Back at the end of May, the WiFi Alliance announced a new WiFi Display certification program called Miracast. Making a standardization process for WiFi Display products to guarantee interoperability is a huge step forward to making adoption easy, and goes a long way to consolidating the growing number of WiFi Display-like standards.

Though the specification hasn't been made public quite yet (public disclosure will come sometime in August), Nvidia appears to have already secured some level of platform certification for its Android board support package, though individual products will still need to go through WiFi Alliance certification to wear a Miracast badge. Today, Nvidia shot us a release and whitepaper with specifics about its Miracast compatibility. 

Probably the most relevant point is that Nvidia's Miracast architecture leverages the onboard audio and video encode blocks, and framebuffer snoop to minimize latency. WiFi Display mandates an H.264 baseline Level 3.1 stream at its core, which is easy enough to hit with encoders lately. 

Nvidia sent over a video showing off Miracast, and latency between the display and TV looks nice and low. I asked for specifics, but Nvidia isn't ready to share latency numbers until closer to production hardware. That said, other partners have given WiFi Display latency as low as just 16 ms (one frame at 60 FPS) for the whole chain. 

As an aside, Miracast is hugely important for the Android ecosystem as a whole to get to feature parity with Apple's AirPlay and AirPlay Mirroring functionality. The standard will be released sometime in August, with certification happening shortly after in September or October of this year. 

Source: Nvidia, Whitepaper (PDF)

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  • room200 - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    Right now, I rcenetly discovered Intel's Widi. The only problem is you have to use a a wifi card and processor supported by Intel ONLY. The other limitation is that its laptop-based. I'd love to be able to take my tablet and show on a television wirelessly. I wonder what kind of hardware is needed for the television.
  • phatboye - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    Just say no to proprietary protocols
  • B3an - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    "Miracast is hugely important for the Android ecosystem as a whole to get to feature parity with Apple's AirPlay and AirPlay Mirroring functionality"

    Dont Apples AirPlay need a useless Apple TV to even do this though?
  • Guspaz - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    An AppleTV costs $99, which is not substantially different from what a WiDi adapter costs, for example. You can probably get a WiDi adapter for $50 these days, but an Apple TV does a rather lot more, so it's not a direct comparison. A Belkin ScreenCast isn't going to stream Netflix, for example.

    You shouldn't confuse the current Apple TV product with the original iTV product. It's an enormously more useful device than the original was, due to support for a lot of third party services (like Netflix) and a video rental service, for example. It doesn't just stream media from iTunes.
  • Impulses - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    Pretty sure there's a $70 WiDi box from Netgear on Newgg that not only streams from a laptop not has native Netflix capabilities and all the other usual streaming box bullet points... It was featured on an AT Pipeline post a few months ago. No clue about how well it stacks up with a WDTV, or a Roku, or an Apple TV... But the Apple TV is hardly a unique value. Great option if you've already bought into their ecosystem tho.
  • hpglow - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    No, although an Apple TV is the easiest way to make it happen. There are Linux hacks and a few products out there that license Airplay like Dennon recivers (some only work with audio.) An Apple TV is $100 if you have an iPhone or iPad Airplay makes it worth the price. It is real nice when you have friends over to shoot whatever content you want over to the TV set. After the Android mass gets a taste of it they will enjoy it as well.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    Yeah, AirPlay is awesome, even better now with OS 10.8 integration, so useful and brain-dead simple to use and set up. Its nice that the rest of the tech world will start catching up and seeing how cool this functionality is.
  • doubledeej - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    It's awesome... when it works.

    Mine disconnects constantly. It won't maintain a connection for more than a couple minutes, no matter what combination of Apple device and WiFi router I use.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    Really weird, solid here. What wifi routers have you been using?
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    Yep, this sounds like Apple's product.
    If it works it's "magic", if it doesn't then you're getting a "you're using it wrong" from Apple.
    I'm in the latter group, guess I'm too stupid for Apple's product. And I'm a man of science/technology rather than magic.

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