If you’ve used a traditional projection before, you’d agree that the setup process can be overwhelming, especially on platforms that have bad angles of elevation or depression. Moreso, there could be issues like interferences or malfunctioning projection accessories, affecting the overall content display efficiency.
However, these problems have been addressed with wireless screen-sharing technology, also called mirror technology or screen mirror, as you know it. With screen mirroring or mirror tech, you can easily share presentations or content with a broad audience on a larger screen without devaluing the display ratio and content quality.
Screen mirroring allows people or teams to streamline communication and make content more visible and valuable—and in this guide, we’ll discuss it extensively. Our talking points will be screen mirror meaning, how to screen mirror, screen mirroring apps, and some screen mirroring applications and advantages. Let’s get started right away!
What Is Screen Mirroring?
Mirror screen technology or screen mirroring is a protocol or setup that allows you to share the content on your phone, PC, desktop, or any computer screen to another—usually bigger—display screen, smart mirror, or smartboard.
Screen mirroring has different forms that depend on how the content is displayed or transmitted. They include:
- Screencasting: Sharing content from an internet or media channel on your phone or computer to a larger screen. It is also called network sharing or media casting.
- Screen sharing: Sharing content from one computer device to another on the same local network, wireless, or cable connection.
- Screen mirroring: Similar to screen sharing, only that you’d have to be closer to the point of display.
Usually, for mirror screen technology to work, all the devices involved must be on the same wireless network. In the next section, we’ll discuss screencasting and screen mirroring in more detail, showing you their primary differences.
What Is the Difference Between Screen Casting and Screen Mirroring?
The difference in the screen casting vs screen mirroring debate lies in how you transmit or share your content. While screen mirroring may allow you to use a cable or wireless connection to share your screen offline, screencasting uses only a wireless online or offline connection to transmit content, typically from a longer-range device, internet, or media streaming services like Netflix or Apple TV.
In casting, you can only view the content on one screen at a time. That way, you can use your phone or computer for other activities without interrupting the display service. Plus, you can connect to multiple devices at the same time.
However, with screen sharing or mirroring, the content is displayed on both primary and target screens at the same time. Disconnecting from one screen may disrupt the content on the other screen. Also, you may be unable to connect to multiple screens simultaneously.
One downside to screencasting is that some screen-casting solutions may be incompatible with other solutions or operating systems (OSes). For instance, AirPlay is not compatible with Miracast, and vice versa. However, display or signage software companies are beginning to design hybrid screencasting or mirroring software or apps.
How Does Mirror Screen Technology Work?
To understand mirror screen technology fully, let us see how it works.
Mirror screen technology uses a setup that allows efficient content transmission from a primary display, such as your device, to a secondary or target display mirror screen. But that’s not all. There is usually a connection or medium that facilitates the successful transmission of content from A to B.
Here is a breakdown of a mirror screen technology setup:
- The sending device (Display A or primary display; usually smaller): can be your computer device or media streaming service on it, which transmits the content over the internet or locally via a wireless connection, which could be a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or any available radio frequency transmission channel.
- The receiving device (Display B or secondary display; usually a larger LCD or LED screen or signage board): the target screen or smart mirror, displays the content from the primary display.
- Usually, in between this transmission is a screen mirroring app or software, which can be pre-installed or manually installed through a mirror screen tool like AirPlay and Google or Chromecast. This software facilitates the entire process and pairs your phone or PC with the target display board or TV.
- Finally, you have a local or internet connection. This connection could be wireless, as in a Wi-Fi network or a cable like a HDMI or DisplayPort cable. Although cables often apply to just screen sharing/mirroring and not screencasting.
You can learn more about how mirror screen technology works between your smartphone and TV through the YouTube video below:
For clarity about screen mirroring and screencasting, please refer to the previous section, where we discussed them in detail. With that said, let’s now see some types and advantages of mirror screen technology over traditional projection.
Types of Mirror Screen Technology
Screen mirror technology is still evolving. We believe more types will emerge over time depending on the usage and content display or presentation demand. Meanwhile, here are some of the common types you may come across:
Smart mirrors are the latest screen mirror tech reimagining the content-sharing space. Before now, you may have been wondering, “What is a smart mirror?” or “What are smart mirrors?” Well, here is your answer.
A smart mirror is a two-way display device comprising a normal mirror you can virtually use to see yourself and an electronic LED display all merged into one system. They are also called dielectric mirrors or the screen behind the mirror that allows you to watch your favorite shows or share your screen in 4k or 8k displays.
Technically, a smart mirror uses mirror screen technology to share content on a transparent LED mirror or digital screen mirror. This mirror may also comprise a dimming/reflection control, an anti-fogging device, and an OS, all working together to enhance user experience.
In other use cases, smart mirrors use augmented or virtual reality to enhance user experiences. You may find such transparent display mirrors in retail fashion brands, where customers use them to test pieces of jewelry, clothing materials, and other accessories they like. Sometimes, they try these materials using a replica of their avatars or augmented reality images of themselves in real time. MagicMirror is an example of a smart mirror.
TV/Media Screen Mirroring
Also called screencasting is a type of mirror screen technology that allows you to watch your favorite shows on another larger LED signage board or TV screen.
Before the advent of media screen mirroring, traditional projections were used in cinemas or residences for viewing the latest movies. Meanwhile, with TV/media screen mirroring, you can connect multiple devices remotely and watch your favorite show or sports channel on a bigger screen.
This type of screen mirror tech relies on screencasting protocol, where you need a stable Wi-Fi or HDMI connection and a streaming service like Apple TV or Amazon Prime.
Since media screen mirroring uses an internet connection or screen mirroring dongle, you’ll mostly use a Chromecast or Miracast for Windows or Android devices and AirPlay for Apple or iOS devices.
Digital Signage or Smartboard Mirroring
This is a multi-node mirror screen technology. You’ll mostly find smartboards in schools, corporations, and sports coaching sectors. Smartboard mirroring comprises an interactive or touchscreen display board similar to the traditional whiteboard for temporary writing markers.
However, instead of markers, you use your fingers, a lightpen or stylus, or a smartpen to write, share your screen, or illustrate on the go. With this type of board, you can multi-task using free-hand illustrations. Moreover, you can still present directly from your phone or PC.
One of the beauties of smartboard mirroring is it allows people other than the teacher to present their materials without crowding the podium. This way, students can communicate with a larger audience and edit their materials using a stylus or with their smartphones or computers from their seats.
Beamsplitter mirrors have been around since the early days of journalism and presentation. They have real-world applications in movie acting and on-screen journalism, where journalists and actors read scripts from teleprompters.
Beamsplitters use reflection to display materials from any sending source as-is. They use traditional projection strategies and modern projection software technology to expedite presentation in the industries where they are used.
Advantages of Mirror Screen Technology
With the types of mirror screen technologies in mind, we’ll now talk about the following advantages of screen mirroring vs traditional projection:
- Easy to Use and Set Up: screen mirroring is easier to use than traditional projections. Although, sometimes, some screen mirroring tools are complex to set up. However, with the right instructions, you’ll only need a one-time setup with unlimited usage.
This is unlike traditional projections that require always finding a proper projection angle and fixing the connectivity ports properly—notwithstanding the technical issues that arise with wireless connectivity.
- Facilitates Collaboration: Screen mirror tech offers split screens that allow multi-tasking. With this feature, teams can collaborate and share their content and ideas simultaneously on the big screen during video conferencing or presentations.
- Enhances Workplace or Customer Experience and Efficiency: Mirror tech wireless connections are seamless. Using a local network, you can connect instantly to a display screen.
If the screen mirroring is not working with the wireless connectivity, you could still use a simple HDMI cable to enjoy the digital experience. Such an experience frees up time from addressing technical issues—allowing users to focus on other important aspects of their visuals or presentation.
- Simple, Smart Technology: While all the focus is on the content quality of screen sharing or casting, we forget that mirror technology is a complex but simplistic architecture.
How can a robust technology be so simple to integrate, use, and maintain? The fact that screen mirroring is still evolving means more innovation will come. Plus, we could normally use holographic screen sharing soon.
- Offers Control and Flexibility of Content Use: Screen mirroring is a two-way protocol allowing content creators or presenters to share their screens remotely from their phones or computers. All it needs is simple Wi-Fi or wireless connectivity.
Another point is sharing your mirror screen to a TV or someone else’s PC by just connecting to their local networks or hotspots. Such flexibility and control make mirror screen technology unique and better suited for emerging digital demands and experiences.
- The Visual Clarity With Screen Mirroring: With screen mirror tech, you do not lose your content’s visual appeal and quality. This is what makes screen mirroring stand out from traditional projection. That way, we get an even better projection with visual clarity. With clarity in place, content engagement and comprehension becomes feasible and efficient.
Applications of Mirror Screen Technology
To understand the essence of mirror screen technology, let’s look at some areas where it could streamline communication and enhance digital display or signage experiences.
The number of student enrolments in the US declined following the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The population appears to be rising steadily post-Covid as institutions adapt to the changing needs of educational infrastructures and systems. Statista predicts that the number of students enrolled in the US will skyrocket to 20.23 million by 2031 from 19.02 million in 2020. That’s a 106% increase in ten years.
With the growing demand for improved education, schools need improved tutorial materials and equipment. Although already gaining ground, smartboards are the go-to solutions to provide enhanced tutorial experience and help lecturers or tutors reach a broader capacity of students in the guesstimated ten years’ time.
Screen mirroring extends to just sharing your content from your personal computer or device to another larger display. It also allows you to control other devices remotely using the primary device or vice versa.
In this present era of interoperability, controlling your car with your phone or vice versa would require a screen mirroring integration. Plus, you can continue playing your favorite music or watching your favorite videos or movies in your car by casting them from your phone.
Media and Entertainment
Screen mirroring has been around since early media and journalism—only that it got better. Teleprompters is one of the long-lived screen mirroring solutions that has improved with the latest screen mirroring evolution.
One fact remains true: the era of traditional projection is gone. You may now wirelessly control and display movies remotely in the cinemas or at any event.
Sports organizers or viewing centers that want to spend less on installing full-fledged LED display TVs or signage boards may use cheaper screen mirroring projections to enjoy the same display quality as an LED TV or sign.
Events and Exhibitions
Screen mirroring also applies to events and exhibitions like tradeshows, trade fairs, or even conferences. It could spice up these events and make them more appealing to viewers or visitors. Plus, it could give the presenters or host full control and flexibility over what they display.
Using a smartboard can ease how thought leaders present their ideas to a large audience. We also have interactive smart mirrors, which can be eye-catching as a new and unique video display architecture. You no longer need to be far from your phone or PC to present. A simple remote control does the job for you.
Homes that may not afford costly LED TVs can use interactive screen mirroring displays to get a similar experience as an LED TV. This is especially true with the introduction of anti-dimming smart mirrors or smartboards.
They could buy a custom mirror screen board or TV that is simplistic and less space-consuming than an LED TV if that is their need. By simply connecting a screencasting dongle and Wi-Fi Direct network, they have their favorite programs up and running.
Fashion and Luxury
Smart mirrors with augmented reality are reimagining how clothes shoppers can test new materials in real-time without wearing them physically. This way, retail fashion stores can reduce the wastage of materials or misplacement of jewelry through human errors.
This technology also allows retailers to understand customers’ buyer personas and get information about their users’ most demanded clothing choices over time. With this information, retailers can narrow down the materials to invest in and those to offload. That way, these fashion brands can grow their businesses faster.
Fitness and Spa
Like the fashion and luxury industry, smart mirrors also apply to the Fitness and Spa niche. With such an introduction, users can view their fitness results while seeing their direct performance in real-time.
Also, instead of buying individual LED signage boards or TVs, fitness and spa owners could easily get cheaper interactive display signage boards and connect them to a source presentation device. This way, they can reduce the cost of running their business while providing their clients with an aesthetic digital signage experience.
Industries and Corporate
With presentation and digital signage being the order of the day in the industrial setting, screen sharing will be in high demand. Industries where screen mirroring or sharing apply, can use interactive mirrors or boards to facilitate easy collaboration among themselves.
The fact that you can do it remotely and wirelessly gives team members the flexibility and confidence to speak from the comfort of their positions and still pass a clear message to a larger audience.
Using Different Screen Mirroring Solutions
Earlier, we mentioned that some mirror tech solutions are not compatible with one another. We also informed you of the hybrid screen mirroring solutions that address compatibility issues with highlighted mirror tech solutions.
So, now, let’s see some common screen mirroring solutions or tools that enable you to enjoy content display or screen-sharing experiences across different devices or operating systems.
Since launching AirTunes in 2004, AirPlay has been more than a wireless communication audio streaming protocol for Apple OSes. In 2011, Apple upgraded it to allow wireless screen mirroring on iOS-supported devices.
AirPlay screen mirroring provides Apple device users the infrastructure to share their content wirelessly across multiple devices or media channels. Alongside media streaming services like Roku or Apple TV, AirPlay ensures that the content displayed or transmitted has a consistent quality and screen-to-video ratio.
To understand AirPlay’s functionality better, let’s answer some possible questions:
Is Screen Mirroring the Same as AirPlay?
In the literal sense, screen mirroring is not AirPlay. AirPlay is an Apple product that supports screen mirroring. It provides other functionality like photo-sharing and online media streaming, alongside sharing content from an Apple media service and device to a larger screen.
How to Use AirPlay Screen Mirroring
To use AirPlay screen mirroring, you must ensure all your devices are Apple products or at least support Apple OSes like MacOS or iOS. If this is not the case—say, your TV is not AirPlay-compatible, but you use an iPhone—then you’ll need an external device to make this work. Some common solutions to use are Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Your device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Apple TV or AirPlay. If your smart TV is compatible with AirPlay, that’s good for you. If not, then you have to connect the external AirPlay-compatible screen mirroring solutions mentioned earlier.
After that, go to the control center of your iPhone or iPad. Open screen mirroring and select your TV’s network’s name. And that’s it!
Note that you may sometimes experience situations where you can’t find your TV on screen mirroring, AirPlay screen mirroring is not working, or AirPlay screen mirroring is choppy. In that case, you must ensure you have a stable Wi-Fi network. Another place to look is your HDMI cable (if you used it instead). Also, check the screen mirroring app or solution for potential glitches.
Chromecast is an HDMI-enabled dongle designed by Google and available on Google-powered products like Android, Chromebook, etc. Although, many Android devices do not come with Chromecast. In that case, you can use the Google Home app. In this app, you can connect your LED TV to your Chromecast dongle.
Can You Screen Mirror iPhone to Chromecast?
Yes. Chromecast is compatible with Apple OSes, but you must install the Apple-approved Chromecast software to work with your iPhone. Simply visit the Apple Store to learn more.
With that in mind, here is how to screen mirror on Chromecast across any device:
Screen Mirroring on Chromecast
To screen mirror on Chromecast, you must first ensure that your primary device and the Chromecast service are on the same network. After that, getting both devices to function as needed becomes easier.
Upon connecting both devices to the wireless network, you can use the Google Home app if Chromecast is not pre-installed or supported on your phone or PC:
- Inside the app, find the Chromecast device by name, click it,
- and then click the Cast My Screen button.
- After that, select Cast Screen,
- then Start Now.
This process applies to Apple OSes. The first of many requirements is connecting to the same network. If you can’t connect to screen mirroring on Chromecast, simply confirm if your Wi-Fi Direct is on or if your devices are still connected to the same Wi-Fi.
Miracast is popular with Windows devices—usually Windows 8 and above. For devices or operating systems that do not naturally support Miracast, you could use a Miracast dongle to bypass this limitation.
We mentioned earlier that the Miracast screen mirroring does not support iOS devices. However, Apple has a Screen Mirroring – TV Miracast app you could use on your iPhone or iPad to connect Miracast to your TV. Android phones that do not support Miracast follow the same process: download the Miracast TV app and connect it alongside the dongle to the same network.
In the app, select the name of your TV or display. Then, follow the prompt to cast your smartphone or PC content on any screen.
4. Smart View
Smart View is Samsung’s screen mirroring solution. However, other consumer electronics integrate Smart View in their novelty smartphones and PCs. If you use a smartphone without Smart View, consider other options, like Miracast, Chromecast, AirPlay, etc., to get a similar Smart View experience.
Usually, many Smart and Android TVs come with pre-installed Smart View screen mirroring software. This makes it easier to share your screen faster and easily. All you need to do is open the Smart View feature on your smartphone, then Smart View on your TV, and then click your TV’s name on your phone. It instantly connects wirelessly.
One downside to Smart View screen mirroring is that the farther you’re from the Wi-Fi Direct network, the more choppy the display gets. Therefore, you must stay within a close range to get the maximum quality you need.
Even if the range of the two display devices does not affect the display quality, Wi-Fi interferences beyond your control might do the damage. When this happens, it’s best you disconnect your TV from the power source and then try restarting the process.
If you don’t seem convinced with Smart View, you could still use other screen mirroring solutions in this list.
Mirror screen technology is the new world presentation and content display yardstick. With progress in this technological line, better mirror screen tech products will emerge to satisfy our growing display needs over time.
This guide has shown us what we should understand about mirror screen technology, most especially screen sharing and media casting. We may also now differentiate both mirror screen technologies and how they function.
That being said, NSE LED Cloud is a product line prioritizing LED displays and mirror screen technology on demand. Browse our LED and signage products catalog to level up your business display needs.