Screen mirroring duplicates the display from compatible devices like a Smartphone on to the TV screen. However, the name of the feature and the process, varies with the type of Smart TV you own (Android, non-Android) and the TV brand.
Here’s a step-by-step guide that simplifies screen mirroring for you. And everything else you should know about it.
What is screen mirroring?
Screen mirroring lets you see the exact display from 1 ‘source’ device on to another ‘target’ device (in this case, a TV).
The same source device can be used to control, and navigate the display on both screens simultaneously.
Here’s an example.
You are lying on the couch, watching a trending movie on your Smartphone. Your spouse comes along and insists on watching it too.
What do you do?
Instead of squinting into the Smartphone why not shift to a bigger screen?
You turn on your smart TV and Switch to ‘screen mirroring’ mode (more on that later).
You do that same from your Smartphone settings and there! Your Smartphone screen is being mirrored on the TV.
You retain the controls on the source device i.e. your Smartphone like changing volume, play/pause etc.
After the movie you can switch the TV back to its previous mode.
Or continue streaming some online music or photos from your gallery.
Wireless Screen Mirroring on Smart TVs— MiraCast
Known by many names, MiraCast is the original ‘screen mirroring’ technology that helps transfer audio-visual content between 2 connected and compatible devices.
Multimedia devices that support MiraCast give it different names depending on the device’s brand and technology.
This is why MiraCast is also known as screen mirroring (most common), display mirroring, HTC Connect, M-cast, AllShare Cast (Samsung), SmartShare (LG) etc.
Do you own a smart TV from Sony, LG, Samsung, Mi, Sanyo, TCL or Panasonic?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up screen mirroring on your smart TV
Find out what your TV labels screen mirroring as, by searching the ‘Menu’, or ‘Inputs’ section. Or look for a preloaded App on your homepage or dashboard.
For example, LG smart TVs come in-built with the SmartShare App or the AllShare Cast in case of Samsung TVs.
Find out what your TV calls it or refer to the TV’s guidebook or Google it.
Whether called ‘wireless display’ or any other name, once you find the screen mirroring option on your TV, turn it on.
Turning screen mirroring ‘on’ can include switching the TV’s mode (from HDMI 1 to Screen mirroring) or looking for and selecting a compatible device nearby.
Ensure the device you’ve chosen as the ‘source’ supports screen mirroring.
You can do this by looking for a screen mirroring option in the device’s settings.
Again, this option can be labelled in numerous ways like HTC connect, Wi-Di, or plain old screen mirroring.
Once you turn on screen mirroring on your source device, select the device to want to connect to (in this case your TV).
By the end of step 3, both your TV and the source device will be successfully paired with eachother and ready to start mirroring content.
You will see the screen of your source device mirrored on your TV.
And every action you take like opening an App, typing something, and so on will be duplicated on the TV screen.
This is the fun part.
Make the most of screen mirroring by playing videos, games, or music.
Turn your TV into your work screen by checking emails, Google drive, typing notes, and setting Reminders.
Browse through your photo album, or send an SMS.
Might as well, read pdf files or PowerPoint presentations on the big TV screen instead of straining your eyes and neck on Laptop or Smartphone.
To disconnect change the mode or input on your TV or turn it off & on.
Use a similar method with your source device and turn off the screen mirroring.
Wired Screen Mirroring (for non smart TVs)
Before smart TVs took over the market, we had to make do with the good old non-smart TVs.
These TVs also support screen mirroring from various external media devices but only through a wired connection.
In fact, this was the only way to screen mirror a device before things went wireless.
The HDMI or VGA port can be used to connect Laptop, PC, Smartphone and so on.
Once connected select the appropriate ‘input’ or ‘mode’ on both devices to pair them.
You can then follow the step 4 in the series above i.e. start streaming or browsing content on the TV screen.
Note: Although you don’t need internet connection for screen mirroring, you will need one for streaming online content.
Pros and Cons of Screen mirroring on any Smart TV
- Screen mirroring is easy to set-up and use
- You can do more things with screen mirroring:
Unlike screen casting, mirroring lets you do more than just entertain yourself with video-on-demand Apps.
Since the entire screen of your source device (Smartphone, Laptop etc.) is ‘cloned’, you can work, learn, browse, check email, play games, and do much more with screen mirroring!
Screen mirroring thus serves both professional and personal purposes.
- Screen mirroring can be set up either wirelessly (via MiraCast, SmartShare, AllShare etc.) or through wired HDMI
- Screen mirroring works without an internet connection (However, you will need one if you plan to stream online content).
- If you use your phone or the source device while screen mirroring is going on, the TV screen follows whatever you do on it.
(For example, if you check messages on WhatsApp in-between a movie being screen mirrored, the TV screen displays your actions throughout the process. Till you continue playing the movie again).
This can be an advantage or a limitation, depending on your usage.
- The user experience can vary.
Even if your TV and source device supports screen mirroring, it may not work as smooth as other, better compatible devices like a Samsung TV with a Samsung Smartphone, OnePlus TV with a OnePlus Smartphone etc.
- Things like notifications and alarms, too get screen mirrored which can be a distraction when you’re watching a movie or TV show.
Click here to know more about screen casting and mirroring.
How is screen mirroring different from screen casting?
Do you plan to mirror only entertainment stuff from YouTube or Netflix and so on?
And do you frequently multi-task during TV time?
Then you might not like your Smartphone (or Laptop) tied up in mirroring content to your TV.
In this case, screen casting is a better option.
Screen casting lets you find and select content on the source device then cast it to the TV screen. The source device is freed up to do other tasks while the content you cast on it continues playing.
Most Android smart TVs come with built-in Chromecast which supports screen casting.