Miracast is a peer-to-peer wireless technology that enables users to mirror, or share, their computer or mobile device screen to other computers, TVs, projectors, streaming players or other electronic devices. In order for Miracast to work, both devices need to support the technology, although wireless Miracast adapters can be purchased for devices that lack built-in support for the technology.
Unlike some streaming technologies, Miracast bypasses the use of a home network (wired or Wi-Fi) and instead creates a direct, peer-to-peer connection between the Miracast-capable devices. Once enabled, video (up to 1080p HD video), audio (up to 5.1 surround sound), photos and more can be shared between devices.
Miracast’s Rise in Popularity and Other Stream Options
Miracast started picking up steam in 2013, with Google announcing that its Android mobile operating system would support the technology (as of Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean“) and later Microsoft adding Miracast support in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Intel also added support for Miracast in version 3.5 of its WiDi technology.
Alternative streaming options that operate in a similar fashion to Miracast include Apple s AirPlay, which is used in the company’s Apple TV device and its Mac OS X operating system, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s FireTV, and Roku streaming devices.