I’m for SURE dating myself with this reference, but I remember the days when we would pop our family home video into the VCR and laugh as we watched the playback. Now, in a digital world, our videos are usually stuck on the small screen of our phone and don’t often see the glory of the big screen. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are my tips on how to stream videos to your TV (bonus: you don’t have to be tech-savvy)!
how to stream videos to your tv
So, here’s the thing… there are a LOT of different ways to stream video to your TV. I’m going to highlight some great options, but ultimately you’ll need to select ONE technique that works for you setup and just give it a whirl. It feels a lot more intimidating than it actually is!
Screen Mirroring Options
Screen mirroring allows you to view the screen of your phone on the TV. It requires a screen-sending program on the phone and a screen-receiving setup on the TV.
Here are some options (you only need to pick one):
OPTION 1: Smart TV
We have a Roku Smart TV which allows you to install various apps right on the TV. Install the screen sharing app on both the TV and the phone. The app I use for our Roku TV is called “Mirror for Roku”. The free version of this app allows only 1 minute of streaming so you’ll need to purchase the Lifetime subscription for $8.99.
OPTION 2: TV Device Plugin
We currently use the Google Chromecast ($35.00) on a TV in our home and it makes it really simple to stream videos from your phone. All you have to do is install the Chromecast app on your phone. That’s it! You’ll have options to view your Camera Roll, Live Camera, or Mirror the whole screen. Other popular plugin device options are the Amazon Fire TV Stick ($39.99) or the Roku Stick ($38.99).
OPTION 3: Plug the Phone Directly into the TV
Bypass most of the ‘tech’ and just plug the phone right into the TV! You’ll need an HDMI adapter that attaches to your phone ($19.98) + an HDMI cable if you don’t already have one. The HDMI adapter plugs into the phone and the phone charging cable (took me a minute to realize the power source had to be connected in order to work). A message will pop up about downloading an app to improve the screen mirroring, but you don’t need to download it, click Live TV and it’ll begin!
OPTION 4: Apple TV
If you’re an iPhone user, the easiest way to stream is with an Apple TV- you can “Airplay” videos from your phone with a quick tap. But an Apple TV costs $179 and since the options above are working fine for our family, we do not plan to purchase an Apple TV.
Internet Streaming Options
If you have a Smart TV, you can stream videos right from the internet- no phone required! Upload your favorite videos to a video sharing website from either your phone or computer.
OPTION 1: YouTube
Install the YouTube app on your Smart TV, login to your account, and start watching your videos! I’ve created an “unlisted” playlist on youtube of all our family videos so they’ll play one-after-the-other and keep us entertained for hours (consider creating an Annual Reel each year like I do!)
OPTION 2: Vimeo
If you prefer Vimeo over YouTube, install the Vimeo app on your Smart TV and it’ll work the same way!
Well, did you see an option that will work for your household? Go ahead and play around… it’s easier than you think and your family will LOVE it!