What is Miracast and How Does it Work? – If you want to share multimedia content (video) from your smartphone or Android tablet directly to your TV, without wires, you can take advantage of Miracast technology.
In this guide, you will find out how Miracast works and how you can use it to reproduce everything that happens on your device directly on a TV, just as if it were a wireless external screen.
What is Miracast
Miracast is a wireless communication standard promoted by the Wi-Fi Alliance and supported by the vast majority of portable and non-portable devices (smartphones, tablets, Windows PCs, etc.) and by modern Smart TVs.
With Miracast you can wirelessly connect the screen of your portable device to the TV, playing any multimedia content: music, video, streaming, images will be available on the large television screen. Represents a valid for connection via HDMI cable.
Below you will find the standards supported by Miracast for sending the audio / video stream:
- Video up to 1080p (H.264 codec).
- 5.1ch surround sound (with AAC or AC-3 codec).
- WiFi Direct (direct communication between two devices).
The transmission is very stable, also offering a latency (delay between what happens on the mobile screen and what you see on TV) low enough to take advantage of the connection to play a mobile video game on a TV screen.
This technology can be exploited to transmit audio/video content (stored in the device memory or streamed via the Internet), dedicating the smartphone to the role of “remote control” of the contents sent and transmitted to the TV via Miracast.
How Does Miracast Work?
In order to use Miracast, it is necessary that both devices, both the mobile device and the Smart TV support this technology: they must be “Miracast certified”.
As for the mobile device, it is relatively easy to get support because:
- Android natively supports Miracast from Android 4.2 (onwards).
- Microsoft supports it with Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11 (even on mobile devices).
Apple, on the other hand, for its iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) uses its “AirPlay” transmission standard (in fact a competitor of Miracast).
TV side most TVs with built-in WiFi support Miracast. The problem is how to enable support, as each manufacturer prefers to call this technologist differently.
A check that you can make to understand if the TV supports Miracast is on the WiFi Alliance website .
Enter the Smart TV model (with the manufacturer’s name) than in the search results make sure to tick the Miracast option:
You can do a second check by checking the Smart TV settings for correspondence with one of the following items:
- For Samsung TVs look for “AllShare” (Content Sharing, Screen Mirroring).
- On LG TVs you can search for Miracast directly.
- On Sony TVs look for Screen Mirroring or Miracast.
- On Philips TVs you can search for Miracast directly.
Normally, the menu item to enable Miracast on TV is present in “Network” , “Connections”, “Wireless” or similar.
How to Use Miracast (integrated into Smart TV)
To use wireless streaming on your new compatible TV, activate WiFi , WiFi Direct (if present as a separate menu item) and finally just “Miracast” (or a corresponding item) from the settings menu.
Once the necessary activations have been made, connect your TV to your home wireless network (not essential if you are using Wi Fi Direct with a direct peer2peer connection that does not go through a router or access point).
How to Use Miracast (on incompatible TVs)
Is your TV not compatible with Miracast and/or does not have a WiFi connection? In this case you can still use Miracast to send your content using an HDMI port and a USB port on your TV.
To integrate Miracast on the TV you can use the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, available for purchase from the following link.
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
- Available languages: English, German, French, Dutch etc
- Just plug the USB and HDMI cable from the wireless display adapter into your HDTV or monitor, c …
- With Wi-Fi certified Miracast technology, you are not limited to certain applications or st …
Just plug the adapter into an HDMI port on your TV, with the other end plugging into a USB port (needed to supply electricity). Connect the dongle to the WiFi network and you can take advantage of Miracast on any TV on the market, making a normal TV “smart”.
How to Enable Miracast on Android or Windows PC
It is very simple to enable the protocol on the phone or computer:
From Android smartphone or tablet: activate the “Cast screen, Miracast, Screen Mirroring or Wireless screen” item in the options of the Android operating system:
From a PC with Windows 10 : simply access the notifications at the bottom right and then click on “Connect”:
After a few seconds, the Smart TV will appear among the devices available for connection. Select your TV to start broadcasting what is displayed on the television screen.
What alternatives to using TV as a Wireless screen
Miracast is a technology to turn a TV into a wireless screen but as mentioned above, it is not the only technology to offer this solution. There are several alternatives that we will see in this paragraph.
Miracast vs Chromecast
The Chromecast is an HDMI adapter compatible with the Google Cast protocol with support for 4K technology (Chromecast Ultra). Google Cast can be used to send the full screen of the mobile device or multimedia contents directly from compatible apps ( Netflix , YouTube and Spotify to name the most famous).
You can purchase the latest version of Google Chromecast from the official Google site .
Miracast vs Apple TV + AirPlay
Apple offers its technology to send full screen or media stream from apps to TV, called AirPlay. To be able to take advantage of AirPlay you must obviously have an iPhone, iPad or Mac and have an Apple TV, a sort of TV Box with support for 4K in its latest iteration.
You can purchase this device from Apple’s online store .
Miracast vs DLNA
The latest technology you can use is DLNA, built into almost any TV with WiFi or an Ethernet port. To take advantage of it, simply connect the TV to the WiFi network in your home or use the Ethernet cable to the modem.
Apparently, it is a more complex system because using DLNA it is required the presence of a server application on the network capable of indexing all your multimedia contents and making them available via wifi. Some examples of DLNA servers are Plex , Kodi , Serviio, and Twonky.
Install one of the server applications recommended above on your PC or smartphone/tablet and index the media content from a folder to make it available via DLNA on your TV.