Jul 15 AT 12:12 AM Taylor Wimberly 61 Comments

Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S) video out demonstration

I’m still not sure how useful this is, but the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones are TV out capable.

This wouldn’t be the first time an Android phone has video out options because both the Droid X and HTC EVO have HDMI ports, but the Galaxy S is different because it mirrors everything displayed on your phone (instead of limiting you to select applications).

In order to get this feature to work all you need is a mini stereo (3.5 mm) to RCA video cable. Your local Best Buy or Radio Shack might have them, but your best bet is to order online. I picked up my cables from Amazon for under $5. I have also read that iPod 4G video cables will work as well.

Getting the video out running was simple and it only requires a single toggle in the display settings. Once it is turned on you should see video and hear audio right away. My video quality wasn’t the best, but text was still sharp and I had no problems using any of the apps.

To better explain the process, I filmed a quick demonstration that shows how easy it was to setup.

Playing around with my phone hooked to my TV was cool for awhile, but I quickly grew bored of it. This experience gives you a weird twisted idea of what Google TV might look like when running apps, but who wants to hold a phone attached to a six foot cable. Thankfully you can still beam music, pictures, and videos to your TV over WiFi (if it supports DLNA).

After testing this out I doubt I will really go back to it, but I guess it’s still a cool feature that some people might find useful. What kind of ideas can you come up with for using your Android phone with your TV?

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • ER

    doesn’t standard rca only output 480i? perhaps the droid x will be able to mirror the screen to an hdtv when gingerbread comes out with support for larger screens, at least in 720p

    • geniusdog254

      Actually the Droid X’s HDMI output is limited to content created on the phone (cam shots & videos is pretty much it I think)

      It does support DLNA for movies though I think. I still don’t think it mirrors it though

    • http://Website galaxy

      you can buy a mini usb to HDMI and plug that into it and get HD

      • http://Website maizein

        Is that really possible to use a mini usb to HDMI and plug that into it and get HD? I don’t think so. I guess HD (720p) would be possible only with All Share (DLNA).

        Have anyone tried the mini usb to HDMI thing? I like the TV out but quality is really bad (tried on my 50″ plasma). If the resolution was at least 480p it would be nice. Can’t even watch a movies as is right now. I wonder the cable I’m using is no good. It came with a JVC camcorder I bought years ago and never used. I had to use red for video (instead of yellow).

        I’m considering buying a new TV with DLNA but if usb to HDMI works, or even 480p via tv out works, I won’t spend extra on DLNA :)

  • http://Website lolwut

    how useful is this!?? tremendously. let’s say you’re playing a game while you’re on the road, save, and get home. you can continue your gameplay on a much larger screen without having to (possibly) squint if needed for detailed gameplay.

    another is the usefulness of controlling powerpoint presentations from the SGS and editing word docs in realtime at meetings.

    i’m all up in arms over this.

  • http://Website Miguel

    So, how does this phone stack up against the others? Is it worth buying? or should we hold out for something else? Thanks!

    • http://Website cera

      I absolutely LOVE this phone. It does everything and more. It has a fast processor so if you are hooked up to wifi it is lightning fast. Thousands of cool free apps.

      There is nothing I dislike about this phone.. And I am one of those people that has to have a new phone every few months. I will holding onto this one for a long time to come.

  • http://gautch.com gautch

    Yeah not being 720p is kind of a let down. But when you think about it (!) this is pretty impressive. When companies like Steam, EA, ect.. get on board, then you might not need a console.

  • http://Website marios

    install Ubuntu on ur phone, get a bluetooth keyboard, connect the phone to the TV and.. BOOM you have a linux box out of your phone! really cool!

  • http://Website TL


  • http://Website Dre

    I think it’s pretty cool, playing games or browsing the web on my tv would be kinda fun. But in the end it is just another feature to make me drool over the Epic.

  • Rubbinz

    Was this something they tossed in at the last minute?

  • http://Website The STIG

    Hey Taylor and have the same icons on our home screen lol pretty cool.

  • http://Website fusion44

    I have tried playing a game with TV out but the controls are awkward since you look at the TV and and don’t know where my fingers are exactly. Yes I also look at the keyboard while typing :).
    Its OK for looking at photos if you haven’t anything else around to watch them. I definitely prefer my PS3 for this since the quality is much much better.

    • http://Website Gomez

      Download the wii controler app too play games, but its only for emulators.

  • http://Website joey

    awesome. I want this on my n1.

  • http://Website david

    The HTC incredible video out also mirrors everything on the display.

  • http://Website B

    I think it’s useful to use as a portable video player. I’ve done this multiple times w/my PSP as well. Go on a trip w/multiple movies converted to play on PSP, then on the plane, in the car, hotel or at my final destination, I have a small collection of MY movies that I can watch or share w/whomever I’m visiting, at any time. For MOST situations, 480i is really all that’s needed anyway, unless you’re going to be watching it on a screen larger than 42-47 inches, IMHO.

  • http://Website shaneaus

    I love this tv out thing! I like the idea that the camera is pretty good (better on the GS with a flash!).

    My wife and I frequently forget out camera. With this device if we go on a family outing without our camera we can take photos and videos and check them out when we get home without firing up our computer.

  • http://Website Derek

    Its a neat feature, but its only 480i. Who really gives a crap about 480i video?? It’ll look terrible on 1080P LCD tv’s.

  • http://Website Adam

    Has anyone tried this on the Nexus One? Is it capable?

  • http://Website Gomez

    You should download a nintendo or any emulator game and play some of those game with the nintendo wii control app. Its like having am additional gaming system. I live android, I have a nexus one so I’m hating I can’t do the video out yet, that I know of.

  • http://Website gltovar

    Loved this feature from my old n95/n85. Have a pair of myvu’s that i used with them and it was great for watching videos on.

  • http://Website Bryan

    Taylor please keep these reviews coming on this phone I am very interested and have been checking the site twice a day to see if you have any more coverage on it


  • geniusdog254

    Is that 3M Di-NOC on the back? It looks a heckuva lot like it.

  • http://Website Jeregano

    NES emulator+wiimote controller+TV out= Pocket gaming system!

  • http://Website jeregano

    And how did you get that non-market game onto your AT&T android phone!? That’s not possible is it?

  • http://Website Pax

    You idiot…what abot playing a movie?

  • http://Website Dragonithe

    Would this also work on the htc Desire?
    If it does, it would be fcking sweeeet.

  • http://lettersfromdave.wordpress.com daveloft

    Your using the wrong cable, it’s not the same as the iPod you confirmed this when you said they output the video through the red connection.

    You need to buy the mini jack to RCA Audio Video cable designed for camcorders.

  • http://Website chris

    please understand this phone sends HD video stored on the device via the app provided called Allshare this works with all DLNA tvs and was is demonstrated on youtube feel free to view it this is an awesome substitute as well thanks for the great information!

  • http://Website beem

    Racing games should be fun to play. don’t need to use many virtual buttons to play

  • http://Website moo man

    Reason for no 720 is that composite output/input does not support that resolution. Its not the phones fault.

    Composite you can get up to 576i
    Component will give you up to 1080i – the RGB cable but this is not supported…

  • http://Website Dave

    Thanks for this article. This confirms that I can use this method to hook up the phone to my head unit in my truck (Alpine IVA-W205) and be able to see the navigation.

  • http://Website IMORTL

    this is awesome
    video out – into dvd player in car… take what ever movies you want or tv in the car,

  • http://Website Chench

    Seems to be pretty good quality! One thing I’d like to know; if you open the camera app while outputting video to the TV, does the phone continue to output video? I.e does the TV show what the camera sees, and does this work while recording video.

    • http://Website Amir

      No, it does not stream your camera view. It stops and says something about stream not being available in that mode.

  • http://Website MoTro

    This may be a dumb question and off topic, but is there a way to get the home screen to auto orientate when rotated. I noticed your captivate do that in the video. This feature is turned on in display settings and works well in about every app, just not on my home screens. Any ideas?

  • http://Website stan

    I do presentations for my piano business where a part is video. This allows me to carry my Captivate around carrying video and audio (internal SD 16gigs and a ext of 32 gigs) vs my complicator. this is spectacular. Thanks

  • http://Website gjp

    The Verizon Samsung Fascinate Android 1.1 does not have the TV out option on the Sounds and Displays menu. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hardware is there, but the OS access to it blocked.

  • http://Website peegee

    I had the cable from my Digital Hi-8 Sony Camcorder and that worked perfectly, after I reversed the yellow and the red connectors.

  • http://Website sarah

    Was excited after I learned you could hook it up to a tv. Got the cord but am not really impressed. The pic quality on the tv is horrible. Its watchable but I would rather watch it small and great quality then large and crappy.

    The kids thought it was fun to play the games on a big screen tho.

  • http://Website Jesse

    Thanks so much for the RED may be VIDEO comment!!! I plugged yellow into video and it didn’t work and thought it was broken until I came here. Never would have occurred to me the color coding would be wrong!

  • http://Website Terry

    Tried everything that you are saying, but only get blury pic – wavy – tried two different types of cable and also the red to yellow hook ups = nothing gets a pic – any suggestions – this is a new Galaxy S Vibrant
    Thanks for the help

  • http://Website casey

    the video out will not work on my kenwood kvt-915 , looks like scaling issue. audio works with a nasty ground till i plug in charger

  • http://Website Micheal

    The red and yellow RCA plugs were backwards on my Captivate. Video quality is quite impressive to be coming from a RCA cable, and with All Share app it is even clearer!

  • http://Website CuriousGeorge

    This is a great featre if you want to hook up the Captivate to the Composite In plugs on a Honda Odyssey, and watch the web, movies, games, weather radar, maps, etc on the Rear Entertainment System, on the 7″ screen. Since the Odyssey does not have HDMI-In plugs, I am very happy that my Captivate can do Composite out. Let’s the kids in the back watch movies, or I can let the passengers see the radar or maps, or games.

    I would never use this to watch it on a 60″ screen at home.

  • http://Website jer

    i use this to stream videos and live tv to my in dash unit in my car…pretty neat

  • http://Website Jonny

    It is only really good for sharing your phone stored pics and videos with a huge audience. And Google TV is not bad at all because it does not have the limitation of our phones with crappy video and limited bandwidth. Google TV on Fios is great.

  • http://www.turues.com Alp

    I am trying to find some way to turn off phone screen while Tv screen still turn on. So i can save my phone battery.
    I have video glasses and i can connect to my phone.

  • http://www.afop.podomatic.com A Fistful of Popcorn

    You are the best in the world for that red/yellow RCA swap info.

  • http://androidandme Tim

    Does any one know if you can hook this phone directly to a computer monitor?

  • http://Website Aaron

    I have bought two cords now, tried switching the red/yellow cords, made sure the settings were correct from video and tried on multiple TVs….still not working.. Can anyone tell me where you bought your cord. Also is everyone able to get TV Out with Froyo now downloaded on Samsung Captivate? I read somewhere that Froyo was causing problems with TV Out.

    I have tried everything. Radio Shack didn’t even have any cables available anymore. Thanks in advance.

  • http://Website Jason M

    I have the Galaxy s vibrant 3g version… i have tried 2 sets of 3.5 to composite cables and cant get any love out of this freakin thing. I checked my tv out settings… traded the yellow jack for the red, even tried the different inputs on my tv (samsung 720p plasma)…. PLEASE HELP =( I have like 40 movies on my 32gb sd that i wanna watch </3

  • houy

    well be video talk! use TV
    4 family meetting

  • John

    Wouldn’t this be a solution for those wanting to use google maps as their navigation rather than the built in navigation? This seems like it would be awesome at least for that purpose. Also, playing pandora, netflix, google tv, ect ect on your head unit.

    • daudioman


      I Google searched “android output to monitor” out and found this. Now we can get what ever Mobile stereo My Wife wants and have the power of her phone providing more apps that a car stereo could ever hope to. Better still the apps are running via remote servers so only your cell phone connection is the limiting factor!

      Awesome car stereo (Pandora, You tube, Cloud stuff) here I come!!!

  • EHoward

    There is no way to get HD video from the SGH-i897 Samsung Galaxy Captivate. The only possible way would be to use the HDMI Smart Adapter from Samsung, but it is noted as not being compatible. The only way to get TV out is to use a camcorder stereo audio+video to RCA A/V adapter. The 3.5mm plug that goes into the headset connector on the phone has 4 contact points on it. Two for audio (left, right), one for video, and finally the tip. The other end will have solid white, red and yellow connectors that plug into your TV. The output will be 480i at best. This feature was intended for small screens…NOT the big flat screens. Anything above 42″ and you probably won’t be happy, some of you might not be happy even with that. Play with it and see how you can use it. Every situation is different.

  • Ray N

    “I’m still not sure how useful this..”

    I have one example: Long trip with three kids in a car with Composite Input.

    Load several movies on your sd card and let them watch.

    Great alternative to DVDs in the car!

  • fc hong

    My Galaxy S2 does not have the TV out option in the Display Setting. Can this still work

  • big_r41

    Can the LGL 35G work with this cable also, its and Android base phone but I don’t find a TV setting in my settings.