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ClickShare vs Airtame 2

8 min read
ClickShare vs Airtame 2

What’s the difference between Barco ClickShare and Airtame 2? We’ll divulge all in this comparison article.

Barco ClickShare and Airtame 2 – both powerful wireless presentation systems for business and education. To help you make the right choice for your needs, we want to give a fair comparison between the two.

Unlike products like Chromecast and Apple TV, ClickShare and Airtame 2 are targeted for professional use. However, there are major differences between ClickShare and Airtame 2 that are important to know before buying.

Highlights

  • ClickShare sells for a range of $/€1,000-$/€3,950 (excl. VAT), while Airtame 2 has a more affordable price tag at $/€ 399 (excl. VAT) per device that fits the budget of many businesses or educational institutions and makes larger product rollouts more tenable.
  • ClickShare requires a device plugged into your computer or their native app, while Airtame 2 uses an application and only requires a device connected to the TV or projector.
  • Two of ClickShare’s models let multiple users stream to the same TV at once, while Airtame 2 lets a user stream from one computer to multiple TVs.

Oh, by the way, we’re always happy to tell you more about Airtame

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Spec comparison

 Airtame 2CS-100CSE-200CSE-800
Supported operating systemsWindows, macOS, Chromebook, Linux, iOS & Android app & AirPlay support for iOSWindows, macOS, iOS & Android appWindows, macOS, iOS & Android app, AirPlay support for iOS & Mac OS 10.14, & Google Cast support for Android 8.1 OreoWindows, macOS, iOS & Android app, AirPlay support for iOS & Google Cast support for Android 8.1 Oreo
Max on-screen presenters at time1128
Present to multiple screens simultaneously from laptopYesNoNoNo
Anti-theft systemKensington lockKensington lockKensington lockKensington lock
Max frames per second60 fps30 fps30 fps60 fps
Max resolutionfull HDfull HDfull HD4K DCI
Management consoleYesNoYesYes
Presentation method from laptopapplication (free)button (1 included)button (2 included)button (4 included)
Cost of mobile appfreefreefreefree
Listed price (excl. VAT and shipping)$/€399$/€1000$/€1750$/€3950

Affordable ClickShare alternative

A major difference between ClickShare and Airtame 2 is the price. While ClickShare sells for a range of $1,000 for their low-end CS-100 model to $3,950 for their CSE-800 model (both excl. VAT), Airtame 2 has a scalable price tag at $/€ 399 (excl. VAT) that fits the budget of any business or educational institution. There is no limit to the number of Airtame participants, as the app is free.

With Clickshare, their three models come with 1, 2, and 4 buttons respectively. If you want to avoid having to pass the button around to more presenters, you’ll have to dish out additional cash for extra buttons (over $/€200 per piece).

All Clickshare devices are significantly larger physical units, whereas an Airtame 2 can either be secured on the wall next to your display or on the back of the frame (e.g. held magnetically to the back of a TV frame).

When it comes to setting up and maintaining ClickShare, each button needs to be initially paired with its respective unit. If buttons go missing you need to buy new ones, as well as potentially repair any that are damaged. Such extra hardware considerations don’t come along with the Airtame solution.

ClickShare button vs Airtame software

ClickShare and Airtame 2 use similar technologies, however, ClickShare requires a device plugged into your computer, while Airtame 2 uses an application and only requires a device connected to the TV or projector.

The ClickShare solution consists of a base unit and a USB button. The ClickShare button contains an extra WiFi adapter that connects directly to the base unit, which is connected to the screen.

The main benefit of this is that it is plug and play and requires no administrative rights on the device you are streaming from. One thing to keep in mind is that, for people with hardware such as a MacBook with USB-C, an additional type of button needs to be purchased.

Alternatively, you will need to connect to the Clickshare unit through the MirrorOp application, but this requires a separate network connection to the Clickshare base unit, as without the buttons you do not have an automatic peer-to-peer connection to their base unit.

Airtame 2 uses software and your inbuilt WiFi chip to connect to the screen. This is ideal for users who do not want to plug a device into their computer. The upside is that no matter what plugs your computer hooks up to, it will work with Airtame 2. You can also move around more freely since you won’t have anything hanging from your computer.

If you have administrative restrictions on your Windows computer, meaning guests or employees cannot install software on their computers, Airtame’s Windows Guest app allows guests to run the Airtame app without installing.

Video streaming

There is no optimized video mode to give a smooth video stream with ClickShare. If you’re looking for a device that can do 4K streaming, their most expensive model, CSE-800, offers streaming in 4K whereas most other devices downscale the stream to Full HD.

Airtame offers a streaming option that is optimized for video. This introduces a buffer of 1 second between your computer and the Airtame powered screen or projector. That way, your video runs smoothly and the image and audio are in sync. You can enable this optimized video streaming by toggling audio on during your streaming session.

Mobile apps

ClickShare offers mobile apps to stream static documents, such as Word documents, PDFs, or images, and no video.

If you have the CS-100, the only option for mobile mirroring is using the Clickshare app. This will also require you to have a connection to either the wireless access point in the ClickShare base unit or to be able to connect through the existing WiFi infrastructure since you can’t plug the Clickshare buttons into your mobile device.

If you need screen mirroring for mobile, ClickShare’s CSE-200, CSC-1 and CSE-800 models include AirPlay and Google Cast for non-HDCP content.

Airtame offers AirPlay iOS mirroring in public beta, so iPad and iPhone users enjoy full screen mirroring. There are plans to develop Android mobile mirroring in the near future. You can also download the mobile app for Android and iOS.

Similar to ClickShare’s app, Airtame’s mobile apps stream static content optimized for presentations, using your PowerPoint, Keynote, and Office documents. The presenter gets a private view of current and upcoming slides, while the audience sees only the presentation.

Multiple users vs multiple screens

One of ClickShare’s top features, aside from its plug and play functionality, is the ability for multiple users to share to the same TV screen (depending on which model you have). However, this is not possible with Clickshare’s CS-100 model.

With the CSE-200 model, 2 people can share their computer screen on the TV simultaneously, and with the CSE-800 this increases to 8. Users can also “queue” to ClickShare so that they can later present in a particular order.

With Airtame one user can stream to the screen at the time. However, you can stream your computer screen to multiple screens, as long as each screen has an Airtame plugged in and is connected to the same WiFi network.

Managing multiple devices and updates

When you are a large organization, you will most likely have multiple devices across your building or campus. In this case, you want to be sure you have a device management system that lets you administer remotely from a central location. Both Airtame and ClickShare offer tools for remote management, although in slightly different ways.

For device management, ClickShare has the ClickShare Collaboration Management Suite (CMGS). Something to be aware of is that your ClickShare unit needs to be on the local network, which is not needed for streaming.

With the CMGS, you can monitor and manage settings, wallpaper, and so forth. To update the ClickShare base unit, you can schedule software updates and push the updates out to all available units in your network. For initially pairing the buttons to a base unit, you will need physical access to the buttons. Updates to the buttons can also be done over WiFi.

Airtame also offers remote management with Airtame Cloud, a free cloud-based platform that allows you to manage and monitor devices from a browser on your computer.

From Airtame Cloud, you can check network connection settings, WiFi signal strength (RSSI), as well as update, reboot, and batch edit device settings for multiple devices simultaneously. For example, if you want to change your home screen image on multiple Airtames, you can do this easily from Airtame Cloud.

ClickShare wallpaper vs Digital signage with Airtame

ClickShare’s wallpaper feature offers pre-loaded images to display on the TV/projector screen while no one is sharing to the screen. You can also upload your own custom images by logging into the Base Unit’s interface.

Airtame’s Homescreen offers 4 different overlays: Guide, Guide left, Minimal, and None. Guide and Guide left shows a box of customizable text that instructs new users on how to stream to the Airtame.

The Airtame Homescreen also lets you show custom or default images, websites, and dashboards. You can copy/paste a URL for a dashboard service and Airtame will load your dashboard without extra hardware needed.

Homescreen is also a great way for IT admins to get a clear overview of all available Airtame devices and update digital signage options for all directly from Airtame Cloud.

Bottom Line

ClickShare is a great high-end solution for the boardroom. The price and the fact that you need to purchase USB buttons for each user who wants to stream make this a less scalable solution. Of course, if you don’t mind passing a button around the room, then you don’t necessarily have to buy extra.

Airtame is an affordable ClickShare alternative that is easy to use and deploy, while still scalable across the whole company, meaning you can put an Airtame in every display screen within a reasonable budget. Airtame’s app-based solution makes it convenient and simple to use for presenters who want the freedom and flexibility to move around with their devices.

See more of our Airtame 2 comparison articles:

 

All data on Barco ClickShare products has been obtained directly from the Barco website.
We try to make our comparison articles as objective and accurate as possible, though changes to features and prices may have changed since the most recent article update. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or comments.

This article was last edited on December 5th, 2018

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