Google Chromecast and Other Mirroring Options – A Comparison
After the announcement of Chromecast, the HDMI dongle by Google, there has been a lot of discussions about the same. Chromecast seem to be cheap and unique, but is it the only display mirroring method available in the market? Let’s have a look at why Chromecast has become a sensation and see which the other popular mirroring options available are.
Firstly, let’s see what Google Chromecast is all about. One of the most unique streaming options that we have, Chromecast can also mirror the computer’s display to television wirelesslyover the Wi Fi network at your home, but only through Chrome web browser. That means, it can mirror websites and Google docs through the browser, but not your actual desktop. This HDMI dongle comes for only $35 which is indeed cheap for a mirroring option. But the limitation can be worked around though. You can enter the file path into the web address bar to show up a local content on your television, which even works for locally-stored videosincluding .MKV files. Apart from the mirroring option, Chromecast can stream video content from Google Play, YouTube and Netflix as well.
HDMI cable is the cheapest method in mirroring computer display to television. This option has been available for years now, but the downfall is that it is obviously not wireless and requires a long cable. The length of the cable depends on the distance between the computer and television so as to connect them.It may not be the most effective option, but it’sdefinitely one of the most fuzz less and straight forward mirroring option. HDMI cable also has no lag compared to other wireless solutions including Chromecast, which at some point or the other suffer from lagging. HDMI cables are the cheapest and effortless to operate too.
Apple TV (AirPlay)
Apple TV is yet another popular streaming option apart from the Chromecast. Comes for $100, it is a set-top box which, as of now, has more streaming options than the latter. Besides streaming, it allows mirroring of the computer display on television with no browser restrictions. But,only OS X machines can support Apple TV, which however can be overcome by purchasing an app called AirParrot. The app that costs $10 permits Windows users to mirror their desktop using Apple TV.Apple TV is hence one good choice for desktop mirroring though it is slightly expensive.
A little less popular than Apple TV, Veebeam HD lets you mirror your computer display wirelessly to television in 1080p. It is compatible with Windows and OS X, but it doesn’t support Lion and Mountain Lion which is one major drawback for certain users.The device is quite easy to set up and it also has plug-in-play capabilities. It allows hassle free streaming of desktop to TV and has a built in media player that can easily play local media files including DVDs that you have loaded up on your computer. The Veebeam HD costs around $130 making it more expensive than Apple TV and it does not have set top box features like Apple TV.
The Netgear Push2TV is quite similar to Veebeam, but comes for $50 making it comparatively cheap. It can be used only with a laptop that supports Intel WiDi as it employs Intel’s Wireless Display technology. It has no USB dongle and since it utilizes the wireless technology from the laptop.Hence, all it takes is plugging in of the device to set it up and make it work. Netgear Push2TV is likely the cheapest mirroring option after Chromecast. Here also, there is no set top box feature;only mirroring option is available.