There’re a lot of standards for connecting among different devices, like smartphones, smart TVs, computers, receiver, etc. But not always the simplest way of connection is the best. Some protocols, like Miracast or MHL, are already built-in in some devices but not everyone knows about them. Very often they make the interaction between two devices easier, and in future they can replace the ways of connection that are popular today. Here’s the review of the possible ways of connecting devices.
Such connection is more convenient than wired one but it’s sensitive to noises and in most cases works slower.
WLAN and Wi-Fi Direct
Application: home networks and Peer-to-Peer connections (Wi-Fi Direct);
Speed: around 1.27 Gbit/s;
Coverage: around 70 m.
Wi-Fi connection is always used in situations when wired data transfer is impossible or undesirable (home networks, public hot-spots). Such type of connection is necessary for smartphones and tablets. As a rule, the management of the Wi-Fi gadgets is realized by a router, and with the help of a Wi-Fi Direct extension gadgets can be connected directly like via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth 4.0 and APTX
Application: data transfer between two devices;
Speed: 2.1 Mbit/s;
Coverage: around 10 m.
Due to low data transfer speed Bluetooth is used mainly for connection of PC with its peripheral equipment. It also plays an important role when translating audio signals. It is used for connecting a smartphone with earphones or for playing music from a portable device on Bluetooth speakers. Since the release of 4.0 version this protocol consumes much less energy but with further development of Wi-Fi connection Bluetooth may be abandoned.
Application: audio and video signals tranfer;
Speed: less than 3 Gbit/s;
Coverage: around 10 m.
Miracast is an alternative to Apple’s AirPlay technology, which is used for wireless content transfer from iOS devices to TVs. Such manufacturers as NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Samsung and LG have already released first gadgets supporting this technology. Certified Miracast devices have to support Wi-Fi Direct and be able to transfer 1080p movies. But due to low transfer speed Miracast can’t fully replace HDMI interface. And it should be added that no TVs supporting Miracast have been released yet.
Application: small files exchange between two devices (smartphones, as a rule);
Speed: 424 kbit/s;
Coverage: around 10 cm.
NFC is a wireless technology based on RFID chips and which is widely spread already (for example, for payments). First of all, this protocol is popular among Android devices. Due to low transfer speed this technology is used only for exchanging small files or amount of information.
Application: fast home networks and Peer-to-Peer connections;
Speed: up to 10 Gbit/s;
Coverage: around 100 m.
LAN-cable (also called Ethernet) is a standard connection for using Internet and creating home networks. The main advantage of this connection (apart from wide range of action) is fast and stable data transfer speed. So if you need to transfer large files, it’s the best way out. Also, LAN connection improves the bandwidth of Wi-Fi connections, as the lesser devices are connected via Wi-Fi, the higher is the speed of this connection.
Application: data exchange, charge;
Speed: up to 4 Gbit/s;
Coverage: around 5 m.
Beginning with 3.0 version this connection is able to support monitor and external graphic cards connection. USB is also very actively used for charging different mobile devices (generally, via micro-USB). It’s worth noticing that today there’s no wireless alternative to USB that will perform the same range of actions.
Application: exchange of audio and video signals between multimedia devices;
Speed: up to 10.2 Gbit/s;
Coverage: around 15 m.
HDMI is the interface that is usually used in multimedia devices. Not only has it replaced different out-of-date types of connections, but it also has become indispensable in some spheres. For example, Blue Ray uses HDCP copy protection which is supported by only several interfaces including HDMI. Miracast is considered as its wireless alternative but this standard works only with up to 1080p resolution.
Application: audio and video data transfer from mobile device to a TV;
Speed: up to 3 Gbit/s;
Coverage: around 5 m.
MHL interface is an alternative to HDMI and is used primarily in mobile device to save space as it doesn’t require a separate connector. Currently, no TV set supports this standard so you’ll need an adaptor.