Screen mirroring, also called wireless screen mirroring, is a technology that lets you project, or “mirror” the current content on your smartphone, tablet or computer screen to another screen or digital sign wirelessly (no cables or adapters required). Screen mirroring is a useful way to demonstrate software or how to use an application, play videos for all to see, or share the contents of a web page or any file on your computer or mobile device.
Screen mirroring is a way to share your screen. However, screen mirroring is not to be mistaken with screencasting. Screencasting requires an app in order to send movies, video clips, and music from your phone, tablet or computer to another screen. When screencasting, you only need to use your personal device to “set up” content (e.g. starting a movie). Once it’s rolling, you can even leave the building with your device and have the video continue to play on the smartTV or projector. Screen mirroring, on the other hand, requires that you stick around and present live. When screen mirroring, you are continually sending a copy of either your full screen or a single window which is duplicated onto another display.
There are several types of technology standards for screen mirroring or wireless screen mirroring, each with their own histories and pros and cons.
Miracast is a widely available technology for screen mirroring. It is a useful and effective technology that allows users to wirelessly share content on one screen to another screen or a projector. But Miracast has a significant drawback: It does not support Apple devices. Consequently, it is not suitable for bring-your-own-device situations.
Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) allows users to mirror the content of their phones to a screen or projector, but requires a micro USB port to HDMI converter that can do the transfer, making it problematic for classrooms and shared meeting rooms, as the required devices are often lost or broken. Moreover, not all phones support MHL, which makes it challenging for bring-your-own device situations.
Digital Living Network Alliance (DNLA) is one of the most powerful standards for wireless screen mirroring — as long as users tend to have SONY devices (Sony Bravia, Sony PlayStation, Sony Xperia and Sony VAIO). DLNA operates using a client-server model, meaning when the client and server are connected, the client can access the files present on the server. Because DLNA works only with files, users can’t display their browser window or YouTube videos to the screen or projector without a third-party streaming app.
Airtame 2 is a wireless screen sharing and collaboration platform that offers wireless mirroring functionality and more.