How-to: Link Your Tablet to Your TV

Cory is a small town lawyer in Oklahoma. I’m going to respect (and minimize) some embarrassment by just giving his first name. Although Cory’s a bit embarrassed because of his basic question, recently he asked me to explain how I get my stuff from my tablet to the television. Cory’s question is basic, but it’s important since a lot of lawyers are right where Cory is: disconnected from the television. A lot of lawyers have their tablets, their televisions, and their DVD players, but few are integrated.

Cory’s biggest dilemma is being able to watch videos, movies, and Netflix or Amazon Prime videos on his television. I wrote about the media experience here, so you’ll want to find some starting information there.

Cory asked me for a list of what’s needed (or more particularly, what I use), so, Cory’s wish is my command:

The Tablet

The first order of business is to grab a tablet or laptop with HDMI (or VGA) output. Your port is going to look like this (for standard HDMI):

HDMI Port

Or this (for micro-HDMI):

MicroHDMI

Most of the high-end Android tablets have micro-HDMI ports, while laptops have standard HDMI output ports. Televisions, projectors, and similar video relay products have standard ports.

Your Cables

After you acquire the right tablet or laptop, you’ll also need some appropriate cables. Usually, 2 cables (1 standard (full size) HDMI to HDMI, and 1 micro-HDMI to standard-HDMI) will suffice. Of course, get as many cables as you have devices. I have a HDMI cable for my DVD player, my Chromebook, and my tablet (2 standard and 1 micro).

You can find a number of micro-HDMI and standard HDMI cables on Amazon. They look like this:

HDMI Cables

If you want to display your movies on a computer monitor, you’ll also need a micro-HDMI to VGA adapter. I purchased the ASUS-made model because I heard some users had problems getting the ASUS tablets to work with generic adapters, but I’m fairly confident that other, less expensive models will work.

Televisions and Projectors

With your tablet and cables secured, it’s time to connect your device to a television or projector.

All new, flat-screen, high-definition, televisions have HDMI inputs, though the number of inputs may vary. When you’re buying a new television, make sure the model has a sufficient number of inputs to support all of your high-definition devices. If not, you’ll have to switch out cables when you run out of HDMI sources.

PENTAX Image

Also, make sure your device will display on the television screen. Nothing’s more frustrating than not being able to show a presentation or movie because your television doesn’t support your device’s HD output signal. Most “big box” stores will let you connect your tablet or laptop and test the signal input. If you’re like Cory, living hours away from a big box store, you’re going to have to test your luck.

Unlike televisions, projectors will usually have a VGA connection, and high-end projectors will feature HDMI input. I purchased a projector from someone on Craigslist for $200. It’s nothing special, but we can have “movie night,” complete with popcorn and soda, in our living room on “the big screen.”

Programming

The final component is the easiest part to achieve. You probably already have a dozen or two DVDs, and quick search on Google will give you all of the information necessary to “rip” a DVD and place it on your Android tablet. Note: you’re probably violating copyright laws by doing this, so be aware.

Perhaps the easiest method is using Google Play Movies or Amazon Prime. Both services feature on-demand movies, but since Amazon Prime movies won’t play on non-Amazon Android tablets (Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD), I prefer Play Movies.

Google Play Movies & TV

Play Movies also allows you to download your rented or purchased movies to your device, which is handy if you’re sans-internet.

Now that you have your cables, television, and tablet, you can connect the devices, and press play. Here’s a good video that highlights the process:

Update (10/30/13): Chromecast makes watching your content on your television much easier. You might also try Netgear’s Push2TV if you own a compatible device.

24 Responses to How-to: Link Your Tablet to Your TV

  1. I have a Lenovo ultrabook with a mini-HDMI output, but the projector at my local courthouse only has a VGA input.

    I’ve found the CableMatters converters available on Amazon work well. They’re available for all of the HDMI formats.

  2. I hooked up via mini HDMI to TV. However getting no video while trying the new wwe app for streaming. Yet it works fine just on tablet. Suggestions ? Thanks

  3. Hello, I connected my tablet to TV via mini HDMI. In the TV’s Source Menu no HDMI input became active. Nothing happened. My tablet is Prestigio Multipad 4 Quantum 10.1 and my TV is Samsung UE32ES6710s. I tried also with another tablet and one Sony camera, but no result. The cable is HAMA, with gold-plated connectors and Maxim 4k (4096 x 2160) resolution. In the tablet’s menu the HDMI option it was activated.

  4. I HAVE A 7″ android go tablet,what cables do i need too connect to my tv, i would like to get, a miniport,and hdmi cable,so i can charge my tablet at the same ,as we watch tv, rebel.

  5. I have Acer Iconia TaB 8 tablet and when I connect it to monitor via hdmi cable, i can see the picture on my monitor. But when the video starts playing, or the game graphics start, screen goes black, with the sign “no video signal”. Does anyone knows how to solve this?

  6. Km trying to connect my dragón touch a1x plus tablet using an hdmi ministro cable to my tv but only get a no signal displayed

    • The most likely problem is that your television can’t handle the input signal from the tablet. However, I haven’t heard of your tablet before, so you might also run into the problem that your tablet doesn’t support HDMI output.

  7. Trying to hookup a samsung led less than 2 yr old tv up to my asus tabket, less than 1 yr old via hdmi and am not getting a connection. What the heck am I doin wrong. Followed instructions numerous times to make sure I git it right and no go. Any advice?

    • My guess is that you already have Miracast functionality built in to your television and your tablet. Without more details, it’s hard to know what kind of tablet you’re using.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.