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How to hook up your Samsung Galaxy S4 to an HDTV

The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's largest Galaxy S smartphone yet, with a whopping 5in 1080p HD display. It's great for playing games, watching video, and browsing the web. However, sometimes a 5in screen size doesn't cut it, especially when you've got a 60in HDTV sitting right in front of you. Luckily, there are two good ways to connect the Galaxy S4 to your TV, and we've outlined each of them for you right here.

MHL adapter

The most fool-proof way to hook an S4 handset up to most HDTVs is with an MHL adapter, which allows you to mirror everything you see on your phone's screen on your television set. You can bag an official adapter from Samsung online for around the £30 mark, or you can shop around for a no-name part that's a heck of a lot cheaper.

The advantages to using MHL are crisp stereo sound and an uninterrupted video connection. The downside is that most cables are short, and you'll probably need to get up every time you want to change what's playing.

To set it up, you'll need the MHL-to-HDMI adapter, as well as an HDMI cable (obviously enough). Remember, the longer the cable, the longer the reach you'll have from your phone to your television. The MHL adapter plugs into your phone's microUSB port, and you need to connect your phone's wall charger to the port on the side of the MHL adapter.

Then plug the charger into the wall, connect your HDMI cable to the adapter, and plug the other end into a free port on your television. To get the best audio quality, pull up the Settings menu on your phone, then navigate to My Device, Accessory, hit Audio Output, and select Surround.

Samsung HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and AllShare Cast Wireless Hub

You may have noticed an option for Screen mirroring if you've already spent some time exploring the Settings menus on your Galaxy S4. There are a couple of ways to do this.

The biggest advantage to wireless mirroring is the freedom to move around with your phone while still sharing your content on the big screen. This is especially helpful if you're gaming, or even if you're just browsing through a bunch of YouTube videos with some friends. The downside is that video and audio can sometimes cut out, and audio has a tendency to lag. It's also a lot more expensive to set up if you don't already have a compatible device.

The first, easiest way to use wireless mirroring with your Galaxy S4 is if you have a compatible 2013 smart TV from Samsung. You can also use a Samsung Blu-ray player with AllShare Cast such as the BD-F7500.

You may not have either of these, but the good news is that you can buy Samsung’s AllShare Cast Wireless Hub which allows you to turn any HDTV into an additional display for your phone (you should be able to grab it online for a reasonable price – Handtec has it at £48 as of the publication of this article). Note that this also works with phones like the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, as well as tablets like the Galaxy Note 10.1.

To connect wirelessly, go to your phone's Settings, then tap on Connections, then Screen mirroring. Turn mirroring on, and your compatible HDTV, Blu-ray player, or AllShare Hub should appear in the device list. Choose your device and mirroring will begin automatically.