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The Ultimate Guide to Wireless Display Standards (2024)

what is wireless display devices

Table of Contents

Usually, we use the HDMI cable to connect any video source to display for watching movies, but sometimes they get tangled up.

Wireless Display is an excellent alternative to the wired connection, allowing people to easily stream content from their mobile devices to the TV without additional cables or adapters between video sources to display. Whether you’re looking to stream your favorite movie or TV show, play video games, or listen to music from your phone, tablet, or laptop, the wireless display technology makes it simple and convenient to enjoy everything in one place.

The wireless display system works with any device with a built-in Wi-Fi connection, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, gaming consoles, and more.

You might think there would be a widely supported wireless display standard similar to the HDMI standard, but it’s not true. Several competing standards exist for Wireless display technology, such as Apple’s AirPlay, Wi-Fi Alliance’s Miracast, and Google’s Chromecast.

People often confuse those protocols. What is the meaning of the protocol? And which one is the best? We will go through each technique in detail in this article.

 

What is Wireless Display?

The wireless display technology allows you to wirelessly connect the laptop, smartphone, or tablet to display and projectors within the local network. There is no requirement for additional cables or adapters between video sources and display.

Wireless Display, also called WiFi display, screen mirroring, wireless display, or screen sharing, means the same thing.

Different Wireless Display Standards

There are several wireless display standards in the market.

Miracast

Sony and Samsung originally developed Miracast as a way to share media between different types of mobile devices. It has since been widely used by many manufacturers across different platforms, including Android, Windows, and TVs supporting HDMI output from any manufacturer who supports Mirrrcast. Wi-Fi Alliance officially launched Miracast at the end of 2012.

Miracast is an industry wireless display technology established by the Wi-Fi alliance, which allows you to share your screen content on devices like tablets, smartphones, laptops, PCs, TVs, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, smart watches, etc.

Miracast is based on Wi-Fi Direct technology. It means it can be used over existing wireless networks without requiring additional infrastructure components such as access points or routers. The Miracast standard also allows for peer-to-peer connections, meaning that multiple devices can connect directly to each other using Miracast without needing to go through a central server.

Features of Miracast

  • Based on Wi-Fi Direct technology.
  • Support up to FHD video in H.264 codec
  • Protocol based on TCP, UDP, RTSP, and RTP.
  • Widely used in Android, and Windows OS.
miracast logo

Wi-Fi Direct Technology

Wi-Fi Direct allows two Wi-Fi-capable devices to establish direct peer-to-peer connections without requiring an access point. Wi-Fi directly connects two Wi-Fi-enabled devices without joining networks like routers. Wi-Fi direct allows Wi-Fi-enabled devices to connect efficiently, allowing people to share documents, pictures, videos, songs, etc.

AirPlay

AirPlay is a technology developed by Apple Inc., which allows users to wirelessly stream media from their iOS device or computer to an Apple TV, speaker system, or another compatible receiver within the same local Wi-Fi network. The technology was first introduced in 2011 with the release of the fourth generation iPod touch and later released for use on Apple’s desktop computers with the introduction of OS X Lion. It has since been incorporated into other devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Macs, and iMacs.

AirPlay works through the use of Wi-Fi Direct (formerly known as Wi-Fi Peer To Peer). This means that there are no cables required to connect two devices together; they communicate directly with each other.

Features of AirPlay:

  • Based on Wi-Fi Direct technology
  • Support up to FHD video in H.264 codec
  • Based on mDNS and DNS-SD protocol
  • Only used on iOS devices
airplay logo

Chromecast

Google Cast is an open standard for streaming media devices that works over Wi-Fi networks.

Google’s Chromecast is a small HDMI dongle that plugs into your TV or monitor to allow you to stream content from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer to the television.

Chromecast works with any devices running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later, iOS 7 or later, Windows 8 or later, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later, and ChromeOS.

Chromecast support Wi-Fi direct and can be used as a wireless access point to provide internet connectivity to other devices. The Chromecast also supports DLNA streaming media servers, allowing users to play music stored on their home network.

The Chromecast has been available for purchase since October 2013, but it was in June 2014 that the first Chromecast was released in the UK. Since then, there have been several different models of Chromecast released by Google, including the original Chromecast, the second-generation Chromecast, and the third-generation Chromecast.

Chromecast is designed to work with apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, Vudu, MLB At Bat, NBA Game Time, NHL Center Ice, WatchESPN, Google Play Movies & TV, and many more. You can even watch live sports if you have an account with ESPN+, SlingTV, or Sony Crackle.

Features:

  • Google cast is an open-source standard, while Chromecast is a small HDMI device developed by Google to promote Google cast service
  • Based on Wi-Fi Direct technology
  • Support DLNA streaming media servers
  • Support up to 4K video resolution
Chromecast_cast

WiDi

Intel WiDi is a wireless display technology developed by Intel that allows users to stream content wirelessly from their computers to TVs and monitors. WiDi requires the computer’s CPU, GPU, OS, and wireless network to work properly.

Intel announced in May of 2010 that it was working on a new wireless display tech­nology called WiDi. The tech­nology allows users to stream media from com­puters to televisions using an adapter wirelessly.

At CES in January 2011, Intel showed off WiDi technology running on a computer and a television screen. On February 11, 2011, Intel announced that Windows 7 would include native WiDi support. On April 12, 2012, Intel announced they had finished developing WiDi 2.0. It offers improved performance and compatibility with new hardware. On June 14, 2014, Intel announced that they would discontinue their WiDi technology because there was no consumer demand for it. They then adopted the Miracast wireless display standards from Microsoft.

Features:

  • Based on Wi-Fi Direct technology.
  • Support FHD video
  • Only used in Intel and windows devices.
  • Replaced by Miracast
Intel-WiDi

DLNA

DLNA is a non-profit organization established by companies such as Intel, Sony, and Microsoft. on June 24, 2003, preceded by DHWG (Digital House Workgroup). 

DLNA aims to develop an open technology standard for sharing digital media among different electronic devices, allowing consumers to easily share digital media from one device to another without software or driver installation. DLNA’s motto is “Enjoy your music, photos, movies, and TV shows, anywhere, any time.

DLNA is an open standard. Any manufacturer of electronic products can use it to enable their products to communicate with each other over the Internet or local area networks. DLNA has been adopted as a home networking standard since its establishment.

In addition to providing a way to connect various devices, DLNA also provides a framework for sharing content between them. For example, you could use your DLNA-compatible TV to stream music files stored on your computer to your stereo system. You could also use your DLNA-compliant printer to print out photos taken using your camera.

The first version of DLNA standards was released in June 2004, supports UPnP for managing, discovering, and controlling devices, supports digital audio and video files, and uses wired/wireless networks.

On January 5, 2017, DLNA officially ceased operating as a non-profit organization. On April 1, 2017, the organization’s website went offline, and the web moved to the USPTO. SpireSpark Int’l of Portland will continue DLNA’s certification program.

Features:

  • Not based on Wi-Fi direct standard
  • DLNA is based on UPnP (Universal Plug and Play)
  • DLNA requires an access point to connect to the Internet
  • Support 4k video
  • Widely adopted in the industry
DLNA LOGO

How Wireless Display Works?

Generally speaking, you need three kinds of devices to use wireless display technology. 

A Transmitter Device ( Mobile Device):

  • Such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop which a built-in wireless display protocol for video encoding.

A Receiver Device (Wireless Display Adapter):

  • Such as a Miracast dongle, Chromecast, or Apple TV, which built-in Wireless display protocol for video decoding.

 A Display or Projector 

  • Connect with the receiver device to display the screen from the transmitter device.

Advantages of Wireless Displays:

  • No more tangled wires! You don’t have to worry about running cables around your home or office.
  • Use the same HDMI cable on multiple devices at once.
  • Move your laptop from room to room without unplugging or reconnecting the cable.
  • Easily share content between different devices.

Difference Between Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA

Both Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA standards use Wi-Fi technology.

Wi-Fi Direct allows two devices to connect directly without an access point (Router).
DLNA requires devices to be on the same network through an access point (router).

Miracast vs AirPlay vs Chromecast vs DLNA

Miracast:

  • Established by the Wi-Fi alliance
  • Wi-Fi direct standard
  • Support Android, Windows OS
  • Screen mirroring only

AirPlay:

  • Developed by Apple Inc.,
  • Wi-Fi direct standard
  • Only used in Apple-certificated products. 
  • Support both Mirror and streaming mode

Chromecast:

  • A device developed by Google
  • Based on Google cast protocol
  • Wi-Fi direct standard
  • Support both Mirror and streaming mode

DLNA:

  • Developed by the DLNA organization
  • No support for Wi-Fi direct standard
  • Requires an access point to connect to the Internet
  • Streaming only, not screen mirroring technology
  • Widely adopted in the industry

ViewPlay wireless presentation devices built in AirPlay/DLNA/Miracast/Chromecast protocol, there is no need for the user to install any software and setup.

Comparison table

ITEM
Miracast Miracast
AirPlay AirPlay
Chromecast chromecast
DLNA dlna logo

Organization

Wi-Fi Alliance

Apple

Google

DLNA

Screen Mirroring

Support

Support

Support

No

Streaming

No

Suport

Support

Support

Display Content

No limitation

No limitation

No limitation

Audio/Video/Picture

WiFi Speed Requirement

High

High

High

Normal

Local Network

No need

No need

No need

Require

Protocol

Wi-Fi direct

Wi-Fi direct

Wi-Fi direct

UPnP

Compatible

Android & Windows

iOS & Apple Certified devices

Android & Chrome

Windows & iOS & Android & Linux

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