How to get anything from your phone onto your TV

picture of the remote control

Watching movies and shows on your phone is all well and good—and it might seem like a fictional future to anyone from the ’90s—but sometimes you need to see everything much bigger. If you need to get videos, photos or audio on your TV screen from your phone, these are the best ways to do it.

Most of the time, this will involve plugging in an extra gadget to the back of your TV, such as an Apple TV 4K box or a Roku streaming stick. However, modern TVs come with more and more necessary functions (such as AirPlay support or the Chromecast standard) built right in.

If you own an iPhone

Often the best way to expand the capabilities of your Apple devices is to…Buy more Apple devices. That’s true with iPhone too: For a seamless, versatile, and stress-free experience of getting content from your iPhone on your TV screen, you can need to get Apple TV 4K Box.

When plugged into your TV, turned on, and connected to the same wifi as your iPhone, your Apple TV 4K will appear as the target destination when you hit the AirPlay button in an audio or video app (this is the arrow pointing up a rectangle). In some applications, there is an AirPlay button in the sharing menu (the arrow is detached from the box).

Apple TV 4K

The Apple TV 4K box works well with the iPhone.
picture: apple

You can also mirror what’s on your iPhone screen to your Apple TV 4K through the magic of AirPlay. Swipe down from the top right of iOS to open Control Center, then tap the Screen Mirroring button (these are two rectangles next to each other). Choose your Apple TV 4K from the list to establish the connection.

In the last years, Apple has allowed TV manufacturers to build AirPlay directly into their kits, so you don’t necessarily need an Apple TV 4K anymore. The same connection method applies: the TV must be on the same wifi network as the iPhone, and it will appear when you press the AirPlay or Screen Mirroring buttons. To see a list of AirPlay-enabled TVs, click here.

Apple Airplay

You can mirror your iPhone screen using AirPlay.
screenshot: apple

more New Roku Devices AirPlay support too, so you can use it in the same way – if your TV doesn’t have the functionality, connect your Roku instead. For Google Chromecasts, there is no built-in casting support from iOS or Apple’s own apps, but most third-party apps on iPhone (including YouTube, Netflix and Spotify) will display a cast button: Click this to watch Chromecasts (and TVs that Support Chromecast) connected to the same wifi network, and start broadcasting audio or video over it.

Two powerful third-party apps can help you in your endeavours, very. Fire TV Stick Screen Mirroring It’s $5 per month after a trial period, and does exactly what it isIt’s name suggests, allowing you to mirror your iPhone screen or send photos and videos to Amazon dongle. then there Authentic copy$30 per year with a free trial, which lets you mirror your iPhone screen to devices (like Chromecasts) that may only support streaming audio and video out of the box.

If you own an Android phone

Finding out the best way to use Android is always more complicated, because of course there are differences between manufacturers and Android versions. The Chromecast standard is supported almost everywhere, Though, this is one of the easiest ways to get content from your phone onto your TV screen.

Plug your Chromecast into the back of the TV, make sure your Android phone is on the same wifi, and the device will show up when you tap the cast button (it looks like a rectangle with a small wifi wave in the corner, if you’re not familiar with it). Most Android apps that can play audio or video will display this button somewhere.

Chromecast protocol

Cast protocol is the reasonable choice for Android.
screenshot: Android

You can also use Chromecast to mirror what’s on your Android screen to your TV screen. you need to own Google Home for Android Installed, which you should have after setting up your Chromecast: Find and select your Chromecast from the Home screen in the Home app, then choose send my screen.

If you don’t have access to Chromecast, everything will be much more difficult. Some Android devices support screen mirroring on Roku sticks, so this is one option, but it varies by manufacturer and is often called something different from phone to phone. It’s not available on Google Pixel phones, for example, but it’s available on Samsung Galaxy phones, where it’s called Smart View.

Amazon Fire Steak

If you have an Amazon Fire Stick, you have options.
picture: Amazon

It’s a similar story with Amazon Fire TV sticks and boxes: press and hold the Home button on the Fire TV remote for a few seconds, then choose reflection from the screen that appears. Once this is configured, you can go to Settings on your Android device and choose Connected devices To see an Amazon device, if mirroring is supported – again, the actual name of the feature will vary depending on the phone.

You may find some use for OlcastIt is an Android app that costs $5 if you want to unlock all its features. It allows you to transfer audio, video, and photos from your Android phone to a wide variety of devices that may be connected to your TV, including Apple TV 4K, Roku dongles, and Amazon Fire TV gadgets.

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