entire screen. When sharing pictures to a Chromecast device, you can even rotate, pan, and zoom photos, making it helpful for presentations.
Stream with AllCast
AllCast is a similar app to LocalCasts, but adds a few extra bells and whistles, such as streaming to more devices, including the PlayStation 4. It also lets you stream media from Dropbox, so you no longer need to fill your phone with big files in order to stream them to your TV.
Stream with Plex
The popular media management app Plex also works as a DLNA streamer, though in a less direct way. A Plex server running on your computer can host music, photos, or videos, and stream them to your TV. You can use the mobile app to browse your library, pick which media to stream, and send it to the television via Chromecast or DLNA.
The downside to using the Plex app is that the computer where you set up your server will need to be on and connected to the internet any time you want to stream your files. However, Plex does allow you to host media files far larger than the ones that would fit on your phone.
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