Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Problems | CES 2019Browse the Web Anonymously | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy

Use It

author photo

5 Easy Ways to View Photos on Your TV

by on December 29, 2016
in Cameras and Photography, Photo / Video Sharing, Music and Video, TVs & Video Players, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 18 comments

5 Easy Ways to View Photos on Your TV

Whether you’re sharing photos from a recent trip or traveling down memory lane, it’s hard to do your pictures justice on your smartphone or camera’s small screen. So why not take advantage of the big screen you already have—your TV?

It’s easy and you probably already have everything you need. Check out the following options to start viewing your pictures and videos on your TV.

1. Use your smart TV or streaming media player's Internet apps.

Shutterfly Channel on Roku

If you have a smart TV with Internet apps, you can use a photo viewing app on your TV to access images you’ve stored on the Web.  Select the app center on your TV—i.e. Samsung Smart TV, Vizio Internet Apps Plus, Panasonic Life+ Screen or LG Smart+ Web OS to name a few. Each manufacturer has a unique name for its service. Streaming media players, like Roku Streaming Stick ($39.99 on Amazon), Google Chromecast ($35 on and Amazon Fire TV Stick ($39.99 on Amazon) also have apps that let you view photos stored on the web.

Once you're in the app section, select a photo sharing service app, like Flickr, Shutterfly (Roku app shown above) or SmugMug. After logging in, you can choose to view your photos—individually or in a slideshow—or photos that others are sharing across the web.

For videos you can use YouTube. Don't want strangers viewing your videos? You can always choose to make them private when you upload them.

2. Connect your smartphone via HDMI.


If you purchased a high-end Android phone within the last few years, your phone may have a micro HDMI out port or a USB-C port. In that case, seeing your photos is a simple matter of connecting your phone to your TV with a micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable or USB-C to HDMI cable. For a  basic micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable cable, we like the one from BlueRigger ($6.99 on Amazon). For phones with USB-C ports, we like the one from Choetech ($26.99 on Amazon). Check with your phone manufacturer to see if your smartphone supports micro HDMI.

3. Connect your smartphone or tablet wirelessly.

If you purchased a TV or video game console (i.e. Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3 or Playstation 4) and a smartphone within the last few years, they most likely have a wireless technology called DLNA (you can check for your model on

If your smartphone and TV are made by the same manufacturer, there’s likely a setting called screen mirroring (or something similar) on both devices. This will enable you to see whatever is on your smartphone on your TV. If your devices are made by different manufacturers, you’ll need to enable DLNA (also sometimes called Wi-Fi Direct) on your TV and load a DLNA app on your smartphone. We like AllCast (free for iOS and Android).

For those that have an Apple TV and iPhone or iPad, you can use the AirPlay feature to share your photos and pictures with your TV. Or, if you have a Roku box, Chromecast (YouTube videos only), Fire TV or another streaming media player, you can load that player's app on your smartphone or tablet for sharing.

4. Use your phone or camera’s memory card.

SanDiskPop the memory card out of your camera or smartphone and put it into the TV’s SD card reader. Most flat panel TVs have an SD card reader. If you're not sure whether yours does, your owner's manual will tell you. For phones, you’ll need a microSD-to-SD card adapter, like the one from SanDisk ($3.77 on Amazon). For most TVs, inserting an SD card will launch the photo viewer.

5. Use a USB cable or flash drive.

Take the USB cable that came with your camera and use it to connect the camera to your TV's USB port. Again, most flat panel TVs made over the last few years have a USB port. If your photos and videos are stored on your computer, you can copy them onto a USB flash drive and then insert the drive into your TV's USB port. On most TVs, inserting the USB cable or flash drive will automatically launch the TV’s photo viewing app. From there, you can choose to view photos, videos or a combination of both. Manually scroll through or set your photos to music for a slideshow.

As you can see, it's there's no reason to make everyone crowd around a tiny display when it's so easy to share pictures on your big-screen TV.

[Image credits: couple viewing photos from tablet on TV via BigStockPhoto,  Samsung, BlueRigger, SanDisk]

Updated on 12/29/2016

Discussion loading


Great Post but ...........

From Tony Scott on October 09, 2014 :: 2:06 am

This is wonderful & so easy to follow. However, I wish I could find a way to stream my media to my Smart TV from my Samsung Galaxy S5 micro SD card. So far all my attempts at this have failed & I can only access media on the phone’s internal memory.


Streaming Photos/Videos from Desktop/Laptop

From Mike Hixson on December 29, 2014 :: 3:59 pm

With my nice, but dumb, TV & ROKU 3 connected to receiver’s HDMI port, there’s a great program available through ROKU called ‘MY MEDIA’, which will stream your media, including your music playlists, photos and videos directly to the TV with hi-def sound and images.  Works great.

BTW, I was told that the Samsung Galaxy S5 wouldn’t stream directly to an HDMI port, without an optional special box and a power source for it, as there is no micro HDMI jack on the S5, unlike my previous Razr Maxx HD, which worked great.  Am I mistaken?



That's not true

From Josh Kirschner on December 30, 2014 :: 10:47 am

The Galaxy S5 uses MHL 2.1, which is basically HDMI plus power charging. But the power charging bit isn’t required, so you can use a standard microUSB to HDMI adapter or an MHL to HDMI adapter. I just double checked it with one of our Galaxy S5 hooked up to a Samsung TV and it worked fine.

Here is one cable option (plenty for under $10): micro-USB MHL to HDMI adapter. Note that you will need an 11-pin adapter, so verify that before you buy another model.


Thanks, Josh!

From Mike Hixson on December 30, 2014 :: 11:07 am

Really appreciate the advice!  Nothing in the S5 manual, nor could anyone in 1 ATT or 2 Verizon stores help on this question.  And thanks for the cable link, too!


Get a usb powered sd

From Brandon McConnell on December 15, 2015 :: 9:27 pm

Get a usb powered sd card reader plug into tv’s usb port then plug phones sd card into reader and there you go! You’ll be able to watch or see anything on the SD card I got a card reader that worked on my tv from Walmart for 8 dollars



Floating Image from Android + Chromecast = Apple Floating Picture on your TV!!

From Al Winston on June 08, 2017 :: 10:33 am

For years I bought the 1st gen Apple TV for one reason: the floating picture screensaver.  It’s the only way to display multiple images in a kinetic and eye-catching way, and if you have thousands of images, the only way to see most of them (vs one picture at a time).  It was limited by the number of images it could ‘mine’ for viewing (a few hundred) but at least was high resolution.  However, NOW there is a much better option: Google chromecast plus a FREE android app called Floating Image, by a fellow named Mark somewhere in Denmark.  It mines thousands of images (I haven’t seen a limit yet) in hi res in a floating image way and looks fantastic on a large screen TV.  If it’s viewed on a large tablet, like the Galaxy View, the thumbnail images floating across can be tapped and they’ll zoom to full screen.  A second tap and it goes back to the floating image.  Thus far, this is the best way I’ve seen to display a library of thousands of digital images.



how to orient pictures

From Steve Weflen on July 27, 2017 :: 1:53 pm

When I try to display pictures on my tv using a flash drive in the USB port, the tv re-orients the pictures such that I have to individually rotate them every time I display them.  Does anyone know of a solution to this?



The classic "Which way is my photo oriented?" problem

From Josh Kirschner on July 27, 2017 :: 4:19 pm

The issue is that there are two things that determine how a picture is oriented - 1)the actual data in the image and 2) the Exif metadata. So, for example, when you rotate your smartphone the picture is now stored sideways (orientation of sensor/lens stays the same), but the smartphone is smart enough to detect how you were holding your phone and applies a tag in the Exif data with the orientation. Some programs will look at the Exif data and orient the photo correctly for viewing, some will not.

Whether the Panasonic Viera is correctly reading the Exif data is hard to say - it may be ignoring the data or, perhaps, the device you took the photo with never tagged the photo with Exif data in the first place. You can verify this yourself by downloading a program that lets you view/edit image Exif data. If the Exif data is correct, there’s not much you can do to fix the Viera (assuming it’s using the latest firmware) - you will have to manually reorient and resave your photos for viewing on the TV. And when you do that, you will want to change the Exif data, too, or else programs that do read that data will reorient your photo, but now it will be sideways…


Use TVQue app

From TvQue Live on August 10, 2017 :: 2:55 am

TVQue - is a mailbox for TV.
Send photos/video/music/youtube/m3u8/links etc to your or your friends TV.
No Casting required.
Your friends can send it to your TV too.



Use the app Katan to view photos, compare side-by-side, etc.

From VeprIT on August 11, 2017 :: 10:13 am

If you want not only to view iPhone photos on a TV, but also compare photos side-by-side and even adjust them, apply effects, etc., take a look at the app Katan:



I decided to use ArkMC.

From markamark on August 21, 2017 :: 4:23 am

I decided to use ArkMC. It uses dlna. I like it, it’s simple to use and in installation, and has lots of good features, streams content to several devices on your home network without any difficulties.  4/5



Copied photos to memory stick

From Andy on October 30, 2017 :: 1:20 pm

Copied photos to memory stick and plugged into LG TV USB port.  Photos have a red X and will not come up.  Can you advise how to get rid of the red X?



Displaying thousands of photos from a USB stick to a TV

From Mike on December 10, 2017 :: 11:45 pm

I have over 3000 photos on a USB stick but when I plug into my normal TV it will only read a few hundred, how can I slideshow the whole lot



Having same problem

From Ronda on April 23, 2018 :: 10:35 am

I wish I knew the answer to your question I’m having the same problem. Have googled everything and no answer



What model TV?

From Josh Kirschner on April 23, 2018 :: 10:52 am

Hi Ronda,

It’s possible the manufacturer may have some sort of limit built how many photos you can use for a slideshow on the TV. What model do you have? Maybe I can find you an answer.




Thanks for the big variety

From lilbob on February 28, 2018 :: 11:09 am

Thanks for the big variety of different ways how to transfer pics from iPhone to TV. I use ArkMC to stream wirelessly all my videos, pics, music from iPhone to different devices(mac, TV, Xbox, etc).




From marie smith on November 08, 2018 :: 4:22 pm

When I have added extra photos to my usb and tried to play on my tv - only the original ones appear not the added photos which have been transposed from another usb - does anyone have the answer!!

thanking you




Picture size

From Colin on December 18, 2018 :: 5:57 am

When having a slideshow why are some pictures full screen and others are small ? When looking at them one by one they all appear full screen .


Home | About | Meet the Team | Contact Us
Media Kit | Newsletter Sponsorships
Newsletter Archive
Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookie Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

© Techlicious LLC.

site design: Juxtaprose