Small in Size, Big on Features: P1 Mini Projector Review (and Giveaway)

Our verdict of the P1 Mini Projector:Good colors are projected in a compact package, but clunky design choices and an average brightness make this projector hard to use.510This is the P1, a tiny pico projector measuring just 0.8 by 3.2 by 5.7 inches, and weighing 0.51 lbs. It has a built-in battery, full-size HDMI port, built-in Wi-Fi, and comes with a mini tripod to get you started. Let’s see if it’s any good, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway contest at the end of this review, for the chance to win a P1 Mini Projector of your own! Design…

Read the full article: Small in Size, Big on Features: P1 Mini Projector Review (and Giveaway)

Our verdict of the P1 Mini Projector:
Good colors are projected in a compact package, but clunky design choices and an average brightness make this projector hard to use.
510

This is the P1, a tiny pico projector measuring just 0.8 by 3.2 by 5.7 inches, and weighing 0.51 lbs. It has a built-in battery, full-size HDMI port, built-in Wi-Fi, and comes with a mini tripod to get you started. Let’s see if it’s any good, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway contest at the end of this review, for the chance to win a P1 Mini Projector of your own!

Design and Features

P1 Pico Projector lens

Priced under $300 (under the brand Haidiscool in the US, and iXunGo in the UK), the P1 Mini Projector is more expensive than many rivals. With a largely rectangular design, the P1 is small and lightweight. The built-in 4500 mAh battery is enough to run the projector for two hours, and the included charger connects via the Mini-USB port.

The left side contains a small wheel to focus the lens. This is a design common to many projectors, but it’s so small and fiddly that you’ll spend most of your time trying to perfect the focus, rather than watching your film.

P1 Pico Projector inputs

You’ll find most of the I/O on the right edge. This comprises a full-size HDMI port, USB type-A, TF card slot, and Mini-USB (for charging). You’ll find the on/off switch here, and tucked away on the rear edge is the headphone jack.

P1 Pico Projector headphone jack

Dual stereo speakers deliver average sound quality. It’s ok, but nothing special.

On the top, you’ll find a series of buttons to navigate the menus. These closely mimic the included remote control, but neither of these control methods are perfect.

By using the buttons on the projector itself, you risk adjusting the position of the projector. This throws out the focus, so you’ll need to adjust it again. The remote control doesn’t actually work! Even with several sets of new batteries, and a lot of tinkering.

P1 Pico Projector buttons

We couldn’t get this to work—and we’re not alone. A quick Google search reveals several other users who have experienced a similar issue.

P1 Pico Projector controller

The DLP sensor and LED lamp are able to output 100 ANSI lumens, which is more than many similar pico projectors. The bulb lasts 30,000 hours and operates at a native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. This is a pretty appalling resolution, but it is able to display a 1080p signal. It’s worth noting that this is no worse than any other pico projector.

As this output is rated in ANSI lumens, it’s considerably brighter than many competitors. By using ANSI lumens as a unit of measurement, projectors have to follow a specific set of rules and guidelines. Any projector that doesn’t use ANSI lumens may as well make up the brightness figures.

P1 Pico Projector tripod

You’ll be able to see this projector inside a dimly lit room. You won’t need to close the curtains and turn off all the lights, but you will struggle with any bright light source such as the midday sun streaming in. You can achieve a maximum screen size of 120 inches, but you really will need a darkened room to be able to see anything. As the screen size gets larger, the brightness reduces.

The contrast ratio of 2000:1 helps to make the images look great.

A loud fan keeps the internals cool, but this isn’t so loud as to be a distraction unless you’re sitting close to the projector and using internal speakers.

In the box, you’ll find the projector alongside a USB cable and charger, mini tripod, remote control, and quick start manuals.

P1 Pico Projector tripod

This mini tripod is a bit rubbish. It’s more substantial than that found in the AAXA P2-B projector, but it’s really not up to the task required. It can support the projector at a low angle, but it’s just not strong enough the hold the projector any higher than one to two inches.

P1 Pico Projector underside

Fortunately, the bottom of the projector contains a small flip-out stand, which angles the front of the projector up. This flips out the way to sit flush against the body when not in use. This works well and almost makes up for the terrible tripod.

By connecting to the projector’s Wi-Fi network, it’s possible to play content or mirror your mobile device. This is a great feature and supports AirPlay, DLNA (does anyone still use that?), or Miracast. There’s no support for Chromecast. You won’t be able to play back protected content from the likes of Netflix or Hulu, however.

Pico Mini Portable Projector, Haidiscool Pocket LED Mobile DLP Video Projector with HDMI/USB/SD for iPhone Android Smartphone Laptop PC, Home Cinema Entertainment, Outdoor Movie, Gaming - Black Pico Mini Portable Projector, Haidiscool Pocket LED Mobile DLP Video Projector with HDMI/USB/SD for iPhone Android Smartphone Laptop PC, Home Cinema Entertainment, Outdoor Movie, Gaming - Black Buy Now At Amazon $248.99

Image Quality

P1 Pico projector film

The image quality is surprising. It’s much better than it has any right to be, especially given the design problems highlighted above.

P1 Pico projector spiderman

Colors look excellent, due in part to the DLP sensor. Even projecting onto a plain white wall the colors look vibrant and lush.

P1 Pico projector fortnite

Watching movies is great fun—providing you sit far enough away so that you don’t notice the low resolution.

Video games also look great, but not quite as good as movies. Here’s where the lack of sharpness causes a problem. With films produced with super-high quality cameras, you can notice the details. That’s not to say that games look bad, just that films look so much better on this projector.

P1 Pico projector film

The basic menu interface looks nice. It works well to accomplish the basics but still looks a bit dated. The choice of colors and font may contribute here.

P1 Pico projector menu

Is It Worth It?

Pico Mini Portable Projector, Haidiscool Pocket LED Mobile DLP Video Projector with HDMI/USB/SD for iPhone Android Smartphone Laptop PC, Home Cinema Entertainment, Outdoor Movie, Gaming - Black Pico Mini Portable Projector, Haidiscool Pocket LED Mobile DLP Video Projector with HDMI/USB/SD for iPhone Android Smartphone Laptop PC, Home Cinema Entertainment, Outdoor Movie, Gaming - Black Buy Now At Amazon $248.99

It’s tough to recommend the P1 Mini projector. While it has some neat features and can reproduce a reasonable image, it suffers the same fate that afflicts many pico projectors. It’s not terribly bright, and it’s very fiddly to use, with some badly thought out features.

That said, if you need a battery powered projector for watching movies on the go, the P1 is about as good as everything else. Although if you can afford it, we’d really recommend the Nebula Capsule. Overall, it’s so much better than the P1.

P1 Pico Projector buttons

If you’d like to win a P1 Mini projector for yourself, then all you have to do is enter our giveaway contest. Don’t forget to follow the instructions to gain some extra entries!

Enter the Competition!

P1 Mini Projector Giveaway

Read the full article: Small in Size, Big on Features: P1 Mini Projector Review (and Giveaway)

How to Connect an Android Phone to a TV: 7 Methods That Work (Not Just HDMI)

Your Android display probably isn’t that big. Even if you’re using a phablet-sized device, the display will be around seven inches at most. Meanwhile, the TV on your wall is 30 inches or bigger. So how do you connect your phone or tablet to your TV for the ultimate big-screen Android experience? Why Connect Your Android Phone to Your TV? One reason is for gaming. On the big screen, mobile gaming suddenly becomes a public pastime rather than a private one—you might even stop using your game console. The possibilities are here are considerable. You might find it such a…

Read the full article: How to Connect an Android Phone to a TV: 7 Methods That Work (Not Just HDMI)

Your Android display probably isn’t that big. Even if you’re using a phablet-sized device, the display will be around seven inches at most.

Meanwhile, the TV on your wall is 30 inches or bigger. So how do you connect your phone or tablet to your TV for the ultimate big-screen Android experience?

Why Connect Your Android Phone to Your TV?

One reason is for gaming. On the big screen, mobile gaming suddenly becomes a public pastime rather than a private one—you might even stop using your game console.

The possibilities are here are considerable. You might find it such a good experience that you won’t want to play Android games without your TV. Connect a controller to your device for the best results.

Meanwhile, your photo and video collection might also prove perfect material for sharing, while presentation software can take advantage of an HDMI link to your display. You might even want to use an HDMI connection to your TV for productivity purposes.

So just how do you connect your Android device to your HDMI TV?

1. Google Chromecast

Probably the most obvious method is via the popular Google Chromecast Ultra. This is essentially a tool for streaming media—or your phone’s display—directly to a TV. The Chromecast has an HDMI connector and a USB power cable (most TVs have a USB port that provides enough energy to power the device). Once paired with your Android device, it’s ready to use.

All you need to do is use the Cast command in Android’s pull-down Quick Settings menu, or find the icon in your favorite apps. For instance, the mobile Chrome app has a Cast option.

For full details on setting up Chromecast and streaming the content to your TV—or mirroring your games—see our comprehensive Chromecast setup guide.

2. Mirror Your Screen With an Amazon Fire Stick

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Another way to wirelessly mirror your Android device display is using an Amazon Fire Stick. The idea here is similar to using Chromecast: you link the two devices together and “cast” the home screen to a TV. You’ll then be able to view content, apps, games, and any streaming media on your TV.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of Amazon’s best sellers, and a far more flexible media center option than the Google Chromecast Ultra. See our guide to setting up the Amazon Fire TV Stick for more information.

3. Miracast Dongle

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Miracast, a wireless HDMI system, comes built into many modern TVs. Even if your TV doesn’t have Miracast compatibility, you might find that your Blu-ray player or media center does. Failing that, you can connect an inexpensive Miracast dongle to your TV’s HDMI port.

To connect to a Miracast device with a device running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or newer, open Settings > Device connection > Screen mirroring and follow the steps there. For older devices, use Settings > Display > Cast Screen, open the menu, and check Enable wireless display.

4. USB to HDMI

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In recent years, support has improved for USB to HDMI. For this, you will need a converter to convert signals from the USB connector (usually micro-USB, or perhaps a USB type-C connector) to the HDMI cable and display the output on your chosen TV or monitor. You can buy a suitable USB to HDMI converter on Amazon.

Compatibility for the converters differs across devices. Samsung phones and tablets work with them, as do some HTC and Motorola devices, but others may not. Don’t simply go out and buy a generic adapter. Instead, search Google for “USB HDMI adapter for [Your Device]” and see what comes up. Often the first result will take you to an Amazon page for the piece of equipment you need.

Two types are available:

  • MHL: This stands for Mobile High-Definition Link and offers HD video and eight channel surround sound. It was dfunded in 2010 and currently offers the superMHL specification. Devices are available with both micro-USB and USB Type-C.
  • Slimport: Has low power requirements, meaning that you canconnect your phone to your TV without draining the battery. Unless you’re playing a game with heavy graphic requirements, of course! Fortunately, many Slimport cables feature a micro-USB port for connecting your charger cable.

Note that other AV adapter types are available. If you don’t have an HDMI TV, you might opt for a VGA-compatible Slimport cable instead.

5. Connect Your Phone as a Storage Device

Another way to connect your Android phone to your TV is as a USB storage device. While this is no good for screen sharing, it will nevertheless let you view photos and video on your TV.

So while you can’t stream video from your favorite sports app to the TV, you’ll still be able to share your holiday videos. Just make sure the USB port on your TV (or other media device) is for public use, as some are limited for engineer use. The TV’s remote control should also have some media control options so you can find the files you want to view on your phone.

Check our guide to connecting your phone to your TV via USB for more information.

6. Stream to TV Over Your Network With DLNA

Various devices, from TVs and Blu-ray players to set-top boxes and consoles, support Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) guidelines. This means that with the right app installed on your Android device, you can stream media directly to your TV.

DLNA is widely used, and built into most devices, so you don’t need any additional hardware for this. What you will need, however, is an app like BubbleUPnP, or perhaps AllConnect. You should also consider Plex for Android.

7. HDMI Connector on Older Phones

Some older phones have HDMI ports

A few years ago, several Android phones and tablets shipped with a physical HDMI-out port. These devices included the Sony Xperia S, LG Optimus 2x, LG Optimus 3D P920 (pictured), Acer Iconia A1, and others.

(You can find an almost-comprehensive list of devices with HDMI ports at GSMArena.)

Should you have one of these older devices, you’ll need a special HDMI cable. These have a standard Type-A connector at one end and a suitable connector at the other. This might be Type D (micro-HDMI), Type-C (mini HDMI), or the standard Type-A.

The problem with these phones, however, is the age. You won’t be able to enjoy the latest versions of Android with older hardware, and by extension, the safety and stability of security updates.

However, if you can get hold of one, you could install Kodi to make a compact media center!

Go On, Connect Android to Your TV!

With the right hardware, you can enjoy the high quality output of your Android phone or tablet on your HDTV. Whether gaming, looking at photos, or enjoying music, the possibilities are intriguing.

You might, for instance, run Plex or Kodi for Android on your phone or tablet. Your once-personal portable media center (which might have had some LAN broadcast possibilities) is now a full-fledged media center, capable of displaying movies and TV shows on your family TV for everyone to enjoy.

With HDMI compatibility so affordable, it seems a waste to ignore this feature. For more like this, check the best Chromecast games to try on your TV.

Read the full article: How to Connect an Android Phone to a TV: 7 Methods That Work (Not Just HDMI)

What Is Miracast? How to Use Miracast for Wireless Media Streaming

watch-free-live-tv

If you want to project (or “cast”) your computer screen to a TV, second monitor, or projector, an HDMI (or alternative) cable has been the go-to choice for the past decade. But times are changing. HDMI technology was designed in 2002. It quickly grew in popularity, with five million compliant devices sold in 2004, 17.4 million in 2005, and 63 million in 2006. There are now more than 3.5 billion HDMI devices in the world. But now we have Miracast technology, which blows HDMI away in usability and convenience—at least on paper. But is it enough to dethrone HDMI’s reign?…

Read the full article: What Is Miracast? How to Use Miracast for Wireless Media Streaming

watch-free-live-tv

If you want to project (or “cast”) your computer screen to a TV, second monitor, or projector, an HDMI (or alternative) cable has been the go-to choice for the past decade. But times are changing.

HDMI technology was designed in 2002. It quickly grew in popularity, with five million compliant devices sold in 2004, 17.4 million in 2005, and 63 million in 2006. There are now more than 3.5 billion HDMI devices in the world.

But now we have Miracast technology, which blows HDMI away in usability and convenience—at least on paper. But is it enough to dethrone HDMI’s reign?

What Is Miracast?

The Wi-Fi Alliance launched Miracast technology in 2012. It has since been dubbed as “HDMI over Wi-Fi”—which isn’t technically true, but it gets the idea across.

At its core, it removes the need for ugly and cumbersome HDMI cables by letting compatible devices find each other, connect to each other, and mirror their respective screens wirelessly. It’s become an industry-wide standard that Microsoft, Google, Roku, Amazon, and a host of other tech media giants have all adopted.

Miracast is not the same technology employed by Google’s Chromecast or Apple’s AirPlay. In fact, many observers consider Miracast a direct response to the Apple’s proprietary system.

How Does Miracast Work?

The technology uses Wi-Fi Direct, a protocol standard that enables two devices to form a direct, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection. This connection allows them to connect to each other without the need for a wireless router as a middleman.

In practice, this means that it doesn’t rely on your home network. Think of it like Bluetooth, another type of device-to-device wireless connection that doesn’t need Wi-Fi. Miracast devices create their own “network” and freely pass data back and forth. The connection forms via WPS and is secured with WPA2.

Media-wise, Miracast makes use of the H.264 codec, can display 1080p video resolution, and produces 5.1 surround sound audio. It also benefits from a DRM layer, meaning any Miracast device can mirror copyright-protected content—like DVDs and music—without any hassle.

Why Should I Use Miracast?

The most significant benefit to Miracast is its widespread adoption across many different types of devices. Even though most people have never heard of Miracast, the good news is that it’s actually quite common.

As long ago as October 2012, Google announced that Android version 4.2 and newer would support the Miracast protocol. Windows added Miracast functionality with the release of Windows 8.1 in 2013, and Blackberry, Roku, Amazon Fire, and the newest Linux distros quickly followed suit. The notable exception is Apple.

roku-screen-miracast

Most new smart TVs also have Miracast built in. Even if yours doesn’t, don’t worry—you can easily buy a Microsoft Miracast Receiver on Amazon. If that price is too expensive, you can search for third-party alternatives that sell for as little as $20.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Buy Now At Amazon $42.23

To check whether your device is Miracast-compatible, you can check the Wi-Fi Alliance’s website. It keeps an updated list of all Miracast-enabled devices, with the total number now pushing towards 10,000.

It’s important to know that not all Miracast devices carry the Miracast brand name. For example, if you’ve ever used LG’s SmartShare, Samsung’s AllShare Cast, Sony’s Screen Mirroring, or Panasonic’s Display Mirroring, then you’ve used Miracast.

Other major benefits of Miracast include:

  • No Wi-Fi needed: You can stream to another device even if you’re miles away from a router (e.g. when you’re traveling or working in the field).
  • No cables: No more rooting around behind a dusty TV trying to find ports.
  • Ease of use: The two devices will automatically find each other with hardly any user input. Imagine being able to walk into a hotel and cast Netflix from your tablet onto your room’s TV immediately.

Can Miracast Really Replace HDMI?

What makes HDMI vulnerable to usurping? As it turns out, HDMI has a handful of disadvantages that make it pretty inconvenient at times.

Distance: Your computer can only be as far away from a TV or second monitor as the HDMI cable allows. This isn’t much of a problem for home users. However, if you’re in the office and want to connect to a screen for a conference or presentation, it’s annoying.

Sure, longer cables are available, but they’re harder to keep neat, require more storage space, and cost more.

On-screen issues: It’s not uncommon for the HDMI output to be blank, which is a problem caused by authentication errors. The same authentication issues can lead to screen flickering and lag, all of which are frustrating if you’re watching a movie or giving a presentation.

Compatibility: Tablets, smartphones, and some smaller laptops do not have HDMI ports. It means that if your content is locally saved on one of those devices, you won’t be able to mirror it on a larger screen. HDMI worked well in the era before we became hyper-mobile, but it’s starting to look dated.

What Are Miracast’s Downsides?

Despite the growth and flexibility of Miracast, it would be foolish to pretend that it’s perfect. It too has some limitations and drawbacks.

Chief among them is the level of competition. As we discussed earlier, Apple uses its own version of Miracast called AirPlay, while Google’s latest Chromecast dongles do not support the technology either. In fact, many critics believe that both AirPlay and Chromecast are “smarter” thanks to their ability to multi-task.

Whereas Miracast will display what’s on your screen and nothing else, both AirPlay and Chromecast allow users to cast a video in the background while still performing other tasks in the foreground.

Secondly, Miracast still significantly trails HDMI in public uptake. Even though 10,000 supported devices sounds like a lot, it’s way behind the 3.5 billion HDMI devices in use.

At this stage, you couldn’t feasibly go to a meeting or conference and expect the equipment there to be Miracast compatible. You’d still have to take an HDMI cable with you. Ultimately, HDMI is so ubiquitous that it will take a long time to phase out completely.

Lastly, it is important to remember that this is still a new and developing technology and can, therefore, be buggy on occasion. I can speak from experience here. My Windows 10 computer will only pair with my Roku stick about 75 percent of the time—the other 25 percent I find myself reaching for the HDMI cable.

Miracast’s Future Is Looking Good

On the one hand, Miracast is not ready to displace HDMI right at the moment. The lower number of supported devices, buggy connections, and lack of universal compatibility make it too unreliable for consistent use in the wider world until adoption rates improve.

However, can it eventually replace HDMI in the future? Absolutely. The bugs will be ironed out, more devices will come online, and more users will demand a mobile-friendly solution (hopefully forcing the likes of Apple and Google to bite the bullet).

So if you can, give Miracast a try. And if you’d like to learn more before taking the plunge, check out how to project Windows 10 to your TV using Miracast and how to cast Android to Windows using Miracast.

Read the full article: What Is Miracast? How to Use Miracast for Wireless Media Streaming

What Is Miracast? How to Use Miracast for Wireless Media Streaming

watch-free-live-tv

If you want to project (or “cast”) your computer screen to a TV, second monitor, or projector, an HDMI (or alternative) cable has been the go-to choice for the past decade. But times are changing. HDMI technology was designed in 2002. It quickly grew in popularity, with five million compliant devices sold in 2004, 17.4 million in 2005, and 63 million in 2006. There are now more than 3.5 billion HDMI devices in the world. But now we have Miracast technology, which blows HDMI away in usability and convenience—at least on paper. But is it enough to dethrone HDMI’s reign?…

Read the full article: What Is Miracast? How to Use Miracast for Wireless Media Streaming

watch-free-live-tv

If you want to project (or “cast”) your computer screen to a TV, second monitor, or projector, an HDMI (or alternative) cable has been the go-to choice for the past decade. But times are changing.

HDMI technology was designed in 2002. It quickly grew in popularity, with five million compliant devices sold in 2004, 17.4 million in 2005, and 63 million in 2006. There are now more than 3.5 billion HDMI devices in the world.

But now we have Miracast technology, which blows HDMI away in usability and convenience—at least on paper. But is it enough to dethrone HDMI’s reign?

What Is Miracast?

The Wi-Fi Alliance launched Miracast technology in 2012. It has since been dubbed as “HDMI over Wi-Fi”—which isn’t technically true, but it gets the idea across.

At its core, it removes the need for ugly and cumbersome HDMI cables by letting compatible devices find each other, connect to each other, and mirror their respective screens wirelessly. It’s become an industry-wide standard that Microsoft, Google, Roku, Amazon, and a host of other tech media giants have all adopted.

Miracast is not the same technology employed by Google’s Chromecast or Apple’s AirPlay. In fact, many observers consider Miracast a direct response to the Apple’s proprietary system.

How Does Miracast Work?

The technology uses Wi-Fi Direct, a protocol standard that enables two devices to form a direct, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection. This connection allows them to connect to each other without the need for a wireless router as a middleman.

In practice, this means that it doesn’t rely on your home network. Think of it like Bluetooth, another type of device-to-device wireless connection that doesn’t need Wi-Fi. Miracast devices create their own “network” and freely pass data back and forth. The connection forms via WPS and is secured with WPA2.

Media-wise, Miracast makes use of the H.264 codec, can display 1080p video resolution, and produces 5.1 surround sound audio. It also benefits from a DRM layer, meaning any Miracast device can mirror copyright-protected content—like DVDs and music—without any hassle.

Why Should I Use Miracast?

The most significant benefit to Miracast is its widespread adoption across many different types of devices. Even though most people have never heard of Miracast, the good news is that it’s actually quite common.

As long ago as October 2012, Google announced that Android version 4.2 and newer would support the Miracast protocol. Windows added Miracast functionality with the release of Windows 8.1 in 2013, and Blackberry, Roku, Amazon Fire, and the newest Linux distros quickly followed suit. The notable exception is Apple.

roku-screen-miracast

Most new smart TVs also have Miracast built in. Even if yours doesn’t, don’t worry—you can easily buy a Microsoft Miracast Receiver on Amazon. If that price is too expensive, you can search for third-party alternatives that sell for as little as $20.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Buy Now At Amazon $42.23

To check whether your device is Miracast-compatible, you can check the Wi-Fi Alliance’s website. It keeps an updated list of all Miracast-enabled devices, with the total number now pushing towards 10,000.

It’s important to know that not all Miracast devices carry the Miracast brand name. For example, if you’ve ever used LG’s SmartShare, Samsung’s AllShare Cast, Sony’s Screen Mirroring, or Panasonic’s Display Mirroring, then you’ve used Miracast.

Other major benefits of Miracast include:

  • No Wi-Fi needed: You can stream to another device even if you’re miles away from a router (e.g. when you’re traveling or working in the field).
  • No cables: No more rooting around behind a dusty TV trying to find ports.
  • Ease of use: The two devices will automatically find each other with hardly any user input. Imagine being able to walk into a hotel and cast Netflix from your tablet onto your room’s TV immediately.

Can Miracast Really Replace HDMI?

What makes HDMI vulnerable to usurping? As it turns out, HDMI has a handful of disadvantages that make it pretty inconvenient at times.

Distance: Your computer can only be as far away from a TV or second monitor as the HDMI cable allows. This isn’t much of a problem for home users. However, if you’re in the office and want to connect to a screen for a conference or presentation, it’s annoying.

Sure, longer cables are available, but they’re harder to keep neat, require more storage space, and cost more.

On-screen issues: It’s not uncommon for the HDMI output to be blank, which is a problem caused by authentication errors. The same authentication issues can lead to screen flickering and lag, all of which are frustrating if you’re watching a movie or giving a presentation.

Compatibility: Tablets, smartphones, and some smaller laptops do not have HDMI ports. It means that if your content is locally saved on one of those devices, you won’t be able to mirror it on a larger screen. HDMI worked well in the era before we became hyper-mobile, but it’s starting to look dated.

What Are Miracast’s Downsides?

Despite the growth and flexibility of Miracast, it would be foolish to pretend that it’s perfect. It too has some limitations and drawbacks.

Chief among them is the level of competition. As we discussed earlier, Apple uses its own version of Miracast called AirPlay, while Google’s latest Chromecast dongles do not support the technology either. In fact, many critics believe that both AirPlay and Chromecast are “smarter” thanks to their ability to multi-task.

Whereas Miracast will display what’s on your screen and nothing else, both AirPlay and Chromecast allow users to cast a video in the background while still performing other tasks in the foreground.

Secondly, Miracast still significantly trails HDMI in public uptake. Even though 10,000 supported devices sounds like a lot, it’s way behind the 3.5 billion HDMI devices in use.

At this stage, you couldn’t feasibly go to a meeting or conference and expect the equipment there to be Miracast compatible. You’d still have to take an HDMI cable with you. Ultimately, HDMI is so ubiquitous that it will take a long time to phase out completely.

Lastly, it is important to remember that this is still a new and developing technology and can, therefore, be buggy on occasion. I can speak from experience here. My Windows 10 computer will only pair with my Roku stick about 75 percent of the time—the other 25 percent I find myself reaching for the HDMI cable.

Miracast’s Future Is Looking Good

On the one hand, Miracast is not ready to displace HDMI right at the moment. The lower number of supported devices, buggy connections, and lack of universal compatibility make it too unreliable for consistent use in the wider world until adoption rates improve.

However, can it eventually replace HDMI in the future? Absolutely. The bugs will be ironed out, more devices will come online, and more users will demand a mobile-friendly solution (hopefully forcing the likes of Apple and Google to bite the bullet).

So if you can, give Miracast a try. And if you’d like to learn more before taking the plunge, check out how to project Windows 10 to your TV using Miracast and how to cast Android to Windows using Miracast.

Read the full article: What Is Miracast? How to Use Miracast for Wireless Media Streaming