A Microsoft pundit takes the new Wireless Display function (Miracast) in Windows 8.1 for a ride to see how it works like. Read below to find out if it’s a feature worth taking into consideration when looking to buy a Windows 8.1 device or rather a failure
Microsoft guru Paul Thurrot has tried working with the Miracast feature in Windows 8.1 to see if it can be a match to Apple’s AirPlay technology. The new Wireless Display feature is the most important novelty when it comes to wireless networking in Windows 8.1 and one of the best business features as well. Thurrot is obviously let down by the performance of Miracast in Windows 8.1, saying the following:
Miracast isn’t magic, and it’s often no more useful than an HDMI cable.
To be able to make use of the Miracast technology, you need hree pieces – a device compatible with Intel’s Wi-Di technology, an external screen, Miracast-compatible adapter. The cheapest adapter currently is $50 so that’s the first problem. The process of setting up Miracast to work can be pretty annoying, especially the part with updating the firmware on the adapter. Paul explains why using Xbox Video can be a better and a cheaper idea:
The problem is that Miracast wireless display is as “dumb” as using an HDMI cable. When you’re streaming a movie from the PC/device to the HDTV, for example, you want to watch that content on the HDTV only, not duplicated on both screens. But Miracast is just a way to use the normal Project mechanism in Windows … wirelessly. There’s no smarts to it. And it’s more expensive and harder to use than a regular HDMI cable.
By comparison, you can use Xbox Video with the Play on Xbox feature and use the Xbox SmartGlass app as a smart remote. So while you’re still triggering video playback from the PC/device to the HDTV, you can then use your PC/device as a smart remote control. And depending on the content, you’ll have amazing second screen functionality too.
Ultimately, this feature will found to be simply only by those users that are a little tech savvy and will prove to be quite difficult to set up for the average users.