A couple weeks back, I let you know about a device Microsoft was developing to release soon that would bring Miracast support for devices. Miracast, of course, is that magical, industry standard for creating wireless video networks for "casting" mobile images to larger screens like TVs.
Now we know what Microsoft's own device looks like and what it does.
Announced on the Nokia blog as the HD-10, the device looks very similar to what I currently use to enable Miracast for my devices.
Microsoft insists calling the device "Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones," but I'll refer to it as the HD-10. Much simpler.
I use the Netgear Pusth2TV (PTV3000) and it works wonderfully with all my Miracast-enabled devices. I even travel with it to push my Surface Pro 3 screen to hotel room TVs for streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime video.
Both units have HDMI-out and a USB port to power them. They are both about the same size. And, at first glance, it would appear the only difference is the shape (HD-10 is round, PTV3000 is rectangular). The Nokia blog seems to suggest that the new device is only for Lumias, but that's not the case. The HD-10 works with any Miracast-enabled device. So what are the differences?
First is price. The HD-10 is priced at $79, while the Netgear PTV3000 costs just $50.
Second, the HD-10 comes in two colors: black and white. The Netgear PTV3000 comes in only black.
And lastly, and this is the big differentiator, the HD-10 comes with a special NFC disc, rounded to fit the base. With the NFC disk attached, you can initiate a Miracast session simply by "tapping" the Lumia smartphone on the HD-10. It's not entirely clear if other NFC capable devices can also use this feature, but could be something Microsoft designed specifically for Windows Phone 8.1.
You can read more about the specs and such at: Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones
Or, spend less and just grab the tested and trusted (but, NFC-less) PTV3000: NETGEAR Push2TV Wireless Display HDMI Adapter with Miracast (PTV3000)