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How do you connect a smartphone to a TV?

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Quick Answer

To connect a smartphone or tablet directly to a TV, use an adapter to attach an HDMI cable to the television. This mirrors the screen directly, although differences in the aspect ratios might produce a stretched or squashed image.

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Some devices also support Mobile Home Link technology. To use MHL connectivity, use an MHL-to-HDMI cable, and plug the HDMI side into the television. MHL provides mirroring similar to other HDMI adapters, but its standardized technology can provide a smoother interface. MHL cables also charge the device while connected.

There are several ways to stream content from a smartphone to a television; doing so enables users to stream video, although this option might not support some apps. Amazon's Fire TV support most Amazon-branded devices, Android devices running Android 4.2 or later and some iOS devices. Roku devices also support native streaming for many Android and Apple devices, and third-party apps such as Twonky Beam provide video streaming support. Apple users might want to consider Apple TV, which provides sophisticated iTunes streaming.

Chromecast is a popular option for streaming video with a compatible device, and its small size and low cost makes it a great option for people looking for a simple solution. Miracast devices offer comparable functionality but don't rely on typical wireless networks.

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