Most have a computer, tablet or smartphone these days, but for many the screen is rather small--anywhere from 5-24 inches depending on the device. Wouldn’t it be nice to watch your movies on your big screen TV? Well, you can and it’s even pretty easy!
There are many methods and devices you can use, but let’s look at some of the more common options.
iPhone and iPad
iPhones and iPads can mirror their displays to your HDTV or projector, this means that everything you see on your iPhone or iPad is displayed as big as life on your TV. This makes it really easy to show grandma those videos of the grandkids, without having to squint at a tiny screen. If you have Apple TV then you can stream wirelessly, but we’ll cover the more affordable (and more portable) wired connection here.
What you need: an iPhone 5 or above or an iPad 3 or above, an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter, an HDMI cable and an HDTV or projector.
Connect one end of the HDMI cable to the Lightning adapter. Connect the Lightning adapter to the charging port on your device. Now connect the HDMI cable to an open HDMI port on the TV. Turn the TV on and switch to the correct HDMI input. You should now see your home screen on the TV! Open whatever content you want (videos, pictures, etc) and show them off.
If you have a desktop, laptop or tablet running Windows 7 or 8 you’ll find it is very easy to connect them to your TV. Again, there are many different methods (including wireless) that can be used, but for the purpose of simplicity we’ll look at two wired connections.
What you need: a computer running Windows 7 or 8 with an HDMI or VGA port, an HDMI or VGA cable and an HDTV or projector.
Connect one end of the HDMI or VGA cable to your computer and the other to the TV. Turn the TV on and switch to the correct input (HDMI or VGA). Sometimes your computer will detect the additional display automatically, but if it doesn’t, simply press and hold the Windows key and tap the “P” key. This will cycle through your display options: “PC Screen Only,” “Duplicate,” “Extend,” and “Second Screen Only.” The first option will use your monitor and the TV will be blank. The second option will show the same image on both screens. Option three will extend the image across both displays, effectively merging them into one display. The final option will deactivate the native display and show the image on the TV only. Most people will choose either “Duplicate” or “Extend,” but you should use whichever one works best for you.
There are many apps for Android that will stream content to your TV, but unlike Apple and Microsoft devices, there isn’t a simple cable arrangement available, and only select devices are capable of mirroring the display. Most of the streaming apps are limited in what they can stream. Possibly the easiest option is Google’s Chromecast device.
What you need: an Android phone, a Chromecast device, a wireless network and an HDTV.
First, connect the Chromecast device to an open HDMI port on your TV, switch the TV to the correct input, and connect the Chromecast to your wireless network. Next install or launch the Chromecast app on your phone. Ensure your phone is connected to the same wireless network as the Chromecast device. Now, launch the Chromecast app on your phone, slide out the menu on the left of the screen and tap “Cast Screen.” Your display should now appear on the TV.
Other Wireless Options
There are many ways to wirelessly connect your mobile devices to your TV, including Miracast, Roku, Slingbox, Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and AirPlay. Most of these require either more expensive hardware, additional setup, subscription fees, etc. Which one is right for you depends on many factors, if you need help choosing one or getting them set up just call us!
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