As expected, Microsoft is launching a wireless display adapter that lets you beam content from a PC or mobile device to a TV.

What’s a little unexpected is that the wireless display adapter doesn’t just support devices running Windows and Windows Phone. You can also use it to stream content from a phone or tablet running Android 4.2.1 or later.

Microsoft plans to ship the adapter in October, and it’s available for pre-order now for $60.

microsoft wireless display adapter

Like a Google Chromecast, the Microsoft Wireless Display adapter has an HDMI Port on one end and it connects to a USB port on your TV (or a wall jack if your TV doesn’t have one) for power.

Unlike a Chromecast, Microsoft’s adapter uses Miracast wireless display technology. This not only lets you stream videos from your phone, tablet, or PC to a TV. You can also use the adapter to mirror your screen or extend your desktop across multiple screens.

There are cheaper Miracast wireless displays on the market. You can find a number of cheap Chinese models at AliExpress for $20 or less. But I suppose it’s always nice to have another option.

Dell also recently launched its own wireless display adapter. The Dell Cast also lets you beam content from a mobile device to a TV… but it’s designed specifically to work with Dell’s Android tablets (and eventually the company’s Windows tablets too). What makes Dell’s $80 adapter a little different is that it also features WiFi and Bluetooth support so you can use a wireless mouse, keyboard, or other peripherals.

via ZDNet

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14 replies on “Microsoft launches $60 wireless display adapter for Windows and Android”

  1. Good news! I’ll wait for a review.
    I’m also look forward to compare it to AIRTAME (https://airtame.com) that will come out in January 2015. It costs $134 in a pre-pay order but I has more features, especial the options to extend the screen and share it.

  2. Why isn’t there DC power on the HDMI connector so you don’t need that USB pig-tail just to power the device? I’ve always wondered about that.

  3. Can’t wait to read a review. Miracast adapters have been more miss than hit for me, with lag and connection issues…maybe Microsoft’s big brains can do one better. Think you’ll be reviewing it?

    1. Miracast adapters have been bad for several reasons:

      Screencasting at 1080p takes a fair amount of bandwidth, and pretty much requires 5GHz band. Most mobile devices not only are stuck at the congested 2.4GHz band, they have a 1×1 antenna that also has to do double-duty in both screencasting (to the TV) and streaming online content.

      This MS adapter looks to be subpar, since it is stuck behind the TV, meaning the wifi signal is attenuated by the TV’s metal chassis, thus be worse than a free-standing adapter that can be placed in front of the TV.

      1. Great post… could not agree more on all points. A hdmi extension cable could be used to move this device to a good position for wireless reception.

  4. Most of my company’s conference rooms have a projector and vga cable… this has worked great for years. No drivers, no apps, just connect the cable… very intuitive.

    1. Veeger-what? I don’t have that on my ultrabook, or indeed any connections! Wireless power, Internet access, mouse and keyboard, wireless monitor is just the logical extension 😛

      Seriously though it’s getting harder to find that 25 year old connector, and it doesn’t do vaguely high resolutions at all well (yet to find a device that’ll do 1080p as well as Dvi, hdmi or displayport). I’m just glad that dell are behind this adapter, probably means it’ll have a decent antenna and generally just work.

      1. vga cables support resolutions up to 2048x1536px @85 Hz. That is much higher than the projector can support. It’s great that you are wireless… I need LAN speeds and latency for the work I do. I do like my wireless keyboard and mouse. What I want to know is how can any building built after 2000 not have multiple cat5e ports in every room? They all don’t need to be hot, just connect the ones that have a device on the other side. My present house has 2 ports per room, and I can’t understand how anyone can live without gigabit ethernet. I love my tablet and phone, but once you have drunken from the firehose it is hard to tolerate slower speeds.

        1. except consumer ramdac development has pretty much stopped so 400MHz is your lot, meaning no resolutions higher than that and in my experience even on decent nvidia GPUs the ramdac is fairly bad, like, beyond 1280×1024 there’s a noticeable improvement with DVI. Also, you might not have noticed the partial joking element there, wireless power for laptops isn’t here yet. I do recognise a need for cables/moar speed at times (though gigabit ethernet? wifi AC surpasses it, try 40gbit infiniband for real speed, fairly cheap second hand gear), but wireless seems to be the way to go, far more convenient that finding the one vga cable that isn’t broken and then using some really low resolution projector.

          1. You have 40gbit infiniband in your house, with 2 ports per room? Wow… my i5 home server would not be able to serve data out that fast. I guess I will just have to live with my 125Mbyte/s gigabit connections. I don’t have raid drives, so a single disk can almost reach 125Mbyte/s. I will pull video from my camera or phone through my PC to the server… the bottleneck there is the camera/phone’s usb2 connection (or internal SD storage). As for wifi AC, continuous throughput is much, much less than 100baseT ethernet, and latency is similar to wifi. My point is that as long as an existing cable is present (even the lowly VGA, HDMI cables are pretty common too), wireless transfer of video data will be inferior (if it is motion video, it will be significantly inferior). Wireless is what you do when a cable is not present or practical.

          2. >As for wifi AC, continuous throughput is much, much less than 100baseT ethernet,

            Disagree. Sustained speed for even 5GHz .11n (40MHz wide channel) can outdo FastE’s 100Mbs in practical throughput. It of course depends on distance and obstructions. GigE is another matter, and like you I doubt anything wifi short of ultrawideband can match 1000Mbs. Then again, GigE itself won’t hit that speed due to various overheads.

            I agree with you in gist.

          3. Yeah, sorry about the 100BaseT comparison. It does a solid 12MBytes/s for 100meters, but wifi AC should be able to beat that within 10meters. I checked smallnetbuilder and they had real life file copy durations and they were well over 55Mbytes/s. I was talking out of my ass.

          4. Let’s find out. Most GigE routers like my Buffalo WZR-300HP have under 200Mbps throughput on WAN (let’s forget wifi for now). That will suffice for maybe 5 years since my ISP won’t be offering 150Mbps for very cheap anytime soon though I’m fine with that for now. There are several modern routers that offer more than 500-990Mbps of actual throughput after overheads. I counted only 49 on this chart: https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/router-charts/view Most people don’t have one of these unless they purchased one in the past two years, and assuming they have Google Fiber or Extreme 505 in the northeast on Comcast they probably won’t utilize the full speed of their router’s WAN.

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