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  • Category: Smartphones

    How to Connect smartphone to dumb screen


    Want to connect your smartphone to a monitor or a dumb screen to use your smartphone as a computer with a complete setup of keyboard and mouse? Know if it is possible and if there are any drawbacks to doing this from our experts.

    I want to connect my Samsung G8 to a dumb screen with a VGA port on the back. So I would use a USB C to VGA cable which I can get from the store.

    I want to be able to work on my phone apps, using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard and use the much larger screen, so I am not hunched over my phone.

    Does this idea make sense? What if any drawbacks do you see?

    I used an app on my phone to mirror the phone to the other screen but there was a very real delay because the phone signal had to go to the server and then back to the screen.

    If the phone and screen are hardwired to each other, will there be any noticeable delay?
  • Answers

    4 Answers found.
  • I think it is a great idea if you want a setup like you do. With a direct-wired connection, obviously, there won't be any delay. A smart TV would have given you the option of Screencast but since you are using a dumb screen, using a USB C to VGA cable is the next best thing.

    You will be connecting a keyboard and mouse as well using Bluetooth, I assume? If you smartphone can handle all the parallel processing, I believe you are on the right track and this would work out smoothly. The only doubt I have is whether smartphones are designed to support streams through USB C to VGA. Let us know how it goes.

  • One more option is to use an HDMI cable and directly connect it between the smartphone and dumb terminal. Only thing is that you will require an adopter at the smartphone side that is between the HDMI cable end to the phone socket.

    So, you can enquire about this adopter in the local market and if it is available then this could be a simpler method to do the thing you are planning. This arrangement will only duplicate the view on the dumb terminal whatever you are seeing on the smartphone screen. This is technically known as mirroring. Please give your feedback in case you try this method.

    Knowledge is power.

  • Some quick clarifications :

    1. I tried to mirror or cast my phone screen to another screen and the lag time was too great. The one screen was constantly behind the other and it made working annoying.

    That's why I wanted to hardwire the 2 devices. To eliminate the lag.

    And hard wiring the 2 devices would NOT be mirroring or casting, as those terms imply that the 2 devices are tied together wirelessly, I believe.

    2. The dumb screens I have are older and have a VGA input. Using an HDMI cable makes NO sense as it would NOT connect the screens.

    Because I didn't get a quick, definitive answer to my question, I went ahead and bought the inexpensive cables that tied my phone to the screens and tried the arrangement. Here are the results :

    1. It worked immediately and without any additional hardware or software being needed and without a lag time.

    2. Samsung phones starting at the Galaxy 8 and all higher models, have a built-in app/utility called Dex, which manages the linking of the phone to another screen/device.

    Dex has quite a few settings and tweaks to make the second screen work well with the phone and I honestly haven't found the time yet to tweak all of the settings. I am going to guess that when I find the time, the arrangement will suit my needs very well.

    3. Dex gets very good reviews online for its operation, so I haven't bothered to look for other apps that might be better. I also don't know if there are similar apps to tie an iPhone to a screen.

    4. I have gone from a screen with an 8" diagonal size to one with a 19" diagonal or about 6 times the screen area.

    I have 2 dumb screens sitting in different work areas and I can just walk up and plug my phone in and start work.

    4. I wanted to use my phone and the apps on it because I find my phone and those apps much faster and more reliable, than either my laptop or my tablet.

    I was an early adopter of Palm devices and have always had a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to facilitate work on my phone. The screen is just small and the eye and back strain it causes, makes full-time work on it wearing.

    5. Prior to coming up with the phone cable idea, I spoke to my IT person about all of this and he said :

    - a tablet (Samsung or otherwise) would NEVER replicate the speed and reliability of a quality phone. Same thing for a laptop, same thing for iPad (which he owns)

    - he recommended a Chromebook or Chromebook tablet so that I could use the phone apps on it. The primary issue with a Chromebook is that it doesn't have the phone capability that my phone does

    - I didn't talk to him about tying my phone to the screens. It just occurred to me and it seems to be the best solution I have discovered

    My primary computer needs are email and a to-do type app, to keep everything organized. The very best apps/programs for each (IMO) are Android phone apps, so I can use them on just my phone, my tablet or on a Chromebook if I bought one.

    I believe that what I have set up is the best SW / HW solution for me.

  • If you're using the Dex utility and you are able to connect the dumb terminal then it would be better option. Anyway, thanks for sharing your arrangement that you finally reached while searching the solutions here and there. Please share your networking experiences here so that other members can also be benefited, thanks.

    Knowledge is power.


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