Microsoft Surface wireless display dongle might be in the works

Microsoft might be preparing to launch a wireless display dongle. Plug it into your TV’s HDMI port and you can stream content from your tablet, laptop, or phone to the big screen.

It’d be sort of like Google’s Chromecast… but probably more limited in scope different (see comments below for discussion on this point).

microsoft surface miracast dongle

Windows Phone Daily noticed an FCC listing for a Microsoft Miracast wireless display dongle called the HD-10 this week, and a few months ago DrWindows.de published the first picture of the upcoming device.

The device will reportedly bear the Microsoft Surface brand name, but it’d probably work with any Windows device that supports Miracast technology. That includes the Surface tablet family, but since Windows 8.1 supports screen mirroring via Miracast, odds are that you’d be able to use a number of other devices as well.

There are already a number of Miracast adapters on the market, but I suspect plenty of folks would probably rather buy a device called something like Microsoft Surface Wireless Display Adapter than a product with a name like the Tronsmart T1000.

Google, meanwhile, offers its own wireless display adapter. It’s called the Chromecast. It sells for $35 and in addition to letting you mirror your Android display on your TV (a recently-added feature), it lets you use your Android or iOS phone or a computer web browser to find videos or other content you want to watch on TV, hit a play button, and then go back to using your mobile device without everything you do on your phone showing up on your TV.

For the right price a Surface Miracast adapter could be a nice addition to your digital media arsenal. But it’s not exactly a Chromecast replacement.

via GigaOm

  • ausidog

    I’m sorry, did you say “more limited in scope”?

    If this is, indeed, a Miracast adapter, then there will be very few limits. Any app, any brand device, and video service (local or otherwise) will work just fine. I wouldn’t exactly call that “limited”!

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Miracast supports screen mirroring — which means whatever you’re doing on your phone, tablet, or notebook will appear on your TV.

      A Chromecast streams content straight from the internet, allowing you to stream video while using your mobile device for something else. It *also* support screen mirroring… although only from Android or a Chrome browser tab at the moment.

      I guess it depends what you mean by limited in scope. I meant in terms of what you can show on your screen from a single device. But you’re right… the one thing that makes Miracast different is that it’ll probably work with many devices that may not work with Chromecast.

      • StopHarper

        Have you ever heard of “extending your screen”. Surface can do that, allowing you to easily multitask on two (or more) displays.

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        True… but in each case your device is actually processing all of the video or whatever content is on the TV. You can shut down your phone, take out the battery and stomp on it while a Chromecast continues to stream video from Netflix.

        I get it.. y’all don’t think a Chromecast is more versatile. I’ll adjust that line in the article. But it’s really not the same thing.

      • realjjj

        Guess the phrasing was wrong since this is not like a Chromecast to begin with, assuming all this M$ thingy does is Miracast.

        Chromecast was far more interesting and smarter. It is more flexible and still growing up and gaining functionality.

        This reminds me that we are due for a new Chromecast , at the very least something that supports more codecs but also maybe 4k and maybe dual band wifi. Unless Google decides to let it fade away in favor of Android TV devices but might be too soon for that.

      • allanwith

        “Play on Xbox” supports handing off playback as far as I know. Would be pretty cool if this dongle included the same technology. Then it would be a more direct competitor to Chromecast. I realize that it would only work with the Xbox videoapp, but still… They could launch it with a developer program that would allow third parties to tie in to it, just like Google does it with the Chromecast.

        MS needs a viable airplay/Chromecast alternative and the current crop of miracast receivers is just not good enough. It will also be interesting to see when and if developers will take advantage of the new APIs in the August update to Windows to create a “software based” miracast receiver.

        I have long wondered, however, why MS hasn’t developed an alternative based on remotefx and the remote desktop protocol, which today is being used to show on your display what is going on remotely. They should theoretically be able to reverse the direction and let you project your screen instead. That way it would work on anything that supported directx…

  • ChicagoBob

    Cant they think of something themselves? Geez MS is really out of ideas ya know.

  • Michael Thompson

    Look kids we’re hip too, see?
    We have a dongle too!
    … kids?

    • CyberGusa

      Don’t think it’s about “me too” but finally starting to beef up the Surface accessory line up…

      Though, it could prove more if it turns out to be cheaper and more reliable than the other receivers out there now for Miracast streaming… Most of them are less than reliable or very consistent, especially on bandwidth limited network/devices…

      Problem with Miracast is that there are a lot of variables, the specification allows for a lot of optional features and not all makers of the receivers support the same set of optional features, the WiFi setup of devices also can vary significant between devices and Miracast works best with dual channel that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz,,, Using the 2.4GHz to setup the connection and the 5GHz for the actual video streaming…

      Even then some have found the only way to avoid stutters/lag is to separate the audio to something else like Bluetooth as to free up bandwidth…

      So, if this turns out to be a really good receiver and still cheaper than previous offerings (it is smaller than most) then it could be the first real improvement in the miracast support up till now…

      • Michael Thompson

        Your argument has merit and I see your point; however perception is that this is a “me too” move.

  • jamor

    Nothing new here, but the existing Miracast capability of many (most?) Windows PCs being sold today could certainly use some marketing help. It’s a great but largely unknown feature.

    There are any number of dongles available today that work perfectly well, but it can’t help but bring more awareness to the feature if MS puts some marketing muscle behind their own branded unit.

  • dude

    Apple and Google are winning market share and market cap,
    while Microsoft plays with it’s dongle.
    HAR! HAR! HAR!