It’s a great world to be in these days, especially when it comes to phones. Where the entertainment we need is at our fingertips, available just about anywhere, anytime, all from a neat little device that fits in your pocket. As convenient and whimsical as a smartphone, there’s something special about watching entertainment content on a large flatscreen TV. For those who access more visual content from a tablet or smartphone than anywhere else, that big screen in the living room can trigger additional functionality.
So why not grab some popcorn and watch it from the comfort of the couch? You can do this easily with mirror magic. A rapidly growing arsenal of components makes it possible to mirror everything on your phone or tablet screen to your TV.
Miracast technology is not perfect. But if you don’t have a Chromecast and want a quick way to cast your Android screen to a TV, Miracast is the best way to go.
But what is Miracast? How it works? How to use Miracast? Do you need an application for Miracast? Keep reading until you understand…
What is Miracast?
Miracast is the wireless display standard. Announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, it was part of Android 4.2 and Windows 8.1.
Although Miracast is still part of Windows, not all Android devices support it today. Google has tried to force more manufacturers to only offer Chromecast connectivity. This technology is also not available on macOS or iOS devices.
Miracast is built on Wi-Fi Direct. Wi-Fi Direct allows users to create custom private networks for file sharing. Therefore, Miracast does not need a physical Wi-Fi signal to work. Instead, like Wi-Fi Direct, it creates its own network.
Unfortunately, Miracast is still waiting to be heard with wide acceptance as the preferred delivery method. Although it supports 4K streaming, HD, H.264 and 5.1 surround sound, it loses user choice due to other available technologies.
Today we are going to try to convince you to give Miracast a second chance. This might be the perfect Android to TV streaming solution you are looking for.
Comparison between Miracast and Chromecast: what is the difference?
Our savviest readers will soon notice that the process of pairing Miracast devices to your Android phone/tablet is almost identical to casting to Chromecast. In fact, if you have a Chromecast dongle on your home network, you’ll see it listed right next to Miracast devices in the list of enabled connections.
So you can assume that Chromecast and Miracast are the same thing. This is not the case; There are many differences between Chromecast and Miracast.
Notably, Chromecast only depends on your device for the initial setup. Then the dongle does all the heavy lifting. You can put your phone to sleep or use it for other tasks without affecting operation.
In contrast, Miracast technology will simply cast whatever is on screen. Your phone is the one doing the processing. On the one hand, this is terrible news for your battery life. On the other hand, you can have more flexibility. For example, you don’t have to worry about an app’s compatibility with Chromecast or blocking DRM content.
How to use Miracast for Android
Now that you understand what Miracast is, let’s take a closer look at the casting process.
What you will need to use Miracast
- An Android device that supports Miracast technology or the Miracast app.
- A Miracast-enabled TV or a Miracast dongle.
You will only need a dongle if your TV does not support Miracast natively.
Miracast dongles come in many forms. For example, you can buy Actiontec Screenbeam Mini2 Or, you can invest in a set-top box with Miracast built-in, like a Roku or an Amazon Fire TV Stick. Microsoft has also created a dongle that supports Miracast.
Preparing the TV to receive broadcasts
If your TV has Miracast support, you don’t need to do anything. It may be useful to ensure that all the appropriate settings are enabled in the various menus.
If you’re using a dongle to convert your TV to a Miracast-enabled device, you’ll first need to make sure your TV’s inputs are routed to the correct HDMI source. You may also need to press a physical button on the dongle to turn it on.
Use built-in Miracast function to cast from Android to TV
You should now be ready to start the Miracast pairing process on your Android device.
If your Android phone or tablet has Miracast built in, the process is simple. Just follow the step-by-step instructions below:
- Open an app Settings.
- Click on “Connected devicesto open the menu.
- Select Communication Preferences from the list of options.
- Click on send.
- Scroll through the options until you find your TV or Miracast dongle.
- Tap the device you want to connect with.
- You may need to enter the security code to complete the process.
Once you have done the above steps, you will see your Android screen cast to your TV.
Use a Third-Party Miracast App to Cast from Android to TV
If your Android device does not support Miracast, don’t worry. You are not unlucky. There are many apps in the Google Play Store that support the Miracast standard.
Here are three of my favorite apps that support the Miracast standard:
1. Lets see
LetsView supports both Miracast and Apple AirPlay. It allows you to mirror your phone screen to a PC, Mac, TV or other monitor that supports one of two protocols.
You can establish connections via Wi-Fi, QR code or PIN code.
Download: LetsView (free)
2. EZ Mira
EZMirror has one-click screen mirroring option and supports DLNA. You can connect your devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or QR code.
Unlike LetsView, EZMira is not compatible with iOS. If you have a lot of different operating systems in your house, this might not be the best solution.
Download: EZMira (Free)
EZCast lets you cast your Android screen to any TV or screen as long as the devices support Miracast. Like other apps, it supports setting via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and QR code.
The app also supports streaming via Chromecast.
Download: EZCast (Free)
Troubleshoot Miracast on Android
The biggest problem you face is overscan. It’s the process by which your TV cuts off the top, bottom and edges of the screen that has been cast.
It’s a TV issue rather than a phone/tablet issue. To fix this, you’ll need to look in the TV’s options menu. You will often find the option in the Inputs subsection hdmi.
Is Miracast on Android worth using?
Ever since Google removed the native Miracast support included on Android, it almost felt like the company was trying to eliminate the technology. It’s a shame because Google wants to market Chromecast.
Sure, it’s not the most reliable or easy-to-use format for streaming, but Miracast still holds a strong position. They might be able to get you out of a sticky situation in a meeting or presentation if you know how to use them.
If you want to learn more about Miracast, check out our article on how to use Miracast to stream media wirelessly.