Confused between Chromecast vs Miracast? While they both will allow you to cast the screen of your computer or mobile phone to your TV, they are not exactly identical. Depending on your circumstances, either the Chromecast or the Miracast will be more suitable. Continue reading below to learn how they work, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
After reading this article, you will understand about:
– How Chromecast and Miracast work
– Which device that is generally more energy-friendly
– The reasons to choose Chromecast
– The reasons to choose Miracast
– The image quality of Chromecast vs Miracast
You probably have heard a lot about Chromecast. It is a simple dongle device that plugs directly to your TV’s HDMI port and uses Wi-Fi for Internet access. It also requires a power outlet. See also: Chromecast vs Roku
As a note, Chromecast is different from Miracast in a sense that, while Chromecast is a specific device, Miracast is the name of a protocol which is supported by many devices. Chromecast is available in two models: the regular Chromecast and the Chromecast Ultra. The main difference is the supported resolution. The regular Chromecast supports resolutions of up to 1080p, whereas the Chromecast Ultra goes up to 4K.
At first, Chromecast may look really similar to Miracast. However, their technologies are actually quite different. Chromecast is primarily focused on multimedia streaming, in which case it will pull content from the Internet via your mobile device to be displayed on your TV. But, it is also able to mirror the screen of the mobile device on the TV.
In order to start using Chromecast, you need to plug the dongle to your TV and install the Chromecast setup app on your Android or iOS device (the app is also available for most computers). Then, you can open the app to set-up a connection to your Wi-Fi network, which is needed by the Chromecast in order to pull content from the Internet and to be controlled remotely from your mobile device.
Once the set-up is completed, you will be able to use any computer or mobile device that is connected to the Wi-Fi network to stream content to your TV wirelessly. There are now so many streaming apps and services that are compatible with Chromecast, including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, and YouTube.
When you open the streaming app on your phone, you can find a television icon in the app’s menu bar. Tap on this icon, and the Chromecast will immediately start streaming the same content. Afterward, you can use your phone as a remote control, such as for pausing or fast-forwarding.
Although Chromecast vs Miracast was initially only for multimedia streaming, it has been updated with new features, including the ability to mirror the screen of the mobile device. Unfortunately, so far, only select Android phones support this feature. If your phone supports this, you can open the Chromecast app and select “cast screen”. The Chrome browser also has a built-in feature to cast the tabs to the TV via Chromecast.
Since Chromecast is a multimedia streamer, it won’t drain the battery of your mobile device too much. Once Chromecast has started streaming, you can let your phone’s screen to go dark. You can also use the phone to do other activities. Things are different when mirroring, in which case you won’t be able to use the phone to do other activities because everything displayed on the screen will also be shown on the TV.
The other advantage of Chromecast over Miracast is the compatibility with Apple devices. Interestingly, Apple has opted to stay away from Miracast. They prefer to use their own proprietary AirPlay technology, which has similar screen mirroring capabilities. Chromecast is compatible with Apple devices. So, if you work with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and you want to be able to cast the screen to your TV without switching the dongle, Chromecast is a better option.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of Chromecast vs Miracast is the fact that you need an active Internet connection all the time, even when you actually just want to play a film or music from the local storage of your phone. This is particularly frustrating if your Internet connection is unstable or unreliable, either due to an adverse weather or because of a bad service provider.
The other disadvantage is you need the dongle in order to turn a TV into a receiver. If you want to stream to another TV, you need to move the dongle or purchase another one. So, if there are two TVs in your home that want to stream content simultaneously, you need two dongles. And you can’t use Chromecast to cast the screen of your phone to a computer, though this becomes a problem only in very specific cases.
Miracast is the name of a protocol that has become a common feature in many new gadgets nowadays. It is used by the Wi-Fi Alliance as the standard protocol for screen mirroring. This also means that any Miracast device can work with any Miracast-enabled gadget.
Miracast utilizes the Wi-Fi Direct technology, which enables two devices to connect wirelessly and directly to each other. Since there is no router in-between, the data transfer rate can be significantly faster.
In essence, Miracast is the wireless version of HDMI. It is designed to perform the same job as HDMI, but without any cable. It will mirror the screen of your phone on your TV. So, if your phone is playing a video, both the phone’s screen and the TV will show the video at the same time.
Some smart TVs with built-in Wi-Fi support Miracast, so you won’t need to use any additional dongle. However, a regular TV that has an HDMI port can also use Miracast with the help of a dongle. There are many Miracast dongles available in the market, such as MiraScreen. However, different dongle models may have different supported resolutions. While the latest Miracast version already supports 4K, many dongle models are still limited to 1080p.
In order to start using Chromecast vs Miracast on your phone, depending on your phone’s model, go to the either the Display settings or the Media Output settings. Then, you will find the option to find Miracast devices in range. Just like when scanning for Wi-Fi access points, an in-range Miracast device will simply appear on the list. Next, just tap on the desired device, and the phone will immediately establish a direct connection to the chosen device.
Once the phone has been connected to your TV, make sure that you have chosen the correct input on the TV (it should be an HDMI input if you are using a dongle). Now, you can see your phone’s screen on the TV, and you can start playing a movie, YouTube video, or even game.
The way Miracast works makes it suitable for not only entertainment, but also productivity. You can use Miracast to share presentations or files on a big display screen. However, you need to make sure that your phone’s screen remains on the content that you want to share.
If you are working in an environment with multiple Windows computers, and you want to be able to cast the screen of one computer quickly to another display, Miracast can be a very practical solution. This is because Windows 10 has a built-in guide for connecting a wireless display, and it works seamlessly with Miracast. No cable or dongle is needed.
Perhaps more importantly, Miracast can work offline. Since it uses a direct wireless connection between the two devices, having an active Internet connection is optional. You can still cast the screen of your phone to your TV or computer even if your phone is not connected to the Internet. This is useful when you just want to play content from your local storage.
Miracast is simply mirroring the screen of your phone, instead of streaming in a separate path. As the effect, your phone will have to remain active as long as it is streaming, and this will result in a huge battery drain. In addition, since everything on your phone’s screen will be shown on the TV, you won’t be able to use the phone for other tasks while it is streaming.
The other disadvantage is Miracast is not available for Apple devices. As mentioned above, Apple has opted to use their own proprietary technology, AirPlay. So, you won’t be able to use Miracast to cast the screen of an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This is probably not a problem if you don’t work with Apple devices often.
Chromecast vs Miracast
As you can see, Chromecast and Miracast work differently, and offer different benefits. In general, Chromecast is better and more recommended, simply because it is more powerful and versatile. It can stream content from the Internet instead of just mirroring your phone. In addition, it can work with Android and iOS devices as well as most computers.