Miracast to require new Windows Phone hardware, Lumia 1520 might make the cut

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting Miracast support in Windows Phone 8.1, and are excited that you’ll be able to upgrade your Windows Phone, you may have to pipe down slightly as your current device may not be compatible. This news comes from Joe Belfiore on Twitter, stating that only the Nokia Lumia 1520 from current (and previous) generation Windows Phones may be compatible.

It’s a downer for consumers who were looking forward to grabbing the Windows Phone 8.1 update on current hardware to take advantage of Miracast. That said, we’re already starting to see new hardware be announced for Microsoft’s next major OS update, so perhaps you’ll be tempted to upgrade to a new model?

Either way, we’ll hopefully have more details on the peer-to-peer wireless screen casting in the near future.

via: GSMArena

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

222 Comments
  • What's Miracast?
  • I's screencasting via Wifi Direct from your phone to another device, let's say, a Tv or receiver wich supports miracast.
  • Like airplay in iOS? Right?
  • Airplay handles audio and video. Think miracast just does video. They really need play to through XB1. No reason they couldn't pipe phone and computer display through it.
  • Miracast (like Wireless Display technology of Intel) does support both video and audio casting to supported devices (e.g Smart TV, Netgear push2tv etc). Similar to DLNA but does not require a network since it uses WIFI direct (peer to peer).
  • whats the difference,we already have nokia play to and it works perfectly with my WD TV Live HD Media Player is miracast any different except for the dedicated miracast hardware,for me it wont be a biggie since none of my hardware support miracast anyway (except for a few unused droids) and DLNA support in WP is great and smooth as for mirroring,Nokia Beamer works decent (needs a bit of work) 
  • Well, playto relies on DLNA, and in my experience that has many problems with many devices, typically only supports media files (which are converted on the fly with sometimes not pretty results). Miracast allows you to mirror your screen in Full HD, all of it, and in real time. You can use it for anything from watching a movie, giving a powerpoint presentation, or showing pictures to your family and friends on a big screen (without needing a PC, nor an internet connection, and without the sometimes horrible lag experienced by Nokia beamer). I personally use it with my projector at home, because it's not a network device nor DLNA ready, and Miracast is so much more convenient than having HDMI cables going through the whole house. Also allows me to use the projector with multiple sources (Desktop PC, my Surface2, was hoping my Lumia 925 with WP8.1...) with no hussles... Actually, pairing is so simple and it works so well for me after purchasing an inexpensive Netgear adapter that I'm considering getting one for everyone in my family. That way when I get to their place I can show whatever is in my phone/tablet straight away.
  • Exactly!
  • personally i dont see myself using Miracast at the moment as such, Play To works well enough , Nokia Beamer is a great concept but needs serious bugfixes but atleast its better than nothing Though i do hope the new SYNC for cars gets Carplay Like Features with current devices as well
  • Sure, but what if your Wlan network is crouded, you'll not enjoy fast experience, your video will stutter or your family will get subpar internet service Miracast is Wifi Direct, it doesn't rely on your Wlan network or stress it .
  • Or you could just buy one extra adapter and keep it in your car for when you visit.
  • Yes, DLNA and Miracast have similarities but also have big differences. You can use Play To (DLNA) to stream you music, video or picture to a renderer (WDTV, smart TV) and for some that is good enough. Miracast, however, streams your screen display and audio to (eg). smart TV much like using an HDMI cable so even your home screen and live tiles will appear on your TV. This is useful when you have lets say NBA League pass app on your WP and want to watch it on a big screen (smart TV or any miracast supported device) without using any cable. You can use Miracast for this purpose, both audio and video will be projected. You can not use PlayTo in this case.
  • Play to barely works with Xbox One for me. Not sure why. The old one used to work well withe the 360.
  • xbox one is a downgrade from the 360(only for media capabilities) it no longer supports WMC extender support nor does it use Play To :( overall its better since it uses a Windows Kernel and hence apps etc will be better in future(even WMC may come out somehow )
  • It supports Play To from my Windows 8 device. I use it all the time with apps.
  • Sorry, I was on about the Nokia Play to app.
  • I use miracast and can say it runs both video and audio to the TV.
    And it also can connect your computer to any USB devices connected to the TV.
  • I use miracast on my dell venue pro to my vizio tv. I use a rocket fish miracast adapter. I am able to stream anything
  • Miracast does both. "Miracast is a peer-to-peer wireless screencasting standard formed via Wi-Fi Direct connections in a manner similar to Bluetooth. It enables wireless delivery of audio and video to or from desktops, tablets, mobile phones, and other devices." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracast
  • What's Miracast?
  • So airplay is better? :'(
  • Huh? Miracast does 1080p video out of the box. And with audio. 1080p video and perfect lipsync.
  • No, miracast stream all of your display to a tv. It's like having an HDMI cable connected to your phone. DLNA and airplay, only streams audio and video.
  • No.  Miracast can be used in a lot of situations where Airplay (and ChromeCast) won't work.  Miracast is also a simple open standard while Airplay is proprietary. 
  • Like Nokia Play To?
  • Similar concept, but very different in actuality. Play To uses different technology and requires both devices to be on the same network, Miracast is point-to-point. Think of it as a second monitor, but wireless. In Windows, you can mirror or extend displays. On phones it's most likely just mirroring.
  • Ok, like Nokia beamer. Just directly connected AND fast...
  • Play to is only for music or video or pictures, not for screen mirrowing.
  • Bing it on, Sir.
  • Is miracast and wifi-direct the same? will we get wifi-direct at least?
  • Miracast uses WiFi-Direct for it's connection standard, but it is more than just WiFi-Direct.  There are also audio/video codecs that are part of the standard.   You will get WiFi-Direct in WP8.1 if the hardware supports it.  The OS supports it, but if the hardware WiFi chip is not WiFi-Direct capable then it obviously won't work.  Unfortunately, I suspect that the reason Miracast isn't going to work on most current devices is because the hardware doesn't support WiFi-Direct.
  • Bing it!
  • :/
  • Marketing or real facts? Discuss below.
  • Exactly.
  • Marketing. The MSM8960/Adreno 225 is fully capable of Miracast output, it's an internal feature. The Lumia 820, 920, 1020, HTC One X (NA), Samsung Galaxy S3, etc, all run on the same SOC. The latter two are Miracast capable.
  • The MSM8960/Adreno 225 is fully capable of Miracast output, it's an internal feature, it doesn't require external hardware apart from the SOC itself. The Lumia 820, 920, 1020, HTC One X (NA), Samsung Galaxy S3, etc, all run on the same SOC. The latter two are Miracast capable.
  • What is your source?
  • Isn't there a differance in RAM between the Lumias and S3, then the Xperia T and V is a better compairison check these links Miracast enable devices http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracast
    Specs for Xperia T and V http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xperia
    Mobiles with similar MSM8960 SOC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapdragon_29#Snapdragon_S4 Another interesting thing is that Nokia lunached this article in 2012 when the lanched the 920 The Adreno 225 GPU ensures smooth gameplay, high frame rates, and enhanced scenes with jaw-dropping effects. But it’s not just games that benefit. Augmented reality such as that used by Nokia City Lenses, 2D to 3D conversion, and Miracast (Wireless Display) all gain, too. http://conversations.nokia.com/2012/12/11/how-qualcomm-cooks-up-the-noki...
  • It has nothing to do with the RAM. Miracast and WiFi Direct are an internal feature of the SOC and the WiFi Radio Module. Take for instance the Samsung Ativ S: it's a Galaxy S3 with Windows Phone aboard, it has the same SOC and WiFi/BT/FM radio module as the Lumia 820/920/925/1020 (MSM8960 and RTR8600). The Galaxy S3 comes in several model variants (either Qualcomm S4 or Exynos) with 1GB or 2GB of RAM (depending of the intended market). All of them have Miracast on board.
  • The MSM8960/Adreno 225 is fully capable of Miracast output, it's an internal feature, it doesn't require external hardware apart from the SOC itself. The Lumia 820, 920, 1020, HTC One X (NA), Samsung Galaxy S3, etc, all run on the same SOC. The latter two are Miracast capable.
  • marketing for sure.. or only mentioned models will be supported
  • Embarrassing that Joe doesn't know this. All it should take is a firmware update to enable it.
  • Right, and all that was needed to run WP8 on WP7 devices (sans a very small number of things that really did need new HW) was a firmware update, too. But no OEMs did it because you don't just pop out a whole new set of drivers for a chipset in a couple weeks. It takes many months and costs millions of dollars to develop, for a chipset they will never use again in new phones. The chipset in the 1520 will still be used for a while longer, so they had already written the Miracast drivers for it. Merging those drivers back into the 1520 firmware (and probably the 929 since it's the same chipset) is fairly easy and makes customers happy, which is why they are doing it.
  • Your argument is invalid, WP7 could not have been updated. Hardware encryption requires supporting hardware. Even if it were a valid point, the WiFi direct module in all the WP8 phones have no use, whatsoever. They do nothing right now. Nothing. Marketing will ensure they do nothing.
  • That's exactly what happened with original Surface RT. Microsoft didn't enable it even though Tegra 3 supports it. Really disappointed.
  • Yeah screw this, its almost 2015.. Flying cars etc..
  • It's not a conspiracy.  The hardware probably just isn't there.  It's not just about the graphics capabilities or firmware as others have suggested.  The hardware WiFi chip has to support a specific version of WiFi-Direct or above.  Windows Phones use Qualcomm processors.  Qualcomm only started to support WiFi-Direct in more recent versions of their processors and to begin with it was only in the higher end quad core versions.  Some flagship Android phones have been using those quad cores, but WP devices have mostly been the dual core versions.   This is the only real disadvantage to Miracast compared to competing technology.  It only works on relatively recent devices.  In the mobile world "recent" is like 3 months or less. :) 
  • Lanched by Nokia 
    The Adreno 225 GPU ensures smooth gameplay, high frame rates, and enhanced scenes with jaw-dropping effects. But it’s not just games that benefit. Augmented reality such as that used by Nokia City Lenses, 2D to 3D conversion, and Miracast (Wireless Display) all gain, too. Why would they mention Miracast together with the 920 if it wasn't Miracast enable?
    http://conversations.nokia.com/2012/12/11/how-qualcomm-cooks-up-the-noki...
  • As I already stated above, take for instance the Samsung Ativ S: it's a Galaxy S3 (Qualcomm variant) with Windows Phone aboard, it has the same SOC and WiFi/BT/FM radio module as the Lumia 820/920/925/1020 (MSM8960 and RTR8600). The Galaxy S3 comes in several model variants (either Qualcomm S4 or Exynos) with 1GB or 2GB of RAM. All of them have Miracast on board, doesn't matter if Qualcomm or Exynos.
  • I call it bullcrap. The video on YouTube about the Nokia 920 8.1 preview show a tittle on setting > screen mirroring's then state"This phone does not support wireless ect."
  • Oh no. N I was worried about cortana not coming to India
  • it will come eventually,have u heard of BETA releases?
  • What about dlna?
  • You have DLNA already. Use play to.
  • yeah given how slow airplay mirroring is and how fast Play To is, id say miracast may not be as fast as Play To play to works flawless for my bravia internet tv and my WD tv live hd media player
  • Miracast is basically real time.  I use it all the time on various devices (Windows tablets, Kindles, Droid phones) and the lag is so minimal it's hard to even measure.  Maybe 0.1 seconds? 
  • W.e. This is nothing compared to the ppl not getting WP 8 due to hardware restrictions.
  • Do you mean the cheapskates not buying a new phone ?
  • Well not everyone can buy a new phone every 6 months. Imagine people buying a phone and WP8 launching next month and announcing that it will require new hardware.
  • Same thing I and most of the people I know here in India buy a new phone and use it atleast 2 years before getting a new one.
  • Bro, you can get a Lumia 520 OFF CONTRACT for like $50...and honestly it's a very slick machine. I often use it even though I have a 1020
  • Buy one of those cheap ones Nokia keeps making.
  • Who bought a wp7 six months ago? That's your own fault then. You didn't do your research. My Lumia 920 is one and a half years old and will get the update with no issues.
  • Was that for me? Well I use a NL 620, I was just referring to other guys who might find themselves in such a situation. And imagine if wp8.1 wldnt be available for older wp8s then I wld still be stuck with the phone for at least a year...
  • You say every 6 months but its been out for a year and a half!
  • WP7 launched in Oct/Nov 2010.  WP 8 launched Oct 2012. WP7 had two full years of existence.  If someone bought a phone 6 months before WP8 came out, they weren't paying attention and it's their own fault.
  • As a previous Lumia 900 owner I felt this pain, but I do understand that there are minimum specs for WP8 and all.
  • Same here. I bought the 900 almost as soon as it came out and shortly after that, the 920 came out. I had to buy my 920 on Craigslist
  • Sorry but no minimum specs here are involved: The MSM8960/Adreno 225 is fully capable of Miracast output, it's an internal feature, it doesn't require external hardware apart from the SOC itself. The Lumia 820, 920, 1020, HTC One X (NA), Samsung Galaxy S3, etc, all run on the same SOC. The latter two are Miracast capable.  
  • Same here, but it's really not Microsoft's fault that AT&T insisted on having a custom phone built for them (the lumia 800 had been available internationally for several months) and that AT&T finally released it as a flagship when WP7 had been out for 2 years and WP8 was close to being announced. God forbid, the US carriers just stick with the default phones used everywhere else in the world instead of the exclusive hacked crap that they have custom built.
  • I would think the Icon would support it too, no?
  • Ya I'm shocked that the Icon wasn't mentioned as it's just as new.
  • It uses the same chipset as the 1520, so I'd be really surprised if Nokia didn't add Miracast support to its firmware too. Twitter isn't exactly the right forum for sharing product info that is more complicated than one sentence. Joe really needs to have a blog where he can write a few paragraphs that explains everything, if he wants to be sharing this kind of stuff with the world.
  • I really hope so, or it is a shame...A flagship phone MUST have ALL. No excuses... I can (maybe) accept no support from glance, but nothing more !!
  • I assume the Icon was not mentioned because it is a WP8.1 device, not a WP 8.0 device. Joe specifically stated 'current device' not new 8.1 device.
  • I have an Icon and it's WP 8.0, not 8.1.
  • L930 its almost an Icon, but not fully. Icon its WP8.0 out of the box.
  • Yeah what is that I know of mirrorlink but I think that's different...would love mirrorlink support on wp
  • Me too. I wonder if any car stereo support miracast. You wouldn't have the controls given to the stereo like with mirrorlink though. Nokia did support it before windows phone so hopefully one day.
  • I have to imagine the Icon is compatible as well, given its the same internals as the 1520 and 930... However, its Verizon so who knows
  • Yeah, it would have been foolish of them to make the 1520 compatible but not the Icon.
  • Well 929/930 specs say it supports WiFi direct.
  • Well it could come down to that the screen of the icon doesn't support display memory in its screen, same reason it can't get glance
  • Lol
  • Icon news more disappointing every day
  • Read the article! Current devices upgrading to 8.1, Icon is not a current device but a next Gen 8.1 device.
  • Icon runs WP 8.0. If anything the 930 is a WP8.0 device launching with 8.1 installed
  • Icon has been out since February. Its wp8. I'm on my icon typing this.
  • That shouldn't affect it in the least.  All it's doing is routing the display over the WiFi.  The phone's screen shouldn't even play into it.
  • What is miracast?
  • Look up /\
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  • Wait, since when emoji is allowed on comments ?
  • ⁉‼❓❔❕. Only symbol one it seems
  • this is bad...
  • I was looking forward to enjoying Miracast on my Ativ S, but I'm planning to pick up a 930 as soon as it's financially feasible... Oh well, I guess this is just extra motivation to start saving for it. :)
  • As much as i am bummed about this news, at least, for me in real world situations, this wont matter much. but it would be cool to have it, regardless. Maybe its about time to upgrade
  • Oh saved. I thought i am