What Is Miracast: Beginners Guide & How to Use It

What Is Miracast

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Gone are the days when people used an HDMI cable to cast your computer screen to a TV. Now casting an image can be done using several other devices. One of them is Miracast technology, which has the potential to perform better HDMI in terms of convenience. However, is it enough to neglect HDMI altogether?

In this post, we will talk about Miracast technology and how it works?

Miracast

Wi-Fi Alliance released Miracast technology in 2012. It eliminates the need for troublesome HDMI cables and allows compatible devices to find, connect and mirror their screen wirelessly. It has adapted by Microsoft, Roku, Google, Amazon, and other technology media giants.

Miracast is not the same technology used by AirPlay (Apple), Chromecast(Google). However, they work the same.

How Does It Work?

Miracast employs Wi-Fi Direct, which enables two devices to establish a direct peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection. The connection enables them to communicate with each other without any wireless router acting as mediator.

So, they don’t need your home network to work and it works as a Bluetooth. Miracast devices develop their own network and transfer data to-and-fro with ease. The connection established via WPS & is protected with WPA2.

Miracast uses H.264 codec, can display 1080p video resolution and produce 5.1 surround sound audio. It also comes with DRM layer, which means the Miracast device has an ability to mirror copyright-protected content such as DVDs with ease.

Why Miracast?

miracast how to use it

Using Miracast is beneficial as it can be used on cross platforms. It might not be heard by people, but it exists since 2012. In 2012, Google announced Android 4.2 and later would be compatible with Miracast. All other including Windows, Amazon Fire, Blackberry, Roku and others joined the league, except Apple. Most of the Smart TVs available come with inbuilt Miracast. If your smart TV doesn’t support Miracast, you can buy Microsoft Miracast Receiver and make it work. The device is available on Amazon.

If you want to check whether your device is compatible with Miracast, check the Wi-Fi Alliance’s website. The site contains an entire list of Miracast enabled devices.

Note: Not all the Miracast devices comes with Miracast brand name. If you have used Samsung’s AllShare Cast, Sony Screen Mirroring, or LG’s SmartShare, then you are all set with Miracast.

Other benefits of Miracast are:

  • You need don’t need a Wi-Fi to connect to other devices, you can stream to another device even if you are far away from a router.
  • You don’t need a cable to connect.
  • Two compatible devices can find each other without user input.

Disadvantages of HDMI

  • The two devices such as your TV or other monitors can only be at a certain distance (i.e. the length of HDMI cable). They are longer cables but connecting two devices can acquire space and cost more.
  • HDMI output could be blank, which happens due to authentication errors. These errors can lead to other issues such as lag, screen flickering, which can be frustrating when you are watching something.
  • HDMI ports are not available on all the devices such as smaller laptops, tablets, hence you can’t mirror the content locally available on the device to another device.

Disadvantages Of Miracast:

No matter how flexible and popular Miracast is, it has its disadvantages as well.

The main one is competition. Apple has AirPlay (its version of Miracast), Google has Chromecast, which doesn’t have Miracast. AirPlay & Chromecast, both have multitasking ability.

Miracast is not widespread. You can’t expect every device to be compatible with Miracast wherever you go. So, it is better to take HDMI cable with you. That’s why it doesn’t seem possible to ignore HDMI completely.

In the end, we can sum up and say it is ok to adopt new technology, but you can’t neglect old technologies. As Miracast is not completely developed, you need to use HDMI cable for a while. It is not fully compatible and not adopted worldwide, so the improvement and reliability is not improving. It might replace HDMI in future and become mobile friendly. So, you can try to use Miracast and share the experience.

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