Darren Yates shows you how to connect your tablet to your big-screen HDTV for under $2.
Tablets are great for portable, personal use reading books, playing games and watching movies. But a growing number support big-screen TV playback thanks to their HDMI output. The problem is some tablets such as Toshiba’s old AT1S0 don’t include a cable or adapter and you’re left to fend for yourself.
There are two ways you can go to get your tablet on TV – if you already have an HDMI cable, you can buy a Micro or Mini HDMI-to-HDMI adapter, or if you don’t, a MicroHDMI to HDMI or miniHDMI to HDMI cable appropriate to your device. Personally, I prefer the cable option as I reckon it puts less strain on the tablet socket due to greater flexibility.
Now in the past, we’ve shown you some of our budget purchases from eBay and we’ve had another go here, purchasing a 1.5metre MicroHDMI to HDMI cable for just $3.66 including shipping from eBay seller Keyzone. However, you may consider that “wasteful” and go for the adapter, which you can buy for less than $2. Shorter miniHDMI cables are also now available for under $2.
Our cable dutifully turned up in a basic padded bag, complete with end caps on the plugs for protection. We had no trouble getting it working on our Toshiba test tablet, giving us 720p (1280×720-pixel) resolution display. What’s great about doing this is the fact you’ve got a wireless silent video player so you have access to your PC video collection without having a noisy PC anywhere in sight.
If you want to do the same thing with an iPad, make sure you purchase the Apple Digital AV Adapter, which turns the iPad dock connector into an HDMI output. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more expensive – it’ll set you back $45.
There are other more complex options such as Miracast, but there is some discontent with the standard that requires support from the tablet or smartphone and needs Android 4.2 minimum. There are also reports of incompatiblity between devices so while it looks promising, we think a cable connection is the simplest and most reliable option at the moment.