First devices for Airplay alternative Miracast certified by Wi-Fi Alliance

September 19, 2012
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    In a press release today, the W-iFi Alliance announced its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast certification program. The program will certify devices for the new standard, which hopes to provide an industry-wide alternative to Apple’s Airplay.

    Miracast aims to provide users with an easy-to-use way to share images, video and audio between laptops, phones, tablets, televisions and more. Miracast builds on a previous technology, Wi-Fi Direct, which allows these devices to communicate without the need for a Wi-Fi network. So far, the biggest companies on board with the standard are Intel and Samsung, though many vendors are joining up. NVIDIA, for example, plans to support Miracast in its Tegra 3 chips.

    The phones already certified are Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and the LG Optimus G. Samsung’s Echo-P Series televisions, which are not yet on the market, are certified as well. Wireless cards and adapters from Intel, Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek, Ralink and Realtek form certifications test suite, which other devices will be tested against to ensure interoperability.

    Interoperability is a big word for Miracast, as it ensures that, for example, Samsung televisions won’t only work with Samsung Phones. Miracast’s aim is it to ensure that all devices work with one another, regardless of vendor.

    Miracast supports HDCP copy protection, hopefully ensuring better adoption by making copyright owners less likely to block content from being streamed. The standard utilizes 802.11n on both the 2.4GHz and 5Ghz wavelengths and supports WPA2 security.

    In addition to the previously mentioned certified devices, two more Samsung phones use Miracast. The Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Galaxy Note 2 both include Allshare Cast, which is based on Miracast. The Wi-Fi alliance doesn’t expect adoption of its standard to stop there, saying more devices will support Miracast in the tail end of 2012 and into 2013.

    Does a non-Apple alternative to Airplay appeal to you?

     

    Comments

    • Cheerful Charlie

      Hmm, is the Galaxy Note 2 certified?

      • Kristofer Wouk

        It isn’t mentioned as being certified in the press release. Being that Allshare Cast is “only” based on Miracast, it may not be able to be certified.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joel.luna.5243 Joel Luna

          yea the note 2 is certified they say.

    • http://www.taborcg.com/ McKinley H. Tabor

      YES this is very appealing! In fact it’s one of only 2 things I really miss having moved from iOS to Jelly Bean. In my particular use-case, I used Airplay from my iPhone to play podcasts to a house-wide audio system. I have tried to replace “Airplay” with bluetooth to the audio system, but the reach of my multi-ap home wifi is far grater than that of a A2DP bluetooth receiver, and Android’s audio playback output selection is lacking (see below).

      It seems everyone has a different ideal of what it means to “stream” something. Current DLNA products for Android basically set the device up as “server” and then DLNA “players” will play audio or video files from the devices storage. This solution however does not really conform to how people use their devices.

      A true Airplay like solution will be one where whatever is playing on your device right now can be “switched” to playing on a different audio/video system. It could be music, video, a presentation, or even a mirror of the screen itself. Control over the playback is done completely by the device. The “receiving” unit (TV app, GoogleTV, Computer, Home Theater, etc, etc) is little more than a dumb appliance waiting to catch and play data receive. A simple password could be used if needed to restrict who (not what) can stream to a “receiving” unit.

      The best way to send audio and video to a “receiving” unit would be via the OS rather than leaving it up to individual apps. I very much agree with Androids “open philosophy” but this needs to be a core feature of the OS and not something implemented piecemeal by different app makers.

      That leads me to the second thing I really miss about iOS which is real control over audio (and video) output. Currently audio output on Jelly Bean seems to be on a “play on last connected output” bases, with no way to tell the OS that you would rather play this media over the devices speakers even though you have headphones plugged it.

      Proper implementation of an Airplay like system on Android would require the OS to have the ability to select in realtime the audio and video output device. This could be the device’s speaker, headphones, bluetooth A2DP connected speakers, OR a Miracast receiving unit. From an interface perspective it could be as simple as adding a button to the volume slider that allows the user to “pick” where they want the audio (and/or video) to play.

      • http://twitter.com/vinceklein Vince Klein

        Good writeup – Exactly what´s missing from Android. Actually Airplay is a huge plus for iOS bc you you can use a 99$ ATV as an Airplay Receiver w/o the need for a new and expensive hifi receiver.

    • Sebastian

      Yes! I would love an alternative to Apples AirPlay. However Apple is such a big player and they control everything sold in their stores, I guess that’s why many third-party companies only offer support for AirPlay, I think it will be a long time before we can get the same cool product as the ones made for Apple. But until then we can use the Twonky app to get AirPlay on our Android devices;-)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H55Bd2ASGao

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/FNIQATNMRR5ET4I2PLQO7J2OIM JN

      Yes the fact that I can connect to any Miracast compliant device in my house is a much higher end-user value proposition than the Apple only device Airplay. .

    • rykellim

      Miracast is NOT DLNA.
      Miracast is also known as Cast Screen (Nexus 5 and Nexus 7), Screen Mirroring (Sony) and AllShare Cast (Samsung).
      Miracast does NOT work with Bluetooth Speakers.
      Miracast CANNOT be added on to old laptops through a dongle, unlike Bluetooth.

      In other words, Miracast is practically useless in many settings.

      Hope this helps.

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