Miracast is an essential part of an OEM’s screen sharing & connectivity solutions
October 16, 2017

Connectivity Solutions: How Miracast Continues to be Relevant

by Aadithya Kamath (Senior Manager, Global Marketing)

While newer, better technologies from the likes of Apple and Google are more popular, Miracast is still relevant, serving as an essential part of an OEM’s screen sharing and connectivity solutions

By enabling seamless integration of smart devices with TVs, vehicles and other screens, screen mirroring and connectivity technologies have completely redefined infotainment and communication management. Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s AndroidAuto are the popular connectivity solutions in the automotive space, while Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast lead the consumer electronics market. However, there is another software-based standard that stands out and calls for our increased attention. Yes, in this blog, we are turning the spotlight on Miracast.

Miracast stands out owing to its compatibility with all applications, and robust mirroring capabilities.

While the standard is not as popular as its Apple and Google counterparts, it actually serves as the most ‘versatile and common’ option, given its increased adoption across devices available today. What more, it does not rely on a Wi-Fi router. It leverages a protocol called Wi-Fi Direct to set up its own private and secure streaming network accessible from local devices, while allowing DRM-protected content such as Netflix videos via HDCP encryption.

Automotive infotainment: Miracast VS CarPlay and AndroidAuto

Automotive infotainment systems from many tier-1 automotive brands enable all the three connectivity solutions – CarPlay, AndroidAuto and Miracast/MirrorLink – to be able to support Apple, Android and other devices. However, there are many devices that are incompatible with the Apple and Android solutions. This is where Miracast gains increased relevance with its effective interoperability across devices.

Smart devices on wheels

  • 2020 will see a total of 220 million connected cars on the road
  • 88 million of these vehicles will have connected services

Take a look at how the standard compares with CarPlay and AndroidAuto that are used extensively in automotive infotainment systems:

Consumer electronics: Miracast VS AirPlay and Chromecast

Most consumer electronics devices like TVs, Set Top Boxes, and enterprise collaboration systems are Miracast enabled. We are also seeing a growing number of solutions that enable content mirroring from Miracast enabled devices. Every device with Windows 8.1 and above, and every mobile handset with Android 4.2 and above support Miracast. These are clear indications of how it continues to be significant and quite common in the consumer electronics space.

Here’s a quick look at how the standard compares with popular connectivity solutions used in consumer electronics products:

Connectivity SolutionAirPlayChromecastMiracast

Pros

Supports streaming
from an Apple device
to an Apple TV.
Smartphone enables &
controls streaming from
an online source such as
Netflix or Pandora to a TV
directly.
No need to run an app on the smartphone.
The playback controls
on the Apple device
are used to control
the video on the Apple
TV. Playback controls,
will not appear on
Apple TV.
The Chromecast device
handles streaming,
decoding and rendering,
while the smartphone
serves just as a remote
control, thus increasing
the battery life of the
smartphone.
Everything (including
maps, movie, and content
not necessarily played by
an app) displayed on the
smartphone display is
mirrored on the TV
display.
Also supports screen mirroring.Also supports screen
mirroring.
No need to buy an extra
device.
Many TV manufacturers
provide built-in support for
Miracast Sink stack.
Android 4.2+ devices and
Windows 8.1 / 10 devices
provide built-in support for
Miracast Source stack.
Uses WiFi direct
and need not be
connected to a WiFi
router.

Cons

Cannot stream from a
Windows laptop or
stream to a device
other than Apple TV.
Need to buy and connect
the Chromecast device to
the TV.
Higher battery consumption.
Since it is a screen
mirroring technology, the
phone’s screen must stay
powered on while
streaming the video for
the entire length of the
video.

Miracast: Impossible to ignore

Miracast is not only application/device agnostic but also supports any kind of content or file formats from the source device. Apart from the versatility and the Wi-Fi advantage, it offers a simple and easy experience combined with effective content protection. The standard also provides cost effectiveness, by doing away with the need for additional wireless technology or extra devices to be functional.

Miracast might not be the latest or the most advanced screen sharing and connectivity technology, and it certainly lacks the backing of large brands like Apple and Google. However, it comes with key differentiating features that make it an increasingly relevant alternative to popular solutions.

For more insights, get in touch with us: mkt@ittiam.com

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A leading consumer electronics company established interoperability across devices with Ittiam’s Miracast stack. Our Case Study says how.