The non-Apple segment of the electronics industry is gaining another standard for video streaming to compete with Cupertino’s AirPlay ecosystem. The standard is called Miracast, and industry standards body The Wi-Fi Alliance is announcing the start of a certification program for what it hopes will be the one living room standard to rule them all.
Miracast takes care of all the video setting negotiation between devices
Miracast has a lot in common with DLNA and AirPlay. You can use it to stream video between devices, say from your smartphone to your TV or conference room projector. But what distinguishes Miracast is that it can be used in places with no Wi-Fi network available — it supports streaming over Wi-Fi Direct, a kind of ad hoc wireless network. And what Miracast offers over vanilla Wi-Fi Direct is "mechanisms to negotiate the best possible resolution between devices… all the additional negotiation that needs to happen to make the audio and video experience as seamless as possible to the user," the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Kevin Robinson explained to Ars Technica. Miracast supports copy protection with HDCP, but unlike DLNA and AirPlay, audio-only devices aren’t part of the standard.
The first consumer devices with the new Miracast certification are the LG Optimus G, the Samsung Galaxy S III, and the Samsung Echo-P Series TV, but the standard is compatible with existing WiDi-enabled displays, as well. And we’re expecting a lot more devices down the road. If iSuppli’s prediction is to be believed, we’ll be seeing as many as 1.5 billion enabled devices shipping in 2016.