[sc:hardware-category ]When I purchased my Dell Venue Pro 8 I didn’t notice that it supported Miracast and quite honestly it wasn’t a feature I was really looking for as the only Miracast adapters were far too expensive. Recently that’s changed.
I started looking for a Miracast adapter a while ago for my notebook, but I was unsure if it supported Miracast and didn’t want to shell out $150+ to find out for sure. However I found the ASUS Miracast Adapter for a reasonable $56.99 over at Mike’s Computer Shop so I decided to take a chance.
The adapter comes with everything you need, a 90 degree HDMI adapter, a MicroUSB cable and power adapter and the Miracast adapter itself.
Plugging it all in was easy enough and in just a couple of seconds I had it waiting for a connection on my TV. The ASUS unit displays on-screen instructions on how to connect to it, however it does assume your running an Android tablet.
Windows 8.1 has Miracast support built-in and swiping in from the right and selecting the devices charm let’s you project your screen on to the Miracast adapter.
The ASUS adapter uses a very long and complex name, which includes the device firmware version in it. It’s a bit of a weird choice on ASUS’s part, but not a big deal overall.
After connecting the display is duplicated and everything worked fine… for about 30 seconds and then promptly disconnected.
This happened every time I connected to the adapter.
I decided to check the ASUS support site but there was nothing talking about disconnects, there was however a new firmware version.
If you’re using an Android tablet, firmware updates are pretty easy to do. Otherwise you have to connect to the Miracast adapter via WiFi and manually upload the new firmware to the device.
It didn’t take long and after a few minutes it was back up and running.
After the update though the name of the adapter changed as the new firmware was no reflected in the adapter name. This required me to delete it from my Venue and re-add it. An annoyance at best but worth the effort as the firmware update resolved the disconnecting issue.
Once everything was up and going, the display was crisp and reasonably responsive.
Windows 8 on the Venue Pro is a very smooth experience in general, but the overhead of Miracast does make it a little jerky. Nothing that makes it impossible to use, just not the butter smooth experience it usually delivers.
So far everything I’ve tried; Netflix, YouTube, Windows Media Player and more, has worked just fine.
Over the years I’ve tried to find a good media center PC to drive my TV, but I may have found a better solution in Miracast.
The only one small grip with the ASUS dongle is how wide it is near the HDMI port. One TV I tried it on had another port right beside the HDMI connector and the ASUS adapter just would not fit. Other than that, it does run a bit hot, but works quite well.