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How to connect a phone to TV without HDMI cord (Full Guide)

connect a phone to TV without HDMI cord

Do you want to learn how to properly connect your phone to a TV without using an HDMI cord? Here’s the complete guide you need.

A smartphone has countless features and functionalities, making it essentially a minicomputer. The majority of consumers purchase and use smartphones primarily for watching content, which also explains why phone display sizes are increasing with each passing generation. 

The huge-screen experience offered by a TV cannot be replicated by a phone screen, which can only be made so big.

Use connection techniques like screencasting and mirroring to link your phone and TV without utilizing an HDMI cable. 

For those who prefer to keep things connected, USB and MHL cables are further possibilities. To stream content wirelessly, there are even gadgets like Roku and Google Chromecast.

There are numerous ways to link your TV and phone, depending on the device you use and the OS platform you are using. For additional information on the various connecting technologies and methods, keep reading.

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Why Should You Connect Your Phone to a TV?

With each new model, phone displays grow larger. The colours are more vibrant than ever before, and screens are getting bigger. 

Even smartphones with 4K displays are available. However, there is still a sizable difference between what you see on your TV and the screen of your phone.

In addition, it is simpler to display images, videos, and other media to a crowd on a TV as opposed to having everyone swarm your phone.

Phone screens are just not big enough!

The initial generation of iPhones had diminutive (by modern standards) 3.5-inch (8.9 cm) screens. On the other hand, Android phones had already surpassed the 5-inch (12.7 cm) display limit. 

The door was opened for smartphones with larger displays when Samsung released the first Galaxy Note with a 5.3-inch (13.4 cm) screen.

Now, smartphones with screens up to 6.7 inches (17 cm) or larger are available for both Android and iPhone users. Such large-screen phones have made it possible for multiple people to use the same device at once to watch media due to their greater screen resolutions and improved picture quality.

Smartphone screens, however, are too small to accommodate more than two individuals viewing media simultaneously. This is the situation where a phone and TV connection are required.

Even if there aren’t many people present, sending content from your phone to a large screen and viewing it there still provides a better experience, especially when watching movies or displaying holiday photos to friends and family.

To Play Particular Files

The majority of newly released televisions are “smart,” meaning they can connect directly to the Internet and stream apps like Netflix, YouTube, and others. 

If your TV isn’t smart, you can play the majority of the streaming media or videos you probably want to access and watch on set-top boxes or streaming sticks.

However, connecting your phone to your TV (wirelessly or with a cable) becomes crucial if you wish to download files, especially from your tablet or phone, use apps that are only available on mobile devices, or play specific files from your phone again.

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What is HDMI and how does it work?

The connector and wire that transfer high-bandwidth, high-quality video and audio streams between devices are known as HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface). 

The technology is utilized with a variety of devices, including HDTVs, DVD players, projectors, Blu-ray players, and more. It essentially sets the bar for connecting two devices.

There are other reasons, though, why many consumers may prefer a non-HDMI option over HDMI. Which are:

  • a cable mess
  • impeded movement
  • damaged, misplaced, or stolen HDMI cables and adapters
  • the connecting instructions are unclear
  • intricate, pricey in-wall and floor wiring

Here are a few alternative methods for physically connecting your phone and TV if you don’t want to deal with wires or want to use a physical connection other than HDMI.

Connect your phone to the TV without HDMI cord

Using a USB Cable

Most phone charging cables have USB connectors so they may be quickly connected to laptop power adapters. However, not every TV has a USB port. It will be simple to transfer your phone files to the large screen if your TV has one.

By using a USB cord to link your phone and TV, you are essentially moving files from your phone to open or play on your television. If you don’t have the appropriate connector and cable, your TV won’t receive or duplicate the phone’s display. Therefore, using this technique to view your films and photos is great.

You must be able to select the USB option under “Source” on your TV platform, just like you can on your desktop and laptop PCs. 

Once finished, a prompt allowing you to move files will appear on your phone’s screen (and not just charge your phone using your television).

Via Screencasting

Playing content from your phone, tablet, or other comparable devices onto a TV is known as casting. It enables you to see films, television programs, and other types of entertainment directly from the source device, in this case, your phone.

Many well-known streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, allow for screen casting. The “cast screen” feature is absent from a lot of other applications, though. In these circumstances, screen mirroring comes to the rescue.

Devices like Google Chromecast and Roku streaming players can be used for casting. Third-party apps are also integrated into smart TVs to support casting.

The apps you cast to your TV won’t replicate the screen or user interface of your Android phone, in contrast, to screen mirroring. Instead, you’ll view films and photos in a shape and resolution better suited to your TV.

Con: Unfortunately, if you play media at a speed more than 1x, you can experience problems. You might be out of luck if, like me, you enjoy listening to Audible at 1.5x speed while watching YouTube videos.

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Via Screen mirroring

You can reproduce or mirror your phone’s display on your TV via screen mirroring. The approach is great for apps without a built-in “cast” button, as was already described. To put it another way, this mirroring technique is independent of the app. You’re set to go if your phone supports screen mirroring and your TV is connected.

Since Android 5.0 up to the most recent releases of the mobile OS, Android phones have supported screen mirroring. Quite plainly, the most recent phones or gadgets with the most recent OS versions are better tuned for the task and, as a result, operate much more smoothly and consistently.

Install Google Home on your phone to mirror your Android phone’s screen to your TV. To begin, open the app and navigate to Account > Mirror Phone/Device > Cast Audio/Screen. Some recent Android smartphones may already have Google Home installed.

A built-in app for screen sharing may be available on some smartphones. For instance, Samsung’s Smart View function enables you to exchange material from and to your mobile device while also allowing you to connect your Samsung smartphone to your TV.

Con: Screen mirroring has a problem in that it completely mirrors the actions of your phone. For instance, if your phone screen dims when it is plugged into your TV, both screens would dim.

Your phone’s screen should be set to stay awake while it is linked to your TV to prevent similar problems. However, this would deplete your phone’s battery.

You cannot use your phone for any other reason when it is linked to your TV if you are mirroring it.

This is not an issue while using screencasting. You can use your phone for any other reason after casting phone content on your TV, like checking messages, making calls, browsing social media, and even leaving the room where your TV is placed. While you are occupied with other activities on your phone, the broadcast content will continue to play on your TV.

Screen mirroring might not be the best option if numerous people are watching the video and you want to use your phone for something else. Screen mirroring is still very much relevant and useful for many things, although the screencasting option is only available in a select few apps.

Using Google Chromecast

You can link your phone to your TV and watch material there if your TV is equipped with Google Chromecast functionality or if you have the necessary adapter. 

However, not every app on your phone may be compatible with Chromecast. A few of the supported apps are Google Photos, Netflix, HBO Now, and others.

To connect, confirm that your phone and smart/Chromecast TV are using the same Wi-Fi network. Select the device you want to cast to once the network is established and the status is verified. Not all apps offer the ability to cast. The screen mirroring technique is advised for such apps.

Apple and Android cellphones are both compatible with Chromecast. Once you’re connected, you may control material by pausing, rewinding, or skipping it using your smartphone as a remote. 

Access to more than 1,000 programs, including streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, is provided by the small, straightforward attachment.

Via Airplay on IOS

Use AirPlay, a feature exclusive to iPhones and Apple TVs, to wirelessly transmit video and audio. Unsurprisingly, non-Apple hardware is incompatible with AirPlay. The technology is used to transfer material from your iOS phone to your iPad, Apple TV, etc.

Start by joining the same Wi-Fi network with the source and receiving Apple devices. When the two devices are linked, they will automatically recognize one another, and you may then select the AirPlay connection option in your iPhone’s settings. 

Similar to how Bluetooth connects to devices wirelessly, this is how it works. However, AirPlay is unlike Bluetooth because it relies on Wi-Fi and—more importantly—uses Apple-exclusive technology.

AirPlay allows for far greater distances between devices when playing or streaming information. This implies that you wouldn’t need to worry much about losing connectivity as you moved around a room.

Most importantly, AirPlay uses lossless compression, which ensures that the source data is duplicated in its entirety on the receiving device. 

Additionally, there is additional synergy because AirPlay enables direct communication between two Apple devices. For instance, the volume controls on your iPhone or iPad may be used to adjust the HomePod’s loudness.

Con: Unfortunately, if you play media at a speed more than 1x, you can have problems. The video played when I Airplayed a YouTube video from my iPhone to my AppleTV at 1.5x, but the sound wasn’t transmitted.

Using Miracast

A smartphone, PC, or tablet can wirelessly display or mirror its screen to a TV using the Miracast standard without using actual HDMI wires. The Wi-Fi Alliance, which developed the technology in 2012, has a long-term goal of fully eliminating the need for HDMI cords.

Instead of physically attaching your device to a TV, Miracast provides a wireless standard that enables various devices to find, connect with, and wirelessly mirror the contents of their screens.

Miracast is a cross-platform technology, unlike Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast. 

To put it another way, it’s not as “smart” as comparable protocols, or it cannot hand-off streaming and display another interface while your TV or the other device connected to your phone is showing some other content. It has been designed solely to be a protocol for “screen mirroring,” in other words.

In other words, unlike what its name might imply, Miracast is only capable of “screen mirroring” and not “casting.”

It supports:

  • Windows PCs (Windows 8.1 and higher)
  • Android 4.2 and above
  • Amazon Fire OS

However, iOS and macOS are not supported by the wireless standard. And since Apple would want to promote its AirPlay technology in its place, that is unlikely to happen.

Currently, Windows and Android are supported by Miracast. Although there isn’t any official support for Linux PCs, there may be workarounds. Additionally, Chromebooks lack native support for Miracast. 

However, Roku streaming sticks support Miracast. In addition to the ones listed above, there are several dedicated Miracast receivers available.

Via Mobile High-Definition Link

Mobile High-Definition Link is also referred to as MHL. You may link your smartphone and other mobile devices to your TVs, projectors, and audio receivers using this less popular wired technology. In essence, it is an HDMI modification for mobile devices.

You need an MHL cable that connects to the micro USB connector on your phone and the HDMI port on your television to create an MHL connection. 

Please take note that the connection requires MHL support on the HDMI port. Not every HDMI port will take an MHL link with ease.

Like HDMI, MHL is compressed, allowing you to operate in real-time. This also elevates it above the majority of wireless options. The distinctive characteristic of MHL is that it enables TV remote control access to phone functionalities.

Your mobile device has to have a micro-USB port for this connection to function. 

However, if you want to make use of MHL, acquire a USB Type-C to micro USB converter or connection since more and more smartphones, tablets, and similar devices are embracing Type-C USB ports (and rightfully so). For the job, the JXMOX USB Type-C Adapter is a reliable small connector.

Using DLNA

Your smart TV should be able to stream content via the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) protocol. You can stream media to your television using DLNA from your smartphone or any other device.

However, DRM (Digital Rights Management) characteristics shouldn’t be included in the media files you stream. You could only broadcast your music and videos, in other words. Netflix-like apps won’t be supported.

Other streaming applications like LocalCast, AllCast, Plex, and others make use of the DLNA capabilities of your TV.

Media management software called Plex also has DLNA streaming capabilities. Your computer’s Plex server can store videos, music, or photos and stream those files to your TV. 

Look through your library using the Plex mobile app, select the media files you want to stream, and then transfer them to your TV using DLNA or Chromecast.

The bottom line on how to connect a phone to TV

The HDMI port is required for quite a few of the aforementioned ways to connect your phone to your TV. For instance, the HDMI connector on your TV accepts the HDMI dongle that you use to wirelessly connect your two devices and stream media. 

In other words, even if you can do without the HDMI cord, the HDMI port is still frequently needed.

However, you may connect your phone to your TV without using an HDMI wire. Consider using the very powerful but underappreciated MHL technology if you prefer to keep things conventional and cannot stand lag times of even a few milliseconds between your phone and TV. 

Numerous wireless techniques are available if you wish to do away with cords.