How to connect your smartphone to your TV

Google Chromecast has finally arrived in the UK but it’s not the only gadget on the market that helps you connect your smartphone to your TV
by
How to connect your smartphone to your TV

Google Chromecast has finally arrived in the UK but it’s not the only gadget on the market that helps you connectyour smartphone to your TV. Apple TV and the Roku Streaming Stick both do a similar job. So which is best? And are they worth the hype?

What are Google Chromecast, Apple TV and roku streaming stick?

Their main use is as streaming devices, meaning they let you watch TV shows and movies over the internet right on your TV. That lets you get the huge on demand choice of services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer on a big screen without the need for fiddly cables. But they each have some very handy unique features.

Chromecast lets you mirror a Google Chrome browser window on your TV. Apple TV lets you send stuff that’s stored on your iPad or iPhone to your TV. And Roku Streaming Stick can play content from Android and Apple devices.

Which is best for streaming video?

The Roku Streaming Stick outdoes the others on this front. There are more than 500 channels to choose from, including Amazon Prime’s new video service that isn’t on the other two yet. But Apple TV and Chromecast do have other big names like Netflix and they have their own exclusive content, like the iTunes Store and Google Play Movies and Music. And when you’re watching Netflix or YouTube, Chromecast has one key feature; it’ll take over the streaming from your phone. That saves battery as the phone isn’t working so hard on the internet.

Which is best for viewing my own stuff on my TV?

Here they’re all pretty even, although we like the way Apple TV works. Thanks to My Photo Stream and iMovie Theatre, all your photos and videos are sent automatically to your Apple TV. On the others you have to send them to your TV when you want to look at them. But the Roku Streaming Stick has one advantage; flexibility. If you have an Android phone and an iPad, the Streaming Stick will put content from both devices onto your TV.

Which is best for web browsing?

Chromecast is easily the best here. It’ll mirror you Google Chrome web browser in real time, letting you surf the web on a big screen. With Apple TV you can mirror Safari using AirPlay, but Chromecast is a little easier. At the moment, Roku hasn’t got a web browser for the Streaming Stick but that could change before long.

Which is best?

All three of these fun new gadgets are great for turning your TV into a smart TV. But which is best for you depends on what phone and tablet you use with them and whether you’re looking to just stream video or do a bit more. iPhone users will love Apple TV as it turns your TV into a giant iPad and Android lovers will want Chromecast. But if you just want to stream video or have a couple of different devices, then Roku’s huge list of channels will win you over.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Looking at our site and want to know how it all works? Here’s a quick guide to buying a brand new co
The Xbox One is a stunning piece of next generation hardware, but did you know it can even interact
Running out of battery in your smartphone is always a massive inconvenience, so use these tips to ke

21 December, 2018
Got the dreaded ‘memory full’ message on your screen? Then follow our guide to free...
19 December, 2018
A power bank is a great solution for keeping your smartphone and other devices powered...
23 October, 2018
Instagram Stories is a feature that lets you create stories with photos and videos...
23 July, 2018
If you're planning on jetting off somewhere nice this summer, our top tips for using...
10 July, 2018
Master your new iPhone with these tips for getting set up, using Siri, syncing with...
26 June, 2018
Watching the World Cup with fans of other teams can be fun. And if you're worried...
11 May, 2018
With the Snapchat Lens Studio, you can now create your very own Snapchat face filter...
28 March, 2018
Your phone screen shows loads of handy information, but have you ever wondered what...
21 February, 2018
Is your phone always running out of battery? A few of our tips below should help...
29 December, 2017
Your mobile phone contract is almost over, meaning it’s time to upgrade. Here’s our...
27 December, 2017
If you find yourself running over your mobile data allowance before the month is...
23 November, 2017
If you're thinking of buying a phone as a gift, there's a lot to consider. Use our...