Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Preview

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Preview

Could this be the Miracast device that just works?

OK, I've had my fun with the dichotomy of Microsoft announced two separate Miracast adapters in the last 30 days. Truth be told, the newly announced Wireless Display Adapter does address some slightly different scenarios than the previously-announced Microsoft Screen-Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10. And I'll be reviewing and comparing both.

Here's what's happening with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

It's Miracast. Don't be fooled by the name. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is your basic Miracast dongle. That means it's a dumb wireless wire, and not a sophisticated solution like Play on Xbox, Chromecast or Air Play.

No NFC. Unlike the Microsoft Screen-Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10, the Wireless Display Adapter does not include a NFC pairing plate. You can still use it with your Miracast-enabled smart phone, tablet or PC, but the pairing will be a bit more of a manual process.

Power via USB. As with a Chromecast or Roku Streaming Stick, the Wireless Display Adapter draws power from a USB port on your HDTV or, if you don't have one, via a power adapter.

Wireless range. Up to 23 feet. Microsoft tells me this device has very low latency.

Supports 1080p. If your HDTV can do 1080p, the Wireless Display Adapter will support that.

Compatibility. Same as any other Miracast device, the Wireless Display Adapter will work with Miracast-enabled Windows 8.1 tablets and laptops and Windows Phone 8.1-based handsets, and Android 4.2.1+ devices.

Availability: October 2014

Cost: $59.99 in the United States. You can preorder it now from the Microsoft Store online.

Learn more: I've written about my Miracast experiences in What I Use (Home Swap): Home Entertainment and Windows 8.1 + Miracast.

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