How can I stream from my phone or tablet to my TV? 

Many of us these days watch TV with a phone or tablet in hand, but what happens if you want to share what's on your personal screen with family and friends, on the big screen.

News stories for streaming from phones and tablets to TVWhether its a funny YouTube clip, your own photos and videos, or a bit of gaming, it's much more fun stretched across 40 inches of TV screen than four inches of handheld display.

Here’s a number of other ways you can (or will be able to) stream video and games from your phone or tablet to your HDTV.

AirPlay and Apple TV

How to stream from phones and tablets to TV

If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad and an HDTV chances are you already know about AirPlay.

AirPlay is easy to set up and lets you stream movies, play music and games from your iPhone or iPad on your big TV screen. You’ll need to have an Apple TV device plugged in to your TV set and connected to your home Wi-Fi network.

Once this is set up, you then connect your iPhone or iPad connected to your home Wi-Fi network. An AirPlay icon then pops up in certain apps like Photos, Videos, Music or Safari, letting you stream what you want to your TV.

AirPlay Mirroring is available on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 only, letting you surf the web, chec email, and play games on your TV screen.

Certain games like Metal Storm: Wingman (pictured) have been adapted specifically for AirPlay Mirroring, turning your iPhone 4S and iPad 2 into advanced second screen controllers.

Apple TV of course also acts as a video rental service, giving you access to the many titles available to rent and buy from iTunes.

Apple TV costs around £99.

HTC Media Link HD

How to stream from phones and tablets to TV

HTC’s Media Link HD is a little dongle-sized device which you plug in to the HDMI port of your TV set. From there is acts as a bridge from your HTC phone to your TV set. It doesn’t matter if your TV is set up for DLNA or any kind of wireless streaming - all you need is a spare HDMI slot.

Working with the One series of phones (HTC One X, HTC One S, HTC One V), no apps need to be installed for the Media Link HD to work. You simply plug it in to your TV and a connection is automatically established. A three finger gesture on the screen activates the connection; see the video below and read our guide here.

 

The Media Link HD lets you stream movies, video clips (AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MKV, H.264 BP/MP/HP) music (MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC) and pictures (JPG) to your TV while letting you continue to use the phone as normal. This is useful as it means you can start streaming a movie and if your phone rings, you can answer it and the film will continue playing.

Alternatively there’s a mirror mode, meaning you can play games, check email and surf the web on your TV from your HTC phone.

The wireless connection of the HTC Media Link HD is based on DLNA, but in our reviews we found it to work fine with all of the One series of phones.

HTC Media Link HD costs around £60.

Twonky Beam

How to stream from phones and tablets to TV

Though DLNA isn’t the most reliable of wireless streaming protocols, Twonky seems to have got it working fine with its Twonky Beam app.

We’ve waxed lyrical about both Twonky Beam before, which lets you search the web for video on your iOS or Android device and then sling it to your TV. Perfect for quickly sharing your latest YouTube favourite, be it One Pound Fish or whatever the current cat video is.

As well as working with a number of Samsung Smart TV’s (and one Sony one - the Bravia LCD TV KDL-32E5520), Twonky Beam and Twonky Browser also work with ZyXEL’s DMA-1000 media player and a number of music players such as the Sonos S5 and Roku SoundBridge M1001 (click here for a full list).

Twonky Beam is free to download for iPhone and iPad (iOS 4.0 or later) and Android devices (2.2 Froyo or later).

How to stream from phones and tablets to TV: Coming Soon

HTC Connect

HTC Connect is a forthcoming kitemark for TVs, media streamers and portable speakers. Basically, if you see an HTC Connect sticker on something, that’ll mean it’s been primed to work with an HTC phone.

As well as wireless streaming to your TV, HTC Connect is said to encompass NFC and Bluetooth for tapping and short-range transmissions.

So far only Pioneer is on board with HTC Connect, making Connect-branded AV receivers and wireless speakers.

OUYA: Android TV gaming done right 

How to stream from phones and tablets to TV

Less of a video streaming solution and more of an Android games console, the OUYA nevertheless should let you stream pictures and films as well as play Android games on an HDTV.

Not due for release until March 2013, OUYA has more than doubled its funding limit on Kickstarter already.

Google Nexus Q

Google’s Nexus Q is a morph ball/Paranoid Android lookalike which is, and will probably remain, a US-only deal. 

How to stream from phones and tablets to TV

But if you’ve got cash to spare and would like what is essentially the Android equivalent of Apple TV, then you can snap one up for $299 (roughly £190) plus shipping.

For the adventurous and intrepid hackers the Nexus Q can be modded to play Android games - the inevitable Angry Birds hack happened merely days after its announcement. But for the general public, the Google Nexus Q is perhaps too pricey - £100 more than the most recent Apple TV.

News stories for streaming from my phone or tablet to TV

Twonky Beam connects via Xbox 360 or Roku

Twonky Beam browser upgrades to Xbox 360 and RokuMulti-platform media streaming app Twonky Beam can now reach your TV via your Xbox 360 or Roku media player.

Twonky Beam is an alternative web browser for Android and iOS that lets you send whole web pages or embedded video, audio and pictures to your smart TV and other devices.

The Xbox 360 and Roku join the Playstation 3, some Samsung and Sony smart TVs, Apple TV, Western Digital WD TV Live devices, selected Sony Blu-ray players and many other DLNA devices as Twonky Beam receivers.

Jerome Rota, senior vice president of consumer products and services at Packet Video, said: “We believe that the so-called “second screen” will soon become the hub of the consumer media experience, but we also know that video content is best enjoyed in the living room on the big screen.

“With Twonky Beam, anyone can discover and access content on a tablet or smartphone and then seamlessly enjoy that content on the television through great products like the Xbox 360, Roku and Apple TV. ”

December 17, 2012 

Nvidia Tegra 3 supports Miracast HD streaming 

Phones and tablets with Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chips will be able to easily stream movies and games to TV’s thanks to adoption of Miracast, a new wireless standard announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Miracast enables simple HD streams between your phone or tablet and HDTV over Wi-Fi Direct, as opposed to having both your phone/tablet and your TV connected to the home Wi-Fi network.

As you can see in the video below Miracast should allow for slick second screen gaming from your phone or, when paired with a controller, console-style action. Shadowgun THD and Riptide look especially great on the big screen though we’re skeptical about the longevity of Angry Birds on TVs.

Nvidia is keen to embrace the Miracast standard which is open, Unlike Apple’s AirPlay or Intel’s WiDi (seen in Toshiba’s smart TV’s).

This means Miracast ought to make its way to other smart TVs in the future, meaning more devices to play your Tegra-powered games on.

Where can I find the Nvidia Tegra 3? HTC One X, Asus Transformer Prime and Transformer Infinity

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip currently powers phones like the HTC One X and the LG Optimus 4X HD and tablets like Asus’ Transformer Prime and Transformer Infinity. With the Tegra Zone already stocked with a brace of solid titles, Nvidia’s on to something good here.

Of course the Wi-Fi Alliance still needs to ratify Miracast as an actual standard, after which we ought to see TV manufacturers adopting it, doing away with the messy nightmare that DLNA has become.