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Best ways to stream any content from your phone to your TV

Watch your favorite shows or browse photos on the big screen using your phone or tablet

by CyberGuy Staff

How often do you find yourself scrolling through photos on your cell phone? Or are you watching the latest TV show on Netflix on your tablet because you don’t have a smart TV?

You can now turn any TV into a smart TV and stream movies, TV shows, or even use certain apps. Whether you’re using an iPhone, Android, or a tablet, there’s a way to stream that content onto your television screen.

Check out these devices and the easy steps you can follow to start streaming to your big screen.

 

How to stream content from your phone/tablet to your TV

 

Apple AirPlay

If you have any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or a Mac computer) you can use Apple AirPlay to cast your photos, videos, music, and more to your TV.

 

What is Apple AirPlay?

AirPlay allows you to easily connect your Apple devices to stream from your phone, tablet, or computer on to a TV. You can also mirror the screen of your device. Some newer Smart TV models are coming with AirPlay 2 integrated into their system, but we’ll be focusing on the original AirPlay that connects to an Apple TV.

apple tv remote

Requirements

You’ll need to connect an Apple TV to your television using an HDMI cable. You’ll also need to be connected to the internet. You can also stream to a Roku, but not every Roku model will connect to AirPlay.

Apple TV starts at $149 for the HD version and begins at $179 for the 4K version (on sale now for $169).

 

 

How to stream video from your Apple device to your TV

If you’re logged into any major streaming app (Netflix, Hulu, Disney, etc) or open a YouTube video, you’ll be able to cast it right to your TV from your device.

iphone apple airplay

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to the same WiFi network that your Apple TV is connected to.
  2. On your device, find the video you want to stream.
  3. Tap the AirPlay icon     (it looks like a Mac desktop – or a rectangle with a triangle pointing up from the bottom)
  4. If the app doesn’t show the AirPlay button automatically, try tapping the Share button (rectangle with an arrow pointing up on the top) and then tap AirPlay
  5. Choose your AppleTV and play

 

How to mirror your device’s screen onto your TV

In addition to streaming videos, you can mirror the screen of your smaller device to both your TV or your Mac computer. This will let you see the same thing on your iPhone or iPad as you see on the TV.

iphone screen mirror

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to the same WiFi network that your Apple TV is connected to.
  2. Open Control Center (iPhone X and later: swipe down from the upper right-hand corner of your screen. iPhone 8 and earlier: swipe up from the bottom edge of your phone’s screen.)
  3. Tap Screen Mirroring or the icon with two rectangles overlapping
  4. Select your Apple TV or Mac from the list (you may need to enter a passcode here that will pop up on your screen)
  5. Your device will now be mirrored

 

Google Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV Stick

Both Apple and Android users can one of these handy devices to stream any entertainment without having to buy an updated TV.

Requirements

You’ll need a TV that has an HDMI plug to use any of these products. You’ll also need WiFi.

  • For Roku, you’ll need to make a free account.
  • For the Google Chromecast, you’ll need to download the Google Home app (Android and iOS) on your device.
  • For the Fire TV Stick, you’ll need an Amazon.com account. You do not need to be a Prime member to use Fire TV Stick.

 

What is Google Chromecast?

Google Chromecast is a small device that plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port and lets you cast your favorite movies and shows from your phone. You can unplug and plug your Chromecast into any TV you want as long as it has an HDMI port, making it the perfect travel accessory.

google chromecast

Google Chromecast starts at $29.50 and works with the apps you already know and love.

  1. Plug in your Chromecast to your TV’s HDMI port
  2. Connect the supplied power cable to your Chromecast
  3. Download the Google Home app (Android and iOS)
  4. Set up your Chromecast by following the steps provided
  5. If the app you’re using is Chromecast-enabled (most of your favorite streaming services are compatible), you can tap the Cast button (rectangle with WiFi signal in the corner) and you’ll now see it displayed on your larger screen

 

How to cast your screen from an Android device

Google Chromecast is our top choice for Android users, and it works with Android devices 5.0 and higher. With Google Chromecast, Androids have the ability to not only cast a particular app, but you can cast your entire screen. Here’s how to cast your screen from an Android:

1. Make sure your Android and your Google Chromecast are on the same WiFi network
2. Turn the Microphone permission on in the Google Play Services app

  • Tap Settings
  • Scroll and tap Apps Google Play Services Permissions
  • Toggle the slider on next to Microphone

3. Open the Google Home app
4. Tap the device you want to cast your screen to
5. Tap Cast Screen

 

What is Roku?

Roku is another plug you pop into your HDMI port that will let you cast and stream content. It connects to many popular channels and streaming services.

roku streaming stick

Roku Streaming Stick starts at $29.99

  1. Connect the Roku to your TV and power source
  2. Make sure your Roku is connected to your WiFi
  3. Turn your TV on and change the input until the Roke welcome screen appears
  4. Follow the instructions to active your Roku device

 

What is Fire TV Stick?

Yet another HDMI output plug-in. You can also use a voice-activated remote with this one.

fire tv stick plus

The Fire TV Stick starts at $39.99.

  1. Plug your Fire TV stick into your TV’s HDMI port and plug the device into power
  2. Turn your Fire TV remote on by using batteries
  3. Turn your TV on and switch it to the proper input
  4. Your remote should pair automatically, otherwise press and hold the Home button for 10 seconds
  5. Connect your device to WiFi
  6. Then press the play/pause button to set up your Fire stick

Related: Why this is the best time to buy a new TV

Have you shared your family vacation photos this way with house guests yet?  Comment below.

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2 comments

larry February 17, 2022 - 5:08 am

where is the android hookup?

Reply
Kurt Knutsson February 17, 2022 - 11:23 pm

Hi Larry, see the updated section in our article above “How to cast your screen from an Android device”

Reply

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