Screen Casting

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Screen "Casting"

by Michael Gariffo

Docid: 00021058

Publication Date: 2102

Report Type: TUTORIAL


As the number of screens in the average user’s daily life continues to
expand, the ability to output information from a variety of devices to
multiple displays is becoming increasingly more important. This is as
true for the business user, who may need to present a slideshow on the
boardroom’s projector, as it is for the home user, who may want to play
a funny YouTube video on their big-screen TV. The
ability to transmit, or "cast," audio and video output is an incredibly
useful tool in these situations, replacing complicated wired setups with
simple apps, platforms, and one-touch connections. This report will
examine how this technology works, the leading providers of casting
apps, hardware, and platforms, and the benefits and limitations of the

Report Contents:

Apple Company
Google Company Profile

How Screen Casting Works

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At its simplest level, screen casting is used when the audio and video output
from one device needs to be displayed and heard via another device. The primary
use for this technology is to enlarge the available screen real estate or to
improve the available audio quality of the output devices. Specific applications
should be obvious for both business and home use, particularly in a world where
users’ mobile devices are becoming an ever-more important part of their workflow
and entertainment. For example, business users have long required a way to
project or display the information from their laptops or tablets to a larger
screen for events like PowerPoint presentations, demonstration videos, and other
media presentations at large gatherings. Traditionally, this could require the
user to connect their laptop to a projector or large display via a video and/or
audio cable. Unfortunately, this requirement could often result in
less-than-smooth presentations due to issues like the connected laptop lacking
the necessary ports, the provided cables being too short, or the simple lack of
technical knowledge from the presenter on how to set up such a connection. In a
similar vein, the home user that began watching their favorite show on the train
home may want to continue viewing it when they return to their house. However,
since they have a very nice big-screen TV in front of them, it would be silly to
continue watching it on the 6-inch display of their smartphone. They
could use the built-in apps provided by their TV, consoles, or streaming
devices. However, they already have the show loaded at the exact spot they left
off on their smartphone, meaning re-locating the specific title, as well as their position in the video would
just add several extra steps between them and their viewing pleasure. Screen
casting has the potential to alleviate both of these example issues with the
simple, straightforward ability to transfer what is displayed on one screen (in
this case, a laptop or smartphone) to a second screen (an office projector or
home television).

While there are many platforms and hardware solutions that allow screen
casting, several of which will be covered in more depth later in this report,
just about all of the leading platforms function in very similar ways. The
source device – typically a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop – first loads
or pre-loads the video or audio content slated for casting. The user then taps a
button or icon within either the streaming media app, or within the browser/operating
being used to play the media on the source device. This initiates a connection
with the final output device, typically via Wi-Fi. The transmission may be
directed at a display or speaker itself, if the necessary hardware is built in,
or at a physical peripheral, typically a smaller HDMI-enabled dongle or set-top
box. Once established, this Wi-Fi connection is then used to stream the media
either over the Internet, or from the source device itself,
depending on where the media originated and what app is being used to cast it.
The result is that the video or audio is displayed or played via the final
output device as if the video or audio source were hard-wired to it via
traditional means.

Digging slightly deeper into the ways in which media can be provided to a
casting device requires examining how the video or audio being cast gets to the
final output device. In the first scenario, the user’s source device is also the
origination point of the media being cast. This would apply in cases such as a
smartphone video that the users captured themselves, a presentation stored on the
user’s own laptop, or any other locally stored and streamed media. During these
casting sessions, the origination device serves the same function as a
streaming media server, delivering the media via Wi-Fi to the output device in
the same fashion as a streaming media server would deliver its payload via the
Internet. On the opposite side of the coin is the second type of streaming
setup, in which the user’s source device only serves to initiate a connection
between the final output device and a Web-based or cloud-based media source.
This generally applies to scenarios in which the user is playing video or audio
via a third-party application, such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, or other similar
services. These providers have built protocols into their applications which
allow a sort of digital handoff to occur. Once the media is cast to the final
output hardware, that hardware – whether its a dongle, TV, set-top box, or
something else – then directly connects to the service’s servers via the Web.
Rather than having the media piped through the user’s laptop or smartphone, it
is streamed from the Internet with no intermediary device. This second
scenario simplifies the requirements for streaming, and removes additional
potential for latency and lag in the streaming signal. However, it requires that
the app and service being used, as well as the final output hardware, all
support such a hand-off style of casting. Several casting platforms support both
varieties of connection, with Google’s Chromecast platform offering the widest
range of services that have specifically built a hand-off ability into their

Leading Screen Casting Providers

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This section will examine the leading platforms at the time of writing, with
a brief look at the history and current state of each. Although there will be
alternatives that will not be covered here, the options listed account for the
vast majority of all casting platforms, hardware, and apps actually being used
by a significant number of customers.

Google Chromecast

Figure 1. Google’s Third Generation Chromecast and
Chromecast Ultra

Figure 1. Google's Third Generation Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra\

Source: Google

While Google’s Chromecast platform is almost certainly the most well-known of
the screen casting options available today, it was preceded by other options,
including The Wi-Fi Alliance’s Miracast protocol. Nonetheless, Chromecast has
come to dominate and define the screen casting category thanks to its simple
setup, bargain bin pricing, and the brand recognition of Google.


Google debuted the first Chromecast dongle in July 2013. The diminutive unit
resembled something like a large USB drive, but was tipped with an HDMI
connecter designed to be plugged directly into the back of a television or other
display to provide video output at up to 1080p HD resolution, depending on
Wi-Fi signal strength. Power could be supplied to the unit through either a wall
adapter, or via the USB port already built into many televisions. This meant
that most TV owners could add a nearly wireless media streaming device to their
sets for the original purchase price of $35. Given the fact that contemporary
version of the Apple TV and similar Roku streaming boxes were still going for
$100 or more, this seemed too good to be true to many consumers. However, there
was a major difference between those other set-top streaming devices and the
Chromecast: their user interfaces. Where the Apple TV and Roku boxes used an
on-screen interface that relied on remote control inputs, the Chromecast had
almost no direct user interactivity whatsoever, and did not come with a remote
control. Instead, users were able to choose what played on their
Chromecast-connected displays by loading up the video or music of their choice
on their smartphone, PC, or tablet and simply tap the "Cast" button within a
compatible mobile app or the Chrome desktop browser. This would prompt them to
choose which of their registered Chromecast devices they would like the audio or
visual output to be routed to, and immediately have their video or audio file
begin playing on the television, monitor, or projector of their choice. The
subsequent playback controls were handled via the smartphone or computer on
which the casting was initiated, as was switching to any subsequent media. As
mentioned earlier in the report, the Chromecast dongle could also connect
directly to many video sources, allowing the user to perform other tasks on
their smartphone, tablet, or PC, without any worries over interrupting their
media playback. The barebones, ultra-simple method of delivering video and audio
content struck a chord with reviewers and the public alike, with the initial run
of Chromecast devices selling out from just about every outlet that carried it
within days.1

Building on the success of the original Chromecast, Google released its
second generation of the device. Still dubbed simply Chromecast, the unit featured a revamped design with a newly circular main body
equipped with a more flexible, but short, HDMI cable. This was a boon to customers
that were forced to use HDMI ports with limited accessibility that would
otherwise have required right-angle adapters or extension cables for the first
generation Chromecast to fit. Aside from its physical changes, relatively little
was different about the Chromecast device, although it was generally thought to
be somewhat more responsive than its predecessor, and some reviewers reported
improved performance and reliability.

In addition to the original Chromecast, Google also released the Chromecast
Audio. This unit was similar in size and shape to the second generation
Chromecast, but featured a vinyl record-like design and multiple
audio output ports in place of an HDMI cable. The idea behind it was that any
stereo, TV, speakers, or anything else that could accept 3.5mm, optical, or RCA
audio input could be turned into a wireless music and audio player. Unlike
Bluetooth-based options , the Chromecast Audio relied on Wi-Fi, like its visual
cousin, to provide high-quality audio output from a variety of apps and the
Chrome browser. Utilizing Wi-Fi also eliminated the need for pairing and
extended the range of connected devices to essentially the user’s entire
household, not just the 30 feet at which many Bluetooth connections begin to

Current Iterations

Google’s latest update to the Chromecast
family is its third generation device, seen above. This unit includes several
under-the-hood updates to improve Wi-Fi connectivity, update available wireless
connection protocols, and enhance responsiveness with a newer CPU and other
hardware updates. Despite the improvements made to the hardware, Google markets the unit for
a reduced cost of $30, and relies on a nearly identical interface method as
the original Chromecast launched with.

The other member of the Chromecast family is still on sale from previous
generations is the Chromecast
Ultra. This dongle closely resembles the standard Chromecast, but adds support
for 4K or Ultra High-Definition programming. All other aspects of the unit are
nearly identical. While the Chromecast retails
for $30, the Chromecast ultra carries a major premium with its $109 price tag.
It should be noted, however, that the Chromecast Ultra adds support for Google's
Stadia game streaming service, meaning users only need to connect a compatible
controller or interface in order to play AAA gaming titles on their 4K

In addition to these two units, Google now also sells its Chromecast with
Google TV dongle, an expanded device that provides a remove control and
on-device interface. While this model still supports casting of content from
other devices, it also provides the option of access content from its own apps
and platforms at up to 4K resolutions, providing users with the best of both
worlds. However, this extra capability comes at an increased cost: $50.

While Google’s Chromecast platform may not be as open as some of the devices
and platforms that will be discussed later in this report, the platform does
support a variety of third-party devices. These include nearly all Android
TV-enabled televisions, as well as TVs from major manufacturers such as Sony,
Samsung, LG, and others. Google has also licensed the "Chromecast Built-In"
distinction to other set-top box and streaming device makers like Roku.

Supported Apps and Services

Google’s Chromecast platform is one of the most widely supported casting
platforms on the market today, with the number of supported apps and services
well over 100. This includes essentially all major streaming media
providers, such as Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Crunchyroll, Disney+, Spotify, HBO Go,,
and many, many more. The Chromecast is also able to perform "screen mirroring,"
which displays literally any content on the original device’s screen on whatever
display it is connected to. This is supported by both Android-based sources, as
well as the Chrome desktop browser. The latter can even display actions
performed on the PC that are not within the Chrome browser, with the help of a
simple plug-in. Android-based devices can also stream user-created content. The
result of all of these options is that nearly any form of available audio or
visual content can be routed to a Chromecast or Chromecast audio device with
little or no difficulty.


Figure 2. Miracast Logo

Figure 2. Miracast Logo

Source: Wi-Fi Alliance


Miracast is actually older than Chromecast by the better part of a year,
having been finalized near the end of 2012. The protocol was created by The
Wi-Fi Alliance, the same organization responsible for setting the standards used
in today’s 802.11 wireless networks and other WLAN protocols. Its goal was to
serve as a wireless display output protocol to replace the need for a physical
cable or connector. Unlike Google’s initial Chromecast launch, Miracast was
created from the start to support the widest possible variety of devices and
platforms. Because of this day-one focus on accepting all comers, Miracast’s
catalogue of supported device dwarfs Chromecast’s, with the latest official
count from The Wi-Fi Alliance numbering the supported devices at around 7,000 at last
count.2 This list includes devices capable of broadcasting
a signal to a display, as well as the compatible displays and receiver
peripherals themselves. While not as high-profile as Google’s Chromecast
reputation, many, many devices support both protocols, allowing for a truly
staggering variety of options for transmitting a video or audio signal to a
display. This is expanded further by the availability of a variety of USB and
HDMI-based dongles that allow for devices that lack Miracast capabilities to be
adapted to produce or accept Miracast audio and video. Microsoft currently
offers a well-received adapter that retails for $50 and connects via HDMI to any
compatible display.

Current Iterations

Due to Miracast’s existence as a protocol rather than a singular platform, it
has remained relatively stable since its launch. That said, the protocol could
be updated, much like Wi-Fi itself has been, to expand its capabilities.
However, the Miracast version available today supports similar video and audio
output nearly identical to what is supported by the Chromecast, including 1080p
or 4K
video (depending on the model of device) and 5.1 channel surround sound audio. Unlike Google’s Chromecast
interface, the current iteration of Miracast functions as quite literally a
wireless replacement for a physical cable. This means that apps and services do
not need to directly support the protocol in order for it to function, as long
as the operating system of the device supports it. Literally anything that can
be displayed within the originating device’s OS can be transferred to an
external display by casting it. The display outputs completely mirror each
other. This makes Miracast a potentially superior option for business-centric
applications that often include software and scenarios that do not incorporate
the entertainment-centric Chromecast protocol. Situations like presentations,
corporate seminars, and other business-centric needs often utilize software that
have little or no built-in considerations for outputting video to external
displays. This makes Miracast’s ubiquity of the utmost importance, arguably
giving it a leg up on Chromecast for the enterprise and business market.

Supported Apps and Services

As stated above, Miracast does not need to directly support an app or
service. However, the device on which Miracast is running needs to support the
app. As a result, any app that can run within any of the operating systems that
offer Miracast support can potentially make use of the platform’s casting
abilities. These currently supported operating systems include iOS, Android,
Windows, MacOS, Amazon’s Fire OS, and several iterations of Linux. The list of
devices that cannot support Miracast in any way is likely smaller than the
devices that can support it with minimal effort.


Figure 3. Apple’s AirPlay Protocol Streaming Audio to an Apple TV

Figure 3. Apple's AirPlay Protocol Streaming Audio to an Apple TV

Source: Apple


AirPlay started out as an audio-only protocol that allowed Apple’s devices
and apps to transmit music and other audio between Apple-branded hardware and
third-party devices that were licensed by Apple to use it. This included the
iTunes desktop app, iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Macs. This audio could be
output to a variety of devices, including most PCs, Apple TV devices, Apple’s
now discontinued AirPort router, and many external speakers and wireless
headphones. However, not all of these devices supported Apple’s FairPlay DRM,
meaning that some media content that was purchased from Apple while DRM
protection was in heavy use will be unplayable via AirPlay. 3 This
limitation initially put a damper on many music playback sessions, but has since
been ameliorated considerably by Apple’s reduced reliance on DRM in recent

AirPlay became a more direct competitor to the likes of Chromecast and
Miracast in 2011 when Apple unveiled AirPlay Mirroring.4 This new
functionality allowed users to mirror the visual output of a Mac to any display
that is connected to a second generation or newer Apple TV. The functionality
essentially matches Miracast in that anything displayed on the original device
will also be displayed on the larger display connected to the Apple TV.

Current Iteration

Apple does not provide version numbers or iteration versions
for the AirPlay protocol. That said, the platform is updated on a regular basis
when its companion software (iTunes, Apple TV OS, etc.) are updated. However,
the basic capabilities of the transmission protocol have remained largely
unchanged since its 2011 screen mirroring update. The number of
devices that support the protocol has grown beyond Apple’s own product catalogue
to include TVs from third party manufacturers like LG, as well as wireless
speakers and displays.

Supported Apps and Services

The original audio function of AirPlay is supported by most major streaming
audio applications, including Spotify, YouTube, and many others. It is also
supported by the full range of Apple’s own software, including iTunes and Apple
TV+. The full
screen mirroring functionality is, however, much more limited. It currently
requires the sending devices to be a Mac running MacOS version 10.8 (Mountain
Lion) or later, as well as an Apple TV (second generation or later), or a HomePod speaker
line being used
as the receiving device.

Other Casting Platforms

  • WiDi – WiDi was a casting protocol offered by Intel
    beginning in 2010. Like many of the entrants on the list here, it was
    created in order to wirelessly connect a PC or mobile device to a larger
    display. The company iterated the technology through a total of six versions,
    with the later editions supporting up to 4K resolution over 5Ghz wireless
    connections.5 Despite WiDi’s impressive resolution capabilities,
    the prevalence of Miracast support, as well as the integration of Miracast
    support into Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, led Intel to discontinue
    development of the technology in 2015.6 Since this announcement,
    Intel has begun integrating Miracast support into several of its products.
  • WirelessHD Also known as UltraGig,
    this protocol promises support for higher resolutions and wider bandwidth
    than any of the other options listed here. However, unlike the other
    entrants on this list, it is not based on any established Wi-Fi protocol,
    but rather uses a proprietary 7Ghz channel in the 60Ghz band. Despite having
    been available since 2008, WirelessHD has yet to gain any real traction due
    to a few limitations to its operations, including the need for an
    unobstructed line of site between connected devices.7 This is due
    to the extremely high frequency of the protocol, which provides very good
    bandwidth, but very poor penetration of solid objects.
  • Allcast – Allcast attempts to offer a similar
    experience to Chromecast and Miracast without the need for any hardware
    whatsoever. It does this by requiring both a "Mirror" app and a "Receiver"
    app. This means that the output display must either natively support Android
    applications, as an Android TV-equipped set can, or be connected to a
    supported Android-based device. These supported devices include the Amazon
    Fire TV, Android TV Stick, Google TV, and others. While the
    convenience of not requiring specific hardware is a boon, the limited number
    of receiver devices, only a couple of which have any considerable
    installation base, has resulted in Allcast remaining a relatively niche

Screen Casting Benefits and Limitations

Screen casting can be an incredibly useful tool for both the home and
business user. That said, it is not without its limitations. While these vary
from platform to platform, there are certain benefits and drawbacks that must be
examined in order for potential users to understand what they are gaining and
losing by choosing wireless screen casting over simply connecting their displays
and speakers via more traditional wired methods. The easiest way to present this
is list of these benefits and limitations.


  • Wireless Connectivity – This is the most obvious
    benefit, but it is worth diving a bit deeper into it. Many large-scale
    displays are permanently mounted to a wall or sat on an entertainment
    center/within a cabinet/ located somewhere that makes accessing the input
    ports on the display’s back or side difficult, if not impossible. This is
    not much of an issue for the traditional STBs, Blu-Ray players, and other
    permanently installed electronics that provide most traditional
    entertainment programming. However, when one wishes to connect a laptop, a
    device that is made specifically to be portable, the task becomes more
    difficult as those possibly inaccessible ports must be used for a wired
    connection. This is an occasional annoyance for the home user, but a
    near-constant need for business-centric uses where boardrooms and meeting
    areas play host to a variety of presentations and media viewings from
    numerous individuals and a variety of devices. Although this can be taken
    into consideration when creating the meeting space, its need can be
    eliminated entirely by using screen casting. In a similar vein, the
    increasing use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to replace the
    jobs previously handled by laptops means that presentations are commonly
    stored on devices that often have little or no potential to output video
    signals via wired methods. This makes screen casting absolutely essential as
    it is one of the only ways users can mirror the screens or content being
    played on devices like iPads, Android smartphones, and other mobile devices.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility – Although some of
    the options presented above are limited in their supported
    platforms/operating systems, others are nearly platform agnostic. Miracast,
    the best example of a platform-agnostic protocol, can be used by every major mobile or desktop operating system, and can be supported by
    nearly any display, either natively or via an inexpensive adapter. This
    removes any concern that a user arriving with a Mac that only supports
    output via Mini DisplayPort will not be able to present their slides on a
    projection system that is designed to support Windows or HDMI exclusively.
    Conflicts like this can potentially be eliminated by the simple application
    of a protocol such as Miracast, which can be used to easily bridge otherwise
    incompatible sources and displays.
  • Ease of Use – While the technically minded user may
    breeze through the task of connecting a series of cables and adapters to
    output their PC’s or mobile device’s video signal to a display, the task may
    seem monumental to the average home or business user. To alleviate any
    similar technical anxiety, most screen casting platforms use a literal "one
    tap" connection system. For Chromecast and AirPlay users this is as simple
    as finding the appropriate button within their current app and simply
    tapping it. If there are multiple output options, a list will appear for
    them to choose where their video or audio is presented. Once that is chosen,
    the job is done and their content should be playing. Miracast use is just as
    simple, but is typically accomplished at the OS level as opposed to within
    specific apps.
  • Cost – Luckily for home and business customers, very
    few hardware devices required for the use of the platforms on this list are
    expensive. Chromecast devices range from $35 to $69 currently, while Miracast devices can be had for $50 or less. Some users may even be able to
    skip the hardware requirement completely if they use a platform like Allcast,
    or own one of the numerous displays with built-in support for Chromecast or
    Miracast. This relatively low cost often comes in under what a decent
    quality HDMI or DisplayPort cable of sufficient length would cost a user.
    Making the use of screen casting an even greater value is the fact that,
    once a single hardware component has been installed to a given display, any
    number of devices can be connected to it. This removes the need for multiple
    cables of various types, and eliminates requirements for extra peripherals
    such as input switching boxes or other splitters and adapters.
  • Second-Screen Support – This is an aspect of screen
    casting that is still in its infancy, but has exciting potential.
    Essentially, it refers to a scenario in which the user’s origination device
    (typically a smartphone or tablet) can be used as a second screen for
    interactive features relating to what it being displayed on the receiving
    display. At its most basic level, this means the smartphone or tablet could
    serve as a simple remote. However, the potential for much more complex and
    varied setups also exist, including user polls distributed during live TV
    broadcasts; additional information about the actors or writers of a given
    film; in-depth sports scores for live games; and even interactive
    games relating to the on-screen content. The level of interactivity that
    could be added to the TV viewing experience is staggering, and only just
    beginning to be utilized.


  • Latency – This term refers to the delay between the
    content being displayed on the originating device’s display and its being
    displayed on the receiver display. For applications such as video playback,
    audio playback, and slideshow-type presentations this has a negligible
    effect as no direct interaction is occurring between the user and the
    content being played, aside from the typical play, pause, or fast
    forward/rewind functions. None of these will suffer much from a one second
    or less display lag between inputting a command and having it displayed on
    the screen. However, actively interactive content can be rendered nearly
    unusable by the introduction of just one or two second of input lag. This
    applies particularly to fast-paced PC games that require split-second timing
    and millisecond reactions. The one or two seconds introduced by the lag
    inherent to most screen casting setups can be the difference between life
    and death, or victory and defeat. That said, this scenario really only
    applies to home entertainment use, and has no real impact on use in the
    business world, where such gaming is, obviously, not a frequent occurrence.
    None the less, a PC or mobile device gamer wishing to play from his or her
    couch will still want to invest in a wired connection for the gaming device
    of their choice. It is worth noting that Google’s own Stadia game streaming
    service can make use of its Chromecast Ultra dongle for streaming purposes.
    However, reviews of how well this setup is able to handle input and display
    lag have been mixed, at best.
  • Playback Quality – There are two distinct ways in which
    this drawback applies to casting technologies: video and audio. On the video
    side of things, resolution and frame rates are limited by the bandwidth
    available to the casting setup in use. This is typically somewhat inferior
    to a cable connection due to the relatively small bandwidth available to a
    Wi-Fi signal, when compared to something like an HDMI or DisplayPort cable.
    Because of this, most streaming devices listed here, with the exception of
    the Chromecast Ultra, are limited to 1080p and 60Hz refresh rates. This is
    more than enough for most users, particularly business users that are more
    concerned with having clear text during a presentation than fast motion
    during an action scene. However, as 4K and even 8K resolution displays
    become cheaper and more accessible, users may begin to notice the image
    degradation between 4K and 1080p. For the casting of audio content, the
    difference comes in the bit rate of the audio being played. Like video,
    audio can max out a casting device’s connection, depending on the bit rate
    its source is configured for. Simply put, bit rate is the amount of data
    contained within each second of an audio file. Most streaming services play
    their audio files at anywhere from 96 kilobits per second (Kbps) to 128Kbps
    or even 256Kbps. The higher the bit rate, the more accurately the music is
    reproduced and the less unwanted noise and distortion is added to the
    signal. This issue will mostly impact audiophiles and those concerned with
    the absolutely perfect reproduction of the sound being played. Most users
    will notice very little material difference between the aforementioned bit
    rates, with all three of them being more than capable of reproducing clear
    speech and music. However, those who have spent thousands of dollars on
    high-end audio output equipment and speakers may still wish to opt for a
    wired connection to best utilize their investment.
  • Wi-Fi Coverage Most of this report
    has referenced situations in which a wireless network is present to replace
    a wired connection. However, this is not always the case. In locations where
    no Wi-Fi network is present or within a deadspot of a nearby network, screen
    casting devices can be rendered essentially useless. This is because the
    connectivity for nearly all of the options listed here occurs via Wi-Fi, not
    via an ad-hoc connection between the source and output devices. Although
    some options are available that produce an ad-hoc connection, they are
    traditionally not based on screen-casting technologies. Thanks to the
    growing prevalence of public and private Wi-Fi networks, this is likely a
    scenario that will not catch many users out. However it is definitely worth
    considering if the final output display is located within a building or room
    where accessing a Wi-Fi signal can be tricky or impossible due to
    obstructions or interference. Even if a connection can be established, its
    quality, stability, and reliability will be affected by having a poor Wi-Fi
  • Supported App Limitations – Although this drawback does
    not apply to Miracast, Allcast, or any of the other options mentioned here
    that supply full screen mirroring, it can be a limitation for Chromecast and
    similar options. Since in-app interactivity is required to use these
    platforms on certain operating systems, its absence could render the
    playback of a given piece of content impossible. The expanding number of
    apps that support Chromecast and similar casting options does makes this
    less and less of an issue, but it could still result in a disappointing
    scenario if the user was hoping to stream content from a particularly
    obscure app or other sources.


[return to top of this report]

Hopefully this report has provided a solid introduction into the
possibilities and capabilities that screen casting offers. Unfortunately, we
have not yet reached a point where totally wireless connections can replace all
of the tangled cables and mismatched ports that cause the backside of so many
displays to become tangled messes. However, the ease of use, cross-platform
compatibility and low entry cost of the technology make it a great option for
many, many users. This applies to both the entertainment market, where home
users can easily access their many streaming video subscriptions and libraries,
as well as the business world, where entire corporations can connect to a whole
skyscraper worth of screens with any one of the hundreds of Wi-Fi enabled
devices in their offices. This flexibility is further expanded by the fact that
screen casting can allow devices with few or no physical video output options to
still serve as a video source thanks to this software-based solution. This is
particularly important at a time when both business and home users are shifting
towards handling more and more of their computing tasks and entertainment
consumption via their mobile devices. While this is great for portability, it
often results in viewing video on cramped screens with low-quality sound. That
has all changed now that the tap of a single button can beam our presentation,
movies, music, and TV shows to the big-screen TVs, projectors, and stereos
systems into which many users have invested so much.


1 Molina, Brett. "Chromecast Sells Out on Amazon, Best
Buy." USA Today. July 2013.

2 "List of Miracast Compatible Devices." The
Wi-Fi Alliance. Retrieved February 2017.

3 Kafasis, Paul. "Warning on Apple TV Version 6.0." Rogue Amoeba Blog.
September 2013.

4 "iOS 5 – AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2."
Apple. Retrieved May 2013.

5 Hachman, Mark. "Intel Brings Next-Gen ‘Broadwell’ Processor Tech to
Mainstream Notebooks, Desktops." PC World.
January 2015.

6 "Intel WiDi and Intel Pro WiDi Applications Have Been Discontinued." Intel. Retrieved February 2017.

7 "About." Retrieved
February 2017.

About the Author

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Michael Gariffo is an editor for Faulkner Information Services. He
tracks and writes about enterprise software, the Web, and the IT services
sector, as well as telecommunications and data networking.

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