What is the best way to connect your smartphone with a Smart TV? Our conclusion: There are only a few options available…
For wireless streaming from the smartphone to the TV, we have looked for some proprietary solutions and some alternatives. The good news: You have a few possibilities, maybe even already without having to buy new hardware. The bad: many are not fun.
Check your TV first
If you have purchased a TV in the last five years, the chance is very high that it is a smart TV and that apps for favorite video platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube are on board. Some even already include modern streaming devices, including Apple AirPlay, Miracast or Google Cast. The latter, of course, is the case with Android TV’s, as it was given to them by Sony, Philips, Sharp and Vizio.
Sometimes there are manufacturer-specific solutions that you can then use if your smartphone and TV are from the same provider, whether from Samsung (Smart View), LG (SmartShare / Screen Share) or Sony (Screen Mirroring). In principle, there are already other names for the universal standard Miracast. Exactly those three manufacturers are among the first to support Apple TV AirPlay 2 in addition to some other TV brands.
Do you have a Blu-ray player? Then there is the possibility that this is equipped with a wireless transmission technology. The Yamaha BD-S 477 Blu-ray Disc Player supports Miracast / Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA.
Are you looking for the best Smart TV? Check out our TV comparison.
Google has a wonderfully universal and not very expensive solution to connect a phone to a TV: A Chromecast transforms almost every old TV to a smart TV. The stick, which is simply plugged into a free HDMI interface on the TV, connects to your WiFi. Install the Google Home app on the smartphone (whether iPhone or Android), interconnect both devices and you are ready to stream the content of the smartphone to the TV via the Google Cast icon: pictures, YouTube, Netflix – all no problem.
The Google Chromecast comes with full-HD support and the Chromecast Ultra with Ultra HD / 4K. Nonetheless, Google Chromecast Full-HD is a more cost-effective solution.
Apple TV & AirPlay
A very similar option like Google Cast is Apple AirPlay. Apple’s solution also uses home-based WiFi and is pre-installed on more and more TVs. From an iPhone, your content streams directly to the AirPlay TV. The smartphone then becomes a remote control. If you own an Android smartphone, you can connect the TV with an app like AllCast.
If your TV has no AirPlay control, it could be equipped with an Apple TV 4K. An Apple TV is certainly more expensive than a Google Chromecast and similar solutions. Therefore, the small console offers a whole lot more: content on-demand, live TV, some games and future Apple TV + original movies and series.
You can find more details about the Apple TV & AirPlay here.
Fire TV Stick
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick supports Miracast. However, before streaming is made, the stick must first be prepared for it. You can do this in the settings or press the Home key for longer and select the “Duplicate Display” option here.
We were able to easily mirror the screen content via Smart View on the Fire TV stick. TV and smartphone then show the same content. The iPhone X does not recognize the Fire TV Stick as a screen-mirroring device. With non-compatible devices, you can also stay connected to an app like AirScreen, All Connect or AirReceiver.
We have experienced the problem that some apps are not able to connect with the Fire TV stick and videos were streamed to the TV but sometimes no image was shown on the TV.
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Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
One less known solution like Google Chromecast or Apple TV is Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter, which runs on Miracast.
Miracast? It is a standard that the Wi-Fi Alliance created in 2012 in competition to Apple’s AirPlay. Although it is is based on WiFi, it is far from being able to compete against Apple. As an iPhone user, you cannot connect. In a few cases, a couple of third-party apps can fix the connection. With Android, it comes down to whether your smartphone supports Miracast. If not, you might be able to help with an app like Miracast Wi-Fi Display.
The unique feature of Miracast is that the content is mirrored – meaning it shows on both the phone and TV at the same time.
For the transfer of pictures and documents or any presentation: practical. For the transmission of video: a little less as the smartphone runs hot. Turning off the display also turns off the TV mirror. Always: the sound is only coming from the TV.
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AnyCast M9 Plus
The AnyCast M9 Plus is optically the perfect doppelganger for the 1st Google Chromecast generation, but technically it acts just like Miracast, AirPlay and even DLNA. You can easily connect the stick again without any problem on Smart View and therefore the Miracast function of the stick mirrors the screen content.
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Miracast, DLNA, AirPlay, Wi-Fi Direct
The two types of transmission that worked best during our test, are Miracast and AirPlay. Apple AirPlay has been available since 2010 (the predecessor of AirTunes even longer).
Miracast was the answer of the Wi-Fi Alliance to Apple AirPlay. Although it was released in 2012 and basically based on WiFi, Miracast has never gone through the whole stretch. During our test, the technology acts differently on almost every end device. Next to Smart View, there are also options such as MirrorShare, Screen Share or similar.
DLNA was once again a consortium that set itself the goal of freely exchanging and playing files between different end devices. Thus, on the basis of UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) technology, a DLNA certified device can display or play a file such as music, video or images on another device. Due to the sheer amount of different video/images formats, many incompatibilities exist. Many proprietary video and music streaming services are not supported by DLNA.
In January 2017, DLNA officially resolved. The successor SpireSpark is to continue the certification. However, with strong expression. Just after the launch of DLNA / UPnP, it seems that other transmission types are just more comfortable.
If you own a modern smart TV, then it is likely that this will include Miracast, Google Cast or Apple AirPlay. From many Android smartphones, it was possible to stream on the TV via Miracast (which often carries other names like Smart View or Mirror Share).
If you own an iPhone and a TV without AirPlay, you can equip it with an Apple TV.
The most comfortable and inexpensive solution to transmit videos and pictures from virtually all sources on any of your favorite TVs is the Google Chromecast. The stick equips each TV with smart TV features and then reads from Android smartphones as well as iPhones, Macs and PCs.
All other solutions tested here offer less comfort, struggle in part with incompatibilities or other limitations and therefore, we only recommended partially.
Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate