Sony’s recent XA1 and XA1 Ultra mid-range phones have decent displays, but if you’re watching a video with friends you might prefer to show it on a big TV, projector or monitor instead. That’s where Miracast, Google Cast and a range of other screen-mirroring solutions come in. Which one is right for you? Let’s find out together as we look at the best ways to connect your Sony Xperia smartphone to your TV.
1. Google Cast is our favourite choice
Google Cast isn’t built into the Xperia XA1, but it’s easy enough to install using the free Google Home app. Once set up, you can stream video directly on Chromecast dongles from Google and Cast-compatible smart TVs. Cast is clever too; instead of streaming video from the internet to your phone and then to your TV, Cast streams directly from the internet to the TV, saving your phone from doing any work after the order to stream has been given. For media streaming, you’ll find a cast icon in your favourite apps like Netflix, YouTube or iPlayer. Cast can also do direct screen mirroring, which can be activated within the Home app.
2. Miracast is the best built-in option
Miracast has been built into generations of Sony phones by now, and is a great built-in option that requires nothing more than turning it on in Settings > Device connection > Screen mirroring. Once turned on, select the Miracast-compatible TV or dongle that you want to connect to, and you’re off to the races. Most modern smart TVs support Miracast, and you can also find Miracast dongles for TVs without this capability.
3. Is a wired MHL connection possible?
Unfortunately, Sony have dropped MHL support from their latest generation of smartphones, including the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra. That means an MHL Micro USB to HDMI adapter won’t do anything when plugged into your phone. Unfortunately, wired connections are expensive to include and harder to market than wireless alternatives, so expect wired screen mirroring to remain a rarity in the future, despite the possibilities of DisplayPort over USB-C.
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