Amazon Fire TV devices are sticks that allow you to watch digital content directly on your TV. In addition to pre-configured support for Amazon Prime, you can install many apps like Netflix, TED, BBC, and more. However, there are some limitations. To begin with, you need to install apps to view content from other streaming sites.
This takes up space on the Fire TV Stick, which has limited 11,6GB storage. So, essentially, you can't install all the apps you like. Secondly, internet connectivity is required for such apps to work. Sure, you can download content to the Fire TV Stick, but you'll still have space issues. There is an alternative to cast your phone screen to Fire TV Stick.
Now the question is how to cast an Android phone screen to Fire TV. It is very easy to do as the Fire TV Stick supports the Miracast standard. Before we begin, let's understand Miracast and its role with Fire TV.
What is Miracast
Previously, an HDMI cable was required to cast a laptop or phone to a TV or projector. Over time, wireless technologies came into play by replacing cables.
Miracast is a Wi-Fi technology standard that connects two compatible Miracast devices and allows you to mirror one device (transmitter) to another (receiver). It transfers both audio and video.
Miracast is not a dongle, gadget or specific product like Chromecast. It is a technology developed inside Miracast supported devices such as dongles, streaming sticks, phones and laptops. The great thing about Miracast is that it's cheap, it only costs a few dollars. Most Smart TVs now have built-in support for Miracast, so you don't even need a Miracast dongle or thumb drive to duplicate content.
Miracast devices use Wi-Fi Direct technology to connect. While they work on a Wi-Fi router, it's not a necessary part of the connection. You can skip it and the devices will connect directly using Wi-Fi Direct. Put simply, Wi-Fi Direct creates a direct connection (hotspot) between devices.
Miracast devices supported
Miracast technology made its debut in 2012 with Google adding boot support for Android 4.2 Jellybean. But that changed with Android 6.0 Marshmallow when Google dropped support for Miracast. Now stock Android devices don't support Miracast, but devices from other manufacturers like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Huawei, Samsung, etc. They still support Miracast through their software tweaks.
On laptops, you can use it with Windows 8 and Windows 10. However, not all laptops support it and it is recommended that you check your laptop's specifications as to whether Miracast is available or not.
How to cast Windows 10 on TV with Miracast
You must have guessed its fate on iOS devices - they don't support Miracast. Apple devices are locked to work within their ecosystem, which is why you can only mirror iOS devices to Apple devices like Apple TV using its mirroring feature called AirPlay.
How to connect iPad or iPhone to TV
To cast the content, you need to have compatible Android and Fire TV devices.
Supported Android devices.
Since the Fire TV Stick uses Miracast technology to project phone content to a TV, all devices that support Miracast (mentioned above) work well with the Fire TV Stick. Therefore, except for stock Android devices like Google Pixel, Xiaomi Mi A1, etc., all should be able to mirror to Fire TV Stick.
Screen mirroring does not work on Amazon Fire TV (3rd gen) and Fire TV Cube. While the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K doesn't natively support the screen mirroring feature, you can use third-party apps to mirror your screen. Other Fire TV devices work fine.
Method to connect your phone to Fire TV
When you have compatible Android and Fire TV devices with you, connect them to the same Wi-Fi network to stream the content. Once done, you need to enable mirroring on the Fire TV, then plug in your phone. Here are the steps for both.
Enable mirroring on Fire TV
Step 1: On Fire TV, go to Settings followed by Display and Sound.
Step 2: select Enable Screen Mirroring.
3 pass: The Fire TV will enter search mode and start searching for nearby devices.
Alternatively, press and hold the Home button on the Fire TV remote until you see options. Select the Mirroring option. This allows you to quickly activate mirroring on Fire TV.
Connect your phone to Fire TV
The Miracast feature on Android devices is different in terms of naming and location. When the Fire TV is in search mode, you need to enable the feature on your phone to connect them.
On devices with MIUI running, you will find the wireless display function. To enable it, you need to go to Settings> More> Wireless View. Turn on the switch for the wireless display. After doing that, the Fire TV name should appear. Tap it to start mirroring to your TV.
On some devices like OnePlus, go to Settings> Bluetooth & Device Connection> Connection Preferences> Cast. Tap the three-dot icon and turn on Enable wireless display. Your Fire TV will appear. Tap it to connect.
Similarly, the feature is known as Smart View on Samsung and is present in the quick settings in the navigation menu. Huawei prefers the name Wireless Projection by making it accessible in Settings> Device Connectivity> Wireless Projection.
Connection problems (if any)
If you have compatible devices and are unable to mirror an Android phone to the Fire TV Stick, you need to change the Wi-Fi frequency band (2,4GHz or 5GHz). The settings can be found on your phone in Settings> Wi-Fi> Advanced> Wi-Fi frequency range. Switch between 2,4GHz or 5GHz. Newer Android devices seem to have disabled the settings. In that case, you will need to change the band from the router settings.
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Due to restrictions imposed by Google, stock Android devices do not allow you to mirror your phone to TV, with the exception of Google's Chromecast device. However, you can cast your content to the Fire TV Stick using third party apps on those devices.
Difference between Mirror and Cast
When mirroring your phone, you are essentially copying the exact content from your phone to your TV. It's like a big screen for your phone screen. You can view notifications, check settings, read messages, etc. While mirroring the phone. Whatever you do on your phone will reflect on your TV.
In the case of cast, you just project a video, image or audio file from your phone to the TV. Only your content is mirrored and not your entire screen. Casting gives you the ability to control your media files from your phone. Here your phone acts as a remote control for independent video cast from your phone to the TV.
How to cast from stock (stock) Android devices to Fire TV
As mentioned above, it is not possible to mirror devices with stock Android (stock), because it does not come with native support for media casting.
For this, you will need to install the Cast to TV app on your phone. Once installed, open the app and the Fire TV will automatically appear as long as you are connected on the same Wi-Fi network. Tap it to connect. Then choose the content you want to stream to TV. You can stream both local and online content.
I tested it on my Xiaomi Mi A1 which runs stock Android and works flawlessly. However, casting is slow because the process takes time compared to casting available on Chromecast or screen mirroring on Fire TV.