Mirroring an iPad to a Laptop

Over the last week, I’ve have done a few demo’s of our VentusAR product to a variety of different people. Quite often I end up doing these demo’s in places where there is no Wi-Fi, so I need some other way of connecting the iPad to a big screen. Sure, I could use a lightning to HDMI connector, but then the iPad is tied to the screen by a cable – VentusAR is a personal, engaging visualisation tool that requires users to move around to get the full effect. I don’t want the first experience potential clients see to be limited by a bit of wire!

As I’ve just upgraded to Windows 10, I took the opportunity to document what would I do to project the iPad screen to a room of people. (Mostly so I have notes to look back on next time I re-install windows.)

TLDR – Overview

  • I create a hosted network between my laptop and iPad
  • I use AirServer to mirror the iPad screen to the laptop screen
  • I have some short cuts in my windows 10 start menu to make it easier

Setup

I setup my laptop as a wireless access point using a few custom scripts to get everything started. Then I use the rather excellent AirServer to act as an AirPlay device and set the iPad to mirror the screen to the laptop. This can then be placed in front of the audience (if there are only a few people) or connected to a projector / shown on a TV.

Network Setup

1. Create a Hosted Network

To create a hosted network on your computer you need to execute the following command (as an administrator).

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=”<NetworkName>” key=”<Password>” keyUsage=persistent

2. Start the Hosted Network

This doesn’t need to be run as an administrator

netsh wlan start hostednetwork

3. Setup Sharing to Allow Access

The above commands will have enabled an access point on your computer. I call my accesspoint “GBLaptop”. By default it will not have access to the internet (it will be in its own isolated network). I find it much more useful if the access point network can access the internet through my laptop. To do this you need to enable internet sharing on your wifi network.

  1. Open network and sharing center by right clicking on the task icon (near the clock on the screen).
    Network and sharing center
    The network and sharing center shows two networks. Your Wi-Fi network (highlighted in red) and your ad-hoc network (highlighted in green).
    Network connections
  2. Choose Wi-Fi (the connection to your Wi-Fi network and internet). This brings up the Wi-Fi Status options page.
  3. Choose Properties to bring up the properties of this connection and change to the Settings tab.WifiStatus
  4. Tick the box next to Allow other network users to connect through this computers internet connection.NetworkSharing
  5. Then choose the item from the Home Networking connection: drop down that matches your ad-hoc network (Highlighted in green above).
  6. Click OK
  7. Then Close

4. Try It Out

On your iPad connect to your new hosted network. It should be visible from the Wi-Fi section of the settings app. The Wi-Fi name and password will be whatever you set <NetworkName> and <Password> to in step 1.

Then you should be able to use Safari to go to a webpage to ensure you have everything set up correctly.

AirServer Setup

Airserver_icon_x128AirServer is really good (use the 7 day trial if you need to – or buy it – it’s not that expensive). Once you have installed it on Windows 10 it will be running in the system tray. There is very little other setup required (note I’ve not tried the miracast options yet as my laptop doesn’t have the required network drivers – I expect that is just as easy).

On the iPad, drag the bottom menu up to reveal the Air Play control and choose your laptop’s name.

Troubleshooting

  • Laggy? – try the Slow Network option in the AirServer settings
  • Can’t connect – make sure your on the hosted network (not connected directly to your Wi-Fi
  • Try Rebroadcasting from AirServer

Short cuts

I add some short cuts to my Windows 10 Start menu:

  • Shortcut to Air Server to start that up.
  • start hosted network and stop hosted network are shortcuts in <user>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms
    • start is a shortcut to C:WindowsSystem32netsh.exe wlan start hostednetwork
    • stop is a shortcut to C:WindowsSystem32netsh.exe wlan stop hostednetwork

start menuEnd Result

The end result – VentusAR Fly Through running on the iPad and mirrored to the laptop screen, with no requirement for Wi-Fi in someone elses office.

WP_20150903_21_28_03_Pro

VentusAR App Running on an iPad, Mirrored to the Laptop Screen