There are many ways to setup your projector with phone, however you need to know that not all of them deliver the same high quality image. Even more important is that some methods allow full screen projection while others only display the contents of one single window.

When you have best projector for iPad/iphone, why not to make out of it by connecting right away? Hopefully this article will simplify your choice by providing you information about available connection types and their limitations.

What are the possible connections between my phone and projector?

There are mainly two ways to connect your phone with projector. 

  1. First, You need to have a wireless mirroring receiver box connected between your phone and projector. You can then wirelessly mirror anything from your phone to the bigger projection surface, but you cannot control it as if it was a regular window on your desktop because there is no interaction with mouse and keyboard. 
  2. Second method, allows you to control your phone with mouse and keyboard like it was a regular PC. It requires an USB OTG (On The Go) cable in case of Android or MHL HDMI adaptor in case of Apple phones, connect the one end to the projector’s VGA / HDMI port and other end to your phone.

In this case all you need to do is to connect the cable and control your phone as you would do it with a PC. 

How do I display my phone on a projector?

In order to display your phone on a projector, first you will need an HDMI cable and second you will need either a wireless mirroring receiver box (for Android and Kindle Fire) or MHL adaptor (in case of Apple phones). In both cases follow instructions below.

1) Connect one end of the HDMI cable to input port of your projector, other end to an HDMI port on the back of wireless mirroring receiver box (for Android and Kindle Fire) or MHL adaptor (in case of Apple phones). Note that in case you are using wireless mirroring receiver box for Android and Kindle Fire it needs to be powered either by a USB power bank or a separate power adaptor. This process is appropriate for most of the projectors under $200. For high-end projectors, you may consider wireless mirroring.

2) In case of wireless mirroring receiver box for Android and Kindle Fire, place your phone in the correct position so that it detects Wi-Fi connection from the box. In case of MHL adaptor you will need to connect your phone to a power bank or a USB port of PC / laptop before connecting cable between MHL adaptor and projector.

3) Turn on the projector and go to settings of your wireless mirroring receiver box (for Android and Kindle Fire) or MHL adaptor (in case of Apple phones). Select correct TV / Projector input in order to display what is displayed on phone’s screen.

 

4) In case of wireless mirroring receiver box for Android and Kindle Fire, you are ready to mirror anything from your phone to the projector. In case of MHL adaptor you can mirror anything from your phone to the projector but in order to control it as if it was a desktop window you will need connect USB input into PC or laptop which then gives mouse and keyboard access also to your phone.

Can I connect my phone to projector with USB cable?

Yes, you can connect your phone to projector with the help of USB cable in case of Android phones. However, in this case you will not be able to use it as a full screen projection but rather project only one window at a time. You can also control your phone using mouse and keyboard. Another limitation is that due to lack of USB OTG (On The Go) support in Apple phones it is not possible to connect your phone to projector with the help of USB cable.

How can I play movies from my phone to my projector?

In order to play movies from your phone to your projector you will need a streaming adaptor which can be either connected between phone and projector (wireless mirroring receiver box for Android and Kindle Fire) or MHL adaptor (in case of Apple phones). Follow the instructions below as per device type.

– In case of wireless mirroring receiver box for Android and Kindle Fire, open the app from which you want to stream content from your phone to projector. In case of MHL adaptor it is recommended that you connect your phone to a power bank or a USB port of PC / laptop before connecting cable between MHL adaptor and projector.

– Press ‘Play’ on your phone and then press either ‘OK’ or a similar playback button on your remote.

– In case of wireless mirroring receiver box for Android and Kindle Fire, it is also possible to control the streaming from your phone by going into ‘Settings’ -> ‘Buttons & inputs’ -> Configure buttons .

Can I cast anything from my phone to projector?

Yes, you can cast anything from your phone to projector. However, in case of Apple phones there is no casting option built into iOS operating system. In case of Android devices there are several casting apps available on Play Store which work both with wireless mirroring receiver box for Android and Kindle Fire or MHL adaptor. 

But remember you can only play content from your phone to the projector and not control it as if it was a desktop window.

What are the limitations of wireless mirroring?

No interaction with mouse and keyboard, no access to notifications, messages, phone dialer etc.

What are the limitations of MHL / USB OTG connection?

It works only on MHL capable devices. No interaction with mouse and keyboard, no access to notifications, messages, phone dialer etc.

What are the limitations of an HDMI cable connection?

It works only on devices which support MHL over HDMI port. Some new Android phones don’t support it at all even though they use MHL for charging purpose, some new Apple phones don’t support MHL at all. No interaction with mouse and keyboard, no access to notifications, messages, phone dialer etc.

 

What are the limitations of some other connection types?

HDMI over USB OTG is a WIP standard which should be working properly on Android devices soon as well as it works on some older Apple devices.

HDMI over Apple Lightning is not yet supported by anyone due to the lack of proper hardware on both ends.

HDMI over MHL 2.1 + USB OTG adapter is not yet supported by anyone for some reason noone discloses. All HDMI adapters which support MHL 1 or MHL 2 currently don’t support MHL 2.1 protocol which is supported by some new mobile devices released in 2014 and 2015 .

What is the best projection method?

This basically comes down to your phone model, most of the time it’s better to stick with USB OTG connection because it works on almost every Android phone model, but if you have a MHL capable phone then MHL connection is the best because it’s blazing fast and offers full on PC like experience. 

I would recommend you to buy a cheap USB OTG cable if your phone doesn’t support MHL over HDMI, even though it may not be as good as wireless mirroring in some cases, but still offers almost the same functionality with better performance.

 

When you connect your phone with projector, what is the maximum supported resolution / refresh rate?

This depends on your device model and connection method. You can find more information about connected screens below.

Can I use my mobile phone as a PC screen connected to a computer monitor or TV via HDMI cable?

Not directly because most phones lack full sized HDMI port and use mini or micro HDMI port which is designed for charging purposes, not outputting the screen. You can however connect a converter from USB-C / Micro-USB / Lightning Port to a TV’s VGA/HDMI port for example and turn your phone into a PC monitor. 

Or you can find a wireless mirroring receiver box which allows you to mirror your phone on a computer monitor without any cables.

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