Screen casting allows you to send media on your mobile device to a television or other compatible display.
In this guide we will walk you through the simple steps to cast your Android device's display onto your TV's, allowing you to stream movies, shows, music, and other content.
How to 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.
With Chromecast, your TV can stand in for phone's display, allowing you to watch streaming apps which run on your Android directly on your TV.To cast, your Android phone and any Chromecast devices need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
Because a Chromecast stick can plug into any TV with an HDMI input, the TV does not have to be a "smart" TV to play screen-casted content.
How to Use Android With Chromecast
Follow these steps to get Chromecast up and running:
Plug your Chromecast device into a power outlet and your TV's HDMI input. Skip this step if the TV has Chromecast built-in.
Turn on the TV.
If using a plug-in Chromecast, select the HDMI input on the TV it's plugged into.
If you have not already done so, download and install the Google Home App on your Android phone. Open the Google Home app, then select Add > Set up Device, and follow the Chromecast setup prompts.
If you are using an iOS device, you can control Chromecast using the Chromecast app for iOS.
Download and install one or more Chromecast-compatible apps, such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or Google Play.
Open one of these apps, choose some content to watch, and then select the Cast icon.
If you have more than one Chromecast-compatible device, you'll be prompted to select the one you want to cast to.
Watch the selected content on your TV.
What You Can Do on Your Android Phone While Casting
There are several things you can do on your phone once you've set up casting from your Android device:
- View the casted content on your Android device as well as the TV.
- Use your Android phone as a remote control to navigate the casted content.
- Perform other tasks on your phone—including calls, texts, social media, and web browsing—while casted content is playing on the 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 select the Cast icon > Disconnect.
How to Cast Android to a TV Without Chromecast
There are select TVs and "bridge" devices, such as media streamers and smart Blu-ray disc players, that have a built-in system 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 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 services on your Android device and start playing them on your TV. The idea is you can use your Android device to control streaming apps that are already on your smart TV.
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, select 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 and Cons
What We Like
Easy way to view your Android display on a much larger TV.
Multitask—perform other tasks while the device is casting.
Screen casting reception is available via Chromecast devices, and TVs with Chromecast built-in.
DIAL allows for streamlined control of smart content.
What We Don't Like
The Android device and TV need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
Not all apps support screen casting.
Requires a Chromecast stick or TV with Chromecast built-in.
DIAL system is limited to Netflix and YouTube.
No guarantee the solution will work for a specific app.
Screen casting is convenient and widely available. It provides an easy way to view your Android phone screen on a larger TV screen. It also allows for multitasking. After the casting has started, you can still perform other tasks on your Android device or even turn it off entirely. In addition to Android devices, screen casting reception is available via Chromecast devices, and TVs with Chromecast built-in. And Dial compatibility provides a casting alternative on select TVs, video projectors, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, media streamers, laptops, and PCs.
There are a few minor downsides to screen casting. 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. A Chromecast or TV with Chromecast built-in are needed to get the full benefit of casting. Although the DIAL system provides a casting alternative to Chromecast, the number of compatible apps is typically limited to Netflix and YouTube. Finally, casting Android to Apple TV requires the installation of an additional app, and Apple has removed the ability to cast from many third-party Android casting apps, so there's no guarantee it will work for a specific app.
Screen Casting vs Screen Mirroring
Requires network connection.
Large screen display only plays requested media content.
Only compatible with certain apps.
Does not require network connection.
Large screen is mirror replica of mobile device.
No app compatibility restrictions.
Another way to view content from an Android device is via screen mirroring. Casting and screen mirroring are similar, but there are important differences. Screen mirroring does not 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 select 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.
Many third-party apps and "bridge" devices that are labeled as supporting casting for Android only support screen mirroring.
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