How to Connect Devices to Your TV: Phones, Tablets & More

January 19, 2018
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How to Connect Your Devices to the TV

Connecting your favourite devices – from mobile phones to laptops – is a great way of getting more out of your TV. You can stream films, play games and share photos to open up a whole new world of entertainment. Why not link up a soundbar too, so you can enjoy rich, immersive audio?

With so many connectivity options, you may not know where to start. Just pick from a section below and you’ll learn how in no time!

Watching TV

How to Connect a Phone or Tablet Wirelessly

A wireless connection makes it easy to link your phone or tablet to your TV. There are plenty of straightforward methods, so just pick the one that works best for your device and TV model.

Wi-Fi

A Smart TV connects to compatible devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, eliminating the need for wires.

Wi-Fi Direct devices allow you to stream songs, films and photos onto your Smart TV. Follow these easy steps to start streaming compatible apps:

  1. Connect your Smart TV to your home Wi-Fi.
  2. Turn on the Wi-Fi from your phone or tablet’s settings.
  3. View the available Wi-Fi networks and select your TV.
  4. Start streaming content by selecting the Wi-Fi icon on the available apps.

Windows phones can connect to any TV that is Wi-Fi enabled. Simply select ‘Project My Screen’ in the phone’s settings, and tap your TV from the list.

DLNA

Don’t have a Smart TV? If your TV is DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified, you can also connect to any DLNA certified device. Just enable the DLNA feature on both devices.

With the exclusion of Apple products, most other devices will be DLNA compatible.

Streaming Sticks

Streaming sticks are another great option if you don’t have a Smart TV. They typically plug into the TV’s HDMI port, so you can ‘cast’ your content wirelessly onto the big screen.

Google Chromecast is a highly rated streaming stick, and is compatible with a range of Google, Android, Windows and iOS devices. Setting it up is simple too:

  1. Plug the device into your TV’s HDMI port.
  2. Plug the included power cable into the TV’s USB port or the device’s included power adapter.
  3. Download the ‘Google Home’ app and set up Chromecast to start casting from the supported apps.

Chromecasts are great if your phone / tablet doesn’t have a Micro USB port (for wired connections), but you can only cast certain apps. And, you’ll need a strong Wi-Fi connection for smooth streaming.

Miracast for Android / Windows Devices

Compatible Android or Windows phones and tablets can be connected to your TV if they support Miracast, or if you use a Miracast receiver dongle:

  1. Select the wireless display option on your device by clicking on ‘settings’ and then ‘display’.
  2. Turn on the wireless display feature.
  3. Choose your TV or Miracast adapter from the displayed list.

Airplay for iOS Devices

Smart TV and tabletIf you own an Apple TV media player that’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone or iPad, you can use AirPlay Mirroring. This method requires:

  • An iPhone 4 or newer model
  • A second-generation or newer Apple TV

Simply swipe up from the bottom of your device’s screen to open the control centre. Then, tap the Screen Mirroring icon and select your Apple TV player. This lets you ‘AirPlay’ photos and videos, and even mirror your device’s screen onto the TV.

How to Connect a Phone or Tablet with Wires

If your smartphone has a micro USB charging port you should be able to plug into a TV with HDMI ports. To get connected, insert a micro USB to HDMI converter into your device’s charging port. The HDMI cable fits into the opposite end of the converter, and plugs into the TV port.

Once linked, whatever displays on your device will show on your TV screen. It’s recommended to use your phone in landscape, as this will fill the entire TV screen.

MHL for Android Devices

MHL is a reliable way to connect an Android mobile phone to the TV. But, not every device is compatible and you’ll need an MHL adapter. If your device is supported, here’s how to get started:

  1. Put the adapter cord in the micro USB port on your device.
  2. Connect an HDMI cable to the adapter and fit the other end of the cable into your TV’s port.

Digital AV Adapter for iOS Devices

Apple’s Digital AV Adapter connects Apple devices to the HDMI port on your TV. But, only iPhone 4 or newer models will be able to connect this way.

  1. Plug the adapter into the charging port of your Apple device.
  2. Connect an HDMI cable to the adapter.
  3. Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to your TV.
  4. Change the video source on your TV to the correct HDMI port.

Modern TV

How to Connect a Laptop or Desktop PC

If your laptop or PC has an HDMI port, you can use an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV:

  1. Turn your laptop and TV on.
  2. Connect the HDMI cable to both your TV and laptop.
  3. Change the TV’s source to display the HDMI input.

HDMI Cable

Without an HDMI port, you may be able to use one of the following wired methods:

  1. DisplayPort: Use a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.
  2. DVI port: Use a DVI to HDMI adapter. You’ll also need a 3.5 mm audio cable, which connects to the headphone jack of the TV and the laptop or PC.
  3. VGA port: Use a VGA cable and a 3.5 mm audio cable.
  4. USB port: Use a USB to HDMI adapter and install the adapter’s software.
  5. S Video port: Use the S Video cable to connect your devices. Check the laptop or PC’s port to see whether you will need the four or seven pin format.

Wireless Connection

  • Android and Windows Devices: If your PC runs Windows 8.1, use Miracast to reproduce its display on the TV. Some Smart TVs also offer ways to connect same branded devices, including laptops and desktop computers.
  • Apple Devices: Connect a MacBook to your TV through an Apple TV player with AirPlay Mirroring.

There are also wireless options which don’t require a Smart TV if you use a streaming stick (as mentioned above). These plug into your TV, and connect to your laptop or PC via Wi-Fi.

The Google Chromecast stick is compatible with a range of laptops and desktop PCs. It easily connects into your TV’s HDMI port to ‘cast’ a tab on your Chrome browser to the TV.

But, the cost of a media stick is considerably higher than any wired options. Your choice depends on whether you would prefer the convenience of no wires. A wired connection with HDMI is the most popular and reliable way to connect a laptop or desktop PC.

How to Connect a Soundbar

There are several ways to link up a soundbar to your TV, depending on the available inputs. It’s worth checking connection options before you buy to make sure your TV is compatible.

Soundbar

Bluetooth

If your soundbar and TV both have a Bluetooth connection, you can link them together easily. Follow the instructions in your user manual, as this varies by brand and model. You can ensure a stronger Bluetooth connection with these simple tips:

  • Remove anything in the way of the soundbar and the TV, especially any metal objects.
  • Switch the TV’s Wi-Fi connection off for better results.

Wired

Can’t find Bluetooth connectivity on your TV? Not to worry – you can also connect some soundbars to your TV using various cables:

  • HDMI cable: Plug into the TV’s HDMI-ARC port.
  • 5mm mini-jack: Insert into the TV’s headphone jack.
  • Optical cable: Use the TV’s OPT.IN jack.
  • Red/white RCA cable: Plug the cables into the corresponding input connections.

You can then choose to connect entertainment devices like Blu-ray players into your soundbar for stunning sound playback.

Family watching TV

Follow our easy steps, and enjoy limitless content streamed straight from your phone, tablet or PC. Play games, access apps and show off your holiday photos to friends and family. And, connect your soundbar to experience incredible sound quality to suit whatever you’re watching.