Surface Pro 3 Miracast Issues Finally Fixed?

Surface Pro 3 Miracast Issues Finally Fixed?

Certain features of the Surface Pro 3, which was officially introduced on June 20, 2014, have seemed like a continual work in progress. It took Microsoft many months, a lot of work, and multiple firmware iterations to finally solve Wi-Fi problems tormenting customers.

Miracast, which is a technology that allows users to "cast" video over a video/audio-specific Wi-Fi network to a remote monitor or TV through HDMI connections, has had its own issues. Jagged video and mismatched audio have plagued customers. To make matters worse, when Microsoft publicly released its own Chromecast competitor, the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, in October 2014, Miracast was actually worse on the Microsoft-branded device. The delay between what happened on the Surface screen and what displayed on the remote monitor was annoyingly noticeable. For those using Miracast as a simple desktop mirror for working on a larger screen, the lag was manageable. But, for those using the technology to stream video from Netflix, Hulu, or Crackle, it was like watching someone play a game of Minecraft, or one of those old, Kung Fu movies where the voice dubbing was seconds behind lip movement and just not quite right.

You might think that the problem was with the Miracast technology itself, but that was not the case. Incidentally, streaming from a Windows Phone device was just fine. So, it was clear there was something wrong with how the Surface tablet communicated.

Prior to acquiring Microsoft's device, I used the NETGEAR Push2TV Wireless Display HDMI Adapter. And, while Miracast was not perfect, it was a much, much better experience than with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. That's ironic to me, considering the NETGEAR was already a couple years old before Microsoft's device released, meaning the technology should've already been obsolete.

But, good news. The latest firmware update for the Surface Pro 3, may have finally fixed Miracast. Delivered on May 19, the update was released to specifically address Miracast for both the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Pro 2. I've been testing the combination of the Surface Pro 3 and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter since I installed the firmware, and can attest to a much better experience. There's still a lag between what happens on the Surface Pro 3 screen and what shows up on the remote display, but it's no longer noticeable if you focus solely on the remote screen. It seems the update may have solved the audio and video synching problems through over-the-air caching. Audio is now matched almost perfectly with onscreen motion, and video is clean.

If you've not applied this latest firmware, give it a shot and let me know your results.

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