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 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):
Or this (for micro-HDMI):
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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
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: