Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter vs. Google Chromecast

TL;DR: Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter is just better and easier to use than a Chromecast. You may now close this tab.

I’ve had the Chromecast for a while and while I do like the promise of the device, it’s always failed me when I needed to do something simple. I got the MS WDA just today for nearly twice the cost of the Chromecast and I’m already making twice as much use of it.

The MS WDA is a simple Miracast receiving device. You plug it in, it becomes available to any supported device, you project/cast to it and it works. Your presentation is a success. You go on with your successful life.

The Chromecast absolutely needs a working WiFi connection, even if you want to do simple screen mirroring. I can understand the need for WiFi if the Chromecast is to directly stream YouTube or whatever content from the internet, but why the fuck can’t I just connect to it directly and cast my tabs or screen? If you don’t have WiFi, your life becomes hell. You can turn on the hotspot on your phone, but then you can’t cast from the phone to the Chromecast – you’ll have to use a third device, such as a laptop or a tablet or whatever. By this time, your potential client has left the meeting room. You go back to your matchbox apartment and eat cold TV dinner after being robbed in the alleyway.

The only complaint I can currently make is that there’s a significant lag in the mirroring of the MS WDA. But I haven’t had a flawless screencast with a Chromecast either. It’s probably the 50 other 2.4GHz devices in my flat vying for my attention, in addition to the entire building’s WiFi hotspots. Changing the channels to less crowded ones didn’t help much.

The Chromecast is a technically superior device and it costs almost half as much as a MS WDA. But it’s only of use to you if you’re going to watch YouTube on the TV. MS WDA turns your TV into a proper standards-compliant Miracast/WiDi wireless display, so it’s still worth the higher price tag.

But there’s a problem: The MS WDA isn’t available in India yet. Just like the Surface Pro. The Chromecast retails for ₹2,999 on the Play Store or around ₹2,500 on other sites. The MS WDA isn’t on any local site and it isn’t going to cost anything less than ₹4,000 ($60+tax+duty) and that doesn’t include shipping.

However, there could be an alternative that’s cheaper than the MS WDA and even the Chromecast and still works better. Like I mentioned earlier, the MS WDA is a standard Miracast receiver, so, technically, any Miracast receiver should work as well. A quick search on eBay reveals cheap Chinese/noname Miracast dongles going for 1,500. I haven’t personally tried any of them, but if they say they support Miracast, they should work just as well as the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. Maybe someone can try one out and let me know?


1 thought on “Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter vs. Google Chromecast

  1. Excellent!


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