It's a pretty amazing world we live these days, especially when it comes to mobile phones. Hours of hours of entertainment are at our fingertips, available in almost any location, ranging from a stylish little device that fits your pocket. As comfortable and wonderful as smartphones, however, it is something to say content on a large flat screen TV. For those who access more content from their tablet or smartphone than anywhere else, the large screen in the living room can create serious jealousy.
So why can not you get your cake and see it for? You can thanks to the magic of the mirror. A fast growing arsenal of devices allows everything on your phone or tablet to be mirrored from your phone's screen to your TV. For those who want to marry the second screen with the screen that started everything, we've compiled this list of the best, most convenient and most affordable ways to do it. We have done all the research for you, so just dive in and choose your poison.
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Bill Roberson / Digital Trends
Not to be confused with the mythical stories about it
Roku ($ 25 to $ 100)
Rokus versatile collection of streaming devices are constant favorites among reviewers and consumers. What really makes Roku fly is its combination of a good interface and a ridiculous selection of apps (which numbers over 1000). Even better, while the Roku family (containing multiple iterations and price levels) for a long time was due to some genuine built-in mirroring, the company now offers a straightforward screening for Android and Windows devices.
The service is available for Android devices running 4.2 or higher and Windows devices running 8.1 or higher. Your hardware must support screen mirroring, according to Roku, but most devices do it in one form or another. For Android devices, Roku notes that there are many terms used for mirroring, including Smart View, Quick Connect, SmartShare, AllShare Cast, Wireless Display, HTC Connect, Screen Casting, and Cast. Once you have identified the correct terminology, you can usually enable mirroring from the Settings menu under the headings "Network" or "View."
For Windows 8.1 devices or higher, you can mirror by following this Microsoft article. For Windows 10 devices, open Action Center, select Project, and Connect to a Wireless Screen and then select the Roku device on your network.
While iOS devices can not reflect Roku, users can view personal photos, videos and music to Roku with the Play on Roku feature in the Roku app. In addition, some popular apps allow you to browse content to the TV via Roku , including Video & TV Cast and AllCast. Third-party applications may require more time to install, because platforms require downloading apps to both your destination device and your iOS device. For AllCast, you must upgrade to the $ 5 version (otherwise you will limited to a few minutes of video playback.) These apps also work with Roku TV, like the affordable TCL 6 series TVs and other TCL models.
Read our Roku Streaming Stick + review
Amazon Fire TV ( $ 30 to $ 120)
Amazon's Four TVs debuted in April 2014, with several newer (and more powerful) iterations that follow over the years since. The latest device These include 4K HDR ready Fire TV Cube, which offers a host of features including the ability to control most of your home theater system with your voice only, along with Fire TV Stick 4K, which offers a similar, but scaled down feature set. Like other newer fire TVs, the Four TV Cube and Fire TV Stick 4K also support 4K, HDR and Alexa.
Early in the Fire TV story, Amazon introduced native mirroring for Android devices via Miracast, but first, users had to have their device tied to the same Amazon account as their box. But thanks to an update, all users with a compatible device can access the fun. Enabled devices include Android devices running 4.2 Jelly Bean or higher, Amazons Fire HDX Tablets, and Fire Phone (if any one still has one). Older fire TV does not support mirroring. To enable mirroring, go to Settings > Screen and Sound > Enable Mirroring Display . Then connect the desired device from your Android phone or tablet.
Like Roku, iOS users will find AllCast as a viable option for sending videos, photos, and other media to the fire TV device outside of the Android Mafia. Another (paid) app to try is Reflector 3, which also works with iOS devices.
Read our Amazon Fire TV Cube review
Chromecast ($ 35 or less) and Chromecast Ultra)
Since then debut in 2013, the Chromecast has become a go-to device for affordable wireless streaming. Chromecast has done a (very small) update to its 2018 HD device, along with Chromecast Ultra, which offers 4K streaming and HDR support in a small, dongular form (yes this form). What makes Chromecasts special is their ability to bypass the device's internal resources thanks to Google's "Cast" streaming method, so you can start playing on your mobile device. Simply click on the cast icon and let Chromecast remove it from there, allowing your phone or tablet (or computer) to rest and save battery.
Outside casting from streaming apps, Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra also have almost no latency of anything on an Android smartphone or tablet, including games, photos, videos, and more. The options combine to make a variety of very cool applications. From now on, Android devices running Android 4.4.2+ mirror with Chromecast offer. some are "optimized", while others may not be so smooth. Make sure your Google homepage is up to date and check here for more help. As a bonus, Chromecast can also mirror anything from a Mac or computer's Chrome browser by simply clicking the Cast button in the corner of your browser, but performance quality varies.
If you're an iOS user, Chromecast mirroring is not supported for content loaded on your device, but Chromecasts are great for streaming content from lots of popular apps including YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and Google Play. Movies & TV. However, you must download the Google Home app first.
Read our Chromecast's Third Generation and Chromecast Ultra Reviews
Miracast ($ 40 to 70)
Read our Amazon Fire TV Cube Review  While we generally prefer the methods described above in most cases, If you are an Androidian, third party Miracast devices from lesser known companies are also available. Miracast is a Wi-Fi certified wireless protocol similar to AirPlay. Miracast is unique in that, unlike AirPlay, it does not need a Wi-Fi network. Instead, it creates its own private streaming network through a protocol that arrived with Android 4.0 called Wi-Fi Direct. The network is available from other local devices but is secure from all internet hooligans outside its short area.
Miracast is versatile and offers a variety of mirror features. While it works with Android devices, it is especially useful for mirroring computers. Like AirPlay, its Achilles heel depends on the device's internal resources, which binds it and drains the battery. But if Android (and especially PC) mirroring is your game, Miracast-enabled devices may be worth checking in (but we'd probably just go with one of the devices above).
Some solid reputation options Include Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and Belkin Miracast Video Adapter. Miracast is also available for use with Kindle Fire HD through some devices, including the popular Netgear Push2TV.
Xbox One S (250 $ to $ 290 or less), Xbox One X ($ 500), Xbox One, Xbox 360
a random proposal thanks to a lot of unreliable apps. The Xbox has no built-in mirroring feature, so you have to rely on third-party solutions, such as the previously mentioned AllCast or AirServer. Neither the app is free (the AirServers Xbox app costs a lot of $ 20) and users on the web have had mixed results. The Xbox mobile app has many great features, but reflection is not among them.
While mirroring is limited, the best way to stream video clips from your phone is to Plex console. Plex is in the Xbox Store and just takes a quick search to find. You must download the Plex app on your Android or iOS phone and sign up for a Plex account if you do not already have it. In order to take full advantage of the app, you'll need a paid subscription and you'll also need to pay a one-time activation fee for your device. If you only use Plex to stream files that are saved directly to your phone or tablet (instead of being stored on a Plex server), you can choose and continue in rights mode instead. Plex is a great solution for those with extensive digital libraries, but those who prefer streaming services will need to access them directly from the Xbox.
PlayStation 4 ($ 290 plus), PS4 Pro ($ 400) and PlayStation 3 ($ 100-plus)
Unfortunately, none of Sony's game consoles – including PS3, PS4 or PS4 Pro – built-in mirror functions. While there is an official PlayStation smartphone app that lets you control your PS4 and surf the PlayStation Network, it's all it can do. Instead, users must resort to third party options. Plex is probably your best bet here, as with the Xbox. Other options, such as R-play, allow you to do the opposite of phone mirroring, ie play from your PlayStation to your iPhone. If you have an Android phone, there are more complex ways to get R-play, but it's not yet available in the Google Play store and we can not guarantee the quality or feasibility.
Many newer TVs have built in a mobile mirror. If you have a newer TV and you have noticed an acronym on one of the HDMI inputs MHL, you already have a plug-and-play solution to connect your Android phone, albeit from a designated 20's hard drive connection. MHL stands for Mobile High Definition Link and allows you to mirror most of the content on your screen via an HDMI input. All you need is a cable (you want to make sure it works with the phone's output) that converts your smartphone's connection to an HDMI connection. Note MHL will also power and charge the device when it is connected, but we have not seen many good reviews for the cables in our search so you have to proceed with your own monetary risk.
Wireless mirroring is much more useful for the coupons in all of us, and this feature is also delivered with some of the new platform models. Unfortunately, most of the built-in mirror options are available, like Samsung's AllShare system, which only works with Samsung Galaxy phones. Still, if you already have the goods required, then the better. Roku TVs, for example, work just like set-top devices. For other TVs, check your setup manual to find out if MHL or wireless mirroring is included in the package (alternatively, here's a handy list of Best Buy of some televisions with mirroring capabilities).