Thursday, November 28, 2013

Miracast facts

  • Miracast can provide a HDMI connection to your TV without using a HDMI cable.
  • If your TV does not have Miracast built in, you may add an receiver. The receiver connects to the HDMI port of your TV. Actiontec Screen Beam Pro and Netgear Push2TV PTV3000 are very similar. Avoid Rocketfish (and anything BestBuy's house brands). Some Android TV bars such as MK808 can be used as a receiver too.
  • The Actiontec Screen Beam Kit is Screen Beam Pro plus a USB transmitter for extra $10. The transmitter won't work with other receivers such as Push2TV. 
  • Actiontec Pro includes a HDMI cable. It runs hotter than Push2TV. Its latest firmware no longer work with my Note 2 (4.1.1).
  • Push2TV is very light and slim, much slimmer than Actiontec.  It uses a mini USB port for power and a very slim and light charger is included. It drains very little power and an external power bank for phones can power it up for days. So it is truly portable, if you need Miracast in a conference, hotel or friend's house.
  • Old 4:3 monitors do not work with above two receivers, even if you've been using them fine with a HDMI-VGA or HDMI-DVI adapter. The output video mode of these receivers are not compatible with old 4:3 monitors' display mode.
  • Windows 8.1 supports natively Miracast, but your hardware must support it too. For example, Acer W3 does not have the necessary hardware; so even if you upgrade to 8.1, it still cannot do Miracast.
  • If your computer does not have the compatible hardware, you may add an Actiontec Screen Beam Kit but it is limited to 720p and it does not support Windows 8.1. OK for low-res online TV and youtube but too crappy and too much delay for HD video playback.
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro works well in extend and second-only modes, but duplicate mode is limited to 800x600 (an update from MS has addressed this issue).
  • Samsung call Miracast as Allshare. However, the "Allshare" found in initial Galaxy Tab (7") is not Miracast. With Note 2, S3 and S4, you simply slide down from the top and tap "Allshare Cast" and what you see on the phone will be showing on your TV, cannot be any easier.
  • Miracast does not use a WiFi accesspoint/router, it is direct one-to-one. You can use normal WiFi and Miracast at the same time. With my Note 2, for example, I can stream YouTube through WiFi (or 3G) and meanwhile watch it on my TV too.
  • My 3-year-old Thinkpad X220 notebook computer has an Intel 6205 WiFi card that features WiDi  - the elder brother of Miracast. It works extremely well with the Push2TV. Although screen resolution is limited to 1280x720, but HD video playback is perfect - excellent image and audio quality without noticeable delay.
  • Bridged network conflicts with Miracast. If you installed Vmware or Virtualbox, uncheck this protocol.
  • In my case, I can stream smoothly 1080p 8Mbps movie from NAS over WiFi and cast it to TV through PTV3000. 15Mbps movies stutter.
...... to be continued and updated.

Netgear vs. Actiontec:


20 comments:

  1. Sean, do you have tablets to recommend for old age Chinese parents? They do not have any experience with any kid of digital device.They most likely will use it to watch video (inducing flash), browse internet, listen to sound recording, etc. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. iPad? Or these in OfficeMax:

      http://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7u-l03dhM4I/Up-FOlhL9hI/AAAAAAAAC7U/Y24Uai6QF1w/s1280/rps20131204_113822.jpg

      Delete
  2. I bought miix 2 8" 32gb tablet. Netgear ptv3000 cannot project the tablet to screen even though miix2 detects it. Any solution for netgear or have you test with screenbeam pro ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I haven't a Miix2 yet (looking for a deal), I think it is very similar to Dell 8 Pro which works perfectly with PTV3000.

      First, update PTV3000's firmware, the older version is not compatible. Don't worry, you can go back if you'll want to. Second, update your MiiX. You may download the latest Intel chipset driver from Lenovo, also Wi-Fi driver. If everything goes fine, PTV3000 is recognized as a projector. If not or can no longer be detected, you should find it under Control Panel, Devices and Printers. Remove it there and try again.

      Delete
    2. Oh yes, Actiontec works fine with Dell 8 Pro too.

      Delete
  3. What about connection to a (not-so-old) VGA projector using an HDMI-VGA converter? I wish buy a PVT3000 to do powerpoint presentations with Note 10.1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The projector must be 16:9. I have some old 4:3 monitors, neither of them work with PTV3000 which, btw, has been working flawlessly with my phones and laptop.

      Delete
  4. I have a Epson eb-s9. It's a SVGA, 800x600, 4:3 projector. There is a 16:9 selection in menu. It works with note 10.0, using samsung mht cable and hdmi-vga adpt. Could work with pvt3000 in your opinion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My old 4:3 monitors work flawlessly with 16:9 tablets too with a hdmi-to-vga adapter, but won't work with any of the Miracast.

      Delete
  5. Nice Information about Netgear Router support. Thanks....
    Netgear Router Tehnical Support

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the 16:9 suggestion. I was dying trying to get it to work.

    Here is the weird thing; I have a hdmi to vga cable and it works fine. No adjustments necessary. But when I got the hdmi to vga with the additional 3.5 audio out, it wouldn't work unless I was on 16:9. I have zero clue why this happened. The cables are both from the same company, Cable Matters. Any idea?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too have an HDMI-VGA adapter that has a 3.5 mm audio out, it works with the Netgear and my 10-year-old Vizio 50" plasma TV, but has ratio issues too when I use them with a Le Pan Mini tablet which works perfectly without the HDMI-VGA adapter (directly into the HDMI port of the TV). I want to use the HDMI-VGA adapter so I can route the audio to my receiver for much better sound than the TV's crappy speakers. Unfortunately, with this adapter in the middle, pictures are squeezed to like 16:3.

      All I can say is: Miracast is a mess in terms of standard and implementation. You never know which combination will work. But once a comb works, it is God's gift that you can no longer live without.

      Delete
    2. 1. Miracast transmitters do not exist... yet!
      2. Miracast CANNOT work with Bluetooth speakers for now.
      3. Sony Xperia Z drops wifi internet when Miracast is running.

      Delete
    3. Audio via HDMI works only on certain resolutions, see http://elinux.org/Beagleboard:BeagleBoneBlack_HDMI

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the thorough tips and tricks!

    "Bridged network conflicts with Miracast. If you installed Vmware or Virtualbox, uncheck this protocol."

    Ah! I was wondering why the "Add wireless display" option was no longer showing in my Charms bar. It was the VPN bridged network adapter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do wonder why the Actiontec power supply takes 5V 2A and runs the device hotter as a result, when the Netgear only takes 5V 1A and can be run off a USB port. Completely different chipset/internals?

      Delete
    2. Actiontec also announced a Business Edition of the ScreenBeam Pro in late April 2014 ($150 MSRP), and an Education Edition in early June 2014 ($100 MSRP).

      Looks like both new Actiontec editions have a web management interface built-in, which I believe the regular ScreenBeam Pro is lacking (but the Netgear PTV3000 already has)?

      The Business Edition mentions enhanced IT management features that are unspecified, and the Education Edition looks to be bundled with a VGA adapter.

      The Edu's install guide also mentions that the web interface can configure the unit's HDMI output to switch off when not in use, as well as select the overscan cropping level.

      Do you recall if the regular edition of the ScreenBeam can switch off its HDMI output when idle? I was thinking about having a WiDi receiver hooked up to an HDMI switchbox along with my main set-top source. The switchbox can be configured to prioritize one input, so that it will always switch to that input when it's ON. This will only work though if the WiDi receiver can automatically shut off when idle.

      Delete
    3. Don't remember whether the ScreenBeam had an idle time-out feature.

      Delete
  8. Sean Chen, have you tried connecting the PTV3000 direct to a hdmi input on your receiver, so that both picture and sound go through the receiver? I have done this successfully with my NAD receiver and the PTV3000.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not yet, although I always want to as I do have a NAD too and use it with my HTPC. The BAD is 20-years old, so no HDMI input. I"ll have to use a HDMI split and/or get the audio out and feed it to the NAD.

      Delete