Amazon’s 3rd generation Fire TV won’t be released until next week but parts of Amazon’s site are already being updated to include information about the new model. One such page that was just updated is Amazon’s “Display Mirroring on Amazon Fire TV” help page. It now says that the Fire TV 3 does not support display mirroring.
For those not familiar with Miracast display mirroring, it’s best thought of as HDMI over WiFi. It allows you to display the entire screen of one device on the screen of another device. For the Fire TV, it is most commonly used to display a Fire tablet’s screen or an Android phone’s screen on your TV without needing to use a cable.
Miracast is often confused with casting methods like DIAL, Google Cast, AirPlay, and others but it has nothing to do with them. All signs indicate that you will be able to cast content to the Fire TV 3 through apps like Amazon Video, YouTube, and Netflix, just like you can with other Fire TV models.
Miracast support on existing Fire TV models has always been flakey at best, so it’s no surprise that Amazon has dropped it all together for the Fire TV 3. Amazon’s 2016 and 2017 Fire tablet models have also not supported Miracast display mirroring.
For most uses, like sending video or images, casting protocols are superior to mirroring protocols because they don’t require a constant uninterrupted connection between the sending and receiving devices. When casting, the sending device tells the receiving device where to locate the media being sent online, instead of actually sending the media directly. Once the receiving device displays the media, it no longer needs to be connected to the sending device, which makes for a much better user experience.