Technology

My photos: Forgotten them? Here's how to look at your smartphone photos, videos on your TV

My photos: Forgotten them? Here's how to look at your smartphone photos, videos on your TV

Be honest: Once you’ve taken photos and videos on your smartphone, how often do you look at these captured moments?

If the answer is “not often,” you’re not alone.

Even though your smartphone is super convenient for taking photos and videos, and you probably have hundreds of even thousands of them, perhaps you don’t want to squint to see images on a small screen? Or you prefer to look at them with others. Or it’s too difficult to find what you’re looking for.

Regardless of the reason, you might better appreciate these photos and home movies –and relive the memories associated with them – when viewed on that big-screen television you own.

My photos: Forgotten them? Here's how to look at your smartphone photos, videos on your TV

After all, a 60-inch screen is more conducive for enjoying these images along with the family, not to mention a fun way to spend time while self-isolating during the pandemic. A 4K or 8K TV can also take advantage of advanced optics in today’s devices.

With this in mind, here are three ways to do it:

Flip through photos in the cloud

Many smartphone users take advantage of “cloud” backup, which automatically uploads all photos and videos to an online account – just in case the phone is lost, stolen, or damaged.

If you have a smart TV (or streaming media player like Roku or Chromecast), you could install the same app on your television to view all your images there.

You will need to log into the same cloud account on your TV as your phone – such as Google Photos, Microsoft's OneDrive, Amazon Photos, or Dropbox, for example.

My photos: Forgotten them? Here's how to look at your smartphone photos, videos on your TV

With Apple’s iCloud, you’ll need an Apple TV box, or you can use a cable or wirelessly stream content, per below.

Access your smartphone scrapbook wirelessly

Most smart TVs today let you wirelessly “cast” images from your smartphone – but the process will vary based on the kind of TV you have.

The technology may be called DLNA or Miracast, or your TV might have built-in Chromecast, Roku or AirPlay support. In most cases, simply choose a photo or video on your mobile device and then tap the Share icon for it to magically appear on your TV.

Your phone will likely need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Smart TV.

My photos: Forgotten them? Here's how to look at your smartphone photos, videos on your TV

Cables to connect your photos

You still have options if you don’t have a smart TV or prefer a non-wireless solution.

If you’re an Android user, just plug your phone into the TV’s USB port, using your USB-C charging cable. Make sure the phone is unlocked and the images should appear on your screen as thumbnail images. Now use your remote to scroll through them all.

For iPhone, you’ll need a Digital AV Adapter and HDMI cable, sold separately for about $49, which connects your Apple device to your TV’s HDMI port (opposed to USB port).

My photos: Forgotten them? Here's how to look at your smartphone photos, videos on your TV

For any kind of phone, you can also copy photos and videos to a PC or Mac and then load up a USB flash drive, which could be plugged into many TVs today (even if they’re not a smart TV).

Lastly, you can connect your laptop directly to an available HDMI port on your TV.