The surprise success of the Chromecast has added a whole new dimension to the tech industry. Instead of DVD players or using the Smart TV system built into the TV folks are opting for a little dongle that does lots of weird and wonderful things. In years gone past we have seen Roku, Apple, Google and Western Digital, to name a few, pushing out little boxes to bring services from the Internet and streaming solutions to your living room. Now, with the 8th incarnation of the game console both Microsoft and Sony are incorporating more than just gaming content into their living room hardware, at a price.
Google scored big recently with the cheap and cheerful Chromecast, a somewhat limited dongle that delivers an ever expanding list of services to your TV. From watching Youtube to playing back music and steaming movies from your computer (via Plex) Google managed to package together a beautiful little out-of-sight stick that costs peanuts and stretches the boundaries you normally expect from your TV, be it Smart or dumb.
Now, the folks at Belkin are launching a dongle that looks somewhat similar to the Chromecast but promises one thing, screen mirroring. Imagine wirelessly pushing the screen of your smartphone to the TV. You can? Well, yes Samsung, Airtight, Allcast and many others all offer this sort of service however they are more geared towards media and particular apps. Belkin boast you will be able to broadcast ANY app to the television.
This is the only service the device offers, and yet it will completely dwarf that which all other devices offer in the same field. Screen mirroring comes at a price, $79.99 and no news of a UK launch at the moment. This is more than twice the price of the Chromecast, also not quite in the UK. As some might guess, this is only for Android, Android 4.2.X or higher in fact and will not be compatible with iPhones, iPads or iPods.
There are rumblings that Google might include Screen Mirroring on the Chromecast at some point. Once the SDK is available for developers you can be sure it will appear in some form or other. Until then the Chromecast has become a little more limited in it’s appeal other than price.