Miracast is a new standard allowing you to play videos or mirror your Android device display on a TV via Wi-Fi direct. All you need is a Wi-Fi device that can be connected to the HDMI and USB (for power) ports of your TV, and decode common video codecs. There are not many devices available on the market, but I’ve just found out about AX-14, a Wi-Di and Miracast HDMI adapter that lets you connect your Windows 7 or 8 to your TV via Wi-Di, or your Android / iOS via Miracast. The device also supports DLNA.
The hardware specs are said to be as follows:
- Processor – MIPS24Kc processor (RTD1185PA) @ 500MHz
- System Memory – 256 MB DDR3 SDRAM
- Storage – 128 MB NAND Flash
- Video and Audio engine with HW acceleration
- Video Codecs & Formats – MPEG-1,MPEG-2,MPEG-4 SP/ASP( Xvid), MPEG-4 AVC(H.264), AVS, VP6, Motion JPEG, H.263 , H.264, DivX 3/4/5/6 (license only), WMV9/VC1, RV8,RV9, MOV, FLV, AVI, MinusVR, MKV, VOB …
- Audio Codecs – MP3, WMA , WMA pro, WAV, MKA, LPCM, ADPCM, AAC, AIF/AIFF, OGG Vorbis, etc..
- USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 for power
- WiFi – Realtek WIFI Module supporting 802.11 b/g/n
- Video Output – HDMI OUT (Full HD Support – 1080p)
- Standard – Intel Wireless Display ( WiDi 3.0) / Miracast / DLNA
- Button – Wake-up and Factory default for SW1 / AP Upgrade and WIDI Switch for SW3
- Misc – 2x LED: green for power on , red for standby.
- Power – 5V/0.5A. Typical power consumption is 2 watts.
- Dimensions – 84.2 x 36.4 x 18.7 mm
- Weight – 35g
The device is running Linux. There are 3 modes of operations selected with a user button:
- Direct – The connection between your device and the dongle is done with Wi-Fi Direct.
- Internet – Your device and the dongle are connected via a Wi-Fi router.
- Mirroring – Mirrors your device display on the TV via Wi-Di or Miracast standards.
In the first 2 cases, you control the videos to be played with Joylink app for Android. This can work with Android 2.1 and greater. For iOS devices you can use iMediashare instead, and install a DLNA compatible app such as Tencent QQLive HD in Windows clients. Mirroring mode requires a Miracast or Wi-Di certified devices, which means you’ll need a device with Android 4.2 to use this mode. Wi-Di mode requires a computer with an Intel Core i3/i5/i5 processor, and graphics and network chipsets supporting Wi-Di 3.5.
AX-14 product name shows up in reseller website, but further research led me to Tekxon Technology, a Taiwanese company, that appears to be the manufacturer of the device and calls it WFD-01. Your can find a lot of information in WFD-01 page including download link to software, user manual, as well as lots of demo videos.
One of the cool videos they have shows WFD-01 Miracast dongle works with Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. They show video playback, and display mirroring including playing a snowboard game apparently with minimal lag.
AX-14 Miracast dongle is available from several shop, but prices vary a lot. From as low as $55 on Aliexpress to about $95 on Geekbuying and some other sites. If Miracast dongles become popular, I’m pretty sure the price will eventually fall below $30 based on the hardware specifications listed above. Please bear in mind that if DLNA seems to for great, the firmware may not currently be perfect with Miracast support, as some users report that it does not work very well with Nexus 4, either because it does not work at all, or the experience is poor:
…the device itself is not the best, I’m afraid. I tried it in Miracast mode with LG Nexus 4, and it works, but the audio is out of sync with the video and the video playback is jerky. Maybe the firmware upgrade could help, but for now I can’t recommend purchasing this device if you want to use it in Miracast mode.
The comment above was made in January, and the seller promised firmware and app update to fix those issues, but I’m not sure of the status now.
If you already have an Android mini PC, I would expect a Miracast “server” app to become available at some points, so this type of device may not be necessary.