Microsoft's Wireless Display Adapter vs. Chromecast

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 25, 2014
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft

Google's Chromecast device has been around for some time now. It enables you to stream contents from a computer or supported mobile device using apps to a compatible screen.

The price point is very tempting and setup is not difficult at all as well.

Microsoft announced the Wireless Display Adapter a couple of days ago and it looks on first glance like an expensive Chromecast device.

When you look closer though, you will notice that the two devices do not offer the same functionality and are not really comparable.

The Wireless Display Adapter will be available for $59.95, about $25 more than what a Chromecast costs.

Overview of components and requirements

  1. The Wireless Display Adapter has a USB and a HDMI connector which you plug both into the HDTV or computer monitor (which means the device needs to offer both).
  2. According to Microsoft, it delivers a reliable signal within a 23-foot range.
  3. It requires a Miracast supporting Windows 8.1 device or an Android device running version 4.2.1 or later.
  4. Internet access is not required for its functionality.

If you have read about Google's Chromecast before or have one at home, you will notice the differences between the devices immediately.

microsoft wireless display adapter

Google's Chromecast is not as limited as Microsoft's Wireless Display Adapter when it comes to supported systems. It supports all major versions of Windows and also Mac Os X, Linux and Chrome OS, and also Android and iOS on the mobile side of things.

It is quite telling that Google's device supports all versions of Windows currently supported by Microsoft while the companies own Wireless Display Adapter does not.

If you compare the streaming itself, you will notice another huge difference. The Chromecast requires a WiFi source to work at all while Microsoft's device does not as it uses WiFi Direct. That's huge, especially for business and Enterprise users but also for situations where Wifi or Internet is not available, not reliable or not secure.

There is also a difference as to what can be streamed. Microsoft's Wireless Display Adapter can mirror the screen of the device while Google's Chromecast main purpose is to stream select contents, Internet media streams, local media or web browser tabs but not the screen of the device in general.

Meet the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter video

So which is the right one?

There is no direct answer to that that fits everyone. Microsoft's Wireless Display Adapter is held back by its system requirements and its price, while Google's Chromecast requires a WiFi source and is limited in terms of what can be cast to the screen.

If you ask me, I'd pick Microsoft's casting device if I'd have compatible devices. Yes, it is more expensive but it does not phone home like the Chromecast does. I don't want a company to record what I cast and from where I cast it.

What about you? Do you favor one of the devices or another one not mentioned at all?

Microsoft's Wireless Display Adapter vs. Chromecast
Article Name
Microsoft's Wireless Display Adapter vs. Chromecast
A comparison of Microsoft's Wireless Display Adapter and Google's Chromecast device. Find out about the differences between the devices and which one is right for you.

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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

  9. sean conner said on September 27, 2023 at 6:21 am

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