Screen mirroring, also known as screen casting, allows you to view content from your mobile device on your TV screen. This means that you can start watching your favourite show on your commute and then immediately continue it on the big screen when you walk through the door. The SmartThings and Smart View apps make it quick and easy to connect to your Samsung Smart TV, but you can also connect through a Wi-Fi or HDMI connection. Read on to find out how to connect your phone and how to cast to your TV.
To be able to screen mirror wirelessly, your TV/Projector will need to be able to support a Wi-Fi connection. If you don’t have a smart TV, you will need a casting device such as a Samsung AllShare Cast, Chromecast or Amazon Firestick.
What screen mirroring is not
To better understand what screen mirroring is, you have to know what it isn’t.
1. Online meeting/video conferencing software
Screen mirroring is not the same thing as online meeting software, desktop sharing software or video conferencing software, such as GoToMeeting or join.me. Screen mirroring is a “localized” action, which means the screen-sending device and screen-receiving device need to be on the same network. An internet connection is not required.
Since connections are point-to-point and remain on the local network, screen data never crosses the internet. Both devices are generally located in the same room for viewing purposes. There are some exceptions where the devices are not required to be a part of the same network. More information on that can be found below.
2. Media streaming
Screen mirroring is not media streaming. Media streaming is the continuous playback of an audio or video file. Many people stream media on a daily basis. Ever hear of Netflix or YouTube? That’s media streaming. But media streaming can also be as simple as sending an audio or video file on your computer to play on an external receiver, such as an Apple TV.
Streaming is great if you just need to send an audio or video file to the big screen. Screen mirroring is better for presenting and collaborating.
3. Cables, adapters and dongles
Some people interpret screen mirroring in a broader sense to include physical connections, such as HDMI, VGA and various other cables and dongles. Those methods are becoming mostly obsolete as the world transitions to wireless tech. For the purposes of this article, screen mirroring is an entirely wireless act.
How it Works
Wired screen mirroring involves the use of an HDMI cable that connects your device to a TV. If your laptop or computer has an available HDMI port, then sharing screens is as simple as connecting one end of an HDMI cable to your TV and the other end to your computer. Since computers are becoming more and more compact, some laptops don’t have an HDMI port. In this case HDMI adapters may be available that work with your device. Always check your device specifications before purchasing the necessary cables and adapters.
Wireless screen mirroring offers the same result as a wired connection, like an MHL cable. The difference is that no cables are required to connect your mobile device to your TV. Instead, many mobile devices today have wireless display technology built right in to them, like Miracast. Then all you need is a compatible smart TV, or a wireless display adapter that plugs in to a TV; either one of these will receive the wireless signal from your mobile device.
Connect Your Phone or Other Device to a TV
To use screen mirroring, both devices have to meet a few minimum requirements. Your phone or tablet must support mirroring and be able to send out data. The TV or projector must also support screen mirroring and be able to capture and play that data.
To find out if your phone or tablet supports mirroring, refer to the documentation or perform an internet search. Note that you might also have to enable the Miracast or Screen Mirroring feature in Settings, so keep an eye out for that too. You may even be able to show your phone screen on your computer.
Compatibility Issues When You Mirror a Screen
Not all devices play well together. You can’t just mirror any phone to any TV screen or somehow connect a phone to a TV using a magic app and force it to work. Just because both devices support screen mirroring doesn’t mean anything either; the devices also have to be compatible with each other. This compatibility is where problems often arise.
As you might suspect, devices from the same manufacturer generally are compatible with each other. For instance, you can share media from a newer Kindle Fire tablet to Amazon’s Fire TV easily. They’re both made by Amazon and designed to work together. And, since Fire devices use the Android operating system, many Android-based phones and tablets are compatible as well.
Likewise, you can mirror media from your iPhone to an Apple TV. Apple made both, and they are compatible with each other. The Apple TV works with iPads too. However, you can’t stream media from an Android or Windows device to an Apple TV.
Other devices like Google’s Chromecast and Roku’s media devices also have limitations, as do smart TVs in general, so if you’re in the market for a mirroring solution, take into consideration what you’ll be streaming from before you purchase something to stream to.