We live in a connected world where smartphones reign supreme. Most of us use our tiny phone screens to get updated on the day’s news headlines, to get entertained with videos, or play our favorite games.
Sometimes, however, it is hard to enjoy your favorite TV show on a tiny screen. You also cannot use your mobile device to watch a movie with the entire family for movie night weekend or to catch your favorite sports team’s latest game with your buddies over beer.
The good news is that there are several devices that allow you to do these things.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 First Up: Google Chromecast
- 2 AnyCast Easy Sharing M2 Plus Wi-Fi Display Receiver
- 3 AnyCast Easy Sharing M2 Plus vs. Google Chromecast: What should you buy?
First Up: Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast is simply a device that allows you to stream media such as movies, games, and TV shows to your television.
You just plug your Chromecast into the HDMI port of your TV, connect it to your Wi-Fi network, start streaming on your phone, and then tap the Cast button on your chosen mobile app to watch the content on your TV. It works with iOS devices, Android devices, Mac and Windows PCs, as well as Chromebook.
With Chromecast, you can stream content from your phone to your laptop or desktop computer and see it in a big screen and in full high definition. Or you can use the TV to mirror your Android tablet or phone screen, allowing you to see the bigger version of what’s on your device.
This means you no longer need to keep bending your head down or holding your arm up for others to see.
Use the apps that you are now using
One of the benefits of Chromecast is that you do not need a separate app to watch content on your television. There are now thousands of mobile apps that are compatible with Chromecast, including:
- Video streaming services such as Netflix, iFlix, Hooq, iWebTV, and Dailymotion;
Music streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and TuneIn Radio;
Fun and gaming apps such as Twitch, Just Dance Now, and CastNES;
Sports apps such as UFC.TV, NBA, MLB.com, and WWE.
Others such as uDemy, Coursera, and Reuters TV.
This means that using Chromecast allows you to enjoy an extensive content library on the big screen. To date, there are now at least 200,000 movies and TV shows available for Chromecast, as well as a musical repertoire of more than 30 million songs. Another plus? You can use your smartphone as your remote!
…Or use the dedicated Chromecast app
You can use the Chromecast app to find the content you want to watch. You just search for the TV show or movie you like and then cast it.
The good news is that the mobile app now has cross-app integration, which means it can show you content from different streaming services. This is very much like what Roku offers.
When you search for or browse content, you will see results from Hulu, Crackle, HBO Go, and other services.
Works with Google Home
If you have a Google Home device, you can use it to control your Chromecast through voice commands. You do not even have to open the mobile app as you can just tell Google to show photos of your vacation to the Philippines or to play House of Cards on the TV.
There are other things that Chromecast can do. For instance, it can turn your TV into a photo frame. It can also help you discover new content with the Google Home app recommending new offers and deals, apps and features.
What you would not like about Google Chromecast
While Google makes it a selling point that you only need to use your smartphone as a remote, it does come with a few disadvantages.
For instance, not having a separate remote and onscreen display would mean that your smartphone should always be within reach, or that there needs to be a PC or laptop computer around.
That may not be ideal for households with young children who do not own their own smartphones. Having a physical remote would have been a lot more convenient.
Another downside is that it may have its own mobile app, but Chromecast would still need you to install different apps from different services you use. This is because it will need to open that particular app in order to stream the content.
For instance, if you are looking for Orange Is the New Black on the Chromecast app, it will still need to open the Netflix app in order to stream the show. Then you also need to hit cast icon in order for the content to show on your television.
Google Chromecast also cannot handle 4K quality content. Further, there is a noticeable gap from the time you tap the cast icon on your smartphone and the time something appears on your TV
What’s in the box
- Power cable
- Power adapter
Should you buy Google Chromecast?
With a price tag of $35 Chromecast is a very affordable streamer. At only 2.04 inches in diameter and 0.53 inch thick, it is very portable and you can easily take the device anywhere you go.
It may not offer a separate physical remote, but to be frank, most people would not have a problem with having to carry around their smartphones everywhere these days.
Also, if you live in a house with a lot of devices competing for Wi-Fi, you would really like having a Google Chromecast because of its compatibility with 5 GHz networks. This means that it would not have to compete with most devices that use the 2.4 GHz band.
It is not perfect, but Chromecast does its work of allowing you to stream content from your phone or computer to your TV, and does this rather well.
AnyCast Easy Sharing M2 Plus Wi-Fi Display Receiver
AnyCast Easy Sharing M2 Plus Wi-Fi Display Receiver will mirror your Android or iOS device screen, allowing you to see on your TV the images, website, movie, or whatever is on your smartphone’s display.
With AnyCast, you could show online streaming sites such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and Quickflix on your TV.
You can also use your TV screen as a substitute for your computer screen at work, showing your Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentation in high-definition. You can also connect it to a projector with an HDMI interface.
AnyCast is very easy to install; you just need to plug the power cable into the main dongle body, plug the dongle into your TV and then plug it into any available power source.
It does not require you to download and install any mobile app on your devices. In fact, if you are familiar with flash drives and how they work, then you should not have any problem mirroring your device’s screen with your TV.
Once you plug it in, all you need to do is to add the AnyCast device to your smartphone or computer, and it will instantly cast to your TV.
Deciding on which device to buy would really depend on what you are planning to use it with. AnyCast has the advantage of being more affordable at half the price of Chromecast. It would also be a good option for those who want to use AnyCast for presentations at work, or reports at school.
Because you are not limited by what you can cast with AnyCast, it is more flexible and can handle anything that your phone can. It is also a good choice for those who do not want to deal with mobile apps on their phones.
Meanwhile, if you are more into entertainment and watching videos and movies at home, you will want to consider Chromecast, which allows you to watch all the content you want to watch without draining your phone’s battery.
It is also a good fit for those who already have Google Home devices, as it allows those without their own smartphones such as very young kids to just tell Google to show them the content they want to view.
What’s in the box
AnyCast uses two different technologies. It complies with Apple Airplay technology to mirror iPads, iPhones, and Mac computers. It also uses Miracast technology to mirror Android devices and Windows PCs.
- USB with Wi-Fi 2 in 1 cable
- English User Manual
- Andover Box
What is the difference between AnyCast Easy Sharing M2 Plus Wi-Fi Display Receiver and Google Chromecast?
Chromecast Anycast Price $35 $16.99 Color Black Black Dimensions (L x H x W, inches) 2.04 x 0.53 x 2.04 6.1 x 1.18 x 3.94 Power cable length 69 inches Not specified Weight (grams) 39.1 19 Resolution 1080 pixels 1080 pixels
Chromecast, on the other hand, is primarily a streaming device. It will need your smartphone or computer to set things up initially, but once it starts casting, you can put your smartphone to sleep or multitask on it.
AnyCast Easy Sharing M2 Plus vs. Google Chromecast: What should you buy?
While this helps save battery juice, it also limits the content that Chromecast can stream: you can only stream content from compatible apps. Chromecast also has limited mirroring capabilities: you can only mirror content from your Android device and any Web site on a Chrome browser.
When you watch a movie, AnyCast would need your smartphone awake. So basically, your smartphone will be up and running, consuming the battery’s charge.
Conversely, if you receive a call or if you need to do something on your phone, it will show up on your TV screen. In this manner, think of AnyCast as a wireless HDMI cable, except that you do not have to buy a different cable for each of the devices you own.
However, the real difference is in the way these devices work. To put it simply, AnyCast relies heavily on your smartphone or computer. When you mirror your devices using AnyCast, the TV screen will go blank when your phone sleeps.
Comparing the Basics
On the outside, it is easy to spot the difference between AnyCast and Chromecast.
While both are black and work as a dongle, Chromecast looks like a hockey puck measuring 2.04 inches in diameter, while AnyCast looks more like the old flash drives and Wi-Fi adapters, measuring 6.1 inches by 3.94 inches.
Chromecast is also heavier at 39.1 grams, compared to AnyCast’s 19 grams.