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Tools to Display Your Phone, Tablet or Computer Screen on your TV

Interesting Things logo Interesting Things 7/28/2020 Edmund Torr
a screen shot of a computer monitor sitting on top of a desk: Your screen size isn’t limited by the device you’re using. © Provided by Interesting Things Your screen size isn’t limited by the device you’re using.

Connecting a phone, tablet, or computer to a TV can give you all kinds of benefits. You can video chat without squinting at a tiny phone screen, watch videos and photos from pretty much any source, play games, and even use today’s amazing TVs as a gigantic external monitor for work. But how do you connect these gadgets?

a close up of a cable: This extra-long cord supports up to 4K video and enables you to sit further back from your TV. © Provided by Interesting Things This extra-long cord supports up to 4K video and enables you to sit further back from your TV.

Connecting gadgets to a TV is easy, but it isn’t consistent. There are several different plugs that your phone, tablet or computer might have. Many Windows computers today simply have an HDMI port, which is the easiest option: just use a regular HDMI cable, like you’d use for a streaming box or game console. For other computers, as well as all phones and tablets, you’ll need an adapter.

Use this accessory to connect any recent Android device or modern Apple laptop to a TV without the need for an adapter. © Provided by Interesting Things Use this accessory to connect any recent Android device or modern Apple laptop to a TV without the need for an adapter.

The newest standard port for gadgets is called USB-C. It’s found on many smartphones and tablets and, increasingly, laptop and desktop computers. Unlike USB-A (the USB ports you’ve seen in the past), USB-C can be a charging port, used for data transfer or used to display video and audio to another display—like a big ol’ TV. Many popular gadgets use USB-C, including the iPad Pro, MacBooks made since 2016, Microsoft Surface devices and the Samsung Galaxy S20.

a close up of a device: This streamer enables wireless 4K playback from apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, or you can mirror your Chrome browser or Android phone on your TV. © Provided by Interesting Things This streamer enables wireless 4K playback from apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, or you can mirror your Chrome browser or Android phone on your TV.

Another option, one that’s convenient for those with certain gadgets, is a wireless streaming system. You’ll have to do some research to make sure your gadgets play nice with the streamer you want—Apple products will work best with the Apple TV; Google products (including Android phones) will work best with the Chromecast. But these low-profile streamers enable you to simply tap a button to play video, photos, music or even mirror a web browser on your TV without worrying about tripping over wires.

a close up of a device: This streamer enables wireless 4K playback from apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, or you can mirror your Chrome browser or Android phone on your TV.

This streamer enables wireless 4K playback from apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, or you can mirror your Chrome browser or Android phone on your TV.
© Google
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