Technology Explained

How to Cast Your Screen: Wired and Wireless Solutions to Share Your Screen

Khamosh Pathak 24-03-2017

There are many situations where you might want to mirror your smartphone or PC display to the giant TV in your living room. It’s a simple way to share photos, or whatever’s on your screen. It can be a presentation you’re about to give or a spreadsheet you need to talk about. There are multiple ways to do this, both wired and wireless.


1. Wirelessly Mirror Media With Chromecast

Chromecast is a little $35 HDMI dongle you can carry around in your pocket. It’s easy to set up and use. Chromecast is the cheapest and the most seamless way to wirelessly mirror your device onto your TV. While it’s usually used to cast media Hack Your Chromecast Experience With These Tricks Did you know your Chromecast is capable of much more than simply streaming video? In this article we'll show you eight clever hacks which will make your Chromecast experience even better. Read More , it also works for screen mirroring for supported devices 7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With a Chromecast You have finally taken the plunge and bought yourself a shiny new Chromecast, but what happens next? Here are seven things you didn't know you could do with one of Google's dongles... Read More .

chromecast mirroring

That is, as long as you have an Android device or a Mac and PC running Chrome. The feature is now built into the browser. So from the menu, select Cast to get started. You can mirror a single tab to Chromecast, or your entire screen from your Mac or PC. Because of iOS’s closed nature, there’s no official way of mirroring your entire display to Chromecast.

If you have an Android phone, you can just swipe down on the notification panel and select the Cast button from the quick toggles to get started.

Chromecast Mirroring


Other than being able to mirror your display, Chromecast can cast media to your TV quite easily. Apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Play Music, Pandora, and HBO Go all support Chromecast feature Awesome New Chromecast Apps, Tips and Tricks You'll Love Messing With Apps are adding support for the Chromecast constantly, so keep checking your apps. Until then, read on to learn how to get the most out of your Chromecast with what is available today. Read More . Just look for the Cast button in the playback screen, select your Chromecast and presto — the media will play on your TV. You can use your mobile device to control the playback.


2. Mirror Laptop Display Using HDMI

HDMI is still the staple for mirroring the screen when it comes to laptops (although with the latest MacBook Pros, that might just be set to change). HDMI is a single cable that carries both high definition video and audio. It’s a plug and play protocol, which makes it extremely versatile. It’s simple and it works every time.



Get a cheap HDMI cable (this one from AmazonBasics is just $5.99), plug one end to your laptop, another to your TV, select the proper output and input options on both devices and you’re in business. While HDMI is now the default port when it comes to TVs, modern laptops hardly ever carry it. The latest MacBooks have USB-C, the MacBook Air has Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort and so do the Surface devices and latest Windows Ultrabooks.

To make HDMI work with a modern laptop, you’ll probably need to buy an adaptor. Apple has its own USB-C to HDMI adapter. Look for third party adapters on Amazon.

3. Wirelessly Mirror iOS and Mac With AirPlay

Apple TV

If you’re all in on the Apple ecosystem, it makes sense to buy the Apple TV Still Unsure If You Need an Apple TV? Here’s What It Can Do On the fence about what seems like yet another expensive Apple purchase? Check out what you can do with an Apple TV and decide for yourself. Read More , which makes the process of casting the screen from any Apple device to your TV really easy. The same works for media too. The video player has an AirPlay button built-in across iOS and macOS.


Apple TV AirPlay

To mirror your display from iOS, open the Control Center and select AirPlay Mirroring. To do this on a Mac, first enable the shortcut for AirPlay Mirroring from System Preferences > Display. Now use the menu bar shortcut to select the Apple TV in the room to stream to.

airplay mirroring ios

The current 4th generation Apple TV runs on tvOS and supports apps and games. At $149 for the 32 GB model, Apple TV is significantly more expensive than Chromecast.


BuyApple TV

4. Wired Mirroring for iPhone and iPad

Apple HDMI connector

If you don’t want to buy the Apple TV for $149, buy a cheaper adaptor instead. iPhone and iPad support mirroring using HDMI via a converter. Apple’s Official Lightning Digital AV Adapter comes in at $49. It has both an HDMI in and a Lightning port so you can charge you device when you’re mirroring it.

BuyLightning Digital AV Adapter

5. Miracast

Miracast is a wireless casting protocol How to Cast Your Android Screen to Windows 10 With Miracast and Connect In Windows 10 version 1607, you can wirelessly cast your Android screen to your desktop using the Connect app. We show you how to set up this magical screen mirror. Read More that does away with the need for a dongle like Chromecast. As long as the support for Miracast is built into both devices, you can wirelessly cast your screen, even without the internet (it uses Wi-Fi Direct protocol).


Devices with Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4 and up support it. Now you just need to make sure your TV does too. This part can be a bit confusing because different manufacturers promote the same Miracast technology under different brand names. For instance, Sony calls it Screen Mirroring, while Samsung calls it AllShare Cast. If you’re looking to buy a new TV, look at supported devices here.

If your device doesn’t support Miracast, you can add the functionality using a dongle like the Roku Streaming Stick or the Fire TV Stick. Microsoft and Belkin also make Miracast dongles for under $60.

While Miracast was hailed as the wireless version of HDMI What Is Miracast? How to Use Miracast for Wireless Media Streaming HDMI may be the standard for connecting media devices, but it has a lot of downsides. Here's how to use Miracast instead. Read More (one with the same simplicity and versatility as the HDMI without the cables), it hasn’t turned out that way. Getting Miracast to work can sometimes be downright confusing. There’s a lack of clarity when it comes to the feature across different categories of devices. Plus, your device needs to be awake when Miracast is streaming, which can drain a smartphone’s battery fairly quickly.

If both your devices have Miracast support, that’s well and good. But if they don’t, I wouldn’t suggest you go out of your way to make it work using dongles. Chromecast is a much better option.

6. Mirroring on Android

Chromecast Android screen mirroring

There are a couple of ways for doing this on Android. Modern Android phones that run Lollipop and higher come with multiple mirroring options built in. If your manufacturer has set it up that way, you’ll find a Cast button in the Quick Settings section of the notification panel. Tap it and you’ll see devices with mirroring capabilities that are around you. This can either be a Chromecast or a Miracast device, as discussed above.

The simplest and most reliable way is to use the Chromecast. Swipe down from the top of the screen, tap on Cast, select your Chromecast and you’re in business.

If you want to mirror to an Amazon Fire TV, another Android device, a PC or even an Apple TV, check out Koushik Dutta’s stellar Screen Recording and Mirror app.

What’s the Best Method?

HDMI is still the most reliable way to mirror your screen. If it just has to be wireless, look into Chromecast (or Miracast for casting Windows 10 How to Project Windows 10 to TV With Miracast Windows 10 has built-in abilities to mirror its screen on your TV. Here's how to use Windows 10 with Miracast. Read More ). While you might have some performance issues, depending on what’s on your screen, it’s perfectly fine for presentations and spreadsheets.

You’ll find other, more obscure, maybe proprietary ways for mirroring your screen. But they won’t work as seamlessly or reliably as the options we’ve listed above. Be sure to follow our guide to playing your games on any screen 5 Ways to Play Your Video Games on Any TV, PC, or Mobile Device Here's everything you need to know about playing PC and console games on almost any device in your home. Read More for advice specific to casting video games.

Want some more mirroring tips? Here’s how to mirror an iOS device to your Windows PC How to Mirror an iPhone or iPad Screen to a Windows PC Here's how to mirror an iPhone or iPad to your PC so you can cast the contents of your mobile device to a laptop or desktop. Read More .

Image Credits: cunaplus/Shutterstock

Related topics: Apple Airplay, Chromecast, Miracast, Mirroring, Screencast.

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  1. Spencer
    April 20, 2018 at 3:33 am

    Glad i have an apple tv and some airport express and time machines
    each of them have headphone plugs to use airplay to play to speakers around the house, and the Apple TV lets me case anything from any mac or iphone or ipad in the house to the tv and music system seamlessly. In addition, my family around the world get to enjoy my 560 movies and other media with the apple tvs i bought them
    you cant do that with an Android phone

  2. Darshan Dharajia
    December 15, 2017 at 5:07 am

    my android phone and windows 10 pc connect wirelessly to Vu TV?

  3. Darshan Dharajia
    December 15, 2017 at 5:07 am

    i share my android phone and windows 10 pc to connect wirelessly with Vu TV?

  4. Veronica Giordano
    October 24, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Fascinating article and knowledgeable also. The miracast Wireless method is one of the best ways for screen mirroring. Reading your blog, I am learned new methods. Thank you for posting the informatic blog.

  5. Davin Peterson
    March 24, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Older Google Nexus devices had supported Miracast. But then Google dropped it when they came out with Chromecast.