How to stream from your iPhone to your TV using AirPlay

iPhone Screen Mirroring to TV

Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Today, where nearly everyone owns a smartphone, people are constantly creating and sharing media of all kinds, from a work presentation to dance videos to share with friends to videos of the kids to share with grandparents. Connecting your devices at home and streaming videos or viewing your pictures on your TV is just another part of that.

Apple’s AirPlay allows iPhone users to mirror their screen to the TV, so they can play their videos and music, or view pictures. We’ll specifically focus on how to AirPlay to a TV and the different ways to do it.

If you want AirPlay on your TV, make sure your iPhone and your 4K TV, Roku, or Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If you have a Roku that you’re using to connect, make sure it has the latest updates by going to Settings > System > System Update > Check Now.

How to stream from your iPhone to your TV

We’ll cover the two easy ways to stream from your iPhone to your TV: You can choose to use screen mirroring or stream specific media like photos and videos without mirroring your screen.

I’m going to choose a video to AirPlay on my TV. So I just went to my photos and tapped on a video to play this example.

Once you’ve chosen a video or photo, hit the Share button at the bottom left of your screen.

share button

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Scroll down past your sharing options until you find AirPlay and tap on it.

Choose AirPlay

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Available devices on your network will be displayed, giving you the option to choose a TV or streaming device to play the selected media.

choose a tv

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The selected media will play on the TV of your choice. You can skip forward, zoom in or out, play live photos, all from your iPhone.

Media playback on TV only

Only media will play on TV, your iPhone screen will not be mirrored.

Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

How to use Screen Mirroring on iPhone

Apart from using AirPlay, the other option to stream media from your iPhone to your TV is through screen mirroring. The biggest difference between the two is that screen mirroring will display your iPhone screen on the TV, so you can see more than just a video or photo, for example. Then you could read a website or a message on the TV.

Swipe down on your iPhone screen to access Control Center and tap Screen Mirroring, it’s the button with two overlapping screens.

This will display available devices nearby or on your network that you can share your screen with.

Go to Screen Mirroring

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Touch the TV where you want your iPhone screen to be mirrored. In this case, I selected my LG TV. Your phone screen should now be visible on your TV, and you can use your phone to find the media you want to display.

select tv

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If you play your videos, you’ll notice that the video and audio will play only on the TV, allowing you to use your phone as a remote to control what you’re watching.

iPhone Screen Mirroring to TV

With screen mirroring, you share everything on your iPhone screen to your TV.

Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

This is how you pass AirPlay to a TV from your iPhone. Screen mirroring lets you take advantage of the ability to cast whatever’s on your iPhone to a larger screen to share with others in the room, all enabled from Control Center where you can pause, play, rewind, or fast-forward.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between AirPlay and screen mirroring?

Screen mirroring will display everything on your iPhone screen on the TV, so whatever you do on your phone will be visible on the big screen. When you use AirPlay, you are playing media from your phone to your TV without sharing your screen on the TV. Just as we listen to music on our phones through a Bluetooth speaker, AirPlay simply connects to your smart TV to display the media you want to display.

How do I stop mirroring my screen?

If you are done mirroring your screen and want to stop, just go to your Control center again by swiping down in the top right corner, then select mirror screen again. On the next screen, tap on Stop duplicating.

Why can’t I use AirPlay on my Roku TV or stick?

Now, if you have a Roku and can’t find it in your list of AirPlay available devices, you can go to Settings > Apple AirPlay and HomeKit and make sure AirPlay is set to ON. You can also select your preference for AirPlay access on this page.

Can I use AirPlay with a Fire TV device?

A fire tv stick is not supported and will require a third-party app, such as AirScreen or Apowermirror.

Not all TVs support AirPlay 2, so if you’re looking for a TV and mirroring your iPhone screen is important to you, you might want to check the specs when choosing a TV to make sure it says Works With. Apple AirPlay. If your TV is not compatible but has a roku either Apple TV 4Kyou can still use AirPlay to mirror your iPhone screen.

Why won’t my iPhone connect to TV?

If you get a message that says “Cannot connect to ‘x device'”, your phone is probably not connected to the same network as the device you want to AirPlay to. Check that your iPhone Wi-Fi is turned on and connected to the same network as your device.

If the problem persists, please restart your phone and TV and try again. Rebooting your router can also help with this problem.

Can I use AirPlay without an Apple TV device or Apple TV+ subscription?

The truth is, you don’t need an Apple TV device or a subscription to use AirPlay. All you need is to have your iPhone and TV connected to the same network, then follow the directions above. AirPlay is simply a feature of Apple devices.

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