Wireless Display Standards Explained: AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, Chromecast, and DLNA

HDMI permits you to attach virtually any device to a TV or another external show, however, HDMI needs a wired association. you may assume there’d be a well-supported customary for wireless displays, however, you’d be wrong.

Wireless Display Standards Explained: AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, Chromecast, and DLNAWhen it involves mirroring a device’s screen wirelessly or mistreatment it as a remote control for media displayed on another screen, there’s still a large type of competitory standards fighting it gets in the market.


AirPlay is Apple’s wireless show customary. It permits you to stream video from AN iPhone, iPad, or mack to AN Apple TV. mistreatment AirPlay, you’ll show the contents of your Mac’s desktop, begin a video in AN app on your iPhone and “push” it to your TV, or play a game on your iPad and mirror your show on your TV.

Wireless Display Standards Explained: AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, Chromecast, and DLNAApple’s AirPlay customary is versatile enough to figure in 2 alternative ways. It will use show mirroring to mirror the contents of a device’s show or use a streaming mode that’s smarter. for instance, you’ll play a video in AN app on AN iPhone and use the playback controls on your iPhone to regulate the video on your TV. Even whereas twiddling with the playback controls on your iPhone’s screen, they wouldn’t seem on your TV — AirPlay is sensible enough to stream solely the content you would like to examine on the show.

AirPlay works fine, however, it’s an enormous limitation — it solely works with Apple devices. If you have got a mack, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, you’ll be pleased with it. If you would like to stream from a Windows laptop computer or to a tool that isn’t AN Apple TV, you’re out of luck.


Miracast is AN industry-wide customary that’s primarily a response to Apple’s AirPlay. Miracast support is made into 4.2+ and Windows 8.1 robots, enabling robotic smartphones, Windows tablets, and laptops, and different devices to stream wirelessly to Miracast-compliant receivers.

In theory, Miracast is good. I follow, Miracast doesn’t know because it’s good. whereas Miracast is, in theory, a typical, their area unit solely some of the Miracast receivers out there that truly work well in follow. whereas devices area unit presupposed to interface with different devices that support the quality, several Miracast-certified devices simply don’t work (or don’t work well) with Miracast-certified receivers. the quality appears to own folded in follow — it’s not very atypical. scrutinize this table of check results to examine simply what quantity of AN incompatible mess Miracast appears to be.

Wireless Display Standards Explained: AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, Chromecast, and DLNAAnother drawback is that the quality doesn’t mandate devices be completed with the “Miracast” brand. makers have taken to occupation their Miracast implementations different things. for instance, LG calls their Miracast support “SmartShare,” Samsung calls it “AllShare solid,” Sony calls it “screen mirroring, ” and Panasonic calls it “display mirroring.” you may obtain a replacement Samsung TV, see the “AllShare Cast” emblem on the box, and not remember that this can be in theory a Miracast-compatible TV. You’d most likely assume that it solely worked with different Samsung devices supporting AllShare solid — and you may not be wrong, considering what number in theory compatible Miracast devices area unit incompatible with every other!

You might assume that, since Microsoft additional inbuilt Miracast support to Windows 8.1, their Xbox One console would operate as a Miracast receiver. this is able to create streaming from a Windows 8.1 pill to your TV via your Xbox One potential and simple. You’d be wrong—the Xbox One can’t operate as a Miracast receiver. (Update: It took over 5 years—but, as of March thirteen, 2019, the Xbox One will currently operate as a Miracast receiver if you put in the Wireless show app. an equivalent app will be wont to flip a Windows laptop into a Miracast receiver.)

In different words, Miracast isn’t doing too well. although it was, there’s another problem: Miracast solely offers to show mirroring. You wouldn’t be able to stream a video from your phone on your TV while not the playback controls showing on your TV whereas you used them, for instance.


WiDi is brief for Intel Wireless show, a feature related to Intel’s Wi-Fi Direct customary. this can be Intel’s try at providing a wireless video and audio streaming system that might vie with Apple’s AirPlay. WiDi ne’er saw a lot of uptakes.

Wireless Display Standards Explained: AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, Chromecast, and DLNAIntel Wireless show 3.5 makes WiDi Miracast-compatible, primarily turning WiDi into another branded Miracast-compatible customary. Intel has essentially sunray WiDi into Miracast


RELATED: HTG Reviews the Google Chromecast: Stream Video to Your TV

When Google launched the Nexus 4 with mechanical man 4.2 in 2012, they talked up its support of Miracast. Soon, they said, you’d be able to obtain low-cost Miracast-compatible receivers that you just might plug into your TV’s HDMI port. The wireless show drawback would be solved, sanctioning straightforward display-mirroring from mechanical man and Windows devices.

These low cost, compatible receivers did not hap. Instead, a year later, Google launched the Chromecast. A Chromecast could be a low-cost receiver that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, however, it uses one thing known as the DIAL (DIscover And Launch) protocol. To use the Chromecast, you open AN app on your mechanical man phone — Netflix, as an example. You tell Netflix to play videos for Chromecast. The Chromecast then connects to the web and plays the video, permitting you to regulate its playback via the app on your smartphone.

Wireless Display Standards Explained: AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, Chromecast, and DLNAIn this means, your smartphone permits you to get videos, launch them on the Chromecast, and management their playback. The Chromecast doesn’t merely show the contents of your device’s screen. However, Chromecast additionally offers a feature that helps you to stream your entire desktop or the contents of a Chrome tab to your TV via the Chromecast — rather like AirPlay.

Like Microsoft’s Xbox One, Google’s Chromecast doesn’t support Miracast the least bit. The Chromecast is clearly AN example of Google throwing their hands up within the air and jettisoning on Miracast, a minimum of within the short term. Considering all the issues with Miracast and the way well Chromecast works, Google seems to possess created the correct call.

Play To, DLNA, UPnP

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DLNA stands for “Digital Living Network Alliance.” DLNA uses Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) — however not the sort of UPnP that permits you to mechanically forward ports on your router.

Confused yet? strive to not be — this commonplace could be a mess of various terms, however, DLNA-enabled devices seem as “Play To” targets. That’s typically however you’ll see them.

DLNA isn’t extremely a wireless show answer. Instead, it’s merely the simplest way to require content on one device and play it on another. as an example, you would possibly open Windows Media Player on your laptop ANd use the Play To feature to play a video file from your computer’s Winchester drive to an audio/video receiver connected to your TV, like a game console. Compatible devices mechanically advertise themselves on the network, therefore, they’d seem within the Play To menu with none more configuration required. The device would then connect with your pc over the network and stream the media you chose.

Wireless Display Standards Explained: AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, Chromecast, and DLNA

You can still use DLNA to stream media from a Windows eight.1 laptop to AN Xbox One. However, the quality was clearly designed years agone — it assumes you have got native media. Play To solely permits you to play native media files like footage, videos, and music on your Winchester drive. There are no thanks to playing videos from Netflix or YouTube, stream music from an internet service, show a presentation and management it on your screen, or simply show the contents of your desktop

AirPlay arrived in 2010 and alternative corporations are still troubled to match it. If you’re one among the various those who would really like to visualize AN open commonplace that permits non-Apple devices to wirelessly share their displays, the Miracast mess has been powerful to look at.

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