Connecting a phone to a projector is really an easy task, and there are numerous ways you can do it. Some projectors can only be connected through HDMI or VGA, while there are models that you can connect using USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth various other options. The process to connect phone to projector via USB is a typical process, but it will entirely depend upon the compatibility of your projector and how you have set it up.
Since most smartphones, whether Android or iPhone, only get a micro USB port so you won’t have a lot of choices. Getting specific cables or adapters for micro USB is the best way for a projector USB connection without compromising on quality. If you want to get the best image and audio quality out of your projector, HDMI is the best option as it offers fast and large data transfer to reproduce the actual image quality.
Here we put forward a step-by-step process to connect your phone to a projector using a USB connection.
Table of Contents
Finding The Ideal Connection For Projectors
Before you begin the process of connecting your phone, you first need to identify the available ports in your projector. USB is present in many projectors, and if your projector also has a port, then it would get more accessible for you. You can use a simple cable and hook it to your phone for a smooth connection.
Despite having compatibility, some projector often faces difficulty locating a smartphone as a content source. So you should check the USB compatibility before getting a cable. However, if your projector doesn’t come with a USB, then using HDMI is the most plausible choice after USB as it is common in all projectors.
You can also use the VGA port for connectivity, but the quality that HDMI and USB offer is far better than VGA. Importantly, you can play high-resolution content through HDMI or USB, while VGA has some resolution limitations.
Check The Smartphone Port Compatibility
Unlike projectors, smartphones mostly come with regular micro USB or USB C ports, and they don’t offer you any other choices. However, some new smartphones, especially the higher-end models from Samsung, are coming with a specialized USB port. These ports are compatible with adapters that let you connect the projector through the HDMI port using the USB of your phone.
There are some smartphones that also let you utilize MHL or Mobile High-Definition Link support to play content through the HDMI port. Remember only a handful of mod support MHL connect. However, not all HDMI ports offer MHL support, and it is only supported by HDMI 2.0 ports, so you should check the compatibility first before buying.
If both the devices are compatible, then you just need the correct adapter for connectivity. While assessing the MHL compatibility, you should thoroughly check the MHL version supported by the devices, and you should buy the adapter accordingly.
Utilizing The Adapter
Once you have adequately assessed the compatibility, now it is time to find the appropriate adapter that will let you solve your query “how to connect phone to projector.” As we have already discussed, you need to have the right type of adapter; otherwise, the whole effort will be futile. Getting a proper MHL adapter would do the job if your phone and projector supports MHL.
You just need to find the appropriate version that will help you stream content on the big screen. It would be wise to invest in a high-quality adapter as they ensure not only enormous durability but also fast data transfer. If you get a cheap MHL adapter, then there is a chance that you might get poor image output as some of the data is lost during transmission. You can also look for adapters made specifically for your smartphone series or manufacturer because it will ease up the USB to projector connection.
Having a dedicated or specified adapter is a better option than generic adapters that often fail to transmit data from phone to projector. You can also go micro USB to HDMI adapter or micro USB to VGA adapter to solve your issue regarding how to connect an Android phone to a projector via USB. Unlike MHL, you won’t have to check for compatibility, but you shouldn’t settle for inferior brands as they often give rise to loose connections.
Making The Final Connection
Now it is time to complete the connection for the phone to the projector with a USB port. If you are using the USB-C to HDMI adapter, then you just have to hook the cable to the USB port of your projector. The HDMI end should go to the respective port of the projector.
If you are using devices like Samsung Note 8 or something similar, you won’t have compatibility issues. However, if you are going for micro USB or USB-C connectivity to the projector USB input, then it would become effortless for you to hook both the devices. Things would get more manageable for you if you have a projector USB plug and play as your projector will automatically detect the connection without any issue. For MHL connectivity, the process is also simple.
You have to put the 5pin or 11pin jack to the USB port of your smartphone, while the other end of MHL should go to the HDMI port having MHL compatibility. Whether you are going for a USB-C or MHL adapter, you should put the projector at the proper input selection. Otherwise, the projector won’t be able to locate the smartphone.
We hope you have understood the whole process of connecting the phone to the projector using USB, and you won’t have any further confusion. We have tried to include all the possible options to connect your phone so that you won’t be limited to certain choices.
Let’s check out some FAQs;
Question: What happens if my smartphone is not compatible with HDMI or MHL adapter?
Answer: If your smartphone is not compatible with HDMI or MHL adapters, then there is no chance that you can establish a connection to your projector using USB. However, you can utilize the wireless system of your smartphone and projector to create a connection. If your projector doesn’t support wireless connectivity, you can use a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi dongle to plug it into the HDMI port. You can use Miracast, Chromecast, or any other compatible dongle to connect the projector to your smartphone. Read our detailed post, “How to Connect Chromecast to Projector.”
Nowadays, there are many other dongles that you can use to connect your Android phone to the projector that hooks up to the phone. However, if you want to use your projector for your iPhone, you need a VGA or specialized adapter for connecting. While hooking the smartphone, both the devices should be on the same Wi-Fi network; otherwise, the connection won’t establish. Check out our guide on how to connect a mini projector to an iPhone.
Question: What to do if I’m getting only sound but no image or vice versa?
Answer: If you have successfully connected your smartphone to the projector using USB and you are getting only sound but no picture, there you shouldn’t get nervous. It is a common problem that often appears even when you use a projector that connects to the phone through USB. The primary reason that gives rise to this issue is when you put the projector in an incorrect input channel. If you are connecting the projector through an HDMI dongle or USB, then you need to put in the source to HDMI or USB, then only the projector will play video and audio.
You also need to check whether your projector or smartphone is in low volume or mute mode. You should put the volume at the appropriate level to get both sound and picture simultaneously. However, if the problem still persists, then there might be an issue with the cable, especially if you are utilizing old projector cables.
It would be wise to check if you have correctly inserted the cable because a loose connection often gives rise to such problems. So using a brand new cable with proper certification and inserting it into the right port would quickly solve the problem. After all these rectifications, if you still get no image or sound, then the problem might be with the port or the adapter. The adapter might be faulty, or it isn’t compatible with any of the devices.
Question: Is It Possible to Use a Projector’s Remote to Operate Content from My Smartphone?
Answer: Well, it will be possible for you to use the projector’s remote and navigate all the settings and applications from your phone. Since the projector will showcase what is happening to your phone so you can operate the basic things through the remote. However, there are many features that you can’t operate through the remote.
Essential functions like volume, picture, next, pause, etc., can be operated through the remote. If you use a universal remote, then you can easily control most of the functions from your smartphone while projecting content through the projector.
My name is Henry Larson and I have been associated with research and development of projectors throughout my professional career. I used all my experience and expertise to create this blog so that I can guide people to get the best projector of their choice. For any further assistance, you can get in touch with me through email or comments.