What is Miracast Wireless Connectivity?

Wifi-Certified Miracast Logo
Wifi-Certified Miracast Logo. Image provided by Wi-fi.org

What Miracast Is

Miracast is a point-to-point, enhanced version of WiFi Direct and Intel's WiDi (WiDi been discontinued since Miracast is now Windows 8.1 can 10 compatible), that allows both audio and video content transfer between two compatible devices without the need to be near a WiFi Access Point, the use of a router, or integration within full home or office network.

As a result of its point-to-point operation, audio and video signal transfer via Miracast is not affected by crowded network traffic or other network connectivity issues.

If you have both a Miracast-enabled source and destination or display device, you are all set to go. The Miracast protocol allows for transfer of both audio and video content, and has support for H.264. In addition, Miracast provides WPA2 security.

Miracast is implemented in a number of devices, including TVs, Video Projectors, Blu-ray Disc players, home theater receivers, cable/satellite boxes, smartphones, tablets, laptop PCs, and more...

Since 2013, Miracast has been incorporated into an increasing number of TVs, as well as Blu-ray Disc players (LG, Samsung, Sony are some brand examples but there are more). When used with a Blu-ray Disc player, your smartphone or tablet sends the content to the player wirelessly using Miracast, and then the player sends the content to your TV via its physical HDMI output.

Miracast is a convenient way to share audio and video between devices, such as sending video content from a smartphone or tablet to a TV, or from content being viewed on a TV from a cable/satellite/media streamer box to a tablet or smartphone for portable viewing.

Also, if you have a laptop or tablet and a video projector that are Miracast-enabled, you can easily display a business or classroom presentation wirelessly that you may have on your laptop or tablet on video projector for big screen display viewing.

Miracast Setup and Operation

To use Miracast, you first have to enable it on both your source and destination device according to the menu interface on the two devices.

You then "tell" your source device to search for the other Miracast device and then, once your source device finds the other device, and the two devices recognize each other, you initiate a pairing procedure.

You will know that everything is operating correctly when you see (and/or hear) your content on both the source and destination device. Then you can access additional features, such as transferring or pushing content between the two devices if those features are available to you. Another thing to point out is that you only need to pair the devices once. If you come back later, the two devices should automatically recognize either other without having to be "re-paired".

One Miracast is operating, everything you see on your smartphone or tablet screen is replicated on your TV or video projector screen. In other words, content is pushed from your portable device to your TV, but is still displayed on your portable device also - this process is also referred to as screen mirroring.

However, one thing to point out is that the content shared or mirrored has to have either video or video/audio elements. Miracast is not designed to work with audio-only devices (Bluetooth and standard network-connected WiFi is used for that purpose with compatible devices).

Miracast Use Example

Here is an example of how you can use Miracast at home.

You have a video, move, or show, on an Android tablet that you would like to watch on your TV, so you can share it with the whole family. Since your TV and tablet are both Miracast-enabled, you just sit down on the couch, pair the tablet with the TV, and push the video wirelessly from the tablet to the TV (remember, both the TV and tablet, or smartphone display the same content).

When you are done watching the video, just push the video back to the tablet where you have it saved. While the rest of the family returns to view a regular TV program or movie, you can into you home office and use the tablet to continue viewing the content you had shared, access some notes you took at a meeting earlier in the day, or perform any other normal tablet or smartphone functions.

More Info

Miracast specifications and product certification approvals are administered by the WiFi Alliance.

Official Miracast Website.

Also Known As: Display Mirroring, Screen Mirroring, SmartShare (LG), AllShare Cast (Samsung)

Alternate Spellings: Miracast, MiraCast

For more on Miracast-Certified devices, check out the official continually updated listing provided by the WiFi Alliance (source devices) (display devices).