Nokia properly introduces Play To for your Lumia Windows Phone

Just last month Nokia properly introduced Camera Extras, and this time they are back at it again with the Play To application. Play To is currently available for download in the Nokia Collection on the Windows Phone Marketplace for all Lumia devices.

Below we have the quick tutorial by Nokia Conversations on how to connect and play your media to DLNA capable devices with your Lumia Windows Phone.

Connecting with Play To

I gave Play To a whirl on my Nokia Lumia 800 and my TV.


Making a connection between the two could not have been simpler because they are both already connected to my wireless home network.

I opened the Play To app > press Connection >Broadcast and my Nokia Lumia ‘found’ my TV within a few seconds. You only need to tap the TV name for the connection to be established.

On the TV itself, a little dialogue box appeared on the screen asking if it was OK to connect to an ‘external device’ and I selected yes.

Even though it was really fast and easy to do this, what’s really great is that you only need to set up the connection once. On subsequent occasions you simply launch Play To and it will automatically recognise and connect with the TV.

Playing with Play To

After you’ve created the connection, you can return to the main Play To screen, where you get a simple choice of pictures, music or videos.

Play To

Streaming pictures was as easy as browsing through the photos on the phone itself. You can go through each of your albums or those on your camera roll.

It worked really smoothly with my TV and there was only a minimal delay after I selected the pictures before they appeared nice and big on my TV.

Just like going through the pictures on your phone, you can swipe through each image in succession for them to be streamed to your the TV.

It felt very cool to see images that I am so used to seeing on my Nokia Lumia, suddenly looking so good on my TV.

Play To Music and Video

Playing music was similarly straightforward and intuitive.

From the main Play To screen, you select music, and from there you will see all the tunes that are stored on your Nokia Lumia.

Play To's music controls

It’s organised by artists, albums, songs, playlists and genres, so you should be able to find what you are looking for even if you have a large collection on your Lumia.

Select an individual song or a whole album and it immediately starts streaming. You can also control the music on your TV, with the simple music player controls within the Play To app.

Music and pictures is great, however, my favourite thing about Play To is the video streaming.

Seeing your still images is one thing, but watching the videos that you’ve recorded with your Nokia Lumia on a big TV screen is another thing altogether.

It’s worth remembering that all this is all done without the need for hooking up any cables, or plugging in a camcorder or messing about with the AV settings on your TV.

Play To

Within the Play To app, select the video on your Lumia and it starts playing on your TV.

Rather mischievously, I recorded a video of myself saying ‘hello and surprise’ on my Lumia. Later in the evening, while my partner was watching TV, I secretly launched the Play To and started playing the video.

My video instantly started streaming on the TV, as seamlessly as changing a channel, much to her shock and my amusement.

Such tomfoolery probably shouldn’t be encouraged, unlike Nokia’s Play To app, which can be wholeheartedly recommended.

Download Link: Play To (Nokia Lumia Windows Phone exclusive)


  1. Eric Hill says

    I’m glad to hear you had good luck with Play To on your Lumia. My experience with Play To has been different – a complete fail, actually. My television that I bought 3 years ago for $2500 does not support Play To. Am I supposed to go replace it with a TV that supports Play To? I have an Onkyo Receiver that claims to support Play To (and they refer to it by the extremely unintuitive DLNA acronym, so I had no idea what it even was for weeks), but the receiver’s DLNA UI is clunky in the extreme, and I was never able to get my Windows 7 computer to send *anything* to it. Lots of unintuitive error messages. Fail.

    So, I gave up (this was last Fall) and got an Apple TV 2 for Christmas. This is a $99 device serves as the AirPlay receiver and has HDMI and Optical audio outputs to route to my HD receiver. Hmmm, no need to buy a new $500+ device; it just supports existing standards. Also, the UI is in the device, so it is very smooth and not dependent on every device maker to incorporate it. This is called “separation of concerns”. About 10 minutes after I plugged the Apple TV 2 in, everything worked flawlessly. With my wife’s iPad, I can control both the iTunes on my Windows PC and my Onkyo Receiver (which has an iPhone/iPad app). I have since added an AirPlay speaker in my bathroom. When is there going to be similarly equipped $99 DLNA device? When is Play To/DLNA going to work half as well as this?


  2. Spektor says

    It doesn’t work — at least with my system. I have a Samsung plasma 3-D HDTV about a year old, that is connected to an LG blu-ray player that is supposedly DLNA compliant. The blu-ray player, in turn, is then connected with an ethernet cable into my wi-fi router. I can stream videos etc to my blu-ray/tv via my laptop computer, through the wi-fi router, but the Lumia will not connect. The Nokia Play To app does show the router and connects, but it does not show any hardware devices to connect to, either the blu ray or the tv. And frankly, I want to be able to show Netflix off my phone — and I don’t think Play To can do that.

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