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How To View your Photos on your TV

Posted by Jamie on December 6, 2018

If you want to see your photos on a big screen, you have a few ways you can do it. You can copy them to a USB drive and plug it into your TV, you can stream them using Chromecast or Plex, access them from a shared drive on a Smart TV or connect your camera to the TV using HDMI. Much depends on what equipment you have. This tutorial will show you several ways to view your photos on your TV.

Whether you want to bore family members or gloat over an amazing vacation, show off your HD adventure images, relive your wedding or graduation, or something else, you can easily views your photos on a TV. That is as long as you have a relatively recent TV and the means to get your images to it. Fortunately, you have options.

Viewing photos on your TV

This tutorial will show you a number of ways to view images on your TV. You can choose whichever one matches the equipment you have as they all result in the same thing, photos on your TV.

Use a USB drive to view photos on your TV

If you have a spare USB drive or external hard drive, it’s a simple matter of copying them to the drive and connecting the drive to your TV. As long as your TV has a USB port that is. Connect your drive, turn on the TV and select USB as the source. Some TVs will automatically detect the new media while some will not. Navigate the drive using your TV remote and view the images as you like.

Stream images using Chromecast

If you have a Chromecast, you can cast your images directly to your TV using the device. As long as you have it all set up and on the same network as the source device, you should be good to go.

You can also add your own images as the backdrop for menus within Chromecast too. Open the Backdrop setting, toggle Your Photos to on in order to make this happen.

Stream images using Plex

You will obviously need Plex set up as a media server to make this one work but if you already use the media center, you can use it to stream your images as well as movies and TV. There is an app dedicated to your photos and videos accessible from the Plex home page.

Set your image folder(s) up to be shared in Plex and open the media center on your TV. Select Photos from the Home page and you can view them all as you require.

Connect your device directly to your TV

If you have a laptop or tablet with USB and a TV with USB input, you can connect the two directly to show your images on your TV. It differs slightly depending on whether you use Windows or Apple but you can mirror the laptop screen onto your TV and play your images through there. This has the added bonus of being able to create slideshows to add a little interest.

Mirror your phone or tablet

If you have a smart TV and it’s on the same network as your phone or tablet you can mirror those screens too. I do this sometimes as I have a Samsung TV and a Samsung phone. I connect both to the network and mirror my phone screen onto my TV. You may need to enable DLNA or Wi-Fi Direct on your TV but it should work.

If you have mixed and matched manufacturers, apps such as Allcast (iOS and Android) gets the job done.

Connect via HDMI

Depending on whether your camera has the right output, you can use a cable to connect your camera to the HDMI input on your TV to show images. There are cables that can convert mini USB or standard USB to HDMI and there are some cameras that can feed HDMI directly. Either way, you can directly connect the two and play images from the camera to your TV screen.

You can also do this with your phone or tablet. Use a USB-C to HDMI or mini USB to HDMI cable to connect the two.

Use an SD card slot

Some smart TVs have SD or MicroSD card slots in the back. If yours has one, you can take your memory card out of your camera or phone and connect it to your TV. Select the memory card as the input source and your images should show us as you would expect.

There are several ways to view your photos on your TV. At least one of those should work for you!

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