Tools to Display Your Phone, Tablet or Computer Screen on your TV
Make the small screen bigger.
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Connecting a phone, tablet, or computer to a TV can give you all kinds of benefits. You can video chat without squinting at a tiny phone screen, watch videos and photos from pretty much any source, play games, and even use today’s amazing TVs as a gigantic external monitor for work. But how do you connect these gadgets?
Connecting gadgets to a TV is easy, but it isn’t consistent. There are several different plugs that your phone, tablet or computer might have. Many Windows computers today simply have an HDMI port, which is the easiest option: just use a regular HDMI cable, like you’d use for a streaming box or game console. For other computers, as well as all phones and tablets, you’ll need an adapter.
The newest standard port for gadgets is called USB-C. It’s found on many smartphones and tablets and, increasingly, laptop and desktop computers. Unlike USB-A (the USB ports you’ve seen in the past), USB-C can be a charging port, used for data transfer or used to display video and audio to another display—like a big ol’ TV. Many popular gadgets use USB-C, including the iPad Pro, MacBooks made since 2016, Microsoft Surface devices and the Samsung Galaxy S20.
Another option, one that’s convenient for those with certain gadgets, is a wireless streaming system. You’ll have to do some research to make sure your gadgets play nice with the streamer you want—Apple products will work best with the Apple TV; Google products (including Android phones) will work best with the Chromecast. But these low-profile streamers enable you to simply tap a button to play video, photos, music or even mirror a web browser on your TV without worrying about tripping over wires.