How To Use Miracast With Your Android Phone Or Tablet
Many of you may know about Miracast but for those that don’t here is a brief introduction and a quick guide to using it on your TV or set top box.
What is Miracast and How does it work?
Well, when Android 4.0 was introduced it had a built in system called Wi-Fi Direct, this enabled uses to set up ad hock wireless networks, and while it never really caught on it did set the groundwork for Miracast to come along later. It didn’t take too long, and when Android 4.2 was released it included the Miracast protocol. Many Android smartphones and Android tablets support Miracast and its easy to check the menu system to see if this option is available.
In a way it’s similar to Chromecast but can only show what’s displayed on the screen of your device, hence the mirror bit in the name.
So Miracast is a streaming protocol that we can use to mirror the image from a Windows or Android device to a PC or TV screen. This allows us to easily watch content together rather than on a phone or tablet. In fact there are a whole range of uses such as playing games, using apps or displaying sales forecasts.
How Do I Set It Up?
While this protocol varies a little on different devices here are the basic steps to setting up Miracast to work with your Android mobile device. Most modern TV’s purchased within the last year or so will probably support Miracast, alternatively you can always use a dongle or set top box with Miracast functions.
- The first thing you need to do is ensure that the devices you wish to connect are compatible. The easiest way to do this is to check the comprehensive list of Miracast compatible devices on the Wi-Fi Alliance website. Please note that some other Miracast compatible technologies such as Samsung’s “AllCast Share” may not be mentioned on the website so be sure to check any user manuals for your hardware. This will let you check if your TV can support Miracast. If so make sure that it’s enabled and turned on. Don’t worry if your TV isn’t supported, you can always use a TV box or TV dongle with Miracast support.
- If you’re using a Miracast Dongle or TV Box then make sure it’s plugged into the correct port (usually the HDMI port) and that it’s turned on. If your Miracast device is a fully functional set-top box or smart TV, you’ll need to activate it first by accessing the settings menu and following its wireless display instructions. Many TV boxes with Miracast will have a pre installed Miracast app. Launch this first before trying to connect your phone.
- You also need to check your Android device has Miracast and that it’s enabled. To do this enter your settings and under the device tab find and then click the display option. From here scroll down and look for the Wireless Display function.
Note: – You can also cast from the Quick Settings screen if you’ve enabled the wireless display feature.
- On some devices you may have to go to the Display options and then select the Cast Screen option. It may come up saying no connection found, but that is normal at first because you need to click the drop down menu in the top right and then select Enable Wireless Display before it will look for connections. After this it should start to search for a possible connection.
- The Phone will search for available connections, when it finds your TV box or Android dongle click the connect option, it could take a few minutes to connect. If it fails to connect the first time it could be that the connection timed out so refresh this from the Miracast App on your TV Box.
- Disconnect when you’ve finished. Miracast can be hard on a device’s battery, so be sure to break the connection once you’re done mirroring. Access your phone or tablet’s screen-mirroring menu the same way you did before, then tap on the receiver and select disconnect.
Because Miracast is an open protocol it means it can be developed by other parties and therefore some of these developed technologies like Samsung AllCast share may not work with all Miracast devices. Because of this many hardware manufactures for TV’s and even some set top boxes will list the portable devices that they have tested Miracast with so you can easily see which work well.
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