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The Difference Between Screen Mirroring, Screen Casting and Screen Sharing

Imagine that you want to show the content from your smartphone’s small screen to your TV’s big screen. But you don’t know exactly what to search to figure out how to do this.

You don’t know what results to trust, because you keep coming across a ton of tech jargon like screen mirroring, screen casting and screen sharing…Which all sound the same.

It’s may be clear that all of these technologies have something to do with showing what is on your device screen. But what is the difference between them?

In the following sections, we will walk you through the differences between mirroring, casting or sharing your screen. We will also talk about how to use each of these technologies and when to use which one.


Screen Mirroring Wireless Display

What it is: Screen mirroring acts just like when you look in a mirror. When you move your physical arm, the reflection does the same. With screen mirroring, whatever you see on one device is exactly what you see happening on the other.

For example, showing your exact desktop, laptop, phone or tablet screen and all of the movements on another screen display that is in the same room.

How to use it: You can do wired screen mirroring with an HDMI cable, or get a wireless display with a device like Screenbeam Mini2.

To successfully screen mirror, you need a TV or monitor that supports this technology. Meaning that it can receive content via built-in technology like AirPlay or Mirecast, or by using a screen-mirroring adapter and receiver kit.

Screen mirroring doesn’t require Wi-Fi because it creates its own wireless peer-to-peer connection with the display that supports screen mirroring. For example, when screen mirroring your favorite streaming platforms from your phone onto you smart TV, and you don’t have an internet connection, you can still screen mirror content if your device or smart TV supports screen mirroring.

When to use it: Screen mirroring is great for in-person settings. It allows the presenter to work or show content from a more accessible device like a laptop but presents the content for the whole room to see.

For example, you can screen mirror at home if you want to show friends and family pictures or share a funny meme or video with the whole room.


Screen Casting Wireless Display

What it is: screen casting is similar to mirroring except that you cast the content onto another screen display and no longer see it on both devices. For example, if you cast content from your phone to your TV, you will only see it on your TV.

How to use it: You can screen cast with technology like Google’s Chromecast or similar streaming devices and applications. Once you have successfully cast the content onto your TV, you will have to control everything from your TV not your phone or computer. 

When to use it: Screen casting is great when you want to see content on a larger screen. For example, playing a game on your phone or watching YouTube videos from your phone. Casting them onto your TV offers a bigger and (sometimes) better display.


Screen Sharing Wireless Display

What it is: Screen sharing is most similar to screen mirroring, except for where the content is displayed. Instead of displaying content from one device to another in the same room (like screen mirroring), screen sharing displays content from one device to another in a separate or remote location.

Technically, yes you can still screen share while in the same room. But the benefit of the technology is that you don’t have to be.

Generally, instead of seeing everything from a device identical on the receiving display, the content is contained within an application window. For example, your Chrome browser.

How to use it: The person sending and the person receiving must both have a device that support screen sharing technology or it will not work. You can achieve this by using video call software.

When to use it: You might have experienced screen sharing while on a remote video presentation. Screen sharing is great for remote teaching, collaboration or sharing whatever content you want.


Recap on the difference between these three screen-duplicating technologies:

Here is a quick recap on the differences:

  • Screen mirroring: a mirror image or experience of your exact screen. See also: duplicate, reflection. The content is on both devices at the same time in the same room.
  • Screen casting: one device “casts out” its content onto another larger display. Often a phone to a TV display.
  • Screen sharing: a mirror image or experience of your exact screen. See also: duplicate, reflection. The content is on both devices at the same time in different locations.

At the end of the day, these terms are not strict. Most often, people will get the gist of what you are talking about. However, it doesn’t hurt to know the differences between these mirroring, casting and sharing technologies so that you can benefit from the best technology for your situation!


Get more information on Screen Mirroring and Wireless Display by checking out ScreenBeam’s Complete Guide to Wireless Display.

Are you wondering where you can get more information on Wireless Display and Screenbeam Mini2?  Learn more on Screenbeam’s Complete Guide to Wireless Display.

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