How to Connect a Phone to a TV Wirelessly

Use HDMI, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for a wireless connection between your phone and TV

There are several popular methods for connecting a smartphone to your TV wirelessly. Some techniques work using just the TV and phone while others require the purchase of additional hardware.

How Do I Connect My Phone to My TV Wirelessly?

The techniques covered in this article apply to both Android smartphones and Apple’s iPhones, though compatibility may vary depending on the TV model being used and the type of media being sent to it.

Use AirPlay to Connect Your Phone to Your TV

Connect your phone to your TV with AirPlay. AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary streaming technology that allows compatible devices to send media to each other as long as they’re on the same Wi-Fi internet connection. In this case, AirPlay can be used to send media from a phone to an Apple TV device that’s connected to your TV or a smart TV with built-in AirPlay support.

AirPlay can also be used to wirelessly mirror your iPhone’s screen on your TV.

All iPhone models come with built-in AirPlay support straight out of the box. However, AirPlay support on Android smartphones is rather limited in the Android operating system as it tends to prefer Google’s own Chromecast technology.

Apple AirPlay options within the iPhone Spotify app.

Apple’s Apple TV set-top devices, which connect to your TV via an HDMI cable, can receive media sent via AirPlay as can a growing number of smart TVs which come with AirPlay functionality built-in. Android-powered TVs that don’t support AirPlay can add this functionality with the installation of a third-party app such as Airscreen.

Send Media to Your TV Wirelessly With Google Cast

Wirelessly connect your phone to your TV with Google Cast. Google Cast is a wireless protocol created by Google that allows for the transmission of data between devices. It’s commonly referred to as Chromecast with many smart TVs that support the protocol carrying the label, “Chromecast built-in.”

Chromecast is also the name of a line of streaming stick devices developed by Google that support the Google Cast or Chromecast wireless technology. More on these devices is further below.

Android smartphones boast incredibly strong support for Google Cast while iPhones, on the other hand, tend to prefer Apple’s own AirPlay protocol. Having said that, quite a few iOS apps still support Google Cast for wirelessly connecting to a TV and several third-party apps can add support where it’s lacking.

Google Cast wireless connectivity option in Google Photos app on iPhone.

Smart TVs running Android TV and Google TV usually feature built-in support for Google Cast, as do many other smart TVs on the market.

Always inspect a smart TV’s official list of features on the manufacturer’s website to double-check it has the features you need.

Google Cast can be used for casting Apple TV, Apple Music, and Google Photos media to TVs in addition to a wide range of other content and screen mirroring.

Add Wireless Functionality to Your TV With a Streaming Device

Connect your TV to your phone wirelessly with a streaming device. If your TV lacks any kind of built-in wireless functionality, a cheap and affordable way to add it is to purchase an HDMI adapter, more commonly referred to as a streaming stick.

An Amazon Fire TV Stick being plugged into a smart TV's HDMI port.

Streaming sticks are small devices that plug into one of your TV’s HDMI ports and essentially turn your regular TV into a smart TV by adding support for wireless connectivity and apps.

Here are some of the more popular streaming sticks used by people to wirelessly connect smartphones to TVs:

Wirelessly Cast to a Video Game Console or Blu-ray Player

Another option for wirelessly casting content to your TV is to use a gaming console or a network-enabled Blu-ray player.

Xbox Series X video game console wireless cast option in the iPhone YouTube app.

Many modern video game consoles and Blu-ray players support wireless casting and mirroring of content from smartphones. This means you can connect your phone to one such device which will in turn display your content on the connected TV.

Devices that support wireless connectivity will usually mention Chromecast, AirPlay, or “casting” on their packaging or within their setting's menus. Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 consoles all support wireless connectivity of some kind or another.

In addition to wireless casting and mirroring options, such devices also often support streaming apps that you can control via remote control or your phone. For example, you can watch Netflix on your Xbox console without having to install anything on your TV.

Connect via Built-In Smart TV Apps

If you just want to connect to your TV so you can watch content from Netflix, Disney Plus, and other streaming services, you don’t actually have to make a wireless connection at all as most of these services can be accessed directly via their official apps without the need for a smartphone.

All you need to do is install the app onto your smart TV and use your remote control to log in directly to the service on your TV. Once done, you can then use your remote to navigate the app and select what content to consume.

Apps can be installed on the following types of devices:

  • Smart TVs
  • Video game consoles
  • Streaming sticks
  • Some modern Blu-ray players

In addition to streaming services, many cloud storage platforms also have official apps you can access on your TV or its connected devices. This means instead of casting content from your smartphone, you can log into your cloud service on your TV and access your photos, videos, and documents directly. For example, OneDrive content can be accessed via the OneDrive app on Xbox consoles.

  • Can I watch videos from my phone on my TV?

    The easiest way to watch videos and photos on your TV is to mirror your phone’s screen wirelessly. Android smartphones and iPhones can mirror content on TVs relatively easily. Alternatively, you can also connect your phone to your TV via USB or HDMI cable to create a wired connection.

  • Why won't my phone connect to my TV?

    If you're using a method like Apple's AirPlay to connect to your TV, you first need to make sure that your phone and TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. You should also keep your devices in range of each other; to be safe, keep them within 10-15 feet apart. If you're using an app, check for updates or restart your devices.

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