To help you choose the right device for your needs, we’ve put together a product comparison. Here, we will compare Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter and Airtame. Check our Wireless streaming for HDMI overview for a general explanation of cableless HDMI PC to TV technology.
What’s the difference between Microsoft Display Adapter and Airtame? We want to give you a fair comparison that will help you find the right device for your school or business.
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and Airtame are cableless HDMI solutions that mirror your PC to TV. The main difference between the two is: Wireless Display Adapter is limited to devices compatible with the Miracast standard. Airtame works on all of the major OS platforms and can integrate with your current network infrastructure for extra functionality and optimal stability.
Since Microsoft Display Adapter uses Miracast, it is limited to devices that have both Miracast-enabled hardware and an operating system that supports Miracast. Microsoft has included Miracast support in Windows 8.1 and higher and Google has included Miracast in Android 4.2 and higher. If you have an older version of these operating systems, you might be able to use Miracast if you install extra software. Even though most newer Windows and Android devices support Miracast, Apple products do not and therefore cannot stream to the Wireless Display Adapter. This means that the Wireless Display Adapter from Microsoft isn’t a great choice if you have an environment with a mix of Windows, Android and Apple products.
Airtame’s software works with any computer, smartphone, or tablet that has a built-in WiFi chip and is running Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.9+, Linux, iOS, or Android 4.3+. Airtame aims to be device agnostic, meaning that we don’t favor one OS, platform, or brand over the other, so that in BYOD environments, like schools or meeting rooms, everyone can stream from their device without the use of pricey software and converters.
Microsoft Display Adapter uses a peer-to-peer connection between your device and the Display Adapter to transfer your computer screen to the TV or projector. While this is convenient, the drawback is that you need to stay relatively close by the Display Adapter, in order to stream to it. Another factor to consider is that the peer-to-peer WiFi connection is at risk of interference from other WiFi connected devices if you are in a high-density environment, such as a classroom or a busy office.
Airtame gives you the option to connect to either Airtame’s built-in WiFi or to use whatever WiFi network you already have in place. Connecting to the Airtame’s built-in hotspot is convenient if you need to stream content where there is poor or no WiFi access, like in a hotel room. However, if you already have a quality, enterprise-grade WiFi network, you can use it to stream with, which not only makes it user friendly, but makes sure you have a stable streaming experience.
With the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, there are no options to customize what is shown on the screen when no one is connected. The default background screen shows the name of the given Display Adapter on a grey background with Microsoft’s logo in the middle of the screen.
With Airtame, you can customize the background of the screen to show a website or dashboard when no one is streaming. You can use this feature to show important information (such as instructions on how to connect to the screen), a branded image, or even a dynamic dashboard of important KPIs. This versatile feature makes Airtame not just a collaboration tool, but also a lightweight digital signage device for your organization.
Since Microsoft Display Adapter uses Miracast, it is limited to devices with Miracast-compatibility. This can be a big inconvenience for schools or offices that use multiple platforms, like Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Since Airtame integrates with your current network infrastructure and only requires devices to have built-in WiFi chips to connect, it is a better choice for device agnostic classrooms and BYOD-friendly meeting rooms. Last, but not least, Airtame lets you display a customized background image or KPI dashboard, which makes it the more versatile device.
We aim to be as objective as we can in this article to give a fair comparison between Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and Airtame.