What you need
When you use miracast windows 8 wireless display, you have a source and a receiver: your Windows 8.1 device is the source, while your TV or projector is the receiver. If your display already has Miracast support, you are ready to go. If not, Miracast adapters provide an economical way to add wireless display to your existing TV or projector.
Wireless display works on new Windows 8.1 wireless PCs. This includes Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, Nokia Lumia 2520, and Intel Atom Generation 3 (“Bay Trail”) and Intel Core Generation 4 (“Haswell”) systems. Some PC manufacturers have also added wireless display to some of their systems that originally shipped with Windows 8. This includes the Surface Pro and many systems based on Intel Core Generation 3 (“Ivy Bridge”) and Intel Wi-Fi. Be sure to check for updates from Windows Update and from your PC manufacturer, including driver updates listed as Optional, when determining whether your PC manufacturer has made wireless display available on your upgraded Windows 8 device.
As I mentioned, we built wireless display on the Miracast Windows 8 specification, which the industry based on widely adopted standards such as 802.11n, Wi-Fi Direct, and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC. We believe working with the industry and using industry standards allows broader adoption and interoperability by source devices (e.g., laptops, tablets and phones) and receivers (TVs, projectors, streaming players), and over time allows the standard to advance beyond any one company’s interests.
How to use Miracast Windows 8
To get started with wireless display, first ensure that your Windows 8.1 device is ready by checking Windows Update and your PC manufacturer for any driver updates, including drivers presented as optional. After your machine is ready, you need to add your wireless display receiver for the first time. To add it, open the Devices charm by swiping in from the right and then tapping Devices (or if you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Devices.). Select Project and then Add a wireless device to have Windows scan for available Miracast receivers.
Note: Wireless display is available on most new Windows 8.1 PCs, but some PC manufacturers might choose not to include it on some new and upgraded PCs. Specifically, your PC needs WDDM 1.3 display and NDIS 6.4 Wi-Fi drivers, enabled by the IHV and OEM for Miracast. If you don’t see “Add a wireless display” when you tap the Devices charm and tap Project, try going to Windows Update and downloading all available updates (including optional drivers). If you still don’t see it, check for additional updates on your PC manufacturer’s support site, or contact them to ask how you can get this feature on your PC.
Selecting your receiver begins the secure pairing of your Windows 8.1 device to the Miracast receiver. After pairing is finished, you’ll be able to project your full Windows 8.1 experience wirelessly onto your big screen. To extend projection, open Devices and tap Project again (or press Windows key + P), and then tap Extend.
To end projection, open Devices and tap Project again (or press Windows key + P), and then tap or click Disconnect.
The next time you use your wireless display it will be even simpler, as Windows remembers the displays you’ve used, and automatically shows them whenever they’re available. Simply open Devices, tap or click Project, and then tap or click the display you want.
The Project to a wireless display with Miracast article provides info about source and receiver setup, how to project to the receiver, and troubleshooting problems.
How it Miracast Windows 8 works
It begins with the discovery of available Miracast receivers, and then proceeds to establishing a point-to-point connection between the source and receiver over Wi-Fi Direct. Security is negotiated using Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), with communication secured using WPA2-AES directly between the Windows device and Miracast receiver. Once communication is established (2.4GHz by default or 5GHz if pre-connected to 5GHz AP), the source and receiver negotiate capabilities – e.g., the resolution and refresh rate (e.g., 30Hz), content protection scheme, audio channels, etc. Once capabilities are agreed, Windows begins projecting its display and audio onto the remote device by encoding the local display and sound, and sending to the receiver, where the receiver decodes and displays. Anything your Windows PC has access to, you can wirelessly display on your big screen. This is, of course, just a high-level explanation of the steps involved, with the Wi-Fi Alliance Miracast site having more details including the full specification.
There are other wireless display (“screen casting”) alternatives, each having their own advantages and drawbacks when compared to Miracast. Not all alternatives support full HD (1080p) and instead top-out at lower resolutions below what your TV/projector may natively support. Some of the alternatives work well in home environments, but have difficulty in corporate and hotspot environments where the receiver has to authenticate onto the network using enterprise-grade security such as WPA2-Enterprise or hotspot style authentication using a captive portal. Miracast is different, in that it is peer-to-peer, going directly between Windows and the receiver, and not over the Wi-Fi infrastructure network. This means that you can allow a guest (corporate or home) to project in your conference or living room without you having to grant them network access (which could potentially give them access to other devices and content beyond what you might have intended). With wireless display, you’re only granting them access to the display… not to your network.
Read Also: Miracast Windows 10
Since the content comes from (or via) the Windows device, only the Windows device needs Internet access, which can come via its Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, or wired connection. Additionally, since we enabled wireless display in the OS and not tied to any particular application, any content in any app can take full advantage of the processing power of the PC, which enables a good wireless display experience across the range of Windows 8.1 devices and form-factors.
We look forward to hearing about your experiences using Miracast Windows 8, as you project your full Windows experience onto the big screen! Please let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment.