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Windows 10 Tips – Streaming and Cast to Device

by | Jan 18, 2016

shotglassHey, welcome back to another Windows 10 Shots blog post.  I hope you read my last post, Windows 10 Shots – Game Bar Keyboard Shortcuts.

I have mentioned in previous posts, with most shots, after about a handful, things will start to get a little hazy.  But, with Windows 10 Shots (this new series of posts), the hope would be that the opposite would happen.  That clarity and insight into the highly anticipated release would free your mind to great new features and power of Windows 10.

Streaming with Hardware

As some of you might already know, being able to stream content from your PC/Tablet/Phone to a large screen for presenting a PowerPoint slide deck, playing a game, watching a movie, viewing pictures, etc. is appealing to any user.  It allows them to share the content on a smaller screen to a bigger screen for everyone to enjoy.

The ability to stream information to a TV, for example is usually not a native capability built into your TV (though, this is more than likely going to change).  However, there are third party devices that allow you to stream content over your Wi-Fi network or via Bluetooth.  There are a number of players in this arena:  Google, Apple, Roku and even Microsoft, to name a few.

Since this is a Windows 10 Focused blog post, let’s see what Microsoft has for a solution and then see how Windows 10 supports the device.

If you haven’t heard of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, you can read more about it here.  But to summarize the device, it uses the Wi-Fi Miracast technology to display everything from your device on an HDTV or Monitor.  For those techies out there, it is also an intel Wireless Display (WiDi) certified adapter, so it works with all those fancy Intel WiDi compatible products out there on the market.  Did I mention that it works with Android devices too?

To install the device on your TV, all you have to do is simply plug in the HDMI and USB adapter cables into open slots on your TV.  Then, change your input source on your TV to the ports you selected for the adapter.

Here is how my adapter looks on the back of my TV.  Uh, sorry, I haven’t dusted off the back of my TV in a while.

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Once you do this, you will see a standard Microsoft screen with a message that says, “Ready to connect.”  All the remaining work is done on your Windows 10 device.  Pretty simple.

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Let’s take a look at what you need to do to stream content from your Window 10 device.  If you don’t have the latest Windows 10 November 2015 Update, you should get it.  One of the newest features is the ability to stream Microsoft Edge (and other apps) to both Miracast and DLNA devices.  So, you will want to update Windows 10 to the latest to make casting to your TV from Microsoft Edge really easy.  Hint:  Think YouTube videos.

Okay, so, now that you have the adapter plugged in and ready, we need to make Windows 10 recognize it.  An easy way to do this is go to Devices under Settings.

Tap on your Windows button, type Settings and select Settings from the results.

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The Settings application should come up.  Select Devices.

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Now, Select Add a device.

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A small window will pop up and give you a list of devices that it finds.  Select the device that matches the device name on your TV.

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Windows 10 will now install the latest drivers necessary for the device you have selected.

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Now, let’s install the companion app for the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

To do this, tap on your Windows button, type Store and select Store from the results.

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The Store application will start.  From here, type Microsoft Display Adapter into the search box and press Enter.

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From the results listed after the search, select the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

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From the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter screen, choose Free to install it.  It won’t take long to install, so just keep the store window up and running.

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Once the install is complete, you can select the Open button to run.  (If you did close the Store application, find the Wireless Display Adapter app and open it.)

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Once it opens, you might be prompted that a new version of the firmware exists.  If so, select Download.

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After you select Download, you will see an indicator on the screen that show the progress of the download.

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Once the download has completed, select Update.

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You will be prompted to confirm that you want to Start the update.  Select Start.

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While it is updating, you will see the progress on the screen as show in the image below.

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Once the update has completed, you will get a confirmation dialog.  Select OK.

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If you don’t get prompted for an update and the software recognizes the device, you will get prompted to give access to the application to the wireless display adapter.  Select OK.

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There is also the chance that the software doesn’t need an update and it can’t find the adapter.  If this is the case, you will get a screen with instructions to help troubleshoot.

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However, if all goes well and the application can recognize the adapter, the application will look like this…

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Okay, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  At this point, we should have everything setup.  All we have to do is tell Windows 10 to connect to the adapter and stream our screen.  From the taskbar, click on the notification icon to bring up the Action Center.  Next, select Connect.

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From here, you will see a list of available devices that you can connect to…select the device we just finished installing.

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Your screen should now be projected to your TV.  Now, you can show share your screen with everyone.

No Adapter

Well, what if I don’t have an adapter?  Great question. Well, you might still be in luck, if you have a Miracast or DLNA compatible device.  You should still be able to connect and stream.  For example, I use my Xbox One to stream content from my Windows Phone and/or my Windows 10 PC.  Instead of picking the display adapter, you simply select your Xbox console that shows up in the list when you attempt to connect to a device. Pretty simple.

Cast to Device

Okay, cool, but you might be saying, “I have an adapter, Xbox and/or a compatible device.  However, all I really want to do is just stream this YouTube video, or display this picture I took the other day.  I don’t want to stream my whole desktop.”   Well, a new feature that Microsoft has launched in the Windows 10 November 2015 update called Cast to Device which might just solve the problem.  It basically gives applications the ability to stream media content to your Miracast/DLNA device directly.  One such application is Microsoft Edge.  Another would be Movies & TV.  There will be many more coming as Microsoft has opened up this capability to developers, so be on the lookout for more applications supporting this feature.

Since I have an Xbox One, I will show you how it will work using that, but any Miracast or DLNA device would work.

To use the feature, let’s start by going to your favorite YouTube video.  Open Microsoft Edge and open up your video.  Now, in the upper right hand side of the screen, select the More icon and then select Cast Media to device.

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You will now be prompted to select which device you would like to send the media.  It will look something like this…Cast27

Select your device and the media should be immediately be sent to your device.  It is that easy.  Now, you can share that favorite picture or video with everyone in the room on your large screen TV.

As you can see, with the right devices, streaming content is really easy (well, after you get things setup).  I hope all of that information was helpful.

If you liked this post, please share it with others and don’t forget to come back for a new feature focused Windows 10 Shot.  Because remember, just like drinking, “1 shot”, probably won’t affect someone, but multiple shots, well that changes everything.

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