How to connect Android Phone to Projector

How to connect Android Phone to Projector? You basically need the right connector or adapter cable, which in Android’s case is the USB-C or MHL standard. You can also check if your projector has an app you can use to facilitate Android connection since that’s the easiest, the most pain-free solution you can get a hold of.

Smart projectors from brand names like Panasonic are capable of running apps that enable you to connect to your Bluetooth or Wi-Fi network and mirror your Android’s screen. Standard, non-smart projectors require wireless dongles to allow for wireless connections via transceiver and receiver. Otherwise, you’ll have to depend on the tried-and-true USB-C or MHL cable or adapter to get the screen duplication job done. It’s all about getting the right cables and whatnot.

Learn How to Connect Android to Projector

Many Android devices prefer the smart projector wireless route compared to the hardwired route because it’s more convenient and they lack enough ports to allow for a straightforward cabled connection without the use of adapters. Here are the different methods you can use in order to connect your Android phone to your projector, whether they involve wires and cables or not.

  • Hardwired Connection: A hardwired solution is your most likely solution when it comes to Android phones to projector connections if you lack a smart projector or if it’s an old projector from 2007 and earlier. Naturally, your Android device will need some sort of adapter for your projector to work, usually an MHL or USB-C to HDMI combo..

    • HDMI: HDMI stands for High-Definition Media Interface. It’s rare for an Android phone to include a Mini HDMI, which only requires a Mini HDMI to HDMI cable to work a la USB-C to USB-A or Micro USB to USB-A. HDMI is the current standard for HDTVs and HD content everywhere in the 2010s and 2020s.
    • USB: The cable for Micro USB is automatically an adapter for a standard HDMI port because the most common use for such cables is to interface a mobile device with a larger device, like a PC, HDTV, or projector. Micro USB would eventually be replaced by USB-C as the Android connection choice for the USB standard.
    • VGA: VGA or Video Graphics Array is a graphics standard that was developed back in 1987 by IBM for its PS/2 line of computers. It became the de facto PC video monitor connector of the 1990s and early 2000s because PC clone manufacturers used VGA as their connector of choice. Regardless, there should be many an HDMI to VGA converter available for your use.
    • MHL: Mobile High-Definition Link, Mobile HD Link, or MHL is an industry-standard A/V interface that enables connection of portable consumer electronics like smartphones, tablets, and the like to HDTVs, AVRs, and modern projectors with HDMI ports. It was developed by the consortium of 5 companies—Toshiba, Sony, Samsung, Nokia, and Silicon Image. This standard was developed to share existing connectors like Micro USB and to avoid the need for additional connectors on small devices that already lack space for them.
      • The Industry Standard: As far as Android smartphones are concerned, their bread-and-butter connector is MHL. This industry standard for Android to HDTV (and HDMI projector) connections is MHL instead of USB-C the same way Apple’s Lightning connector or interface is the standard for iOS devices made by their company.
      • HDMI: You need an MHL to HDMI adapter for your android phone to connect it to your projector. When buying a cable for this interface, make sure you have the exact version of MHL required for your Android phone. They’re thankfully more common to find in Android hardware stores than USB-C or micro USB to HDMI adapters.

      • MHL-Enabled Inputs: The MHL A/V interface became the Android standard for connections that Lightning, Thunderbolt, and USB-3 followed because it allows display devices to connect through MHL-enabled HDMI inputs on top of indirect connections using MHL-to-HDMI adapters. This ensures a solid connection through not just adapters but also through compatible Android devices.
      • VGA: A VGA port is your best bet if your projector lacks an HDMI port. There are MHL to VGA and Mini HDMI to VGA adapters available online too, but you should be wary of which cable to purchase. Many of the cheaper ones are unreliable. Instead, get the ones specifically made for the make and model of your phone.
    • USB – Type C: USB-C is a 24-pin USB connection system used for Android phones because iOS devices instead use their Lightning and Thunderbolt connection system. Speaking of which, it’s possible to connect to the iOS device’s Thunderbolt 3 with a USB-C cable, but with the caveat of not being able to use the maximum throughput of the standard. This isn’t possible with MHL though.
      • HDMI: Some devices, like Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note8, may support a USB-C to HDMI adapters to allow projector connections. However, many past Android phones instead use the MHL format as their de facto cable connection solution. It might be an exercise in trial and error to find which Android phones use USB-C to connect to your projector or which ones merely siphon power from a USB-A port.

      • VGA: When getting a USB-C to VGA adapter, expect to get one as a multi-port converter. The pluggable adapter is even rarer to find. Why? It’s because USB-C to VGA connections is rare. Most would rather connect their projector and Android together, they’d rather do it wirelessly or with the assistance of the more commonplace MHL interface.

  • Wireless Connection: You can’t beat a wireless connection. It’s not always perfect, you will get latency or slowdown problems whether you’re using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but the benefit of having a lack of wires is too tempting to let pass. It’s especially beneficial when it comes to ceiling-mounted projectors because you won’t have to worry about cable management when wirelessly connecting to your Android phone or even tablet.
    • Smart Projectors: As a rule of thumb, a smart projector is like a smartphone or a tablet in that it’s advanced enough to act as a PC of its own, complete with a user interface operating system and the ability to download and use apps through said OS. There are, in turn, many different apps you can use in order to broadcast or duplicate your Android screen unto your projector in a wireless fashion the same way you can use Bluetooth to send audio signals to your Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth headset.
    • Chromecast or Miracast: Chromecast safely works with most Android devices. Whether you wish to watch Netflix or mirror the screen of your Android phone unto your projector, you can depend on Google Chromecast to do it all for you. All Androids have their own Google Chrome browser you can use to activate Chromecast. What’s more, the Chromecast device should attach directly to the HDMI port of your projector in order to use the Wi-Fi network to send video or screen mirroring signals from your Android.

You can also use Miracast in order to accomplish the same screen duplication or mirroring feature found in Chromecast. This is because many newer Android devices offer Miracast support along with newer projectors that allow wireless Android connection. You can also use a Miracast video adapter in case only your Android supports Miracast but your projector doesn’t. It also attached to the HDMI port of your projector like with the Chromecast device.

    • Wireless Transceiver: The same way you can use Chromecast or Miracast devices to deliver screen mirroring of your Android to your projector wirelessly, you can also avail of third-party wireless video connector dongles for wireless connections between your media device and projector. Just put the transceiver onto your Android or other devices of choice like DVD/BD players, cable/satellite boxes, game consoles, and anything with an HDMI port and then put the receiver onto your projector.
    • When All Else Fails: If you’re unable to find a Wi-Fi connection or Android link app on the Google Play online store, look through the company website of your projector’s manufacturer as well as their documentation for more details on how to go about proper Android connections. Vintage projectors made before 2007 will require other means of wireless connectivity such as using a special wireless or Wi-Fi dongle that work exactly like a Chromecast or Miracast video adapter.

In Conclusion

We’ve covered the best methods you can use to link an Android phone or device to your projector of choice. If you have any questions regarding specific devices and brands or you wish to share your own experience when it comes to this specific setup, leave a message on the comments below.

Whether you wish to watch a movie via Netflix on your Android through a bigger screen or to showcase a slideshow presentation for your school or business, it can be quite beneficial to connect your Android smartphone or tablet to a projector properly. You have more than a handful of options available to properly go about it, but it mostly depends on which projector you’re using. A vintage or non-smart projector will depend on USB-C to HDMI cables to work while smart projectors can wirelessly connect and duplicate your screen via apps or features.

References:

  1. Mitch Bartlett, “How to Connect Android to Projector“, TechniPages.com, Retrieved July 1, 2020
  2. Robert Triggs, “It’s 2020 and USB-C is still a mess“, Android Authority, June 5, 2020
  3. USB-C“, Wikipedia, Retrieved July 1, 2020
  4. MHL“, Wikipedia, Retrieved July 1, 2020
James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right projector.

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