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Use Mini-HDMI cable to connect Tablet like Nvidia Shield, Mini PC, Smartphone to HDTV or Monitor

Some tablets like the Nvidia Shield K1 tablet have a mini-HDMI port which is for connecting a mini-HDMI cable to a TV with a full size HDMI port on the TV. Mini-HDMI video port are found on some smartphones, mini computers, Android and Windows tablets, and digital video cameras, so you can use one cable to show videos from many types of video devices. The connection is also faster on a mini-HDMI cable than using wireless connections to send video to a TV, and you don’t need to rely on wi-fi or the internet to show video on a TV.

I used a mini-HDMI cable like AmazonBasics High-Speed Mini-HDMI to HDMI 9.8 feet/3 meter Cable to connect my Nvidia Shield Tablet to  a TV with a HDMI video port. You don’t need to buy a very expensive high quality mini-HDMI cable to use on the Nvidia Shield Tablet to connect it to a TV. I used a older short mini-HDMI cable which I got bundled from a digital camcorder which I bought many years a go. The mini-HDMI cable works great at connecting my TV to the Shield tablet.  A higher quality mini-HDMI cable, so it could be worth it to spend an extra few dollars on a higher quality video cable. higher quality cables are also longer in length. Higher quality mini-HDMI usually look better which may be important if you care how your cables look, and don’t want regular looking black cables.  The warranties on higher quality video cables are usually longer, and they sometimes even have lifetime hardware warranties.

The Nvidia Shield will display video on the TV, and send audio to the TV’s speakers after I connect the smaller mini-HDMI end of the video cable connector to my tablet, and the full size HDMI video port to my TV. Lastly, I need to turn ON my TV, and change the video input to the HDMI port which the Shield tablet is connected to.

The video console mode selector will automatically show up on the Shield Tablet after I connect it to my TV, and change the input setting on the TV to the HDMI port which is connected to the TV. There are two modes for TV video output for the Shield Tablet.

The first mode is Console mode which turns off the Tablets display, and only display the video on the TV. But, you need physical controller like a remote, mouse, keyboard with touch pad, or Shield gamepad console controller for the shield to use the tablet in console mode since the touchscreen will be off. The display on the Shield is off in console mode. Console mode uses less power because the screen is off, and the Shield does not need to output to two HD screens which can use a lot of power, and may make larger higher quality games run slower because the Shield needs to use more processing power from the CPU, and video chips to display two videos at the same time. I recommend you get a small wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse if you plan on using the Shield tablet to use the internet, type stuff, and use social networking apps while you are sitting farther away from the TV. The Shield controller, and remote can be used to type with the onscreen keyboard, but controllers and mouse are not very good for typing quickly.

The second mode is mirror mode where the Tablet screen, and TV screen both have the same video from the Shield tablet. You can use the tablet like a touchscreen remote to play, pause video, and play games. Mirror mode uses more power because the screen is ON, and the Shield tablet has to display two videos at the same time. Your battery life will be shorter if your tablet is not connected to a charger. Displaying two HD videos at the same time on different HD screens uses more CPU, and video power, and more intensive games may run slower. But, mirror mode works well for watching video, browsing the web, and other non- gaming tasks.

You can disable the video selector mode from showing up by unchecking the  show console mode  display checkbox on the Console mode app installed on the Nvidia Shield tablet.

If you plan on using the Shield Tablet for a few hours on your TV, or the tablet is low on battery power, I recommend you connect your tablet to your charger, so it does not run out of power when you are using your tablet to watch video, or play games on a big TV.

Using a mini-HDMI cable is an affordable and simple way to connect a tablet, smartphone, mini pc, or video camera to a TV with a mini-HDMI cable which sends video and audio from your device to a TV or PC monitor with a Full-Size HDMI port.

4 comments… add one
  • Mike May 8, 2016, 11:13 pm

    Tx for interesting post. May I ask:
    – Which resolution does shield k1 support on external monitor in mirror and console mode?
    – Does console work with bluetooth keyboard and mouse or does it require the controller?
    – I’d like to use it for surfing/video/movies on external monitor. Is it handy for that? E.g. I assume there is no possiblity for having several app windows open?

    Tx in advance

    • Johnson Yip May 9, 2016, 3:34 pm

      Thanks for the comment.

      – Which resolution does shield k1 support on external monitor in mirror and console mode?

      I think The Shield K1 supports up to a 4K external monitor since I read in the instruction manuals and tech websites that it can be hooked up to a 4K monitor with a Mini-HDMI 1.4a video cable.

      – Does console work with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse or does it require the controller?

      I think Console is just the app for how you want to display the video after you connected it to your TV with a Mini-HDMI cable. You can choose to turn off the screen on the tablet while connected to a TV, so your tablet uses less battery life, and also runs faster because it is not displaying two video screens at once. Mirror display mode is useful if you don’t have a controller, mouse, or keyboard to control your tablet, and need to use the tablet’s touchscreen for controlling Android while your Android desktop is mirrored to a TV.

      Most Android games don’t have Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support, so you need an app like Game Keyboard to map the on-screen buttons on a game to a physical keyboard.

      But, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for using apps like YouTube, Google Chrome, and Word Processors.

      – I’d like to use it for surfing/video/movies on external monitor. Is it handy for that? E.g. I assume there is no possibility for having several app windows open?

      The Shield is good for using apps like games, web browsers, and video players in Full screen because its K1 chip is fast enough to run most Android apps.

      But, using office apps like Word Processors, Spreadsheets, and Photo editing programs are not as good in full screen because you may need to copy and paste a lot of information from different files, websites, and other apps to your office and media files.

      But, it is currently not possible to display apps in individual re-sizeable windows like a Desktop operating system like Windows.

      Tx in advance

      You’re welcome.

  • Rich July 24, 2016, 8:47 pm

    The Nvidia Shield tablet uses mini HDMI, not micro.

    • Johnson Yip July 25, 2016, 4:10 pm

      Hi Rich, Thanks for correcting me that the Nvidia Shield tablet has a Mini-HDMI port. I changed all the Micro HDMI text to Mini HDMI text in the article.

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