Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter: remember to upgrade

There are many Miracast adapters available but the best is the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.  If you get one, the hidden trick is to update the firmware.

Miracast is a system for wirelessly connecting a computer to a remote screen for both video and audio.  A Miracast dongle plugs into the HDMI socket of any TV, plus a USB socket for power.  (that’s one reason why many modern TV’s have USB sockets).

It’s great for putting your phone, tablet or computer onto a big screen.  It’s an easy way to put your PowerPoint presentation onto a bigger screen.  Even a tiny phone can show a full screen presentation with Presenter View on the device screen to control the display.

There are many Miracast dongles out there but sadly many of them don’t work very well in practice.   There can be compatibility problems.

The most reliable Miracast adapter we’ve found is the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.  (Yes, Office Watch is recommending Microsoft hardware) It can connect to most Miracast enabled devices including many Windows or Android phones/tablets.  No Apple devices work with Miracast (Apple, typically, has their own system).

The problem with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is the price.  At US$60 it’s quite expensive compared to other Miracast dongles.  But if you hunt around for a discount, the adapter should be available for less than $50 or even under $45.

You can plug-in the dongle and it should work.  But we found a few devices that could ‘see’ the adapter but not connect and display through it.

The solution may be to update the firmware inside the dongle.   Even though your dongle is new, it will have left the factory many months before the latest update was released.

Get the dongle up to date via the Wireless Display Adapter app from the Windows Store.

Connect to the adapter, then open the app.  Choose Firmware from the left menu to see if there’s an update available for your dongle.  If there is, the app will handle the download, updating the dongle and restarting it with the latest firmware.  The whole thing takes 5-10 minutes.

Our ‘new’ dongle had v1.2.nnnn firmware and we could not connect it to some Android tablets.  After upgrading to the latest v1.3.nnnn release the dongle could handle any device we threw at it.