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MiracleCast: Miracast / WiFi Displays Come To Linux

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  • MiracleCast: Miracast / WiFi Displays Come To Linux

    Phoronix: MiracleCast: Miracast / WiFi Displays Come To Linux

    For months now David Herrmann has been working on a new project known as OpenWFD for open-source WiFi displays on Linux. OpenWFD is an open-source implementation of the WiFi Display Standard / Miracast. That work is now showing success and as part of that Herrmann has just announced Miraclecast as a component to providing open-source Miracast/WFD support on the Linux desktop...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTYwNjk

  • #2
    Best not to talk about OpenWFD too much though, given that his blog describes that as a throw-away effort, with MiracleCast being a ground-up rewrite based on what he learned from the first try.

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    • #3
      I'm interested in this but what's the difference between this and just doing some form of compressed desktop sharing? Couldn't I accomplish this with VLC?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
        I'm interested in this but what's the difference between this and just doing some form of compressed desktop sharing? Couldn't I accomplish this with VLC?
        The advantage of Miracast is that it specs for h264 video streaming rather than the traditional image diffs used by most other rdps, which lets you get much higher and more fluid framerates through them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
          I'm interested in this but what's the difference between this and just doing some form of compressed desktop sharing? Couldn't I accomplish this with VLC?
          There are two big differences, both related to vendor buy-in:

          1. You'll be able to walk into a store like Best Buy and grab a WiFi-enabled TV or display off the shelf. No need to use an ARM Linux box to build your own aftermarket receiver.

          2. It uses H.264 as its transport encoding and there's already a patchset for the AMD open-source video drivers to allow that to happen on the GPU.

          In other words, once all the pieces are ready, you'll be able to easily redirect your rendered video stream over WiFi to a TV or wireless display with high enough quality to play games and watch movies and it'll happen without bogging down your CPU.

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          • #6
            ...I'm just pissed that, last I checked, it was only spec'd for WiFi.

            My wired LAN is switched gigabit and reaches everywhere in the house. The WiFi is 802.11g (Why pay for more when the DSL is only 5MBit?), isolated on a separate leg of the router, doubly locked with WPA2-PSK and a captive portal I doubt a TV would know how to log into, and only used as a way for my OpenPandora and other family members' smartphones to access the 'net wirelessly.
            Last edited by ssokolow; 02-17-2014, 10:20 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
              ...I'm just pissed that, last I checked, it was only spec'd for WiFi.
              Read the blog post

              miracled hides the transport-type of each peer so you can use streaming protocols on-top of any available link-type (given the remote side supports the same). Therefore, we’re not limited to Wifi-P2P, but can use Ethernet, Bluetooth, AP-based Wifi and basically any other transport with an IP layer on top. This is especially handy for testing and development.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                Read the blog post
                miracled hides the transport-type of each peer so you can use streaming protocols on-top of any available link-type (given the remote side supports the same). Therefore, we’re not limited to Wifi-P2P, but can use Ethernet, Bluetooth, AP-based Wifi and basically any other transport with an IP layer on top. This is especially handy for testing and development.

                But I don't have a need for a remote desktop protocol (be it VNC, RDP, MiracleCast, or what have you) and the TVs and wireless displays you buy in stores won't be running miracled. They'll most likely be sticking to just what the standard calls for and no more in order to save time and money.

                That means I'd still either have to build my own receiver using a Pi or put them on the 802.11g leg of the network which is locked by a captive portal, doesn't see the wired LAN, and has nowhere near as much bandwidth to throw around as the wired side.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                  But I don't have a need for a remote desktop protocol (be it VNC, RDP, MiracleCast, or what have you) and the TVs and wireless displays you buy in stores won't be running miracled. They'll most likely be sticking to just what the standard calls for and no more in order to save time and money.
                  MiracleCast is an implementation of Miracast, which is a standard supported by many TVs, smartphones, tablets, and specialized stand-alone HDMI dongles. Ideally any device that supports Miracast, which is a lot, should support MiracleCast.

                  The only problem is that there are a lot of slightly different Miracast devices that are not fully compatible, but it sounds like the devs are aware of this and are planning to make it compatible with as many devices as possible.

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                  • #10
                    I just go a wifi enabled TV actually, so this sounds like a convenient timing. Thanks, developers!

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                    • #11
                      API design is important with a project that depends on an ecosystem of things and where incompatibilities are big issues.
                      Good thing to put clean API design over quick and dirty implementation.

                      This coupled with WiFi Direct and other recent advantages can really make things very convenient and per formant.

                      You could buy a tablet and a high end gaming pc. Route the image from the high end gaming pc to the tablet and the inputs to the high end gaming pc.
                      The convenience of a tablet paired with the performance of a desktop pc, awesome.
                      Last edited by plonoma; 02-18-2014, 04:59 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheBlackCat View Post
                        MiracleCast is an implementation of Miracast, which is a standard supported by many TVs, smartphones, tablets, and specialized stand-alone HDMI dongles. Ideally any device that supports Miracast, which is a lot, should support MiracleCast.

                        The only problem is that there are a lot of slightly different Miracast devices that are not fully compatible, but it sounds like the devs are aware of this and are planning to make it compatible with as many devices as possible.
                        And, as I said, Miracast is only spec'd for transport over WiFi Direct... which my desktop can't speak.

                        I'm pissed because, if I want to use it with an off-the-shelf TV or wireless display, I'm probably either going to have to pay extra for a RasPi to receive the MiracleCast stream over wired Ethernet or pay extra for a big bag of WiFi Direct dongles for all the PCs in the house that want to stream to the TV.

                        (Now you start to see why I see a RasPi and the non-Miracast TVs people will start tossing in electronics recycling bins as a better option. One RasPi is probably cheaper than four WiFi Direct dongles and I don't have to worry about the WiFi Direct fighting with the locked-down 802.11g for spectrum.)

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                        • #13
                          Seems that I have plan for next weekend.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                            And, as I said, Miracast is only spec'd for transport over WiFi Direct... which my desktop can't speak.

                            I'm pissed because, if I want to use it with an off-the-shelf TV or wireless display, I'm probably either going to have to pay extra for a RasPi to receive the MiracleCast stream over wired Ethernet or pay extra for a big bag of WiFi Direct dongles for all the PCs in the house that want to stream to the TV.

                            (Now you start to see why I see a RasPi and the non-Miracast TVs people will start tossing in electronics recycling bins as a better option. One RasPi is probably cheaper than four WiFi Direct dongles and I don't have to worry about the WiFi Direct fighting with the locked-down 802.11g for spectrum.)
                            I agree its stupid to require wifi direct, it should definitely work with at least point to point ethernet. But it is understandable why the standard doesn't allow arbitrary local transports, and I can't imagine it would be hard for the devs to just add non-direct streaming via local ip or hostname as well. But most consumer routers would choke trying to maintain low latency two way wifi signaling at bandwidths of 20MB/s for reasonable quality and framerate.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                              And, as I said, Miracast is only spec'd for transport over WiFi Direct... which my desktop can't speak.
                              WiFi Direct isn't a special different type of Wifi, it's using WiFi to directly talk between devices, instead of through a common access point.

                              Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                              and I don't have to worry about the WiFi Direct fighting with the locked-down 802.11g for spectrum.
                              Then have your display devices talk to each other over the 5GHz spectrum.
                              Most of the current Wifi enabled devices are 802.11n and support dual band any way.
                              And the video stream will definitely benefit from the extra bandwidth offered by this standard.

                              Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                              I'm pissed because, if I want to use it with an off-the-shelf TV or wireless display, I'm probably either going to have to pay extra for a RasPi to receive the MiracleCast stream over wired Ethernet or pay extra for a big bag of WiFi Direct dongles for all the PCs in the house that want to stream to the TV.
                              Your use is not the typical type of usage for which MiraCast was invented.

                              The idea is that nowadays, lots of gizmos come with hi-speed wireless (802.11n dual band, most of the time), including laptops, including small portable devices like tablets, smartphones.
                              Even TV come with WiFi (to stream video online, etc. some even have built-in skype clients)
                              So why fumbling around with physical HDMI or MHL cables, when you could send the Video stream over wireless ?

                              (Then later came the idea of also having the set-top box/receiver in a convenient place in your living room, and the screen attached on the wall, without needing to use 10m cables in between).

                              So the main idea behind MiraCast is to use already existing WiFi capabilites in the portable devies and in the TV.

                              Of course, i you have only a fixed-cable network at home, you're not exactly what they planned Miracast.
                              (Saddly, given the current trend of absolutely everything having WiFi, even big clunky device where wired networking would be more logical, I doubt that Micracast developer and TV maker will do the extra work to also standardise a "Wired Miracast" variant. HMDI and MHL already pay a role of wired connection in their scenarios)

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