Screen mirroring technology allows you to wirelessly display the screen of your phone, tablet or computer on the screen of another device.
Screen mirroring is often used during meetings, presentations, and conferences to display relevant content to others in the room easily.
This article will guide you what screen mirroring is, what it is not, and how to use it.
What is Screen Mirroring Not?
To adequately understand what screen mirroring is, you need to know what it is not.
Online meeting/video conferencing software
Screen mirroring is not the same as online meeting software, video conferencing software, or desktop sharing software such as join.me or GoToMeeting.
Screen mirroring is a “localized” action, which implies that the screen sending device and the screen receiving device need be on the same network. No internet connection required.
Because the connections are point-to-point and stay on the local network, on-screen data never crosses the Internet. The two devices are usually in the same room for display.
There are some exceptions when the devices do not need to be part of the same network. You can discover more information regarding this below.
Screen mirroring is not media streaming. Media streaming is the constant playback of an audio or video file. Many people stream multimedia content daily.
Have you heard of Netflix or YouTube? It is streaming media. But streaming media can be as simple as sending an audio or video file to a computer for playback on an external receiver, like an Apple TV.
Streaming is ideal if you need to send an audio or video file to the big screen. Screen mirroring is perfect for presentation and collaboration.
Cables, adapters and dongles
Some interpret screen mirroring broadly to include physical connections such as HDMI, VGA, and various other cables and keys. These methods are becoming obsolete as the world turns to wireless technology. For this article, screen mirroring is completely wireless work.
How Screen Mirroring Works?
Screen mirroring requires two components: a screen sending device and a screen receiving device.
The screen sending device uses a screen mirroring protocol. There are different protocols for screen mirroring. Good examples of this include Google Cast on Chromebooks and Apple AirPlay on iPhone.
Screen mirroring also needs a receiver. The receiver is the goal for the content you are trying to view. There are hardware receivers, such as Chromecast, Apple TV, and many more. Software applications like Reflector turn existing devices, such as Macs or Windows computers, into rugged receivers.
Display mirror connections can be made in different ways, depending on the devices you are trying to connect to.
The devices are equipped with different types of native screen mirroring technology (like Google Cast and AirPlay) and therefore do not always share the same compatibility. For example, Windows devices are equipped with Miracast, while Apple devices use AirPlay.
This restricts Windows devices from wirelessly connecting to Apple TVs. These technological barriers create problems for businesses and schools that apply and use various types of devices.
Fortunately, there is third-party screen mirroring solutions with cross-platform compatibility that helps bridge this gap.
Screen Mirroring with iOS, Android, macOS, Chrome OS, and Windows.
iOS devices: use native AirPlay on iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Open Control Center, select “Screen Mirroring” to see a list of available AirPlay receivers.
Compatible AirPlay receivers for iOS device mirroring include Apple TVs and Reflector compatible devices.
- Swipe up from beneath the screen to access Control Center on iPad with iOS 11 or earlier, iPhone 8 or earlier, and iPod Touch.
- Swipe up from the uppermost right corner of the screen to access Control Center on iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone Xs, iPhone SE, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Pro.
- Follow the same procedure by sliding your finger down from the top right corner for new iPads, including iPad Air and iPad Pro with iPadOS 13 or later.
Chromebooks: Use the native Google Cast technology built into your device by right-clicking the user icon beneath the right corner of your Chromebook desktop. Select “Available broadcast devices” and select from the list of available receivers you want to duplicate. Supported Google Cast Chromebook mirroring receivers include Chromecast and Spotlight compatible devices.
Android devices: These devices make use of Google Cast with the free Google Home companion app located in the Google Play Store. Supported Google Cast receivers for mirroring Android devices include Chromecast and Spotlight compatible devices.
macOS: These devices can mirror or stream content to Apple TV using native AirPlay (exclusively available on Apple laptops released in 2012 or succeeding). Furthermore, Reflector turns Windows PCs, Android devices, and Amazon Fire TVs into compatible AirPlay receivers.
Note: Third-party screen mirroring software, allows Mac users to map or stream content to Chromecast, Apple TV, or Reflector compatible devices with additional features not offered by standard AirPlay.
Windows: Newer Windows devices and older Android devices use Miracast screen mirroring technology. Compatible Miracast receivers for Surface Pro and other Windows devices include Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter, Amazon Fire TV (sometimes), and Roku, to name a few. Neither Google nor Apple supports Miracast. However, Ditt’s screen mirroring solution allows Windows users to mirror and stream content to devices compatible with Apple TV, Chromecast, and Reflector.
Overall, the Miracast protocol is not as straightforward as its Google Cast and AirPlay counterparts. Knowing which tools use Miracast, which receivers they can connect to, and making those connections will require some research from the end-user.
Who Uses Screen Mirroring Technology?
Screen mirroring is used in homes, schools, and businesses to share content in education, collaboration, meetings, and home entertainment.
Screen mirroring technology is used in primary and higher education to promote collaboration, display student work, and add mobility to teaching. Multi-platform compatible screen mirroring solutions are ideal for educational environments as a wide range of device types are often used in schools.
Businesses often need to present content on the big screen in meetings. Screen mirroring technology makes it straightforward to share presentations or reports, brainstorm and collaborate wherever you are, such as meeting rooms, boardrooms, and common areas.
Like schools, companies implement different types of devices. The organization’s wireless presentation solution should be suitable for the devices used by its employees and guests. This requires a cross-platform screen mirroring solution.
The general public reproduces and streams movies, videos, photos, mobile games, music and more from TVs with a compatible receiver. Popular screen mirroring software among consumers includes AirParrot and Reflector.
Screen mirroring across networks
Traditionally, sending and receiving devices have to be on the same network to mirror the screen. However, there are moments when an organization needs specific devices and receivers on separate networks for security reasons.
For example, an organization might have a different guest network to avoid guest network traffic on the leading network. This would prevent guests from connecting to a receiver, such as an Apple TV.
There are several means to tackle this problem. Organizations will often open particular network ports for local communication between networks. In some illustrations, it may also be necessary to forward Bonjour or multicast.
Following these steps will allow you to mirror the screen across multiple networks. However, this solution does not work for every organization. Some organizations cannot open network ports due to legal and security requirements.
Fortunately, our screen mirroring experts have worked with these organizations’ IT and engineering teams to develop technology that allows devices on separate networks to mirror the screen without opening network ports without needing to migrate user information on the Internet.
Facilitates end-user connection and protects networks.