You don't have to spend much to connect an Android phone or tablet to a TV, putting whatever is on your touchscreen up on the big screen. This can be a great way to stream online video using apps such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer - both the sound and video will play on your TV screen, while you control everything on your Android device.
Broadly speaking, there are two ways to connect an Android device to a TV. The most basic involves an HDMI wire. A more sophisticated alternative is to wirelessly 'cast' what's on your tablet to the TV, using a Google Chromecast device.
Connect an Android device to a TV with an HDMI cable
Some Android tablets have a built-in mini HDMI output socket, making it easy to connect them to your TV. Other tablets can be connected to a TV using an HDMI adaptor (around £10 online).
However, some Android tablets (and plenty of Android phones) won't let you connect with a wire. So it may prove easier (and less cluttered) to use a wireless connection, as explained below.
Google Chromecast: wirelessly connect Android to a TV
It’s easy and cheap to connect an Android tablet (or phone) to your TV wirelessly. You can do this with a Google Chromecast. This is a £30 dongle that plugs into your TV via HDMI and USB. It lets you run apps and stream video from your tablet to the big screen.
Step 1 - Connect to an HDMI port
Plug the Chromecast into a spare HDMI socket on your TV. Turn your TV to the correct HDMI input using the AV or Input button on your remote.
Step 2 - Power the Chromecast
If your TV has a powered USB port, you can use this to power the Chromecast. If your TV doesn’t have a USB port, connect the Chromecast to the mains using the supplied USB lead and mains adaptor.
Step 3 - Set up the Chromecast
Open a web browser on your Android tablet (or phone) and go to chromecast.com/setup. If you don’t already have it, you’ll be prompted to download the Google Home app to your device. Tap Open once it’s installed, and follow the app’s prompts, accepting the terms of service when asked.
The app should connect to your Chromecast – tap Continue. You’ll be asked to confirm a four-digit code, then name your Chromecast.
Next, enter your wi-fi details and sign into your Google account. The Chromecast may need to install updates.
Step 4 - Cast from your Android device
Once it’s set up, you’ll see a Cast icon when you use certain apps on your tablet. BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Spotify and many others will display the icon. Tap it, then in the Cast to pop-up, tap your Chromecast. The video will play back on your TV.
You can change the volume, pause or rewind all from your tablet. Tap the Cast icon then tap Stop casting to exit playback.