Miracast

Get Miracast working on Surface Pro original with TH2 10586

 

I wrote about how Microsoft broke Miracast for Surface Pro original users when Windows 8.1 was released http://digitalmediaphile.com/index.php/2013/10/26/how-to-make-miracast-work-on-surface-pro/ and surprise, surprise, they’ve done it again with TH2 Build 10586. The supplied driver for the Marvell Wireless is not Miracast enabled. I don’t know why, as the chip is the same as the Surface Pro 2.

Here’s an unsupported way to get Miracast to work on your SP original with 10586.

Go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49042 and download Surface Pro 2\SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0.zip. Open the archive and copy the WiFi folder from SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0.zip\SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0\Drivers\Network\WiFi to your desktop or other place where you can easily find it. Then follow these instructions:

  1. Type Device Manager in the Cortana/Search box and open it.
  2. Find Network adapters, expand it, right-click on Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller, and then select Update Driver Software.
  3. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
  4. Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  5. Click Have Disk.
  6. Click Browse.
  7. Navigate to the Wifi folder (it has the INF file for the wifi driver), then click Open.

Go to the Action center, select Connect and your Miracast device should be discovered. Connect and enjoy!

mira sp1 working

Above shows a successful Miracast streaming session with my Surface Pro original happily connected to a Microsoft Display Adapter.

Windows 10 Home Entertainment (Should you Upgrade?)

 

Windows 10 is officially launching in just two days. There are lots of great improvements, but if you are a Home Entertainment enthusiast, there are things to consider before making the decision to upgrade. I’m very happy with Miracast for screen mirroring, but not so happy about the lack of great support for streaming to DLNA DMR devices which was present in 8.1 but has gone missing in 10.

Everyone needs to make their own decision on whether or not to upgrade, and if you are a Home Entertainment user and doing a lot of streaming, my observations may help you decide.

It’s been announced everywhere that Windows Media Center is kaput/gone/dead. You CAN run your Windows 7/8.1 Media Center computers and you do not have to upgrade them. So if you want to keep WMC, just stay where you are. If you have the Get Windows 10 icon and were able to run the compatibility checker, you would have been informed of this (and you should get another warning if/when you run the Windows 10 upgrade):

pcready

If you are currently using DLNA “Play To”, your choices in Modern/Universal Apps will be limited. In Windows 8.1, from the File System (classic Windows Explorer Interface) you could right click a file, then Play To – and any DLNA DMR devices would be available. In Windows 10, this is still present, but it’s called Cast To Device. This isn’t as nice an interface as the one provided by Modern Apps (in my opinion).

play to

In Windows 8.1, Modern Apps could implement something called a “Play To” contract, which enabled you to stream to DLNA DMR devices. I use this constantly with my Surface Pro 3 and Music to send music streams to my Sonos Living Room Speaker. I can also send to me WDTV Live Hub which is connected to my receiver, etc.

music 8

The new Groove Music in Windows 10 doesn’t have the ability to stream to DLNA devices. Yes, it can stream to my Bluetooth headphones or any other Bluetooth device like Bluetooth speakers, but I’ve been using DLNA, and now it’s gone missing.

groove music w10

The Connect Tab in Windows 10 supports Miracast and Bluetooth audio. But if I want to stream to my Sonos or WDTV Live Hub, I’m out of luck.

Similarly, Windows Photos in Windows 8.1 allowed me to play slide shows to my TV or through my WDTV Live Hub:

 

photos 8

Windows 10 has no such functionality in the Photos App. Only Miracast is supported through the Connect tab. There’s no Cast To DLNA functionality.

 

pictures w10

The ONLY Microsoft App that I’ve found that currently has DLNA Cast To functionality is Movies and TV (and it is not that obvious that it is there)

movies and tv W10

 

In Windows 8.1, there were multiple store apps that supported the Play To feature. MediaMonkey, VLC, etc. This functionality isn’t present for these apps in Windows 10 and these apps have other issues under Windows 10. So as of now, I really don’t have a way to stream Music to my DLNA devices OTHER than through Windows File Explorer. And that disturbs me.

Miracast – is it better in Windows 10? Microsoft has made some changes and more of this functionality is handled by the operating system. But many folks in the Windows Insider Forums are actually reporting that systems that worked properly with Miracast under 8.1 aren’t doing so well with Windows 10. On some systems, this may be due to drivers. But it’s worth noting that there are plenty of reports of “not working”.

 

Intel WiDi – Older systems from the Vista era may have included Intel’s proprietary Wireless Display technology. The upgrade disables this apparently and while Microsoft has said that customers can just reinstall the Intel WiDi app, reports from customers say otherwise, that it won’t install.

Bottom line, take a good look at your multimedia streaming needs, watch the Microsoft Forums, and don’t rush out to upgrade on day one.

Update Your Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Firmware

 

Microsoft has released a firmware update for the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter which may help some users experiencing connection problems (black screens, disconnects, etc. The “gotcha” is that in order to update the firmware, you have to have access to a TV/Monitor where you can make a successful Miracast connection and run the Windows Store App http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/microsoft-wireless-display/92ecc09f-9f01-4f9d-9e04-dd412d758b1a that lets you update the firmware. Once you have connected successfully to a Miracast session, here are the steps to update the MWDA:

 

1. You need to create a password in order to access settings and update firmware, minimum six characters. Create this password and confirm it.

mwda1

 

2. Update message will appear (close the app and sign back in if needed). Select Download.

mwda 2

 

3. Tap/click the blue update button

mwda 3

 

4. Tap/click the Start button

mwda 4

 

5. You can view the progress bar (and also you can view on the connected TV; the update is very fast and you might miss it if you blink!

mwda 5

 

6. You will see a success message (hopefully).

mwda 6

7. Close the app and verify you can connect to the TV that you used to perform the update.

8. Connect the MWDA to the TV you previously experienced problems and see if your issue is resolved.

Trouble Shooting Miracast

Updated April 24, 2015

In general to mirror your display using Miracast, both the source and the display receiver should be Miracast certified. You can check devices at https://www.wi-fi.org/product-finder-results?capabilities=2&items=300 and also download a spreadsheet with all Miracast certifications. The first step in solving Miracast connectivity issues is verifying your devices are certified.

If your devices are certified, but Charms, Devices, Project does not offer “add a wireless display”, check for software that might disable Miracast functionality by hooking into the network stack.

Software or Policies that may prevent Miracast from Working:

 

1. VPN software (note that Netgear ReadyCloud software also adds a hidden VPN device and may be installed by the Genie installer).

Some third party VPN solutions identify WiFi Direct (the underlying technology for Miracast) as a “Split Tunnel” and deem it a risk to security so they disable the functionality.

Windows 8.1 has built in support for some third party VPN solutions, but not all. Currently supported are Checkpoint VPN, F5 VPN, Juniper Networks Junos Pulse, Microsoft, and SonicWALL Mobile Connect. You will need to uninstall third party VPN clients (and restart) and then configure. If your VPN solution is not supported, you will probably need to completely uninstall it and reboot to use Miracast successfully.

To setup a native VPN connection:
First, access Windows 8.1 native VPN connections: from the Start screen type VPN and search

vpn network

and then select Manage virtual private networks (VPN). You can then select one of the supported VPN solutions and complete the setup.

 

vpns supported

2. Some group policy settings or firewall settings if you are on a domain. This thread on TechNet may help you resolve this issue: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/8a1060b2-2e79-49b4-bcca-76c15a639513/miracast-broke-after-connecting-to-domain?forum=w8itprogeneral

3. Third party anti virus and/or firewalls – recommend completely uninstalling these, restarting, and then checking to see if you can add a wireless display. If you are using a third party firewall like ESET Endpoint, you may be able to create a firewall rule (see http://blogs.msmvps.com/wnewquay/2015/04/24/surface-pro-3-wireless-display-adaptermiracast/ for information on ESET Endpoint).

4. Third party virtualization software like VirtualBox – either uninstall VirtualBox or uncheck the VirtualBox item in Wi-Fi Properties and reboot.

virtualbox

5. Netgear Genie installs a virtual adapter called NETGEAR Firewall Driver similar to the above VirtualBox Drive. Either uninstall the Netgear Genie software or uncheck the item in the properties box and reboot.

 

Stuttering

 

Bluestacks is known to cause audio and video stuttering on the Surface Pro 3. Uninstalling Bluestacks resolves the issue.

 

Microsoft branded Wireless Display Adapter fails to connect, everything else looks good.

 

If your Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter doesn’t negotiate a connection with your computer or tablet, the following may help. This process may work for other branded Miracast dongles as well.

1. Go to Control Panel and open Device Manager and expand devices

2. Uninstall the Microsoft Miracast Display Adapter

3. Unplug  the wireless display adapter from the power source and the monitor and then re-connect Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to monitor and power it up with USB power source or USB AC adapter from another device.

4. Reset the MWDA

•Press and hold the Reset button for 10 seconds.
•When the button is released, you will see the LED light blink on the adapter and a message on the TV that indicates it is resetting. Wait until it indicates “Ready to connect”.

5. Restart your computer. Rediscover the MWDA – Slide in from the right side and selected Devices from Charms. Select project and then Add a Wireless Display. Connect to the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

Having trouble getting MS support to give you a link to a HOTFIX work around

 

Here’s a trick if you are desperately trying to get your hands on a hotfix from Microsoft that requires you to contact support and are getting a run around. Do this at your own risk. Make sure you need the fix and have created a restore point if things go wrong. I won’t support you and Microsoft won’t support you.

 

You need to know the KB number of the hotfix you need. Find a hotfix (OK, I’ll do it for you) for a different item where the download is available without going through contacting support again. Like http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2955769

find one

Click the Hotfix Download Available button.

 

After selecting that link, an URL will appear in the address bar like https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hotfix/kbhotfix?kbnum=2955769&kbln=en-us

Copy the URL in the address bar and paste into Notepad.

Replace the KB 2955769 number with the one you are having difficulty getting. So that you have a link like https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hotfix/kbhotfix?kbnum=XXXXXXXX&kbln=en-us where XXXXXXXX is the KB number you are having trouble getting.

Now you can get your hotfix.

Again, I won’t support you and Microsoft won’t support you, but maybe you can fix your problem without multiple calls to support and incompetent poorly trained support agents.

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