Chromecast vs Belkin Miracast (video)

January 18, 2014
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With video resolutions getting higher, more and more people are looking for ways to watch their mobile content on the larger displays of televisions. Today, we’ll be talking about two devices that provide this functionality. Here’s our comparison between the Google Chromecast and the Belkin Miracast. Let’s get started!


Introduction

Google Chromecast

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-1

The Google Chromecast is one of the most interesting devices launched in 2013. An HDMI dongle that lets you watch Netflix, YouTube, and use your smartphone or tablet web browser on your TV, the Chromecast goes for just $35, so it’s no wonder it was received with high demand. Certain issues started to creep up after that, due to software restrictions that handcuffed indie developers, but the vast majority of users aren’t really affected by that.

In the beginning, there was a very limited choice of apps for the Chromecast, including Play Music, Play Movies, Youtube, and Netflix. But this problem was taken care of to some extent, with support for a host of new apps being added, including Pandora, Plex, and HBO GO, just to name a few.

Using Chromecast is one of the simplest ways to watch mobile content on your TV, and now, it features the apps to back it up. You can also use our mobile device as a controller.

Belkin Miracast

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-7

The Chromecast may be an awesome little device, but there are some alternatives that try to steal its thunder. One such alternative is the Belkin Miracast. As the name suggests, this adapter uses Miracast technology to clone the display of your mobile device onto your television. Just like the Chromecast, you can use it to watch YouTube videos, Netflix and Play Movies videos, and Play Music, along with just about anything else on your smartphone or tablet. You can even play Android games on your large TV. At $80, the Belkin Miracast is more than twice the cost of the Chromecast, but it’s still quite reasonable considering its additional functionality.


Hardware

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-5

Both the Chromecast and the Belkin Miracast are HDMI sticks, that can be connected to your TV via the HDMI port. Both require USB power, and if you’re TV does not have a USB port to plug the cable into, you’ll need to find another way to get this dongles plugged into an USB outlet.

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-9

The Belkin Miracast is larger than the Chromecast, and depending on your set up, may not have enough space. To solve this problem, the Belkin Miracast comes with an HDMI extension cable.


Setup

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-10

Setting up the Chromecast is painless, and does not require much effort. If you have access to a Wi-Fi network, connecting to the Chromecast is very simple. Initial connection time from boot up to watching your first video should not take more than five minutes.

Surprisingly, connecting to the Belkin Miracast is even faster. All you need to do is go into Settings, select your TV as a connection, and, in around 45 seconds, your TV should be mirroring your mobile device.


Functionality

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-13

Using the Chromecast couldn’t be any easier. When you are using an application that has Chromecast support, an icon appears at the top right corner, usually next to the share button. All you need to do is tap on that icon to display the whatever the app is running on your TV. You can then play, stop, and pause the content on your TV using your smartphone or tablet as a remote. You can also turn off the screen on your mobile device, which doesn’t interrupt the video on the TV, which definitely helps reduce the strain on your smartphone battery.

With the Belkin Miracast there is no need to first open the application on your mobile device, as it mirrors your smartphone/tablet/laptop, including the homescreen. To connect, all you need to do is go to Setttings – Display – Wireless Display (depending on device manufacturer and UI overlay), and after a few moments, the image is mirrored. Unfortunately, if your device display turns off, the video feed is cut off as well. There is also a slight delay when making actions, so even though it is an advertised feature, gaming is very difficult.


Pros

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-15

Chromecast Pros

  • Easy one-time setup
  • Easy to use
  • Beautiful splash screen wallpapers that can be used as screensavers
  • Supported application list growing
  • Does not drain host mobile device battery significantly
  • A great price at just $35

Belkin Miracast Pros

  • Initial setup is practically non-existent, and very easy
  • Does not need supported apps, mirrors your mobile device
  • Videos work exceptionally well
  • Can also be used to cast your laptop screen to the TV

Cons

Chromecast Belkin Miracast AA-14

Chromecast Cons

  • Limited in functionality
  • Limited application selection
  • Still no open SDK
  • Not internationally available
  • No (official) local streaming

Belkin Miracast Cons

  • Host device screen needs to always be on
  • Intensive gaming is almost impossible
  • No one-time setup, connection takes 30-40 seconds every time
  • Size is not as small as competitors

There you have it folks, our comparison of the Google Chromecast and the Belkin Miracast! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Get the Google Chromecast from Amazon

Get the Belkin Miracast from Amazon

Comments

  • Shark Bait

    chrome cast looks amazing, once they add device mirroring and bring it to the uk, i will be perfect!

    • Jayfeather787

      Great for the price.

  • venorme
    • j7981

      I was about to ask how Airtame compared to these.

      Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

      • venorme

        I see it as cross platform device for work.
        And these 2 are entertainment only.

        Also Airtame is only way for now to add another monitor wirelessly (not sure how they ll make it work with stupid win 8 metro restrictions)

        • manohar devaseer

          Nice comment to think,,

          think twice before go for it.

          • edictogram

            Google killed its Notifier app for mail and calendar events see http://goo.gl/2jz1wJ

          • venorme

            Functionaluity is included into Chrome – you just have to allow notification from Chrome

  • Hank

    “No (official) local streaming” ???
    NOT True! “Official” streaming is free from pc chrome tabs, including videos. Also, a one-time $3 in-app upgrade to a Free Android app (Avia) allows streaming local video, music, and pictures from an Android phone or tablet. Works GREAT!

    • Guest

      also avia app support streaming local files on your phone

  • Bob Mac

    When is Chromecast being released in Europe?

  • FirstName_LastName

    You are missing one big pro for the Chromecast: Compatibility with ios devices. It is nice that in a house with multiple operating systems everyone can share the big screen. Your friends can come over and do the same as long as they are connected to your wifi. Cant say that for the belkin

  • Nick Marshall

    Why do I need this if I already have plair 2 ?

  • yourebadatwriting

    These devices are no where near comparable.

    Miracast : Strictly for mirroring your device to the TV

    Chromecast : Tab/desktop casting, netflix, youtube, hulu, ect

    Plus the miracast costs substantially more than the chromecast.
    Please write a better article next time.

    • needa

      yah i guess the blogger has absolutely no clue that you can cast your chrome tabs to the tv also with the chromecast. he never once mentioned it.

  • MykatHawker

    “With video resolutions getting higher” (mobile devices), indeed! Finally someone admitting mobile video was never meant to be viewed on TVs, despite what the fanboys were saying. Convincing themselves it was an enjoyable experience while the rest of us so called ‘luddites’ watched on with some bemusement. Smart TVs are only clever in the way they market to the gullible.

    • Mike

      “Smart TVs are only clever in the way they market to the gullible.”.

      Really? I must be really gullible then to enjoy 1080p content delivered to my smart TV over the internet. What’s mobile got to do with that?

  • mrjayviper

    Size for the belkin is con? It’s not like the belkin is the size of phone or a tablet

  • andy

    Unisen iPazzPort Cast is a mini engine to turn your Home HD Screen become a All Media Sharing Center with full screen by Smart phone or tablet.

  • killwrath

    I have the Chromecast and I have mixed feelings about it. The think that they are missing the boat on some things and nailed others. One of the biggest problems I have with it is its inability to display the pictures from my phone onto my screen. The other main issue is playing music from my phone thru the google play app. I get my music from lots of different sources, amazon, google, friends. But everytime I want to play my music, I have my surround sound system hooked up to the TV and have not gotten a bluetooth receiver for it yet, I get an error saying it cant play those songs. Pretty frustrating. And not being able to play videos from my phone is pretty crappy as well. I am a dad and want to show the kiddos videos on the big screen and thats not possible.
    I am hoping Google addresses these problems because the price was too good to pass up and what does work on the Chromecast, works great.

    • Guest

      Check out the Avia app on the Google Play Store which supports chromecast. It fixes all the problems you have including playing your local videos and music from your phone.

  • http://www.exposingmilabs.blogspot.com/ Exposing Milabs

    I’m loving the Chromecast! There is supposed to be a way I think to watch anything on your browser screen (i.e. Couchtuner etc) via another AP that’s recommended but I can’t get it to work so I’m forced to sit through Hulu commercials which for some reason often mess up the chrome cast feed causing me to need a restart I hope Hulu can help with this issue but I LOVE watching my youtube videos with it on my big screen tv! I never have feed issues watching Youtube.

    I also love the beautiful nature photos that act as screen savers. You can even put a 4hr fireplace video via youtube or Netflix which I swear warms the room! ;)

  • Will

    Chromecast basically is a remote control where ur
    Devices says “hey! Play this content for me” while miracast is “take my screen and show it somewhere else”.

  • LUIS DANNY SALAS QUESADA

    thanks for video, is posiible use Belkin Miracast with a surface pro without problems ?