The ability to share your content wirelessly from your laptop or smart device greatly improves meeting efficiency. Whether you are sharing sales figures, training your service staff or brainstorming with peers, there is a wide range of presentation tools available that offer that possibility: from consumer to professional, and from a few bucks to thousands of dollars. They all, however, require a sender, a receiver, and — in between those two — a wireless communication protocol. In this series, we’ll take a closer look at the latter and review some of the most popular options. Today: the closed eco-systems of Apple AirPlay and Google Cast.
Unlike Miracast, Google Cast does not set up a peer-to-peer connection but instead streams over standard Internet Protocol. In addition, it does not require your device to be on all the time as a connection is only required during set-up. Once the content to be played is known, your device holds none of the load, which allows you to do other tasks. But Google Cast, and Google’s Chromecast, come with some serious limitations as well, the biggest one being that it only works with compatible apps. As such, Google Cast creates an eco-system that is remarkably similar to the one created by Apple’s Airplay.
AirPlay allows full mirroring from any OS device, a MacBook, iPhone or iPad, in resolutions of up to 1080p HD. The protocol is used by Apple themselves in their AppleTV and AirPort products, and is also licensed under the ‘Made for iOS’ program to many audio manufacturers who use the protocol for wireless audio streaming. Apart from AppleTV, there are not so many AirPlay receivers for streaming video available.
A select club
Just like Google Cast, AirPlay is a proprietary protocol, built around the iOS and iTunes ecosystem. Hence it offers great value and superb ease of use to owners of Apple devices, but leaves Windows, Android and Chromebook users in the cold.