Yes, you can use your Android device as a video game console for your big screen TV. Surprisingly, there are plenty of good games available, from Asphalt to Dead Trigger 2. Here’s a quick guide on how to get started:
Get the Right MHL Cable
The first step is to check if your phone is MHL enabled. MHL is a standard used by several Android phone manufacturers that is the smartphone and tablet equivalent of HDMI. Older phones and tablets came with micro-HDMI slots, but that’s no longer necessary. Still, if you have an older phone, get a micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable.
Assuming your phone is MHL compliant, which most modern phones are, things get easier. You’ll need an MHL cable. An MHL cable has a standard microUSB port to connect to the phone, while the other end of the cable is a standard HDMI port to connect to the TV.
Make sure you buy an MHL cable with an external power supply. These are called “active” MHL cables, which use an adaptor to turn your phone’s MHL output into a format compatible for any TV. Cables without this adaptor require you to have a TV set that is also MHL-compliant-and the number of MHL-compliant TVs is much lower than you’d think, not to mention that the information is difficult to find. You could also go online and check out this link and know more: http://www.mhlconsortium.org/devices.aspx
Do Not Go wireless with Chromecast or Miracast
The Google Chromecast is a fantastic device, but don’t use it for gaming. In fact, don’t use any wireless screen mirroring technology like Miracast or Wi-Di.
Wireless mirroring is good for photos and sometimes even for videos, but the transmission is much slower than what you get through a direct cable connection. While gaming, you will notice visible lag or low frame rates, which ruin the gaming experience.
Get a Good Bluetooth Controller
Using a Bluetooth controller like the Amkette Evo Gamepad Pro (read our review) or Moga Pro will greatly enhance your gaming experience. Yes, you could technically sit with your phone and play the game while looking at the big screen TV – and that is required for some games.
But a controller lets you sit back and play wirelessly. It also mimics the experience of a video game console, which is what you are going for with this setup. More importantly, there are two things where a controller helps tremendously: In saving battery and to remain unaffected by your phone or tablet heating up.
Charge It Fully and Keep an Eye on Battery Life
You already know that playing games drains the battery of your device quickly. Thankfully, it’s not going to be as bad as usual, since your screen won’t be on and you won’t be using the touchscreen, if you have a controller.
Nonetheless, it will drain your battery and here’s the bad news: that MHL cable is using your only charging port.
Before you start gaming, you need to charge your phone fully. If you’re in the habit of charging as you play, this is bad news for you. You’ll be surprised how often you forget to do this and end up with your tablet or phone dying in the middle of a gaming session on your TV. There are some active MHL cables and phones which, when used together, enables the cable to charge the phone. But these don’t work every time.
What is MHL?
MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition Link: Users can connect smartphones, tablets to HD televisions, audio receivers, etc.
Which smartphones support it?
Top Samsung smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge. The latest Galaxy S6 does not. Sony smartphones like Sony Xperia Z1, Z3+, Z4, etc are also on the list. HTC, LG, Panasonic, also have MHL-compliant smartphones.
How to know if your smartphone is MHL compliant?
Go to the MHL website and scan the QR code to see if your phone is on the list.