Convert any Android phone into an HDMI monitor

Jul 19, 2020

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Convert any Android phone into an HDMI monitor

Jul 19, 2020

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Whatever your camera is, you probably have an App to turn your phone into a wireless monitor. Sony has Imaging Edge;  Canon has Camera Connect; Fuji has Camera Remote; Panasonic has  Lumix Sync and Nikon has Wireless Mobile Utility. What’s common to all those remote control apps is that they work over WiFi and display horrible Lag. That the lack of creativity in the apps’ names.

What if there was a cheap way to convert any Android phone into a wired, low latency, high brightness HDMI monitor? Youtuber Neon Airship shares how to accomplish that for about $20. It involves as little as a tiny capture card and an OTG cable.  The good news, you already own the expensive monitor, it’s your phone.

This “hack” is similar to other hacks converting cameras into webcams using capture cards. The only difference here is that you will be pushing the signal into your phone. And you do this with an OTG cable.

My guess is that you can pretty much use any capture device you want. What I have seen on Amazon is that you can find the cheap “brands” using the keywords USB 2.0 HDMI capture. It is ok to use a card that outputs HD, but make sure that it can receive 4K on the input side.

Once you have the card, the next step is to use an OTG cable to connect to your phone.

The last step is to use an app that can read the HDMI signal from your camera and feed it into the phone. Neon Airship recommends an app called Endoscope HD. (much more creative than those Camera Wifi Control names, right?).

If you are not convinced yet, here are some numbers for you (apologies, geeky paragraph ahead). Most standard phones now come with a 4.7 (ish) screen, which is most often very slick and bezel-free. This includes the high-end phones like the Samsung S20, or the Pixel 4. Interestingly, lower-end phones like the Samsung A71 will offer 6.7 inches for less money. brightness is OKish, the A7 is 550 nits, but the S20 is over 1300 nits. (the older S9 is over 1,100 nits too).  This is not bad without paying for another monitor. Cheap Chinese monitors are around 500 nits, so if you can see your phone in the sun, it’s probably brighter.

Make sure to watch the entire video, as Neon Airship has some clever mounting tips for you.

[How to use your phone as a HDMI Video Monitor | via Hack a Day]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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11 responses to “Convert any Android phone into an HDMI monitor”

  1. Duncan Dimanche Avatar
    Duncan Dimanche

    awesome !

  2. Hugh Clarke Avatar
    Hugh Clarke

    Yes please

  3. Massimiliano Schilliro Avatar
    Massimiliano Schilliro

    There is also these cheap solution as well -> CHEAP external monitor REVIEW! – part 1 https://youtu.be/RMxcKXKI3sU

  4. Rodney Day Avatar
    Rodney Day

    Can you record the video on your phone to?

  5. Rodney Day Avatar
    Rodney Day

    This was real helpful thank you for taking the time out and sharing

  6. DesertCookie Avatar
    DesertCookie

    Beware, this does not work with Fujifilm cameras. Fuji is not very supportive of third party efforts to remote control their cameras. You are limited to their lack-luster app.

  7. Bill Avatar
    Bill

    Can you use your smartphone as a monitor for your PC? Or game console, like a PS3 or PS5?

    1. AFShieryar Avatar
      AFShieryar

      I want to know the answer too. Did jt work for you?

      1. Grimbus Avatar
        Grimbus

        I’ve seen posts of people using an old android phone as a display for a raspberry pi, which is brilliant – a screen you already have laying in a drawer is gonna be cheaper than any of the ones you can buy for a pi.

        I’m gonna try to use my old nexus 5x for that purpose once I get my RPi.

    2. デニス X-スタイライザー Avatar
      デニス X-スタイライザー

      I’m not sure for Game Console, But for PC, Yes… you can use Spacedesk App. I can Extend / Duplicate my screen on my S9+. But i Recommend with USB cable over Wifi connection.

  8. Daniel Avatar
    Daniel

    Great idea, but it’s still no replacement for my Andycine A6 Plus and all of its assist tools like zebras, peaking, and waveforms. That monitor is quite affordable and really gets the job done. Plus, I have a budget Android phone (Moto G7 Optimo Maxx). The screen is good enough for everyday phone use or even watching YouTube or Netflix, but it’s only 720p and not going to win any awards. If you have a higher-end phone with a really nice display, well, that’s a different story. Still, someone needs to make an app for Android that really takes advantage of this option and adds all of the assist features from my Andycine monitor. I don’t think the endoscopy field is particularly concerned with nailing exposure and color balance.