How to Mirror Android to TV

The ins and outs of screen mirroring on Android

A couple sitting on a couch mirroring their tablet to a TV.

AndreyPopov / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Watching videos on an Android phone or tablet is convenient when you are on the go, but when you get home why not put your big-screen TV to good use? Here's how to mirror your Android's screen to your TV's screen.

Mirror Your Android Phone Screen on TV

One way to view an Android phone on a TV is via Screen Mirroring. Almost all Android phones have this capability built-in, as well as most smart TVs, media streamers, and smart Blu-ray Disc players.

Media streamers that support screen mirroring for Android include Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. Apple TV does not support screen mirroring for android natively (more on this later).

Screen Mirroring displays (shares) everything on an Android screen (including email, streaming services, platforms such as KODI, photos, videos, web pages, and more) on your TV wirelessly (no network connection to a router required).

There are two wireless connection paths to screen mirror an Android device on a TV: 

  1. From an Android device directly to a TV. 
  2. From an Android device wirelessly to a "bridge" device (such as a media streamer, smart Blu-ray player). The "bridge" routes the received mirrored content to a TV via an HDMI or other compatible connection.  

Screen Mirroring is usually referred to as Miracast, which is based on Wi-Fi Direct technology (not to be confused with Casting which is discussed at the end of this article). Depending on the brand/model of Android phone, TV, or "bridge" device, Screen Mirroring may also be referred to as:

  • Wireless Display
  • Display Mirroring
  • HTC Connect
  • SmartShare (LG)
  • SmartView (Samsung)
  • AllShare (Samsung)

How to Mirror Android to TV

Here is one example of how to set up Android screen mirroring with a TV.

The exact terms used for Screen MIrroring and steps needed to activate may vary from those outlined below depending on phone, TV, or bridge device brand or model. 

  1. Go to Settings on your phone, TV or bridge device (media streamer).

    In the following steps, the Android phone is on the left and the TV screen is on the right.

    HTC One Android Phone and Samsung TV Screen Mirroring Step One
  2. Enable screen mirroring on the phone and TV. In the example shown the term used by the TV is Wi-Fi Direct.

    HTC One Android Phone and Samsung TV Screen Mirroring Step One
  3. Search for the TV or bridge device you want to mirror to using the Android phone. It may also be on a list of devices. In the TV screen mirroring menu select the Android phone or tablet.

    HTC One Android Phone and Samsung TV Screen Mirroring Step Two
  4. Initiate a "connect" procedure, once your Android phone or tablet and TV or bridge device find and recognize each other.

    HTC One Android Phone and Samsung TV Screen Mirroring Step Three
  5. The Android screen will be displayed on the TV screen after the "connect" procedure is completed. 

    Android Screen Mirroring to TV Examples via Fire TV

Other Examples of Screen Mirroring Setup Menus

Here are examples of TV menus you might find when setting up screen mirroring.

Screen Mirroring

Samsung UBD-K8500 Screen Mirroring Selection

Wireless Display

Leeco TV Wireless Display/Screen Mirroring Option

Display Mirroring

Fire TV Screen Mirroring Option

How to Use Screen Mirroring

Once Screen Mirroring is on, everything you see on your Android phone or tablet screen is shared on your TV or video projector screen. However, what you see mirrored on your TV screen is still displayed on the Android device. 

Roku Screen Mirroring Example
Roku

If you turn your Android phone horizontally, for most apps, you should see the same view on your TV screen.

Roku TV Screen Mirroring Example with KODI

In addition to content, in most cases, you will also mirror the onscreen menus and settings options provided on your Android phone or tablet on your TV. This means that you continue to use your phone to navigate through the phone's menu and apps. 

Screen Mirroring Pros

  • Convenience: Screen Mirroring provides an easy way to view your Android phone screen on a larger TV screen. 
  • No Network Required: Android video/image sharing is not affected by network traffic or network connectivity issues as no connection through a router is needed.
  • Device Availability: In addition to android devices, screen mirroring reception is available on TVs, and select video projectors, Blu-ray players, cable/satellite boxes, media streamers, laptops, and PCs.
  • Business and Classroom Application: If you have an android phone or tablet and a video projector with bridge device that support screen mirroring, you can wirelessly display a business or classroom presentation saved on your android device on a very large screen.

Screen Mirroring Cons

  • You can't perform other tasks on your phone while content is mirrored. If you tap on another icon or app, the content will cease playing and you will see the next function that is activated.
  • Although you can screen mirror your phone to most smart TVs or using a screen-mirroring compatible bridge device that can be connected to any TV physically (preferably using HDMI), connection and setup are not 100% guaranteed. 
  • You will have the best luck if the phone/tablet is the same brand as the TV or bridge device. Examples include Samsung Android phones with Samsung TVs/Blu-ray Disc players and Kindle Fire Tablets with Fire TV sticks/Fire Edition TVs. 
  • You can't mirror an Android phone or tablet to an Apple TV without installation of an additional app such as Airmore or Mirroring 360

Screen Mirroring vs Casting

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

  • Casting requires the Android device and TV to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Casting works for photos, self-made videos, and select apps.
  • While selected Cast content is playing on your TV, you can perform other tasks on your Android device at the same time or even turn it off. 
  • Your Android device may require an additional app and plugging in a Chromecast on your TV before Casting can be used.

Some devices (Roku sticks/boxes/TVs, Samsung Smart TVs/Blu-ray players, and Fire TV Stick/Fire Edition TVs) allow casting of select apps from Android phones without the need for an additional app or Chromecast.

Cast Logo Example on App