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 offers full screen mirroring from Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook, as well as mobile mirroring from iPads and iPhones using AirPlay iOS mirroring. There are also mobile apps for iOS and Android, which do not provide mirroring, but which you can use as a presentation tool to stream images and slides. Airtame is device agnostic, meaning 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 Homescreen to show a website or dashboard when no one is streaming. You can use this feature to show important information such as guided text for users to start a stream, a branded image, a dynamic KPI dashboard, or even a slideshow using a tool like Google Slides. All you need is a URL. This versatile feature makes Airtame not just a collaboration tool, but also a lightweight digital signage device for your organization.
For schools and businesses with multiple display screens to equip, it is essential to have an easy management tool for managing all the wireless devices.
Updating firmware on the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter requires manually updating each individual device. That means an IT administrator or manager would have to walk into each room to update.
Airtame offers Airtame Cloud, a free cloud-based platform that lets you manage and monitor all your Airtame devices from a remote location. From a web browser, you can update and reboot devices, as well as edit device settings for individual devices or for multiple devices all at once.
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.
Without a way to manage multiple devices, this solution involves more manual labor for IT admins.
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. With remote cloud-based device management, Airtame makes life easier for IT admins. Last, but not least, Airtame lets you display a customized background image or KPI dashboard, which makes it the more versatile device because it doubles as a light digital signage solution.
We aim to be as objective as we can in this article to give a fair comparison between Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and Airtame.