What Is Miracast?

Everyone really likes AirPlay, Apple's Wi-Fi streaming standard that lets you send movies and music from, say, your iPhone to your speakers or Apple TV. Now there's a new standard out to do pretty much the same thing for everyone else. But how is it different from previous attempts?

Miracast is a lot like AirPlay...

AirPlay is a wireless standard that allows two devices to connect to each other to share movies, music or other media. Miracast is the same thing — it's just not owned by Apple. Miracast is built on Wi-Fi Direct, which is basically just an ad hoc Wi-Fi standard. It lets two devices with Wi-Fi capabilities talk to each other without having to go through your internet network. And unlike AirPlay, it will work with disparate brands and platforms. So, for example, your Samsung phone would be able to talk to your LG TV. Pretty great.

...but technologically better than previous attempts...

Unlike some of the older implementations of Wi-Fi streaming, like Intel's first stab at WiDi, Miracast will allow you to stream in full 1080p. You'll also be able to use DVDs and other DRM media, which had been a non-starter in the past. Miracast also does a bunch of nerdy grunt work behind the scenes; you should never have to worry about format or codec or anything else when streaming something — just click a button and play.

...that has support from major chipmakers...

Qualcomm, Nvidia and TI are all planning to support the standard, meaning your Tegra 3 phone will actually work with it. Hopefully, that means you won't have to pick and choose which phone or tablet to upgrade to if you want to keep using your Miracast stuff.

...and will be (or is) in a bunch of popular gadgets...

Samsung has been using a form of Miracast called AllShare Cast for a while now. It's built on Miracast, but it being on board with the certification means that the Galaxy S III or Samsung's beautiful Echo P TVs will fold into the rest of the tech world, instead of being sequestered in a sad little corner.

...hopefully pretty soon.

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced the certification process for Miracast today and announced that the Galaxy S III, the new LG Optimus G and Samsung's Echo P TVs are already certified. Others are being tested to ensure certification as soon as the Christmas holidays. Hopefully by early next year we'll have a real AirPlay alternative for everyone not wrapped up in Apple's ecosystem.

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    So it's DLNA with streaming?

    What do you mean 'everyone really likes' Airplay?

    I think it's a load of rubbish; why not stick to standards?

      This would be a standard, and much better than DLNA. I'd prefer to be able to control the playback with my source device like this would allow.

      lol tim,
      airplay is the most seamless method of showing things on a screen its amazingly good, and ask anyone who has used it, and they will say the same, i think your one of those people who just hate apple, whilst it may be closed, it does work and work well.

    Umm... hasn't anyone heard of Airparrot?
    It's $10 and cheaper the most cables.
    Does everything Airplay does without upgrading hardware.

    "...sequestered in a sad little corner"? You mean the one that even my parents have been sitting in for 12+ months using AllShare with their Samsung TV...
    Somehow I don't think a tech giant like Samsung has too many "sad little corners" (unless you're referring to the "rectangles with corners" issue - that's IS a sad little corner).

    I simply want a cross-platform, device independant streaming system that can stream any which way you want it to. In a mjaority of homes, there is a mixture of devices.. some Apple, some Microsoft, some other (Android, Linux etc). I'd love to be able to simply say.. "this on my screen here now appears over here on this other screen". So many of the streaming apps force you through a tunnel of some kind.

    This is a great step towards that Universal Connectivity that Apple wants to keep itself free from. I just wish that Apple devices could be used in the same way.. so I can, without Aiplay and iTunes, stream exactly what is on my screen to my iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch..

    I can already do this with a wire.. just connect my HDMI/DVI/VGA to any screen I that has an input.. and away it goes.. doesn't even need special hardware or software to do it.

      As for AirParrot, I've tried the demo to get my PC screen to display on my iPod Touch.. guess what? it doesn't work.. maybe if I had AppleTV it might work.. but that kinda defeats the point, doesn't it?

        Try Splashtop Remote it may be of help

    Airplay is not a standard. Its Apple proprietary IP.

    With AllShare I can stream from a Windows 7 laptop to a Samsung TV without having to configure anything but access to wifi.

    HTC media link HD? been around for a while, beams any app/movie/picture/screen from your htc to the TV

      There have been solutions around for a while. The point is this is almost cross platform.

    This article makes me wonder if the person who wrote it really understands Miracast and the extra features it offers over streaming apps etc as most are not mentioned in the article.

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