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How To Mirror Your Smartphone Or Tablet On Your TV

It's a pretty fantastic world we live in today, especially when it comes to mobile technology. Countless hours of entertainment are available anywhere, anytime, anywhere. And all this from a small device that fits in your pocket. As practical and as wonderful as smartphones are the contents on a large flat screen TV. For those who want to get more content from their tablet or smartphone than anywhere else, this big screen in the living room can make a serious sizeable thing.

So why can not you have your cake and see too? You can, thanks to the magic of reflection. A rapidly growing arsenal of devices allows everything on your phone or tablet to be mirrored from the screen of your phone to your TV. For those who want to connect the second screen with the screen that started it all, we have put together this list of the best, cheapest and cheapest options. We've done all the research for you so dive in and pick your poison.

Set Top Boxes

Apple TV ($ 150-200)

  Apple TV Review
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

Not to be confused with the mythical Stories of actual television, Apple should long be rumored, the Apple TV set-top box is a streaming device that competes head-to-head with Roku devices (see below), Amazon Fire TV sets and other streamers. With a wide selection of apps, an intuitive touch remote, and direct access to iTunes (no other streamer can claim this), the Apple TV – or, if you feel happy, the $ 200 Apple TV 4K – is a good choice anchored in the Apple ecosystem.

What's great for our purposes is AirPlay. Apple's proprietary wireless protocol suite is an ingeniously simple way to wirelessly transfer video, audio and just about anything else from your iOS device to any display with an HDMI input. To do this, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and click on the Airplay icon in the Quick Menu (which looks like a square with a triangle). AirPlay Mirroring is really just the beginning. Experienced users can find all sorts of interesting ways to use this box as a media or smart home hub. Even if an iPhone is Cupertino's only currency, Apple TV, the mirroring device of choice, makes sense. AirPlay 2 even offers increased functionality, though it does not offer new mirroring capabilities.

Read our Apple TV 4K review

Roku ($ 30 to $ 100)

<img src = "data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAP /// yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" data-dt- lazy-src = "https://icdn3.digitaltrends.com/image/roku-streaming-stick-plus-in-tv-720×720.jpg" onerror = "dti_load_error (this)" class = "size-large wp-image -1266945 dt-lazy-load dt-lazy-pending "alt =" roku Streaming Stick + Rating on TV [19659006] Caleb Denison / Digital Trends

Caleb Denison / Digital Trends

Roku's diverse collection of streaming devices What makes Roku so effective is its ridiculous selection of apps (well over 1,000) and its intuitive user interface – even better, while the Roku family (which includes several iterations and price levels) takes a long time no real native mirroring more, the company updated its devices, so the newer Models could provide direct screen mirroring for Android and Windows devices. 19659002] The service is available for Android 4.2+ devices and Windows 8.1+ devices. Their "hardware needs to support screen glare," Roku says, though most devices work in one form or another. For Android devices, Roku points out that mirroring uses many terms, including Smart View, Quick Connect, SmartShare, AllShare Cast, Wireless Display, HTC Connect, Screen Casting, and Cast. Once you've found the right terminology, you can usually enable mirroring from the Settings menu under Network or Display.

For Windows 8.1 devices or later, you can mirror by following this Microsoft article. For Windows 10 devices, open the Action Center, select Project, then Connect to a wireless display and then select the Roku device on your network. T Mirror to Roku natively, users can view personal photos, videos and music to Roku with the Play on Roku feature in the Roku app. In addition, with some popular apps, you can stream content through Roku to the TV, including Video & TV Cast and AllCast. Third-party apps may take longer to set up because you need to download apps to your target device and your iOS device. For AllCast you need to upgrade to the $ 5 version (otherwise you are limited to a few minutes of video playback). These apps also work with Roku TVs, such as the excellent, affordable TCL P-Series TVs and other TCL models.

Read our Roku Streaming Stick + review

Amazon Fire TV ($ 30 to $ 120)

  amazon fire tv review 3rd Generation 2017 067 1
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

After many fanfares, Amazon Fire TV made its debut in April 2014 with several newer (and more powerful) iterations that have been following for years. The latest is the Fire TV Cube, which offers a variety of features, including the ability to control most of your home theater equipment only with your voice. Like other newer Fire TV sets, the Fire TV Cube also supports support for 4K, HDR and Alexa.

Early in the history of Fire TV, Amazon has added native mirroring for Android devices through Miracast, though users initially had their own device bound to the same Amazon account as their box. But thanks to an update, anyone with a compatible device can enjoy the fun. Activated devices include Android devices with 4.2 Jelly Bean or higher, Amazon Fire HDX tablets and the Fire Phone (if one is still available). Older Fire TVs do not support mirroring. To enable mirroring, go to Settings > Display & Sounds > Enable Display Mirroring . Then connect your desired device to your Android phone or tablet.

Like the Roku, iOS users find AllCast a viable option when it comes to transferring videos, photos, and other media from outside the Android mafia to Fire TV. Another (paid) app for testing is Reflector 3, which also works with iOS devices.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Trial


Chromecast ($ 35 or less) and Chromecast Ultra ($ 60)

  Chromecast 2015
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

Since Debuting in 2013, Chromecast has become the leading affordable wireless streaming device. For those with 4K UHD TVs, Chromecast Ultra offers 4K streaming in a tiny, dongular (yes, we've done the talking) form factor. What's special about Chromecast is the ability to bypass your device's internal resources with its "cast" method so you can start playing it on your device. Just click on the Cast icon and start Chromecast from there, so your phone or tablet can rest and save battery power.

Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, in addition to delivering streaming apps, also offer near zero latency mirroring of everything on an Android smartphone or tablet, including games, photos, videos, and more. The options combine into a multitude of very cool applications. From now on, Android devices running Android 4.4.2 and later will mirror with Chromecast. some are "optimized" while others may not run as smoothly. Make sure your Google Home app has been updated, and click here for more help. As a bonus, Chromecast can also mirror everything from the Chrome browser on a Mac or PC by simply clicking the Cast button in the corner of your browser, but performance varies.

If you're an iOS user, do not worry. Chromecast mirroring is not supported for content on your device, but Chromecast is great for streaming content from many popular apps like YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and Google Play Movies & TV. To play, just start playing in your favorite application and look for the cast icon. However, you must first download the Google Home app.

Miracast ($ 40 to 70)

While Google is making it all the more tempting to stay in its home-grown lineup, if you're an Androidian, third-party Miracast devices are also available from lesser-known companies. Miracast is a Wi-Fi certified, high resolution wireless protocol similar to AirPlay. Unlike AirPlay, however, Miracast is unique in that it does not require a Wi-Fi network. Instead, it sets up its own private streaming network via a protocol introduced with Android 4.0 called Wi-Fi Direct. The network is accessible from other local devices, but it is safe from all Internet hooligans out of its short range.

Miracast is extremely versatile and offers a variety of mirroring abilities. While it works with Android devices, it is especially useful for mirroring PCs. As with AirPlay, the Achilles heel relies on the internal resources of your device that bind it and drain the battery. Still, if Android (and especially PC) mirroring is your game, consider using Miracast-compatible devices (although we would probably only go with one of the above devices).

Some solid reputation options include the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapters and the Belink Miracast Video Adapter. Miracast is also available for use with the Kindle Fire HD on some devices, including the popular Netgear Push2TV.

Xbox One ($ 239) Xbox One ($ 300) Xbox One ($ 300 to $ 200) [19659041] Xbox One S Bundle Deals “/>

Unfortunately, the screen reflection on the Xbox One is poor a hit-or-miss offer, thanks to a series of slightly unreliable apps. The Xbox has no native mirroring capabilities. Therefore, you must rely on third-party solutions such as the AllCast or AirServer for iOS mentioned above. None of the apps is free (AirServer's Xbox app costs a whopping $ 20), and users on the Internet had mixed results. The Xbox Mobile App offers a variety of useful features, but does not include mirrors.

While mirroring is limited, it's best to stream videos with Plex from your phone to the console. Plex is available in the Xbox Store and just needs to find a quick search. You'll need to download the Plex app on your Android or iOS phone and sign up for a Plex account if you have not already. To take full advantage of the app, you need a paid subscription. You will also need to pay a one time activation fee for your device. If you only use Plex to stream files stored directly on your phone or tablet (instead of being stored on a Plex server), you can log out and instead stay in trial mode. Plex is a great solution for those with large digital libraries, but those who prefer streaming services need to access it directly from the Xbox.

PlayStation 4 ($ 290-plus), PS4 Pro ($ 400), and PlayStation 3 ($ 100-plus)

  PlayStation 4 Pro trial

Unfortunately, none of Sony's game consoles – including the PS3, PS4 or PS4 Pro – via native mirroring capabilities. While there's an official PlayStation smartphone app that lets you control your PS4 and remotely search the PlayStation Network, that's all it can do. Instead, users must resort to third-party options. Plex is probably the best bet here, like Xbox. Other options, such as R-Play, allow you to do the opposite of the phone mirroring, d. H. Play from your Playstation to to play your phone for iPhone. If you have an Android phone, there are more complex ways to get R-Play, but it's not yet available on the Google Play Store and we can not vouch for its quality or profitability.

TV sets

  How to set up a Chromecast

Many newer TVs have built-in mobile mirroring. If you have a newer TV and have noticed an acronym on one of the MHL-labeled HDMI inputs, you already have a plug-and-play solution for connecting your Android phone, but using a hardwired twentieth-century connection. MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition Link and allows you to mirror most content directly on your display via an HDMI input. All you need is a cable that turns your smartphone's connection into an HDMI connection. Note: MHL will also power and charge your device during the connection, but we have not seen many good reviews for the cables in our search so you must take your own monetary risk.

Of course, wireless mirroring is much more useful to us all, and this capability also applies to some newer flat panel displays. Unfortunately, most built-in mirroring options are proprietary, such as the Samsung AllShare system, which only works with selected Samsung Galaxy phones. Still, if you already have the goods, then so much the better. For example, Roku TVs work just like the set-top devices. For other TVs, check your settings guide to see if MHL or wireless mirroring is part of the package. (Below is a handy list of Best Buy for some televisions with a mirror function.)

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