A recent caller to The Komando Show had a great question. They were having issues with displaying photos on their TV and were looking for an app or device that would help.
Here’s what they wrote: “I have thousands (approx 8,000) photos scanned and saved and I plan to add more. Is there a device or app that can turn my TV screen into a digital photo album to scroll through all those photos like a digital frame would do? I have used a jump drive, but it doesn’t scroll through all the pictures on the jump drive and they are very small on the TV.”
You may be having the same problem. If you have a smart TV, most of the time, you can use a photo viewing app to access images on your smartphone or use a streaming media player instead. Here are some of the best options for doing that. While you’re at it, need to upgrade your TV? Here are the best smart TVs on a budget.
1. Working with an LG TV? Here’s what to do
If you’re using an LG TV, you have a built-in LG webOS SmartShare app that you can use to display photos on your TV screen. This built-in app makes it really simple to share photos on your TV screen. All you have to do is launch it and choose the images you want to display.
To view photos with the SmartShare app:
- Press Home on your remote and then click the menu at the bottom right of the screen.
- Locate the SmartShare application from the launcher bar and click on it.
- Select the photos you want to view.
- Click on the Play button to start the slideshow.
Or, if you’ve got a TV from LG’s 2019 lineup of Nanocell TVs, it will support Apple AirPlay 2. Apple AirPlay 2 makes it simple for iPhone and iPad owners to send photos and videos to their TVs directly. Supported Apple devices include:
- iPhone 4 or later
- iPad or iPad mini
- iPod touch (4th generation or later)
To stream your images using Apple AirPlay 2:
- Connect your TV and iOS device to the same Wi-Fi network.
- On your iOS device, swipe up from the bottom or down from the top of the screen depending on your model to access the Control Center.
- Tap Airplay.
- Tap the name of the device you want to send content to. You’ll see a list with icons of the available devices.
- If you want to see the images in full screen, you may need to adjust your TV’s aspect ratio or zoom setting.
2. If you have a Sony TV, show your pictures this way
Most Sony TVs run Android TV and have Chromecast built-in, which means it’s simple to send your photos to your TV from the supported apps. All you have to do is pair your phone with your TV to display the pictures.
Before you start, make sure your device:
- Is using Android 4.4 and above. Here’s how to check your version.
- Uses the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast.
To start casting, follow the steps below:
- Open the Google Photos app
- At the top right, tap Cast
- Select your Chromecast
- Open a photo or video on your device to display it on your TV. You can swipe between photos to change what’s displayed
- To stop casting, tap Cast > Stop casting
Related: Your smart TV is watching you
3. Follow these steps if you have a TCL TV
If you’ve got a TCL TV, you might have a built-in Roku that you can access quickly and easily. Roku isn’t just good for streaming movies and shows; it’s also a great tool for viewing your images on your TV too.
This works because Roku comes with photo apps like Flickr, Shutterfly, Google Photos and SmugMug that allow you to view your photos directly on your TV. It also has other apps in its photo apps channel that you can choose from if you aren’t a fan of the more popular options.
It’s simple to use these apps to view photos on your TCL TV. Here’s how:
- Download your preferred photo app onto your Roku
- Open the app and log in to your account.
- Follow the on-screen instructions for displaying photos
You can also use the Play on Roku app to display your photos on your TCL TV. Before you start, you must install the latest version of the Roku mobile app on your compatible mobile device. You must also make sure to connect your phone or tablet to the same wireless network as your Roku device.
To use Play on Roku to view your images:
- Open the Roku mobile app on your phone or tablet.
- If you have not already done so, connect your Roku device to the mobile app.
- Select the Devices icon from the navigation bar.
- Select your Roku device.
- Once your Roku device is connected, launch Play on Roku by selecting the Media icon.
- Select either Music, Photos, or Videos to begin choosing what to share from your mobile device. When prompted, grant access to your media library, allowing the Roku mobile app to share your content.
- Select the photos, videos or songs to share on your TV.
4. Here’s what to do with a VIZIO TV
When it comes to viewing images on your VIZIO TV, it’s as simple as the other options. You have two options: you can either access your VIZIO Internet Apps, which includes Flickr and Plex, or you can access your Roku built-in, which has photo apps for Flickr, Shutterfly, Google Photos and SmugMug. You can find other app options in the photo apps channel.
To view images via your built-in Roku:
- Download your preferred photo app onto your Roku.
- Open the app and log in to your account.
- Follow the on-screen instructions for displaying your photos.
To download a photo app to your VIZIO Internet Apps:
- Press the V button on the remote.
- Select Connected TV Store.
- Choose All Apps.
- Navigate through the list of apps and press OK on the desired app.
- Select Install App, which is often located in the lower-left corner of the screen.
- Once the app is downloaded, select it and log in to access and view your images.
Related: The trick to getting a good deal on the right TV
5. Last but not least: Show your photos on a Samsung Smart TV
If you’re using a Samsung Smart TV, newer models will support Apple AirPlay 2. This will allow you to show photos and videos to anyone via your TV. If you’re using a 2018 Samsung Smart TV model, a firmware update will add the capabilities. That update is set to roll out in the spring, so you won’t have to wait long for it.
To show images on your Samsung Smart TV using Apple AirPlay 2:
- Make sure your TV and iPhone are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- On your iPhone, open the Photos app.
- Select the photo or video you want to share and tap the Share icon at the bottom left.
- Tap AirPlay and select the TV you want to stream to.
- The image or video will display on the TV.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to stream photos no matter which brand of TV you own. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have the ultimate digital photo display in no time.