Tools to Display Your Phone, Tablet or Computer Screen on your TV

Make the small screen bigger.

Spotify playing on tv.
Your screen size isn’t limited by the device you’re using.Pixabay

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?

AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable, 15 Feet, 1-Pack
This extra-long cord supports up to 4K video and enables you to sit further back from your TV.AmazonBasics

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.

USB C to HDMI Cable for Home Office | 6ft 4K@60Hz, uni USB Type C to HDMI Cable [Thunderbolt 3 Compatible] for MacBook Pro 2020/2019, MacBook Air/iPad Pro 2020, Surface Book 2, Galaxy S20, and More
Use this accessory to connect any recent Android device or modern Apple laptop to a TV without the need for an adapter.uni

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.

Google Chromecast Ultra
This streamer enables wireless 4K playback from apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, or you can mirror your Chrome browser or Android phone on your TV.Google

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.

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