If you are looking for a simple, fuss free way to get your tablet’s screen output onto a television screen then SlimPort could be the answer you are looking for.
SlimPort is a TV out adapter that plugs directly into your tablet’s USB port. You can then plug your TV into the SlimPort and your Nexus 7′s screen is replicated over to the television.
I fortunately already own an HDMI SlimPort as I bought it to use with my Nexus 4 so naturally I wanted to know if it would work with the my new Nexus 7 (2013).
The SlimPort is about as easy to use as you can hope for, you just plug one end into your TV cable and the other into your tablet. There are different versions that support either HDMI or VGA output, you’ll most likely want the HDMI version.
Once connected up, switch on your tablet, and switch your TV to the HDMI port source, your tablet’s screen will then be reproduced on your television. Note that you’ll see exactly what appears on your tablet on the TV screen, so that includes the on screen buttons and everything else. Fortuntately most (but not all) apps will hide all this stuff when you play back in full screen mode.
The quality of the image is really dependent on the quality of the video you are playing back. A low res YouTube video will look quite blocky close up, but perfectly watchable whilst sitting back on the sofa. High res streams will look great, but if you are running a top spec home cinema you are unlikely to be fully satisfied – this ain’t Blue Ray!
Now that there are some decent TV streaming apps available for Android (finally) I am already seeing great benefit from using a Nexus 7 and a SlimPort TV output adapter. As my tablet generally lives in my living room anyway it’s always there ready to be plugged into the TV.
Whilst I do have access to some TV on demand through Virgin Media I find that their TV catchup service doesn’t have everything that you find directly on the networks’ own apps so getting access to the native apps opens up the full catalogue.
If you haven’t already checked out the recent TV catchup app updates then go and install the following right away:
No sign of a compatible 5 On Demand app for the Nexus 7, come on Five, you’re the last ones to get it sorted! I also recommend TV Catchup which might be handy if you find yourself in front of a TV without the full range of Freeview channels.
All in all I found it to be a great investment, sure the SlimPort isn’t the cheapest device in the world but I’ve already got my money’s worth. The kids love watching their favourite cartoons via YouTube and all the kids programs from Cbeebies and CITV are available through the relevant apps.
Where can you buy a SlimPort? Well I got mine from Amazon earlier in the year, and looking now there seems to be some cheaper clones that do a similar thing. Mine is the official product so I can’t recommend any of the other TV output adapters, if you get one, let us know which one and how you get on. Do check that it has the right output for your TV and that it will be compatible with the Nexus.