How to Connect a Samsung Galaxy S4 to a TV with HDMI

Updated on February 8, 2015

How do I connect my Galaxy S4 to a TV?

The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's flagship smartphone. It's equipped with magnificent hardware and the latest features like smart scroll eye tracking, and has a brilliant 5" 1080p HD display that's great for watching videos, playing games, flicking through photos or browsing the web.

However, sometimes the spacious 5" screen is not big enough. Especially when you have friends around you might like to watch videos and pictures not only on the small screen, but on your big HDTV.

Luckily, it's pretty easy to connect the Galaxy S4 to TV. How? Keep on reading to learn in 3 easy steps.

Connecting a Galaxy 4 to a TV in 3 Easy Steps

Connecting Galaxy S4 to TV: Two Ways Are Possible

There are two ways to connect your Galaxy S4 to your TV. We'll explain both in detail, below.

1st Option: Wired With Galaxy S4 to HDMI Adapter

  1. 11-pin MHL adapter
  2. Micro USB wall charger
  3. Highspeed HDMI cable

2nd Option: Wireless Using Samsung AllShare

  1. Scroll down for detailed instructions.

1st Option: The Wired Way: Get an 11-pin MHL Adapter

Third party MHL adapters are cheaper than original Samsung adapters. Check customer reviews for compatibility.
Third party MHL adapters are cheaper than original Samsung adapters. Check customer reviews for compatibility.
  • Like Apple's iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is also equipped with an 11-pin Micro USB port that supports the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) feature. In other words: With the right adapter, you can send high quality HDMI signals over this port.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S4 requires a modern 11-pin MHL adapter, also referred to as MHL 2.0. Note that there are still older MHL adapters available with only 5-pins. They were used for the Galaxy S2 and are not compatible with Galaxy S3 or S4. When buying a MHL to HDMI adapter, make sure your phone is supported in the specifications.
  • You can buy the official MHL adapter from Samsung that will cost you around $40. Or you can get a no-name part that is much cheaper, but sometimes has quality or compatibility issues.

Tip: You can also look on eBay or other online retailers for MHL 2.0 adapters, which are tested and recommended by other users. On Amazon, you can also find cheap MHL adapters with hundreds of positive reviews.


Step 2: Power Your MHL Adapter

A wall charger is required for MHL adapters as an external power source
A wall charger is required for MHL adapters as an external power source
  • Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Galaxy S4 uses MHL 2.0. This means there is no power connection needed for the MHL adapter to work since the S4 can power the HDMI connection itself.
  • However, it is recommended that you use an external power source in order to prevent battery drain of your Galaxy S4. Basically, you can use any Micro USB charger -- just connect your phone's micro USB wall charger to the port on the side of the MHL adapter. (Nice side effect: Your Galaxy S4 will be charged whilst playing movies or videos on TV).
  • Tip: If you don't have a micro USB wall charger on hand, you can also plug in a USB cable into your laptop or computer.
  • Extra tip: You can also plug a USB cable into the USB slot of your HDTV to power the MHL adapter.


Step 3: Connect Everything to Your HDTV With an HDMI Cable

Choose a HDMI Cable that is long enough for video playback control
Choose a HDMI Cable that is long enough for video playback control

Don't waste time pondering about the right HDMI cable -- they all deliver the same video quality. If you want to learn more about HDMI cables, read this Differences in HDMI cables article.

Just consider these two points:

  • Make sure you choose a modern HDMI cable with the latest standard (high speed HDMI)
  • Choose an HDMI cable with an appropriate length -- you'll have to control your HDTV playback from your phone.

Connect your Galaxy S4 / MHL adapter with an HDMI cable to your HDTV set. Choose any HDMI input slot you like, but remember which one (often they are numbered, for example: HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc) -- it'll make finding the right channel easier.

Enjoy Your Galaxy S4 Screen on Your HDTV

Congratulations! You have managed to connect your Galaxy S4 to TV.

  • Now, choose the right HDMI input channel on your TV and enjoy the High Definition image from your smartphone on your TV.
  • When everything is duly connected, your Galaxy S4's display will be mirrored to your TV automatically.

FAQs: Galaxy S4 to TV Set-Up

Do I need to make any setting changes when my Galaxy S4 is connected to TV?

No, when you have your S4 connected to your TV and you see the your phone's display on TV then there is nothing more to do. Note that your phone's orientation - vertical or horizontal - will also affect the image on the TV.

How can I improve the sound quality?

When playing music, movies, or videos, the sound will also be transmitted over the HDMI cable to your TV. To get the best audio quality, navigate to the "Settings" menu on your Galaxy S4 and go to "My Device --> Accessory." Tap "Audio output," and select "Surround."

Which apps will support the video-out/mirroring functionality?

In contrast to Apple's iPhone, all apps on your Galaxy S4 can use video-out / mirroring. There are no special restrictions for certain apps.

2nd Option: The Wireless Way

How to Connect a Galaxy S4 to a TV Using Wi-Fi

How to Connect Your Galaxy S4 to an AllShare Hub

To connect your Galaxy S4 wirelessly:

  • Navigate to your phone's "Settings" --> "Connections" --> "Screen mirroring."
  • Turn mirroring on, and your AllShare HDTV, Blu-ray player, or Hub will appear in the device list.
  • Choose your preferred device and mirroring will begin automatically.

Similar to AirPlay for Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S4 phones feature the so-called AllShare feature to stream audio and video wirelessly to a TV. There are several ways to use AllShare:

  • If you have a compatible 2013 Samsung Smart TV with AllShare, you can connect your Galaxy S4 right away -- nothing additional required.
  • If you have a Samsung AV-Receiver or Blu-ray player with AllShare Cast, you can connect your Galaxy S4 directly to it.
  • If you don't have any of the above mentioned devices, you could buy a universal AllShare Cast Dongle ($99), which can be plugged into any HDTV with HDMI.

The biggest advantage of wireless mirroring is the fact that it's cable-less, and you can move around freely while still sharing content on the big screen. This is especially helpful if you're gaming or watching YouTube videos with friends.

However, there are some drawbacks to the wireless solution:

  • Any games with fast movements and complex graphics won't be playable over AllShare
  • Audio quality is much worse compared to the MHL adapter
  • Videos often do not stay in sync with audio.
  • Average video quality

Conclusion: AllShare is a nice feature if your Samsung TV or Blu-ray player is already equipped supporting it. However, if you don't have any of these devices, the AllShare dongle is far from being as neat of a device as the Apple TV -- shelling out the additional $100 for the gadget isn't recommended to most users.

Poll: Galaxy S4 to TV

Which method do you prefer to connect your Galaxy S4 to TV?

See results

Comments

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    • ilovedongle profile image

      Veronica Giordano 

      15 months ago from USA

      Helpful post. I followed this post step by step and successfully connect my android phone to TV. I bought miracast dongle specially for connect two devices wireless. I buyed from https://www.bestmiracastdongle.com/ . And really it's amazing. I love to do work with it.

    • profile image

      Lorriweith 

      18 months ago

      I have followed the instructions and get no input help!!

    • profile image

      Mick 

      20 months ago

      Tried above with hdmi cable did not work someone else device and phone no problem anything else I need to do

    • hdmiguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Tobias 

      3 years ago from Germany

      Hi Steve, did you already the troubleshooting guide above?

    • profile image

      Steve 

      3 years ago

      Hi

      Did all of that. Same deal-no signal. Galaxy S4 Kit Kat 4.4.2 When the cable first arrived it worked straightaway, but then couple weeks later it didn't work anymore. G4 Shows HDMI cable connected and battery charges but TV says No signal. Cable works with my mates tv and phone.

      Steve

    • hdmiguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Tobias 

      3 years ago from Germany

      Dear all who experience issues with their Galaxy S4 to TV connection. Please follow this quick troubleshooting:

      #1. Soft-Reset the phone:

      - Turn the phone off

      - Remove the battery for a minute

      - Put the battery back in place

      - Turn the phone on.

      Check if the HDMI output is working now.

      #2. Check for DRM-protected content. If you have a video that plays just fine on your phone but not on your HDTV, it could be DRM protected. If this was the issue, there's nothing you can legally do about this. There might be some tutorials on the web on how to share DRM protected content from your Galaxy smartphone, but you would need to find them on your own.

      #3. Check the HDMI connection from the Galaxy S4 to TV. Connect everything in the right order as follows:

      - first connect the HDMI cable with the HDMI Adapter

      - connect the other end of the HDMI cable to any free HDMI port of your TV. Make sure you select the correct HDMI input channel with your TV remote.

      - power the adapter using your Samsung Charger

      - Only now connect the HDTV Adapter with your Samsung.The TV screen should instantly display what is on the Home screen of your device.

      #4. Update firmware

      Some users will only get the HDMI output working after updating to the most recent firmware. Check you Samsung for system updates and install the latest version.

      Good luck! :-)

    • profile image

      charan@25 

      3 years ago

      I got same problem too. I did exatly what you had shown above. But my samsung hdtv doesn't recognise my Galaxy s4. It's just showing no signal found in hdmi mode.

      Please help.

      Thank U@

    • profile image

      Wendy N. 

      3 years ago

      i have the S4, everything is connected correctly, i have the tv on the correct mode, but i get nothing, "no signal"....what can i do??

    • hdmiguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Tobias 

      3 years ago from Germany

      Muhammad, connect the MHL adapter to your Galaxy smartphone as described above. It should switch to the TV automatically so you won't need the Galaxy's display. However, the touch screen must remain intact so you can control the device.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Tahir 

      3 years ago

      sir my mobile display has been broken while without it the remaining mobile works perfectly. Now i want to connect the mobile with TV to extract the password protected data. is there any hardware available in market to connect the mobile without being showing/switching on the display?

    • profile image

      MahmoodKhan 

      3 years ago

      my s4 hdmi is not working.i did it properly.its charging but no pictureson tv pls help.

    • profile image

      Sheri 

      3 years ago

      I plugged hdmi Mel into to from galaxy s4 comes up no signal

    • Ammon Beardmore profile image

      Ammon Beardmore 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for the help

    • hdmiguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Tobias 

      3 years ago from Germany

      @MyFiveKids Yes, the tutorial above will also work for the Galaxy S5

    • WestelCS profile image

      Tim Anthony 

      3 years ago

      Nice tutorial with a perfect attached video! This is really going to help the users in connecting their devices with TV. Great idea and not always as easy as it should be!

    • MyFiveKids profile image

      Brandon Hart 

      3 years ago

      Is the S5 a similar method?

    • Grumpyboy profile image

      Grumpyboy 

      3 years ago from North London

      Great article cheers

    • profile image

      sam 

      4 years ago

      Do you have a kit kat hdmi fix?

    • profile image

      samanths 

      4 years ago

      I hooked up my phone to the t.v with all the cables as described and its not working what can I do?

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 

      4 years ago from Earth

      Good stuff! This works on some newer generation LG phones too.

      Thanks for the tips

    • profile image

      Geoff 

      4 years ago

      Wtf!! I have the Samsung brand mhl adapter and it mirrors fine but as soon as I plug in it takes away my service (reception) it immediately sends me into a dead zone state and I can't watch YouTube or Netflix... That's the main reason I got it. Any help? Please!?

    • profile image

      Rina Zildjian 

      4 years ago

      I love doing this! Since I read this article, I keep connecting my phone to my TV for picture slideshows, watching or reading content, etc. But my battery keeps getting drained and the fun stops :( Good thing I got a powerbank. Make sure your battery is fully charged when you do this. You can visit http://www.amazon.com/Adapters-Lightning-Adfilic-L... to buy one. It comes with a 3-in-1 cable so no problem with charging.

    • profile image

      rahim 

      4 years ago

      havn the same problem no signal want to no if its something in the s4 I need to change..??

    • profile image

      Brian 

      4 years ago

      Hey been trying to connect my s4 as described but the TV doesn't recognize an input in the hdmi slot.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 

      4 years ago from Japan

      Interesting, I used to use the MHL adapter for the Galaxy S3 and everything worked. I bought a newer MHL adapter recommended for the G4 but I can't get a picture, it doesn't even charge the phone at the same time like the S3 did. In fact both MHL adapters old and new work fine for the S3 but not the S4. wonder why???

    • profile image

      Chantal Johnson 

      4 years ago

      Please help me out! I've connected everything correctly mhl & hdmi to the TV but it's still not show up on the tv. I also made sure I had the TV Set on the proper hdmi setting. Is there something bin the phone I may need to switch in order for it to work?

    • profile image

      danny 

      4 years ago

      When i connect to the tv it comes up no signal. How is this

    • profile image

      MCASSIANO 

      4 years ago

      What the @ Gabi said also happens on my S4 HD-001 MHL OTG HDMI HDTV Charging Dock Station

      ANDROID 4.3

    • DATALOAD profile image

      DATALOAD 

      4 years ago from Michigan

      These instructions are good for a lot of devices. Great post.

    • hdmiguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Tobias 

      4 years ago from Germany

      Hi David, what is happening when you connect everything as described above? Maybe you'll have to adjust some settings on your Galaxy S4.

    • profile image

      David C 

      4 years ago

      I bought the adapter you have the link for and it does not work with my S4.

    • magictrickshq profile image

      Michael 

      4 years ago from Switzerland

      Hey cool. Connecting your devices with your TV is a great idea and not always as easy as it should be. Thanks for sharing these tips, I am going to go out and try this tonight!

    • hdmiguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Tobias 

      4 years ago from Germany

      @maynard this connection layout should also work with an AV receiver. Please post your comments if it worked for you.

      @Gabi this could be due to several reasons. Which MHL adapter are you using?

    • profile image

      Gabi 

      4 years ago

      Whenever I connect the USB cable, the HDMI connects and disconnects intermittently...

      Could it be caused by the ethernet capability of the HDMI?

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      maynard 

      4 years ago

      Can you hook it up to a hdmi slot in av receiver. No one mentions this for some reason.

    • TOPTENTECH profile image

      James Richton 

      5 years ago from USA

      I have the S4 and for some reason the Bluetooth doesn't work when I try to set it up with my car. Any ideas?

    • profile image

      ricoelyes 

      5 years ago

      ty was helpful keep it up !

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