Microsoft Up Against Chromecast With Its Own Streaming Dongle
Just within 12 months after the launch of Chromecast, Microsoft is walking down the same lane with its own streaming dongle now. This is good news for the Windows Phone users because now they will also be able to mirror their phone apps and content onto their TVs.
The launch is expected to be announced soon enough, according to the documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which show that all the tests have been passed by Quietech Associates, the company Microsoft has authorized for matters dealing with this device.
The device is not completely revealed in the papers as it is named as “HD-10” throughout. However, it does reveal that the HD-10 comes with a HDMI port, Wi-Fi and a USB connection for power supply. These features make the Microsoft device at par with the Chromecast.
This mystery device has, however, been identified as a Miracast dongle, checking against the Wi-Fi Alliance product database. Miracast is a peer-to-peer standard which allows video screen capture (screencasting) in a manner similar to that of Chromecast. It allows users to reflect the display from a phone, desktop or tablet onto a TV, or watch live programs from a home cable box on any portable device.
The devices at both ends must support Miracast for the technology to work. In cases where devices do not support Miracast, for example a TV, adapters can be plugged into the HDMI or USB ports for it to work.
By the looks of this description, and the features of Microsoft’s device, it seems pretty clear that Microsoft has been playing with this technology for some time. Comparing this to the Chromecast at a basic level is permissible, but Miracast still lacks in features that Google’s Cast protocol offers:
- Ability to collect media from multiple participants at the same time
- Play multiplayer games
- Point the receiver to a media resource that can be hosted in the cloud
Moreover, the Chromecast is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, but ignores Windows Phone yet again; whereas Miracast is supported in Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8.1. So a dongle that works with both Android and Windows Phone along with Windows is bound to catch in more users.
Nevertheless, the fact that Micrsoft has taken a plunge this deep is also refreshing to know. And who knows, there might be any additional features that are being kept hidden to surprise the users. After all, they have been pretty secretive about this device as a whole as well.
There is speculation about when the company is going to announce the date, however the “Ready for more?” tease by Micrsoft and the launch of Lumia 730 on September 4 in Berlin do not seem as just coincidences for the eagerly waiting users.