ASUS Miracast Dongle delivers Chromecast-like functionality at a higher price

November 14, 2013
29

Not everyone might be able to get their hands on Google's fancy Chromecast HDMI dongle and might decide to settle on something that's close enough. If you're part of that set, then you might want to turn your eyes towards the ASUS Miracast Dongle which can be best described as being a mixed blessing.

It's been a long time since the Chromecast went back in stock, and it's definitely possible to purchase one from other channels. But for all the initial hype around the device, the Chromecast is by no means perfect. At least not in this particular iteration. The biggest wart on its USB dongle-sized face is its current near-exclusivity to YouTube and a limited number of supported sources, many of whom are big names in the media industry. While Google has promised that streaming of local content will be coming, that promise has yet to be fulfilled to this day.

Enter the ASUS Miracast Dongle, an almost similar device that doesn't limit its sources, but also requires a mobile device in the first place. Unlike the Chromecast, which can stream content via the Internet, ASUS' device basically just mirrors your phone or tablet display. The dongle, which also looks like a USB thumb drive, connects to a TV or monitor via an HDMI port. Unlike the Chromecast, it has to be plugged to a power source via its micro USB port. It's maximum output resolution is 1920x1080 pixels and supports 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFI. Naturally, ASUS says that it works with it's devices, including the 2013 Nexus 7. While the "Miracast" in the device's name suggests that it is compatible any mobile device that supports the streaming standard, ASUS isn't saying so, at least not explicitly. Here's a short video explaining its basic features.

The biggest letdown with the ASUS Miracast Dongle is the price, which is expected to be tagged at 79 euros, roughly $110. Definitely a far cry from the Chromecast, which has a retail price of $35.

VIA: Liliputing


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  • kywildcat

    Chromecast is so limited

    • http://www.linkedin.com/in/ablelawrence Able Lawrence

      My YouTube works better via Chromecast than with the native TV app (which stop starts due to bandwidth issues). For me, it is a big plus over the crappy YouTube app on the sony TV

      • Jon_Irenicus

        youtube works fine, except that google is not allowing live youtube streams. The bigger issue is that google is dragging its feet on allowing app devs to release updated apps that can cast content to the chromecast. I want local content streaming from my phone, I know it can work flawlessly because Koushik Dutta’s aircast worked flawlessly… and google blocked it. It has been out a long time, it does not take this long to release a stable working sdk that people can release apps to. They went out of their way during presentations claiming it took very little work to update apps, and now we have google acting like the content gatekeeper where ONLY the big boys have been allowed to play so far (netflix/youtube/hulu/ etc).

    • anywherehome

      it’s a crap, lost 35 $
      better to spend 70$ for Miracast

      hangouts on my TV are great! :)

      • TechUser

        $35 for Chromecast, really only good for Netflix/Youtube.
        $70 for Miracast, mirrors only Android devices.
        $99 for AppleTV, can mirror any iOS or Mac PC device, (and Android with Apps). It can independently stream video services, it supports audio or video podcasts, and streaming local content. Also can access cloud storage for video/pictures/music.
        If you only need Netflix/Youtube the Chromecast is the least expensive option, but it doen’t do much else. If you own Android devices, then the Miracast is there to stream your local content, (but only on those android devices). If you primarily own iOS or Mac PCs, then AppleTV is the best choice. However, it can support Android device content streaming if you load an App, like Twonky and Doubletwist.

      • Henry M.

        Those Twonky and Doubletwist are awkward apps. Apple TV mirrors basically only Apple devices. And it’s overpriced. Chromecast will soon have an update to mirror any app and will work in any Android device. It currently works with any app using any computer with Chrome OS installed. Apple products are way overpriced and not worth it.

      • kern M

        do NOT listen to this advice, appletv is not a replacement for miracast or chromecast… its basically a proprietary piece of junk (as per usual with apple) and if you want a device like this, get a WD TV live

  • Greg Montaño

    My biggest qualm with Chromecast is that it requires Wifi which I don’t have at home. We use our unlimited data 100% of the time including using hot spots for laptops. Is this an issue with Miracast as it is with Chromecast? Or could I turn on my mobile hot spot on my phone and essentially use the same data source to stream YouTube on my phone while mirroring to Miracast? That to me would be worth the added cost.

    • Bryan

      Miracast is built on WiFi Direct which basically creates an ad-hoc network. So you do not need Wifi to use this dongle. It creates its own network between it and your device.

      • nathan

        It should be said that your mobile device has to support WiFi direct. All the current flagship phones and tablets support it now, but if your still rockin a RAZR maxx from 2012 like me you’re out of luck.

    • Joshua Perkins

      You can use Chromecast with your mobile hot spot; you will, however, be limited to casting from only those devices which are connected to that hot spot.

      • Greg Montaño

        Right, I’d have to have a 2nd device such as a tablet to cast from. I can’t cast directly from the phone which is producing the hotspot. I do have some old DroidXs laying around I could use I guess. Just seems like Miracast would just be simpler.

      • Joshua Perkins

        You could use your laptop.

      • Greg Montaño

        Agreed. I do like that you can create a queue. We don’t even have a laptop anymore!

    • kern M

      agreed. the need for wifi kills chromecast for me too… miracast does not require a netowrk connection at all, it will communicate in ‘ah-hoc’ mode – ie direct peer to peer.

  • wmurch3

    you’d be better served getting a roku 3 than this. Save you money, you can plug in external HDD’s, and you don’t need your tablet/phone to use it.

    This is priced WAY too high.

    • heda_p

      u have no idea what r u talking

    • kern M

      thats a useless comparison. roku 3 isnt the same thing as miracast or chromecast… overlap in functionality perhaps, but not at all the same thing.

  • hussein

    you actually can stream local content so learn about the product before you report it. all you do is file-openfile- then choose the file you want to open within chrome and most if not all, videos and music play and if you have good internet like I have 50/25 and it works without any quality loss at all. I also have an external hdd on my home network and I can access those files and stream it wirelessly via chrome cast too.

    • Aratosm

      You can only stream like that from PC or something like Venue 8 Pro, Android does not have an option to stream local content using chromecast. Google could solve this but is refusing to do so, by prevent open development.

  • dreeemer

    Ima try a miracast dongle from eBay. Only $40; if it’s crap-not much of a loss…

  • anywherehome

    don’t buy Chromecast, it’s a limited pain, something like a limited Apple’s product by Google…. invest just into very useful and universal Miracast

  • Data

    It sounds like a better device than Chromecast, which is very limited compared to this. Having said that, one of the things that made Chromecast really interesting was the price…

  • Joshua Perkins

    Correction: The Chromecast also has to be plugged in via its micro USB port.

  • gadgetlover98034

    how is this better than the 60.00 Net Gear Miracast dongle

  • Concerned8888

    So in order for this to work, it has to be an Android device? Example.. I download a movie from a torrent site, transfer it to usb, plug usb into an Android tablet that HAS a usb plug, (which my tablet does), start movie on tablet, plug in Miracast in TV… It should mirror the tablet, right?

    • John Peters

      BlackBerry Q10 and Z30 also support Miracast. Only Apple doesn’t support Miracast and force you to buy Apple TV.

  • kern M

    First of all , chromecast DOES require a usb power source, just like this miracast device. Secondly you talk as if getting this device is a consolation prize for not being able to get a chromecast – thats hilarious. chormecast is a peice of junk compared to this… The fact that you need to have a wifi network present to use the chromecast is a deal breaker… and then combined with the fact that the chromecast is limited to about 10 apps, you’re pretty limited to what you can do with it.. Miracast allows you to stream anything at all; if you can see it on your phone, you can see it on a tv (including the phones menu and homescreens etc)

    • rez

      BUT once you get something to your TV with Chromecast, it keeps streaming even if your mobile device is turned off. With Miracast, even if your device goes to sleep, the TV screen goes black. To keep watching say, a season of Breaking Bad, you better plug in your mobile device or the battery may go dead. Not so with Chromecast.

      So depending on your use and situation, to say that Chromecast is a piece of junk compared to this Asus seems to really mean that Chromecast simply isn’t right for you and not the case for everyone. If I have a network set up and I only use Netflix, Hulu and Youtube (many people are in this situation and I bought friends Chromecast for Xmas because of this), how is this 35 dollar dongle with super easy setup a piece of junk? It’s not. It’s great and a no-brainer for non-techie people to set up. There are other reasons as well but I won’t go on since you are so set…..actually maybe a couple more for other readers. With Chromecast, it’s not a mirror. You can get a movie streaming then continue using your device. Use your device as the remote or to browse for other shows, play a game etc. So I can keep browsing Netflix with my tablet or use the internet browser as the movie continues to stream on my TV. Impossible with Miracast (btw, I’m not sure why you mention menus on the tv from your phone as if that’s a positive thing when you have to look at and touch your phone. That’s the only place they are needed, on the phone. Unless maybe to show something instructional to others in the room? I don’t get it.) There are other things. For instance, advanced use of multiple Chromecast devices, all started from your one tablet. Casting a browser tab to your TV from a computer, etc.

      It all comes down to your personal setup and use. Of course everyone is waiting for more apps as promised by Google but the current ones cover a lot of people (and why its seIling). I could give 100 links of Miracast hating, you could do the same for Chromecast. To say Chromecast is a piece of junk just because it isn’t right for you may cause some users to make the wrong purchase for their situation. That doesn’t seem like a very helpful post to me.

      I have a new Kindle so i am getting a Miracast device as well. Read Amazon 1 star reviews and you find tons of problems with these Miracast devices. This Asus btw? Way overpriced IMO after looking at others. Since you posted 11 days ago, I find it hard to imagine why you would buy or recommend this Asus device. Have you looked around? If there is a reason I should get this over others, please let us all know. As I said, I am going to buy a Miracast device. I just don’t see why I should buy this one.