Connecting Smartphone or Tablet to your TV: here how it works

Now that TVs are becoming smarter and the remote control is starting to make way for the smartphone and tablet, we are increasingly asked how these mobile devices should be connected to a TV. In this article we, therefore, set out the simplest and most commonly used ways to connect your smartphone or tablet to your television.

Apps from TV manufacturers

The most logical and convenient way to connect your smartphone or tablet to a TV is by using the applications that manufacturers release. Almost all major manufacturers nowadays have their own applications, suitable for large platforms such as Android, iOS and Windows. With these apps you can not only operate the TV but often also easily send or stream content from your tablet or smartphone to the TV. The only thing needed for this is a WiFi network to which both the TV and the smartphone or tablet are connected. You can find more information about the applications with the manufacturer and their possibilities in our extensive reviews. You can also read more about streaming media to your TV.

Connect your smartphone or tablet via MHL

Not all connections need to be made wirelessly and MHL is one of the most used and most convenient ways to physically connect your tablet or smartphone to a TV. Many mobile devices are nowadays equipped with an MHL port. MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) is a physical connection between a display and a mobile device, using the MicroUSB port. This is, via an MHL adapter / cable connected to the HDMI connection of a TV, after which the image of the mobile device can be mirrored on TV.

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In addition to the fact that you can make a fast and stable connection via a cable, MHL offers other advantages. For example, you can operate the connected tablet or smartphone with the TV remote control, and the connected device can be charged while content is being played. Read more about displaying the image of a smartphone or tablet on TV with MHL.

WiFi network: DLNA communication

Nowadays we all have a WiFi network at home with which all mobile and fixed devices can be connected. The advantage of this connection is that the devices can communicate with each other via the WiFi network and a communication protocol. One device thus gains access to (shared) content on the other device. Thanks to DLNA, the most well-known communication protocol, files can be exchanged (streamed). This way you can use your TV to access the media and files that are on your NAS or the shared folders on your computer. You can also give your TV access to content on your smartphone or tablet with a (DLNA) application. Read more about DLNA .

NFC and Miracast

Miracast is a standard that we do not see on all TVs, but makes it possible to display the image of a smartphone or tablet on TV wirelessly and in high quality. The two devices (smartphone or tablet and TV) that are equipped with Miracast support do not need an external Wi-Fi network. Together they set up a so-called ad-hoc network, a network that is only used between the two devices. This allows a higher speed to be achieved and you can easily stream videos.

NFC is part of the process to communicate via Miracast. NFC is in fact a standard for connecting two devices. If you have a smartphone or tablet (or other mobile device) that has NFC support, you can easily connect this device to your TV. All you have to do is keep the mobile device close to the NFC sticker. The two devices then automatically establish a connection to share media, without using additional settings, for example through Miracast. Read more about Miracast and NFC on your TV .

Apple TV and Google Chromecast

You can also use an accessory/media player to let your smartphone or tablet communicate with your TV. There are now a lot of options on the market but the best known devices are the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast . Both actually do the same; they make it possible to display media from your smartphone or tablet on TV. This can be stored media, but especially media that is offered in apps.

Think for example of Netflix series that you launch on TV iPad and display on your TV via Apple TV or a YouTube video that you look upon your smartphone and send to your TV via the Chromecast. However, the Apple TV is only suitable for devices from Apple itself, while the Chromecast supports PCs with Chrome browser, Android devices and iOS devices, among others. Both devices connect wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet and are physically connected to the TV for audio and video.

Since the beginning of 2017, Google also offers Chromecast built-in. This means that the TV, receiver or speaker has a built-in Chromecast and you can stream content directly from a mobile device.


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