Update 1: Please do not confuse Galaxy S4 screen mirroring with Android screen mirroring through Chromecast. Android screen mirroring (screen cast) is also supported on Galaxy S4.
Update 2: For detailed comparison of Chromecast and Miracast, please check this guide.
You may not know you can enjoy any contents in your Galaxy S4 in a bigger screen (e.g., TV). You can simply share the Galaxy S4 screen with most TVs or even some projectors.
This is Galaxy S4 screen mirroring.
Some geeks may call it wireless display, which is used by some other vendors.
Galaxy S4 Screen Mirroring is one of the prominent features in the smartphone. But unfortunately, this feature is under-used, because there are no clear guides for Galaxy S4 owners on how to use screen mirroring in Galaxy S4
This ultimate guide of Galaxy S4 screen mirroring will solve the problem for you.
Everything you need to know about Galaxy S4 screen mirroring will be covered. I will update this guide regularly. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below.
What is Galaxy S4 screen mirroring?
Galaxy S4 screen mirroring (or wireless display) simply duplicates the display in your Galaxy S4 on TV or other bigger screens (e.g., projectors). In other words, instead of staring at the 5″ screen, you can share Samsung Galaxy S4’s screen with TV of any size. The Samsung Galaxy S4 then works like a remote control for your TV.
This means you can consume any contents from your Galaxy S4 on a TV with a bigger screen with screen mirroring. For example, you can watch any videos on the TV screen from Galaxy S4. This usually gives better watching experience. You can easily share the video or the show with your family members in the living room with a bigger screen.
With Galaxy S4 screen mirroring, you can also play games on your TV screen. Your Samsung galaxy S4 is your controller and the storage of your games. In other words, any games you can play in your Galaxy S4 can now be played on the TV screen. Isn’t it cool?
You can also use Galaxy S4 screen mirroring to show photos taken or saved in your smartphone on the TV for other family members or friends during a gathering. Everybody knows it is painful when there are 10 eyes staring at the 5″ screen. Now you can share the Galaxy S4 screen to a TV so that everyone can enjoy the photos.
Is only the screen mirrored? How about the audio?
Although so far I only use “display” or “screen” for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring, actually sound/audio will also be mirrored (to be precisely, transferred). Galaxy S4 Screen mirroring is not just for mirroring the screen ( screen sharing ): it shares and casts both display and audio to your TV.
If you have a good sound system for your TV, you will immediately enjoy the excellent audio through Galaxy S4 screen mirroring. You will probably never want to watch movies in your Galaxy S4 at home any more. The sound quality is limited by the video file itself and your sound system, not by your Galaxy S4 (although the audio quality of Galaxy S4 is not bad).
In fact, Galaxy S4 Screen mirroring never degrades the audio quality.
The technology behind Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring
Galaxy S4 screen mirroring uses the technology called Miracast, which allows a portable device or computer to send, securely through peer-to-peer WiFi Direct connection, up to 1080p HD video and 5.1 surround sound, to any devices that support Miracast.
Galaxy S4 (including most of its variants) is Miracast-certified. Galaxy S4 screen mirroring complies with Miracast standard. This implies, for screen mirroring, Galaxy S4 works with all Miracast-certified devices.
Miracast is officially supported by Android for Jelly bean 4.2 and later versions. Google and most other Android phone manufactures use the term wireless display (e.g., Wireless Display in Moto X). , which is essentially the screen mirroring in Samsung Galaxy S4.
Before Miracast is officially supported by Android, Samsung supported Miracast through their proprietary implementation of AllShare Cast. You can find this option in some old flag-ship phones, for example, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 10.1. Galaxy S4 Screen mirroring is a natural evolution of AllShare Cast and Android’s wireless display.
If you used AllSahre cast in some Samsung device before, Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring is actually not new at all. All devices works with AllShare Cast should work perfectly with screen mirroring in Galaxy S4.
How to turn on and turn off Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring
To turn on Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring is very simple. you just go to Settings–Connections–Screen Mirroring (maybe slightly different depending on your region). Drag it to right to turn it on. Drag it left to turn Galaxy S4 screen mirroring off (stop sharing screen).
Once Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring is turned on, Galaxy S4 will then scan for available devices that support Miracast within the range. Tap that device to connect to it following the on-screen instructions.
So you need another device, usually a Miracast-supported TV, or a Miracast-supported HDMI dongle, to get the mirrored screen. Please read on to know what you need.
What are required to use Galaxy S4 screen mirroring?
Miracast is an industry-wide solution, so the technology works well across devices, regardless of brand and vendor.
To use Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring, you only need a Miracast-supported TV. Your Galaxy S4 will immediately find your TV once the screen mirroring is enabled. So, you can share your screen on the TV immediately after you start the Galaxy S4 screen mirroring. Most smart TVs released in last two years support Miracast. You may check the specifications of your TV.
It is NOT a problem, even if your TV does not support Miracast. A HDMI port is the only requirement for your TV.
If your TV is not a smart TV or it does not support Miracast, you can get one of the following devices to make Galaxy S4 screen mirroring work for you:
- HDMI adapter that supports Miracast
- Samsung HomeSync
- Samsung AllShare Cast Hub
Now, let’s explore these 3 options to help you decide the most feasible solution for your Galaxy S4 screen mirroring.
Miracast-supprted HDMI Adpater for screen mirroring
There are quite a lot Miracast-supported HDMI Adapters in the market. Most of them will work with Galaxy S4.
But not all of these HDMI adapters are created equal. The latency or the lagging is usually your primary concern. Some low-quality adapters may cause considerable lags when sharing the screen. Sometimes, the video and audio are even not synced. This will surely ruin your watching experience.
Another factor you need consider is whether you want to use screen sharing or wireless display for other devices.
Based on my own experience, I usually recommend Netgear Push2TV Wireless Display HDMI Adapter with Miracast. It works for all of my devices. This adapter works well with Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring. When using it for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring, you will not feel any lagging. The audio is synced very well as well.
This adapter is extremely useful if you have some non-Samsung smartphones or tablets at home, especially, Amazon Kindle Fire HD or Kindle Fire HDX tablets. It is even officially certified by Amazon for display mirroring with Kindle Fire HDX 7, Kindle Fire Hdx 8.9 and the new Kindle Fire HD. So, it is a good idea to get this adapter to enjoy Galaxy S4 screen mirroring or Kind Fire display mirroring . It works with most other Android phones with Jelly Bean 4.2 or newer as well, for example, Galaxy Note 3, HTC One, Nexus 4 and Moto X.
This adapter also supports Intel Wireless Display (WiDi). This means you can use your TV as the second screen for your WiDi-supported laptop with this adapter.
The price for this adapter is around $60. In the box, the USB power adapter is included. But surprisingly, HDMI cable is not include. When ordering this adapter, please make sure you get a HDMI cable if you do not have any spare cables at home.
Samsung HomeSync for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring
Samsung HomeSync is actually a personal cloud (1TB) with tons of features. Screen mirroring is only one of the features in the long, long feature list. For Samsung Galaxy S4 screen mirroring, this device is actually overshot.
HomeSync is recommended when you also need personal storage cloud to save and share videos, music, and photos. It can also be used as a media player for your TV.
Most Galaxy phones and tablets are supported by HomeSync. But screen mirroring is only available on Galaxy S3 (and some variants), Galaxy S4 (and some variants), Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Grand, Galaxy note 10.1, Galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3 (7.0, 8.0 and 10.1) . To fully utilize the HomeSync, you need download the free HomeSync app.
The HomeSync is not cheap. It will cost you around $300 (1TB).
Samsung AllShare Cast Hub for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring
Samsung All-Share Cast Hub is another affordable solution if your TV does not support Miracast. The wireless adapter works with Galaxy phones with AllShare Cast capability. Of course, Galaxy S4 screen mirroring is officially supported.
Please note, this AllShare Cast Hub is only for Samsung devices. It works nicely for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring without any configurations. If you have some non-Samsung smartphones or tablets, it is better to get the Netgear Push2TV Wireless Display HDMI Adapter mentioned above.
How about Google Chromecast? Is it work with Galaxy S4 screen mirroring?
The $35 Google Chromecast is an exciting, and affordable device. But at this time, Miracast is NOT supported by Chromecast. So, it can NOT be used as an adapter for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring.
With the Chromecast dongle, what you can cast on your TV from Samsung Galaxy S4 is limited by the apps that support Chromecast. Anyway, this is not through screen mirroring.
Troubleshooting for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring
Here are list of commonly asked questions on using Galaxy S4 screen mirroring. I update the list regularly. If you have any other questions, please post them in the comments below, or use contact us page to let us know.
Q1: I turned on Galaxy S4 screen mirroring, but there are no device found to share the screen.
A1: Make sure your TV is on. If you are using an adapter, make sure the HDMI source is set correctly on your TV and you can find some texts like ready to cast on your TV.
Q2: Should the smart TV (or the HDMI dongle/adapter) connect to the same network as Galaxy S4 for screen mirroring?
A2: No. For Galaxy S4 screen mirroring, a peer-to-peer wireless network between the TV (or the adapter) and Galaxy S4 will be established privately to share the screen. This is independent of other wireless connections. Actually, internet access is not a pre-requisite for Galaxy S4 screen mirroring. This is different from Google Chromecast.
Q3: How about Galaxy Note 3? is this guide applies to Note 3?
A3: This guide also applies to Galaxy Note 3. You may check this page for more specific issues on screen mirroring on Galaxy Note 3.
Q4: Can I turn off the Galaxy S4’s display when using Galaxy S4 screen mirroring?
A4: No, you cannot. If you turn off the display on Galaxy S4, nothing will be shown on the TV. TV simply duplicates whatever you have on the screen of S4. To save battery when using screen mirroring, you can disable auto brightness and set a low value of brightness. For brightness settings, you may check this page.
Q5: Will the brightness or other screen setting on Galaxy S4 affect the TV when using Galaxy S4 screen mirroring?
A5: No. screen or display settings in S4 are only for Galaxy S4. TV will use its own settings as explained in your TV’s manual. They are independent of each other.