Get Miracast working on Surface Pro original with TH2 10586

Posted Posted in Miracast, Surface, Windows 10

 

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.

Update Your Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Firmware

Posted Posted in Miracast, Surface

 

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.

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

Posted Posted in Microsoft, Miracast, Surface, Windows 8.1

 

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.

How Miracast Communicates Over Wifi Networks

Posted Posted in Miracast, Windows 8.1

 

Miracast adapters like the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and the Netgear PTV3000, etc. negotiate a connection with the source device. To do this, they broadcast a message that basically announces that they are available for a connection. To do this, the adapter will use one of the three non-overlapping 2.4GHz 802.11 channels (1, 6 and 11) which in essence are the lowest common denominator and would be the most broadly available and used channels. (For this reason, if you are on a device that allows 5GHz only connections and suppresses 2.4 GHz, you cannot connect). Therefore, 2.4GHz is a requirement to negotiate a connection using Miracast.

1. If 2.4GHz is the only frequency supported by your router, then issues might occur due to saturated channels from nearby routers in your environment. You might try changing the channel on your router to see if conditions improve. To see all the Wireless channels nearby, open a cmd prompt and type:

netsh wlan show networks mode=BSSID [press Enter]

2. If you are connected to your router using a 5GHz channel, the Miracast frequency can be negotiated to use 5GHz (but remember, the negotiation initiates over 2.4 GHz).

3. If you are not connected to a WiFi network, the Miracast connection will always be negotiated on 2.4 GHz

A Miracast session creates a virtual, second network on a direct, peer to peer basis between your host computer/device and the target Miracast display/Miracast enabled TV/Miracast adapter. You can see this in the Network and Sharing Center in Windows 8.1 after a connection is successfully made:

 

 

miracast virtual adapter

Surface Pro 3 Miracast+Already Active Bluetooth Screen Res Issue

Posted Posted in Miracast, Surface

 

I’m not sure when this issue first started, but it is being reported with increasing frequency on Microsoft Communities. Note that while the following applies to the Surface Pro 3 running Windows 8.1, fully updated, it has been reported that the same issue occurs for those running the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

 

The issue:

A full HD connection via Miracast is expected but does not occur (to any Miracast display, not just the MS branded one) when Bluetooth peripherals are paired and connected. Only a 1366 x 768 connection is established. (This does NOT apply to the Surface Pro 3 Pen which has no impact on screen resolution.)

 

Below is my TV, ready to connect at full HD 1920 x 1080:

ready 1920.1080 

The problem:

The connection is made at 1366 x768. You can see below the VGA like desktop on the Surface itself which switches screen resolution to match what is negotiated on the TV. (Looks even worse on the TV, and with streaming video, this stinks).

1366.768 

The reason this happens (bug):

If you already have an active connection with a Bluetooth device like the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition, or other peripherals (I tested with my Parrot Zik BT headphones and repro’d this easily), some BT connected phones, etc. this BUG seems to force a 1366 x 768 connection.

 

Work around:

For some people (and I realize that folks using the Surface Pro 3 Dock may not find this useful)

1. Don’t use Bluetooth peripherals OR

2. Don’t CONNECT your Bluetooth peripheral to your SP3 until AFTER you have established the Miracast session.

Either way, you will be able to get 1920 x 1080 if your TV supports it.

 1920.1080

 

 

I don’t know what the experience is like for folks using the Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro original, but I’d be interested to know if there are similar Miracast + Bluetooth issues there as well. Please tweet your experience to me on Twitter @barbbowman