How Do I Watch DIRECTV on a Projector?

DIRECTV has come a long way since its inception in 1994.  The service delivers high-quality content from AT&T via a traditional satellite and receiver setup as well as online streaming apps.

You can stream DIRECTV via your Smart TV, Chromecast, laptop, and phone.  But the question remains; Can you play DIRECTV through a projector?

The answer is a resounding yes.  In fact, there are multiple ways of streaming DIRECTV via a projector, using HDMI, Chromecast, screen mirroring, WiFi etc and this article is the ultimate guide on how to do this as well as how to troubleshoot any issues that you may encounter.

Connecting a DIRECTV Genie box to a projector

Most cable TV boxes have a few options when it comes to displaying content to an external device such as a projector or TV.  When it comes to connecting a cable TV box to a projector, there are two main things to consider; these are video and sound.

Let’s discuss the issue of the video first.  Usually, there are two video outputs from a cable TV box – HDMI or Composite.

Connecting a DIRECTV Genie box to a projector via HDMI

All modern projectors will come with at least an HDMI port.  HDMI is a fantastic technology as it allows you to transfer 4K video along with crystal clear sound, all in one cable.

If your DIRECTV Genie box supports 4K or UHD playback, you will need to ensure that your projector is HDMI 1.4, 2.0, or 2.1 compatible.  Please check the manufacturer’s website for this.

Please note that some content may only be visible via the projector if your projector supports HDCP 2.  Please check your projector manufacturer’s website for details.

To watch DIRECTV on a projector via HDMI carry out the following:

  1. Switch on your projector.
  2. Change the Source on the projector so that it is HDMI.
  3. Insert your DIRECTV Genie box into the HDMI port on the back of the projector.
  4. Power on the DIRECTV Genie box.
  5. Select your favorite TV show or Hollywood blockbuster and sit back and relax!

Sound considerations

Although HDMI cables do allow the transmission of an audio signal as well as a video signal, there are still some considerations to make regarding sound, especially if you are planning on using the internal speakers to a projector.

Let’s look at each of the three considerations.

Inbuilt projector speakers

As you are using HDMI cabling to connect your cable TV box to your projector, you also get the added benefit of this cable delivering sound to your projector.  By default, your projector will playback the sound signal to you via the internal speaker system.

This is by far the easiest and most straight forward speaker setup.

The downside to this is that as a general rule, inbuilt projector speakers are pretty poor.  They are often below somewhere between 2W and 8W in power.  The volume levels obtained through such as speaker are pretty poor however if you aren’t trying to fill a large living room with a deep, rich sound, this might be sufficient.

Some projectors do come with dual 10W stereo speakers which do improve the quality significantly.

Inbuilt speakers are also quite tinny in sound quality as they lack a subwoofer to give the unit some bass.

All things considered though, projector speakers are ok as long as you aren’t too fussy about sound quality.

Soundbar

Soundbars by their very nature are much more capable devices in delivering great sound quality for cable TV boxes when compared to inbuilt projector speakers.  They come with a range of different speakers to deliver a rich, well-balanced sound to your living room or bedroom.

The only thing to note is to check what sound outputs you have available on the pack of the DIRECTV Genie box.  Once you have done that you will need to see if you have a corresponding port available on the soundbar.

Perhaps the best options though would be to use an HDMI ARC or optical cable to and from both devices.  These deliver the highest quality sound.  Optical cable ports have been common for decades whereas HDMI ARC is a relatively new technology.

Although HDMI ARC ports look exactly the same as normal HDMI ports, they usually have the letters ARC next to the port to denote if it is indeed an HDMI ARC port.

How to play DIRECTV on a projector with Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick?

All modern projectors will come with at least an HDMI port.  HDMI is a fantastic technology as it allows you to transfer 4K video along with crystal clear sound, all in one cable.

You will need a separate device with an HDMI port that will be used to connect to the WiFi, stream DIRECTV and output the video signal to the HDMI cable and therefore projector.  A laptop, Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick are the ideal devices for this task as they can all install and run the DIRECTV app.

To stream DIRECTV on a projector via HDMI carry out the following:

  1. Switch on your projector.
  2. Change the Source on the projector so that it is HDMI.
  3. Insert your HDMI capable device into the HDMI port on the back of the projector.
  4. Power on the HDMI device such as the laptop, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire Stick (other devices are available too but check the manufacturer’s website first).
  5. Connect the HDMI device to your home WiFi or tether it to your mobile phone.
  6. Launch the DIRECTV app.  If your device doesn’t have the DIRECTV app, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to download and install this.
  7. Sign in to DIRECTV (if you have previously signed into DIRECTV on the device you won’t need to do this again).
  8. Select your favorite TV show or Hollywood blockbuster and sit back and relax!

Please note that Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and other HDMI devices will need an external power source.  A neat trick for small HDMI capable devices like Amazon Fire Sticks is that these can usually be powered via the USB port on the side of a projector.  Most modern projectors have these ports.

Obviously, laptops require an AC adapter to power them but it is possible to run these off the battery which will keep cables to a minimum.

A Chromecast device is a fantastic solution for streaming DIRECTV on a projector.  The latest Chromecast devices are capable of displaying up to 4K DIRECTV shows and films (as long as your projector can projector at a 4K resolution of course).

The latest Chromecast also comes with a very handy DIRECTV button built directly onto the Chromecast remote.  Therefore, launching DIRECTV could not be easier.

How to play DIRECTV on a projector using Google Chrome and Android TV?

It is possible to “cast” your DIRECTV content from a device using Google Chrome to a Smart Projector running Android TV.  Essentially, this allows you to use your device with Google Chrome installed, to control the output on the projector much like a remote control.

Streaming DIRECTV to a Smart Projector running Android TV from Google Chrome can be achieved via the following steps:

  1. Switch on the Smart projector.
  2. Connect the Smart projector to your home WiFi or tether it to your mobile phone.
  3. Sign in to DIRECTV in Google Chrome on your laptop or desktop.  
  4. Select the TV show or movie that you would like to play and right-click the tab in Google Chrome and select the three vertical dots in the top right of Google Chrome.
  5. From the drop-down menu, select Cast and then choose the Android TV enabled Smart projector.
  6. The DIRECTV content should begin to playback via the Smart Projector.
  7. Select your favorite TV show or Hollywood blockbuster and sit back and relax!

For this option check your manufacturer’s website for compatibility.

How to play DIRECTV on a projector using Airplay?

Apple AirPlay allows you to send the video from your iOS device to your AirPlay capable projector.  Please check the manufacturer’s website to see if your smart projector is directly compatible with Apple AirPlay.  

If not, you could connect an Apple TV to the HDMI port of the projector to extend this ability to the projector.

To play DIRECTV content to your smart projector via AirPlay, follow the steps below:

  1. Check that your smart projector and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Launch the DIRECTV app on the iOS device.  Sign in to your account if you have not already done so.
  3. Choose the TV show or movie that you want to wish and press Play.
  4. Single tap once on the video, and you should see the AirPlay icon in the top right corner.
  5. Swipe down from the top right corner of your iOS device to launch the Control Center.
  6. Locate the AirPlay control.
  7. Single tap the AirPlay button.
  8. Choose the smart projector or Apple TV that you have connected to your projector. 

The DIRECTV TV show or movie will now begin to play on your projector.

How to play DIRECTV on a projector using an Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch?

Unfortunately, the Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or Nintendo Switch don’t have their own BritBox app which is surprising due to the incredible popularity of this device. 

Why Can’t I play DIRECTV on my projector?

There are a number of reasons that might be preventing you from playing your DIRECTV Genie box through your projector.  Below we explore some of the main ways of troubleshooting and resolving these problems.

You’ll be back to enjoying your favorite TV shows and movies in no time!

DIRECTV Genie box Won’t Connect to my projector

If you are trying to play live TV via a DIRECTV Genie box, please go through the following steps to resolve the problem.

  1. Switch off your DIRECTV Genie box and power it back on.
  2. Switch on your projector.
  3. Change the Source on the projector so that it is set to the input that you have wired into the projector from your DIRECTV Genie box i.e HDMI.
  4. Check that all cables are firmly plugged into both devices.
  5. Check that the coaxial cable from your DIRECTV dish is firmly plugged in.
  6. If you have a spare TV within the house, try plugging the DIRECTV Genie box into this to see if you get a signal.  If you do, then the issue must be with the projector.  If you don’t get a signal, then the issue maybe with the DIRECTV Genie box or cabling itself.
  7. Try changing one of the cables with a spare.
  8. Is the HDMI cable more than 50 meters long.  HDMI works best at under 50 feet.
  9. Is your projector HDCP 2.2 compatible?  Check this on the manufacturer’s website.  HDCP is used to prevent digitally encrypted media from being bootlegged to devices that it shouldn’t be.

DIRECTV won’t play on my projector from a Windows laptop

There are a number of reasons that might be preventing you from streaming DIRECTV on your projector from your laptop.

Check the source input

  1. Ensure that your projector is set to the correct source.  To do this, double-check which projector port you are plugging into from your laptop.  
  2. Then scroll through the options on the projector remote to toggle through each of the inputs.

Check the cabling

  1. Check that the cable is plugged firmly into the projector port,
  2. Check that the cable is firmly connected to the laptop port.
  3. Does there appear to be any damage to the cable?
  4. Does the cable work on other devices such as between your laptop and your TV.  If it is working with another device, move on to the next steps.

Check the Project options in Windows 10/8/7

When you are logged into Windows, complete the following steps to ensure that you are sending a video signal from your laptop to your projector.

Wired connection to the projector

  1. Hold down the Windows key and select the P key.  A grey box will appear on the right-hand side of the screen.
  2. Using your mouse or touchpad, select the Duplicate option.  The Duplicate option will mirror whatever is on your laptop screen directly to your projector.

Wireless connection to the projector

Please note that if you are wirelessly connecting to your projector and using the DIRECTV app on your laptop, some content might not appear due to it having content protection enabled.  If that occurs, please try streaming directly via a web browser such as Google Chrome.

To wirelessly connect to your projector, carry out the following steps:

  1. Click on Start and select Settings.
  2. Select System and then select Display.
  3. Select the Connect to a Wireless Display option.
  4. A window will appear on the right of the screen listing devices that you can wirelessly connect to. 
  5. Select your projector from the list.

Check your device drivers

It’s possible that your laptop might not have the latest device drivers installed and therefore may prevent you from connecting to your projector.  To update these, perform the following steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press OK to open the Device Manager console.
  3. From within Device Manager, double click on the Display Adapter option.  Your display adapter will appear in the list.
  4. Right-click on your display adapter and select Update Driver.
  5. Select Search automatically for updated driver.

Your laptop will download and install any available driver updates.  Once complete, reboot your laptop and try connecting to your projector again.

DIRECTV won’t play on my projector from a Chromebook

If you are struggling to stream DIRECTV from your Chromebook to your projector, this may be down to the Chromebook being out of date and requiring an update to the OS.

As Chromebooks run an OS called Chromium that is essentially just a cut-down OS based around the Google Chrome web browser, updating your Chromebook is very straightforward indeed.

Follow the steps below to resolve DIRECTV streaming issues:

  1. Select the time in the bottom right of the Chrome OS desktop.
  2. Select the Settings icon (this looks like a gear).
  3. Click the Menu button in the top left of the screen (this icon consists of three horizontal lines).
  4. Click About Chrome OS in the bottom left of the screen.
  5. Click Check for updates.
  6. Your Chromebook will begin to download and install the latest update if one is available.
  7. When the update has finished being processed, an icon containing arrows will appear in the bottom right of the screen.  Select the arrow icon.
  8. Select Restart to Update.

The Chromebook will now reboot.  Once the Chromebook has rebooted try again to stream DIRECTV to your projector.

DIRECTV won’t play on my projector from Macbook

There are a number of reasons that might be preventing you from streaming DIRECTV on your projector from your Macbook.

Check the source input

  1. Ensure that your projector is set to the correct source.  To do this, double-check which projector port you are plugging into from your Macbook.  
  2. Then scroll through the options on the projector remote to toggle through each of the inputs.

Check the cabling

  1. Check that the cable is plugged firmly into the projector port.
  2. Check that the Mac Video Adapter is firmly connected to the display port on the Macbook.
  3. Check that the HDMI cable is firmly plugged into the Mac Video Adapter.
  4. Does there appear to be any damage to the cable?
  5. Does the cable work on other devices such as between your Macbook and your TV.
  6. If it is working with another device, move on to the next steps.

Send video signal to the projector from Macbook

  1. Select the Apple Menu in the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences from the menu.
  3. Select the Displays option.
  4. From the Displays window, select the Detect Displays button.
  5. Select the Mirror Displays box in the bottom left of the window.

The Macbook will now display your screen and therefore DIRECTV on the projector.

Please note that you will need an HDCP compliant cable to stream DIRECTV over HDMI.

If this doesn’t work, you may have to log in to your DIRECTV account via a web browser such as Safari or Google Chrome in order to stream content to your projector.

DIRECTV won’t play on my projector from my iPhone

Streaming DIRECTV and other media such as your personal photos from your iPhone is an awesome and quick solution to being able to enjoy your content on a very large screen in high resolution.

Sometimes, however, there are technical difficulties in mirroring your iPhone with your projector.  Fixing this will depend on how you are streaming DIRECTV to your projector.

Below are a few ways of troubleshooting these issues.

Wired connection troubleshooting – Lightning to HDMI adapter

If you are using either an official Lightning to HDMI adapter from Apple or a third party, sometimes you might struggle to mirror or stream your DIRECTV content out to your projector.  Please note that these adapters require an external power supply to be plugged into the unit before you begin to send a video and audio signal over the HDMI cable.

The iPhone does not have enough power to power the HDMI cable itself.

Please go through the following checklist to successfully stream DIRECTV from your iPhone to your projector.

  1. First, ensure that you have plugged in the power cable into the Lightning to HDMI adapter and that the plug is set to On.
  2. Next, ensure that your projector is set to the correct source i.e. HDMI.
  3. Check that the HDMI cable is plugged firmly into the projector’s HDMI port.
  4. Check that the HDMI cable is firmly connected to the Lightning to HDMI adapter.
  5. Ensure that the Lightning end of the adapter is plugged firmly into the iPhone.
  6. Does there appear to be any damage to the cabling?
  7. Does the adapter work on other devices such as between your iPhone and your TV.

Your iPhone should now be able to stream DIRECTV to your projector.

Wireless connection troubleshooting – AirPlay

Apple AirPlay allows you to send the video from your iOS device to your AirPlay capable projector.  Please check the manufacturer’s website to see if your smart projector is directly compatible with Apple AirPlay.  

If not, you could connect an Apple TV to the HDMI port of the projector to extend this ability to the projector.

To play DIRECTV content to your smart projector via AirPlay, follow the steps below:

  1. Check the menu on the Smart projector to see which WiFi network the projector is connected to.  You will need to check your manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this as it differs from model to model.
  2. Check your iPhone WiFi settings.  To do this go to Settings and then WiFi.
  3. Check that WiFi is switched on and check that the WiFi network has the same name as the one on the projector.
  4. If the smart projector and iPhone aren’t on the same WiFi network, please connect them to the same network and try mirroring again.  If they are on the same network then skip to the next step.
  5. Switch off your projector.
  6. Reboot your home router.  Wait for 5 minutes until it has fully rebooted.
  7. Restart your iPhone and check that it connects back to the WiFi.
  8. Switch on your projector and check that it connects back to the WiFi.
  9. Launch the DIRECTV app on the iOS device.  Sign in to your account if you have not already done so.
  10. Choose the TV show or movie that you want to wish and press Play.
  11. Single tap once on the video, and you should see the AirPlay icon in the top right corner.
  12. Swipe down from the top right corner of your iOS device to launch the Control Center.
  13. Locate the AirPlay control.
  14. Single tap the AirPlay button.
  15. Choose the smart projector or Apple TV that you have connected to your projector. 

The DIRECTV TV show or movie will now begin to play on your projector.

Wireless connection troubleshooting – Smart Projector

Your smart projector might support wireless screen mirroring with your iPhone or another iOS device.  From time to time, things can go wrong to prevent this from working.  Here are some simple steps to allow you to troubleshoot your DIRECTV stream to the smart projector.

  1. Check the menu on the Smart projector to see which WiFi network the projector is connected to.  You will need to check your manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this as it differs from model to model.
  2. Check your iPhone WiFi settings.  To do this go to Settings and then WiFi.
  3. Check that WiFi is switched on and check that the WiFi network has the same name as the one on the projector.
  4. If the smart projector and iPhone aren’t on the same WiFi network, please connect them to the same network and try mirroring again.  If they are on the same network then skip to the next step.
  5. Switch off your projector.
  6. Reboot your home router.  Wait for 5 minutes until it has fully rebooted.
  7. Restart your iPhone and check that it connects back to the WiFi.
  8. Switch on your projector and check that it connects back to the WiFi.
  9. Now try mirroring your projector again.  To do so, select Quick Settings on your iPhone.
  10. Then select Mirroring.
  11. You should now be able to see the name of your projector listed on your iPhone.  Select the projector and you should be able to mirror your device.

After carrying out the steps above, you should now be able to stream your favorite TV shows and movies on DIRECTV to your smart projector again.

DIRECTV won’t play on my projector from my Android phone

Streaming DIRECTV and other media such as your personal photos from your Android phone is an awesome and quick solution to being able to enjoy your content on a very large screen in high resolution.

Sometimes, however, there are technical difficulties in mirroring your Android device with your projector.  Fixing this will depend on how you are streaming DIRECTV to your projector.

Wired connection troubleshooting – USB-C to HDMI

Most modern Android phones come with a USB-C port for charging.  These can also be used to transfer data, whether it be files, photos, or video and audio.  A USB-C to HDMI cable is a great way of streaming DIRECTV to your projector.

If you are struggling to stream DIRECTV to your projector from your Android device, follow these steps.

  1. First, ensure that you have plugged in USB-C to HDMI cable firmly into the phone.
  2. Next, ensure that your projector is set to the correct source i.e. HDMI.
  3. Check that the HDMI cable is plugged firmly into the projector’s HDMI port.
  4. Does there appear to be any damage to the cabling?
  5. Does the adapter work on other devices such as between your iPhone and your TV? Try this to help rule out a faulty cable.
  6. Restart your Android phone and try again.

Wired connection troubleshooting – Micro USB to HDMI

Streaming video and audio from your Android device to an HDMI device using Micro USB requires the use of a specific technology called Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL).  Not only does both your Android phone and projector need to support this technology but you also need to use a specific MHL compatible HDMI cable before you can stream DIRECTV to your projector.

To troubleshoot any Micro USB to HDMI issues when streaming DIRECTV, follow the following steps:

  1. First, ensure that you have plugged in Micro USB to HDMI cable firmly into the phone.
  2. Next, ensure that your projector is set to the correct source i.e. HDMI.
  3. Check that the HDMI cable is plugged firmly into the projector’s HDMI port.
  4. Does there appear to be any damage to the cabling?
  5. Does the adapter work on other devices such as between your iPhone and your TV? Try this to help rule out a faulty cable.
  6. Check that your Android phone, Micros USB to HDMI cable and projector are MHL compatible.
  7. Restart your Android phone and try again.

Wireless connection troubleshooting – Smart Projector

Your smart projector might support wireless screen mirroring with your Android phone or another Android device.  From time to time, things can go wrong to prevent this from working.  Here are some simple steps to allow you to troubleshoot your DIRECTV stream to the smart projector.

  1. Check the menu on the Smart projector to see which WiFi network the projector is connected to.  You will need to check your manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this as it differs from model to model.
  2. Check the WiFi settings on your Android phone.  To do this swipe down from the top of the screen, touch and hold the Wi-Fi icon. Check the WiFi name that it is connected to.
  3. Check that WiFi is switched on and check that the WiFi network has the same name as the one on the projector.
  4. If the smart projector and Android device aren’t on the same WiFi network, please connect them to the same network and try mirroring again.  If they are on the same network then skip to the next step.
  5. Switch off your projector.
  6. Reboot your home router.  Wait for 5 minutes until it has fully rebooted.
  7. Restart your Android phone and check that it connects back to the WiFi.
  8. Switch on your projector and check that it connects back to the WiFi.
  9. Now try mirroring your projector again.  To do so, swipe down from the top of the screen, and select the Screencast option. 
  10. You should now be able to see the name of your projector listed on your Android phone.
  11. Select the projector and you should be able to mirror your device.

After carrying out the steps above, you should now be able to stream your favorite TV shows and movies on DIRECTV to your smart projector again.