Screen Mirroring a Phone, iPad or laptop to TV: How to Push Your Phone to the Big Screen
In 2020, practically everyone has a screen in their pockets at all times, but if you’re in the comfort of your own home, you don’t want to be limited to looking at photos and videos on your phone’s relatively small display. Screen mirroring is the perfect answer to this. Your TV is likely 32in or larger and 1080p, so perfect for displaying content on. The good news is that there are plenty of different ways you can mirror your screen to any modern TV.
This article explains how you can mirror your phone, tablet, or PC screen to your TV using a number of different methods including an HDMI cable, Chromecast, Airplay, or Miracast.
Screen mirroring: How to connect a laptop to a TV (using an HDMI cable)
You will have to purchase an HDMI cable that is compatible with your phone. These are generally low-cost and easy to find. Amazon has several options and most retails store will carry them as well.
Locate the ports on your TV and laptop and plug in the HDMI cable (in any order).
Set your TV to the correct HDMI channel, your laptop should then briefly blink as the settings are configured.
- Windows should automatically recognize your TV’s required output settings and adjust accordingly. If this doesn’t happen, simply press the Windows key and search “Connect to an external display”. This will bring up an options menu where you can alter the display, resolution, orientation, and default screen settings.
Top tip: Amazon makes its own HDMI cable and it’s just as good as something you’ll pay top dollar for. They’re very cheap too.
Screen mirroring: Further reading
Most modern PCs can be physically connected directly to a television. A desktop system will typically offer at least one full-sized HDMI socket, and some larger laptops do as well.
When you connect a TV to this socket, it will be automatically detected: if you already have a monitor or laptop display connected, your TV will by default be set up as a secondary display. If you’d prefer it to mirror your primary display, you can set this in Windows’ screen resolution settings – or you can simply press Win+P to bring up a quick set of Second Screen options.
If you’re using a laptop, it’s more likely to use mini-HDMI or micro-HDMI than the full-sized connector (mini-HDMI looks like a shrunk-down version of regular HDMI, while micro-HDMI is almost identical in size and shape to micro-USB). If you’re lucky, your laptop will have come with an adapter; otherwise, you’ll need to buy a mini- or micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable.
Another possibility is mini-DisplayPort: this too can be connected to an HDMI television with the right cable, or via a simple adapter. The signals can also travel over a high-speed Thunderbolt bus, so you might be able to connect your TV to a Thunderbolt port.
HDMI and DisplayPort connections can carry sound as well as vision, so a single cable should do everything you need – but you may need to manually switch audio devices to get audio to play through your TV. You can do this by right-clicking on the volume icon in the Windows system tray, selecting Playback Devices from the pop-up menu, selecting the appropriate device, and clicking Set Default.