How to Cast Screen From Android to TV

When you cast your phone to a TV, you can still use it

Vizio SmartCast TV Example

Vizio

One way to watch or share video content on a larger screen is to cast the screen from your Android to a TV. Keep reading to learn how to cast from Android and how casting is different than mirroring.

Cast Android to a TV Using Chromecast

The most common method of casting Android to a TV is with Chromecast. A Chromecast is an inexpensive device that serves as a "bridge" between your Android phone and TV. 

There are also TVs (including select Android TVs and Vizio SmartCast TVs) that have the Chromecast system built-in. This allows casting the same selection of apps directly to those TVs without having to connect an external Chromecast. 

Polaroid TV with Chromecast Built-in
Polaroid

Using the Chromecast system, you can watch a wide variety of streaming apps available for your phone on your TV. To Cast, your Android phone and any Chromecast devices need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

How to Use Android With Chromecast

  1. Plug the Chromecast into your TV (via HDMI connection) and power. Skip this step if the TV has Chromecast built-in.

    Chromecast Ultra Connected to TV
    Google/Amazon
  2.  Turn the TV on.

  3. If using a plug-in Chromecast, select the HDMI input on the TV it's plugged into.

    Since an external Chromecast can plug into any TV that has an HDMI input, the TV doesn't have to be a smart TV for you to watch the casted content. 

  4. Download and install the Google Home App on your Android phone. Open the Google Home app, then tap Add > Set up Device, and follow the Chromecast setup prompts. 

    Google Home App - Add and Setup New Device
  5. Download and install one or more Chromecast compatible apps on your Android phone that you want to view on your TV.

    Chromecast-enabled Apps Example
    Vizio
  6. Select an app to view and tap the Cast icon.

    Cast Logo Example on App

    If you have more than one Chromecast compatible device, you'll be prompted to select the one you want to cast to. 

  7. Watch the selected app content on your TV.

    Casting to TV with Chromecast
    Google

What You Can Do on Your Android Phone While Casting

There are several things you can do both on and with your phone once you've set up casting from your Android to your TV:

  • Continue viewing the app on your Android phone that is also showing on TV.
  • Use your Android phone as a remote control to navigate the casted content.
  • Perform another task on your phone (such as make a call, send a text, look for other apps to cast, or browse the internet) while casted content is playing on your TV. 
  • Casted content will continue to play on your TV until you change the input on your TV or activate a different feature on a bridge device.

If your phone is still on while casting, but you want to stop the cast, go to the app you're casting, then tap the Cast icon > Disconnect

How to Cast Android to a TV Without Chromecast

There are also select TVs and "bridge" devices (media streamers, smart Blu-ray disc players) that have a system built-in referred to as DIAL (Discovery And Launch). 

Developed by Netflix and YouTube, the DIAL system allows an Android smartphone or tablet to discover apps on a smart TV or bridge device and launch content on them.

This means DIAL allows the YouTube and Netflix apps and websites on your Android phone to link to the YouTube and Netflix apps on your smart TV or bridge device. You can then find videos from those two services on your Android device and start playing them on your TV. The idea is you can start playing content on an app that's on your TV using the related app or website on your Android phone.

This type of casting typically only works with Netflix and YouTube. Additionally, for DIAL to work, the content you want to cast has to be available on both your Android phone and on your TV or bridge device. 

To cast from your Android device to a compatible TV or bridge device, tap the same Cast logo used for Chromecast. In this case, if a Chromecast isn't detected, but you have a DIAL compatible device, the logo will appear.

DIAL works in the background. The only indication your Android phone and TV or bridge device is compatible with DIAL is the presence of the Cast logo on the content you want to cast, combined with a listing of compatible devices you may have to select from.

Screen Casting Pros

  • Convenience: Provides an easy way to view your Android phone screen on a larger TV screen.
  • Phone Multitasking: After the casting has started you can do other things on your Android phone and even turn the phone off.
  • Device Availability: In addition to Android devices, screen casting reception is available via Chromecast devices, and TVs with Chromecast built-in.
  •  DIAL: Dial compatibility provides a casting alternative on select TVs, video projectors, Blu-ray players, cable/satellite boxes, media streamers, laptops, and PCs.

Screen Casting Cons

  • Network Required: The Android phone you want to cast from and the TV or bridge device you want to cast to have to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Limited app support: Not all apps support screen casting.
  • Hardware requirements: A Chromecast or TV with Chromecast built-in are needed to get the full benefit of casting.
  • Limited DIAL support: Although the DIAL system provides a casting alternative to Chromecast, the number of compatible apps is typically limited to Netflix and YouTube.
  • Requires additional apps: Casting Android to Apple TV requires the installation of an additional app. However, Apple has removed the capability of casting from many third-party Android casting apps, so there's no guarantee this solution will work for a specific app. 

Screen Casting vs Screen Mirroring

Another way to view content from an Android device on TV is via Screen Mirroring. Casting and Screen Mirroring are similar, but there are differences, including:

  • Screen Mirroring doesn't require the Android device and TV or bridge device to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.

You can use Screen Mirroring with Chromecast devices if a network is not available.

  • Screen Mirroring displays everything from your Android device, including content, navigation, and setting menus. Casting only displays the content of the casted app selected.
  • There are typically no app display restrictions, meaning any app that can be displayed on an Android phone can be displayed on your TV directly or through a bridge device. 
  • If screen mirroring is on, you can't perform other tasks on your phone while content is mirrored. If you tap another icon or app, the content will cease playing. If you turn off your phone, the mirror link between your phone and TV or bridge device will be broken. 
  • You can't mirror an Android phone or tablet to an Apple TV without installation of an additional app like Airmore or Mirroring 360.

Many third-party apps and "bridge" devices that are labeled as supporting casting for Android only support Screen Mirroring (even though "casting" is in the name) and, in some cases DLNA. One example is AnyCast.