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Connecting your smartphone and TV

By Paul O'Reilly

As we become more dependent on our smartphones for constant communication, web surfing and photography, they are starting to replace our PCs as the main repository for our personal digital archives. From family photos and wedding videos to favorite movies and YouTube clips, our smartphones are now the go-to resource for everything from treasured memories to instant entertainment.

But while smartphone displays are bigger and better than ever before, some content just cries out for a larger screen. Maybe you want to share those holiday photos with the whole family; or maybe it’s movie night and you want to see those special effects in all their big screen glory. Whatever the reason, you want to get that content out of your phone and onto your TV, filling the room with the dazzling HD images and sound.

Luckily some of the latest smartphones cater for exactly that situation. Here are a couple of ways you can effortlessly connect your smartphone and your TV:

AirPlay and AirPlay Mirroring

iPhone and iPad owners can wirelessly stream everything on their devices to an HDTV via Apple TV. That’s photos, videos, music, the Safari web browser, or any AirPlay-enabled app. Just connect your device and Apple TV to the same Wi-Fi network and the Airplay icon automatically appears.

AirPlay Mirroring goes a little bit further and allows you to display exactly what appears on your iPhone or iPad screen, which means you can show documents and spreadsheets as well as all your media. You can even pinch to zoom or move from portrait to landscape and the big screen will faithfully follow your every move. (AirPlay Mirroring requires Apple TV and is available with the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.)

HDMI/Mirror Mode

Numerous smartphones now come with HDMI outlets for connecting to HDTVs through an HDMI cable. The Droid Bionic by Motorola and the Droid RAZR Maxx are just two Verizon smartphones that have this feature. Once connected to a TV, you have the choice of displaying photos and videos or playing music.

The above Verizon smartphones also feature Mirror Mode. Once the device is connected to an HDTV, the option to “Mirror on display” will appear. Selecting this option will mean that everything that appears on the device’s screen will also be displayed on the TV screen.

The smartphone has already established itself alongside the TV and the family computer as an indispensable hub for information and entertainment. It’s now set to display its versatility as the one device that can move from the pocket to the living room without missing a beat.

This article first appeared in Family Buzz, a VerizonInsider blog on the exciting and ever-expanding world of mobile technology.

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