There are a number of different screen-casting dongles available out there, and I don’t want to recommend one or the other. I went with the Belkin Mira-Cast dongle because I had read some good things about it and thought it was more readily compatible with devices from multiple OEM’s. Now I’m hearing that the Chromecast is just as easy to work with, and has expanded on the content that it can cast from your mobile device.
That said, I can’t speak from experience with the Chromecast - I only have the Belkin. I’ve had mixed results, and I am pretty sure it has everything to do with the TV that I’m using.
In order to connect to the Belkin Mira-Cast, you will have to go in to the “Screen Mirroring” option, which is located in the notifications bar. It may not be one of the default settings that is available, so if you plan on using it more than once, I advise you move it to one of the “preset” settings available for the notification bar. Either way, if you don’t see it initially, you can tap the small, fat pencil at the top right of the screen and you should see it as an option.
Once you tap Screen Mirroring, it may automatically try to connect to the Belkin (or whatever dongle you are using) if it is powered on. If it doesn’t connect automatically, you just need to make sure it’s available, and then select it to pair with the dongle. It shouldn’t take longer than 15 seconds or so, and you will get a message that it has connected. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
The performance has varied according to the TV I’m on. On a 4 year old Insignia LED, it lags, hangs up, freezes the screen, distorts the sound or even drops sound entirely. I wish I could say it was my Wifi, but it works better on a 6 year old Panasonic plasma screen. Finally, I found that it worked best (flawlessly) on a small but decent Samsung at a cottage we stayed in this summer.
Sound distortion is generally resolved with a phone reboot. I’ve seen (and heard) sound distortion and drops with all of my apps that I’ve used, but only on 1 TV (the Insignia), so like I said, I think it may be just the TV that you’re using
Live TV is choppy, no matter where I watch it. I have to think this is just a product of the content that I’m viewing. Because there is so little time or buffer for correction of live TV, it may be that the mirror just augments any jitter, choppiness, or lag that the phone may have. Netflix works GREAT, and Youtube is hit or miss. I’ve seen the most audio drops with Youtube and live TV (Xfinity app).
It is a major drain on the battery. I’ve found that the Grand Prime does a REALLY good job with power management, even if I don’t use power saving. Screen Mirroring is really a big battery drain, so I would recommend plugging your device in if possible if you are planning on pushing content from your phone to a TV.
It’s not HD. It’s close… but it’s not HD. If you are intolerant to that sort of thing, this may bug you. It may look pixellated or even jittery. That’s probably a product of the qHD screen on the SGGP.
That said, I think it’s a great way to share personal pix and videos of things you’ve done on a trip, vacation, or even for presentations! You may even want to try pushing it to other handsets or tablets to see how well it plays with others.
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