Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter (image 004)

Although dated last week, it’s relevant so I thought I should share it with you guys. Windows maker Microsoft has introduced an interesting dongle which connects to an external display, projector, monitor or other HDMI-driven display device so you can stream content wirelessly from your phone, tablet or PC.

Much like Apple’s AirPlay technology and the $99 Apple TV media-streaming box, Microsoft’s $60 HDMI dongle makes it easy to enjoy games and media on your big screen HD TV, no cables needed.

The $59.99 accessory goes on sale next month at Best Buy locations in the U. S.

If I may opine, Microsoft really needs to hire some creative branding people because the Wireless Display Adapter doesn’t sound like an exciting moniker. Besides, with that price tag (Chromecast is just $35, for instance) the accessory is in the need of a catchy name if the Windows maker is to convince people they need it in their multi-screened lives.

And this is what it looks like.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter (image 001)

After plugging the USB and HDMI from the device into your HDTV or monitor, you’ll be able to mirror or extend your screen.

Botha a blessing and a curse, the Wireless Display Adapter runs on the Miracast protocol meaning your smartphone, tablet or PC must support the protocol. Many Windows PCs and tablets running Windows 8.1 support Miracast, but not Macs.

This Microsoft support document takes you through the process of projecting to a wireless display with Miracast in Windows 8.1 step by step. And, this one explains how to project to a wireless display with Windows Phone 8.1.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter (image 003)

For those unaware, Miracast is a peer-to-peer wireless screencasting standard formed via Wi-Fi Direct connections in a manner similar to Bluetooth.

This means that the Wireless Display Adapter does not require a Wi-Fi hotspot to work as it establishes a direct (Wi-Fi Direct) connection with your desktop or mobile device.

Check out Microsoft’s promotional video below showing the dongle in action.

Miracast just works across a whole bunch of different apps and services. Another benefit: it doesn’t require debs to use special APIs to implement the protocol.

As Microsoft explains, because the Wireless Display Adapter uses Miracast technology, “you’re not limited to certain apps or content streaming” and can “display everything from your device”.

To pre-order your Wireless Display Adapter, hop over to the Online Microsoft Store or check out the Microsoft Hardware website.

[Windows Blog]

  • The name is kinda long

    • Dani Hayes

      Well that’s because “Furry Balls Plopped Menacingly On The Table, Inc.” was already taken.

      • Wilber Alexander Flores

        Right 🙂

      • Domi

        Boner Forest, Inc.

      • You must be fun at parties

      • Dani Hayes

        Compared to people like you, I’m a riot.

  • Gate

    It looks so… Microsoft-y 😐

  • Chetan

    Wish apple makes something this small and LAG-FREE..

    • Dan

      I agree, I got an Apple TV a while ago to mirror games to my TV from my iPad air and iPhone 5S. There was significant lag (or delay, made using a controller really wonky) so I returned it (tried it out with oceanhorn and GTA san andreas).

      • James Gunaca

        I’ve been curious about what causes the lag:

        -Processing power of the iPhone/iPad?
        -Processing power of the Apple TV?
        -Wi-fi strength?

        It seems like this AirPlay mirroring was touted as an awesome feature that would bring console-like gaming to the big screen from an iOS device but even with the latest hardware the experience is still somewhat laggy. I haven’t tried with my iPhone 6 yet, but I recall my iPhone 5s being laggy.

        Perhaps with the 6, 802.11ac and the 3rd Gen Apple TV connected via Ethernet would give me optimal use case to get to the answer. It may just be the Apple TV but that doesn’t seem to be the case since it’s just rendering the A/V signal.

      • Completely agree. I have an Apple TV 3 connected via Ethernet to an AirPort Extreme (technically it’s connected to a switch which is connected to an AirPort Extreme) and “It just works”. There’s no lag at all.

      • James Gunaca

        Ok, so you think it’s the Wi-fi? Is this only when doing supported AirPlay usage, or by enabling the “Mirroring” feature?

        I found that Mirroring is where the lag got the worse as the device was rending for the phone plus sending the rendered signal to the Apple TV. Real Racing 3 is a good example; esp. since RR2 had native AirPlay support.

      • Chindavon

        I’ve heard that for some odd reason, connecting it through AirPort Extreme fixes all the lag issues.

      • AirPlay should work fine with any router. If I were to speculate why it works so well with the AirPort Extreme though I’d assume Apple prioritises / optimises AirPlay traffic. If they don’t do any enhancements though, then it works so well just because the AirPort Extreme is such an amazing router. In my house if something goes wrong with my Internet connection it’s usually my modem that needs a reboot. The AirPort Extreme can go for months though and never need a reboot…

      • I would say that wifi is most definitely the problem especially if you’re using a crappy router provided by your ISP. Buy yourself a decent 802.11n router (or 802.11ac if you want to get the best performance out of newer devices) and AirPlay performance will be fine. I just tested Asphalt 8 on my iPad 3 running iOS 8.0.1. It might be one of the oldest iPads around but she’s a workhorse and AirPlays with zero lag.

      • Dan

        Don’t think it’s the wifi, I tried the wired connection and it was the same thing

  • sharmanhall

    lol at the chromecast ad following the article

  • JasonL1C4

    For just streaming, chromecast is the best

    • Except, last time I checked, that goes through an internet connection and doesn’t mirror your entire display…has that been changed?

  • Anonomous.TECH.man

    Pretty cool looking but bad naming.

  • mahe

    This is perfect if you travel much, I need this!

  • Chris

    Got the cromecast and what a pile of **** it does less than a hdmi cable to laptop really pointless to me that is Apple TV is A++++ but would like to be a little unlocked. Fingers crossed Microsoft comes up top trumps

    • Domi

      Do you even english?!

      • Chris

        No

  • Dao Sasone

    Wifi direct is really convenient

  • I was looking to gain this same functionality, and more (possibly transform any TV into a Smart TV), with one of them $85 mini Android PC sticks…anyone have any comment on the Miracast support?

  • Danial

    why no ios support ??

    • ‘Cause Apple is too ego-proud to support a standard like Miracast…it’ll cut down on their sales of AirPlay hardware like the Apple TV.

      • Danial

        but Chromecast support ios (kinda)

      • That’s on a per content basis. Miracast wirelessly displays the device’s entire screen on another screen, regardless of the content, like Apple’s Air Play.

      • Danial

        I get now yea that really sucks! damn you apple its not gonna be like this forever .
        maybe not my phone but differently going for an android tablet maybe the next nexus tablet