How to Connect Android Phones and Tablets to TVs With USB
You have two options for connecting Android phones and tablets to your TV:
- USB-C cable with DisplayPort support
- USB cable with MHL
- USB cable with Slimport
We’ll look at each below.
1. Connect Your Phone to a HDMI TV Using USB Type-C
The most recent Android smartphones feature a USB Type-C port. Also known as USB-C, this is a cylinder-shaped input that replaces micro-USB and is used for charging and data transfer.
Including support for the DisplayPort standard, USB-C can be used to mirror your phone or tablet’s display to a TV.
Simply connect the USB-C cable to Android, then connect this to a suitable docking station or USB-C to HDMI adaptor.
2. Connecting Phone to TV Using USB With MHL
MHL is one of the most common solutions for connecting a phone to a HDMI TV with a micro-USB cable. This technology allows MHL-compatible devices such as smartphones and tablets to connect to televisions and projectors.
You can browse a list of MHL-enabled devices on the official MHL website.
To use Mobile High-Definition Link, you will need
- MHL-enabled phone
- USB to HDMI MHL adapter or cable
- HDMI cable
- Power cable
Although this is the general setup, the specific cable you’ll need varies. Google MHL cable [your device name] to find a list of compatible cables.
For a USB to TV connection using MHL, first hook up your phone via an MHL adapter. The adapter will require power either from a USB port on the cable or an external source.
Although MHL initially required a power connection, MHL 2.0 makes this non-essential. Still, since MHL does draw power from the mobile device, it’s wise to connect a power cable.
Next, connect your phone to your television with the MHL cable. After that, you should see your phone screen on your TV; it’s plug-and-play.
Overall, Mobile High-Definition Link is one of the best solutions for connecting an Android phone to a TV using a USB cable.
3. Connecting Phone to TV Using USB SlimPort
If you have an older phone, you might connect your phone to a TV with a SlimPort cable. While similar to MHL, SlimPort offers different outputs, but uses the micro-USB connection.
Unlike MHL, SlimPort does not draw power from mobile devices.
You’ll need the following to connect a phone to your TV using a SlimPort adapter:
- SlimPort-compatible phone (SlimPort’s list of supported devices)
- A micro-USB SlimPort cable or adapter
- Appropriate video cable for your display (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, or VGA)
Begin by plugging the SlimPort adapter into your phone. Then, attach the SlimPort adapter to your display using the proper cable. You should then be able to view your phone’s screen on a TV. Like MHL, it’s plug-and-play.