11 screen-mirroring devices for presenting wirelessly

Wirelessly sending presentations and videos from your laptop, phone, or tablet to the big screen is a breeze with one of these mirroring devices.

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MiraScreen G9 Plus 5G

With one of the smallest footprints of any mirroring device, the MiraScreen G9 Plus 5G plugs right into a display or projector and can mirror what’s on the screen of a wide variety of computing devices, from Windows PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks to Androids, iPhones, and iPads.

wireless screen mirroring mirascreen g9 plus MiraScreen

With support for numerous connection protocols, the MiraScreen G9 Plus 5G can connect to a wide range of systems.

The key to its compatibility is the G9 Plus’s support for Chromecast, AirPlay, Miracast, and other connection protocols.

The wealth of connection possibilities doesn’t come at the cost of complexity, thanks to its simple step-by-step on-screen connection instructions. The device uses the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands and can even act as a wireless Wi-Fi extender.

Happily, it yields up to 3840 x 2160 resolution for pinpoint presentations, videoconferences, and even the occasional lunchtime episode of “The Mandalorian.” The G9 Plus has a 1.6GHz dual-core processor and can be powered by the USB port on many newer TVs and displays; it doesn’t, however, include a USB AC adapter for use with older displays. Still, at 2.4 x 1.5 x 0.5 in., it’s a small wonder that can connect an office of gear.

Note that you can probably save about $15 off the $45 list price if you shop around online.

Roku Express / Roku Express+ / Roku Streaming Stick+

Roku’s devices are best known for streaming TV and movies at home, but the Roku Express, Express+, and Streaming Stick+ also work well for screen mirroring with a variety of price, resolution, and compatibility options. The Express and Streaming Stick+ are sold directly from Roku and at a variety of outlets; the Express+ is a Walmart exclusive.

wireless screen mirroring roku express streaming stick plus Roku

The Roku Express (top) supports HD resolution and works with Android and Windows devices, while the Streaming Stick+ (bottom) supports 4K resolution and works with Apple devices too.

The $30 Express and $40 Express+ are packaged in small boxes and use Miracast to connect over Wi-Fi’s 2.4GHz band. They support HD resolution and mirror Android and Windows systems; they won’t work with Apple gear or Chromebooks. By contrast, the $50 Streaming Stick+ is the size of a large flash drive, supports 4K resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels, uses both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands, and adds Apple’s AirPlay technology to mirror Macs, iPhones, and iPads (but not Chromebooks).

Any of the Roku devices can be powered by the USB port from a recent TV or display or with the included AC adapter. Instead of an ordinary power cable, however, the Streaming Stick+ requires you to use the included proprietary power cable, which has what Roku calls a long-range wireless receiver to boost its Wi-Fi signal.

To control the show from across the room, the Express has a traditional remote control with buttons. The Express+ and Streaming Stick+ go a step further with an Alexa-based voice response system and a phone or tablet app that turns its screen into an alternate remote control to eliminate juggling (and likely dropping) devices while presenting.

StarTech.com Wireless Display Adapter with HDMI

If you want to connect wirelessly to an older display, you’re out of luck with the other 10 units here — but StarTech.com’s Wireless Display Adapter with HDMI (product ID WIFI2HDMC) delivers both analog and digital video signals. In addition to its HDMI digital connector, the StarTech unit comes with an AV cable that has plugs in for an analog display’s composite video and audio connectors.

wireless screen mirroring startech wda Startech.com

StarTech.com’s Wireless Display Adapter can connect to older displays with analog video ports.

The Wireless Display Adapter works with Miracast systems, including Android and Windows systems, but it snubs sharing the screens of Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Chromebooks. The device is on the large side at 3.3 x 2.6 x 1.0 in. It can be powered by recent TVs or displays but comes with a back-up USB AC adapter.

It receives its video signal over a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection and does without the higher throughput of a dual-band network link. The Wireless Display Adapter’s resolution is limited to 1920 x 1080 pixels, but it does offer a bonus for ultra-mobile workers: It has a USB port for instantly playing audio, video, or images in a wide variety of formats from a USB drive.

It’s definitely worth shopping around online for this device; we’ve seen it for $30 off the $91 list price.

How to set up a mirroring device

Wirelessly mirroring your system on the big screen is no longer a hit-or-miss chore that can make you the butt of watercooler jokes. Today, sharing your screen with the group can be as easy as tapping a couple of keys, choosing the receiver, and getting down to business.

The instructions are slightly different for each device, but the steps for setting up Microsoft’s 4K Wireless Display Adapter, which is based on the Miracast protocol, are representative. It took me about 20 seconds to set it up to mirror my ThinkPad T470’s screen.

  1. Plug the 4K Wireless Display Adapter into an HDMI port on the display, TV, or projector.
  2. Either press the Windows key + K or go to Settings > Display > Connect to a Wireless Display.
  3. Pick the Microsoft Display Adapter from the pane that appears on the right.
wireless screen mirroring windows microsoft 4k wda IDG

Select the Microsoft Display Adapter to initiate the connection.

  1. Both screens will show that the connection process has begun and when they’re linked.
  2. When your screen shows up on the big display, start your presentation and prepare to wow them.

If you like, you can leave the 4K Wireless Display Adapter (or other mirroring device) permanently attached to the display. To use it later on, just switch to its input and follow steps 2 through 5.

This article was originally published in October 2014 and updated in January 2021.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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