# Disables all core updates. Added by SiteGround Autoupdate: define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false ); EZCast vs Chromecast | Don's Roost

EZCast vs Chromecast 29

Some people are calling the EZCast a “cheap Chromecast knockoff”. It certainly is cheap but is it just a “knockoff”? Both are “dongles”, i.e., they both dangle out of an HDMI port and both are similar in size and appearance. In this post we will look at the differences between the two and perhaps help with a buying decision. First of all both gadgets cost less than $50. If any item in that price range is a budget strain for you than perhaps now is not the time to be buying. The EZCast is a few dollars cheaper, but price should not be a consideration.

The EZCast is a screen mirroring gadget. It will mirror the content ( and sound) from a screen on a device to a screen on a TV. What is shown on the small screen of your smartphone or tablet computer is “cast” to the large screen on the TV. The content can be images, videos, music or documents. Except for sounds the content simultaneously displays on the casting device. The EZCast accomplishes its goal by acting as a remote router to which your computing device wirelessly connects. All content and processing necessities, e.g., a connection to a Netflix account, is done by the computer. The gadget only casts the screen. This can be either an advantage or disadvantage depending on your situation. As the dongle is doing little in the way of computer processing, it is tolerant of most anything the computing device can deliver to it.

The Chromecast gadget joins your local network via your router. Apps need to be “Chromecast enabled” in order to play. The enabled apps list currently includes the major service providers including Netflix, Hulu+ and others. The list is growing. The number of video formats supported by the device is limited. Mp4 videos will play without problems. Other formats such as avi, xvid and mkv will need conversion. On a desktop computer playing is accomplished with the assistance of the Chrome web browser and an appropriate add-on. Other video formats can be played with a Chrome web app called Videostream. Videostream usually works well, but when it doesn’t, troubleshooting can be tricky. Videos quickly load into the Chromecast gadget after which the computer screen is not needed. On mobile devices Chrome does not support add-ons but there are other apps, e.g., Realplayer, that are Chromecast enabled. The fact that the screen can be shut off after the video loads is important There will be little drain on the battery during playback.

The setup of both dongles is fairly easy. However, the guide for the EZCast is a somewhat poor translation of Chinese. One must remember that the computer or mobile device must connect to the network generated by the EZCast. The necessary information will be displayed on the TV screen when the gadget is plugged in. The Chromecast must join the existing network. The user will need to enter the password for the network.

So we see that both gadgets have their good points and not so good points and what the end user intends to do with the gadget is very important. Personally, I believe that the installation of the EZCast dongle on my desktop Mac from which I cast videos to a TV not too far away is an improvement over the Chrome/ Videostream arrangement. On the other hand, it would be a poor choice to use on a bedroom TV controlled by a mobile device because of the battery drain.

Comments welcome.

 

 

29 thoughts on “EZCast vs Chromecast

  1. Reply Doug Nov 4,2014 3:56 pm

    The EZCast dongle is a multi-faceted device. Screen mirroring — they call it EZMirror — is just one facet. Although, yeah, it is an important one because Chromecast has nothing like it. One must bear in mind that the device to be mirrored must already support mirroring, via Miracast, WiDi, or AirPlay. You can’t mirror just any old screen.

    The main EZCast facet includes “casting” of photos, videos, music, documents, and live camera imaging from your device.

    The main EZCast facet also includes streaming of web and cloud content. This streaming is done the way that Chromecast does it: over the main router, not through the device. The device is only a remote control. Once you’ve got the streaming going, you can shut the device off until you need to do something to the streaming activity. Gotta admit it’s not as easy to get going as a simple click on the Chromecast button, though.

    EZCast also has a DLNA facet. DLNA streams from the (local) media server to the dongle without going through the device. For some reason, though, EZCast doesn’t include a DLNA controller app — you have to install one yourself (bubbleupnp being one obvious candidate). DLNA is even clunkier to get started than EZCast streaming is.

  2. Reply Vakul Garg Dec 13,2014 10:22 pm

    Thanks for the easy explanation.

    You mention that in case of ezcast dongle, the mobile directly connects to ezcast wifi network. Therefore, the mobile cannot connect to home wifi simultaneously. Does this mean that to get youtube stream, the mobile must get it through alternate source such as 3G?

  3. Reply Richard Entwistle Dec 29,2014 3:18 pm

    I have installed the EZCast software on my HP laptop with Win 8.1 and it connects to the EZCast dongle, but that’s all. I cannot mirror anything on the TV. Do I need some other software on my laptop?

  4. Reply Don Birdsall Jan 8,2015 12:03 am

    To all those who commented on this popular article:

    One: Either WordPress has failed to send me notifications of comments or my email client has tagged them as SPAM. I apologize for the delay in approving of your excellent comments.

    Two: I have temporarily removed the requirement of my approval to comments until I can resolve the problem.

    Three: Winner software has released updates to the EZ-Cast apps and I have yet to test them. I hope that they are less confusing than the original.

    Four: Apps that support Chromecast are rapidly increasing. The Videostream Chrome web app has had a number of updates since my post. I still have some problems launching it but when I get it running the quality of the output (less flicker) is better than that of EZ-Cast.

    Five: After I test the new EZ-Casts I will update the post.

    Six: Thank you for your comments.

  5. Reply Doug Jan 8,2015 11:32 am

    In general, your phone or tablet won’t use 3G/4G as long as your EZCast dongle is configured to get an Internet connection via your home WiFi. And even if EZCast doesn’t have an Internet connection, I don’t think most phones and tablets are smart enough to realize that the WiFi link isn’t connected to Internet and so they should use 3G/4G. Or maybe they are smart enough; I’m not an expert on that.

    YouTube is one of the services that the dongle can access directly over its Internet connection. Use the “Cloud Video” feature of the EZCast2 app. Some other services use video protocols that the dongle understands, and they also can be accessed directly by the dongle from Cloud Video or Web. In these cases, the phone or tablet is merely a controller, telling the dongle what to retrieve from Internet and providing basic controls like Play/Pause/Start/Volume. This is the way that Chromecast does everything from the Web. It’s very efficient.

    For video streams that the dongle can’t decode by itself, the process becomes one of your phone accessing the Internet data on WiFi, using the dongle’s pass-through feature. So the data comes from your router to the dongle, from the dongle to your phone (or tablet) where it gets decoded into video, and then, via MiraCast/WiDi/AirPlay, back to the dongle in EZMirror mode. So instead of the video stream appearing only once on your WiFi, it appears three times, taking up much more WiFi bandwidth. Not the best situation, but that’s all you can do.

  6. Reply Doug Jan 8,2015 12:21 pm

    Intel-based Win 8 systems usually have WiDi built in. Win 8 systems using other chipsets may need to have a driver/app (or two) installed, or may be fundamentally incapable of doing WiDi. From what I see on the Web, some HP laptops can be made to do WiDi, and others can’t. The key seems to be the WiFi adapter; if it’s some kind of Intel 7260, WiDi should be possible.

    Using EZCast with Windows 8 WiDi is, in theory, very simple. You set up the dongle (in EZMirror mode) as a wireless display for the multi-screen feature, then activate a multi-screen mode, selecting the dongle as the second display screen. Multi-screen mode has four options: just the main computer screen, just the second (wireless) screen, second (wireless) screen duplicates main screen (mirroring), or second (wireless) screen is used as a second monitor so you computer is working on two screens at once.

    To add the wireless display screen, open your charms, tap the Devices charm, select “Project”, and there should be an “add a wireless display” link. If the link isn’t there, your computer doesn’t natively support WiDi, and you’ll need to locate the appropriate driver(s)/app(s), if you can. When you click the link, I think your dongle needs to be in EZMirror mode to be recognized, and since EZMirror mode goes away after 1 minute if no connection happens, you do need to coordinate the dongle control with your computer configuration.

    Similarly, when you go to use the connection, put the dongle into EZMirror mode first, then tell your PC to use it as a second screen.

    My limited experience with WiDi has been a bit ragged. I don’t really understand why, because Miracast and WiDi are almost the same — my understanding is that Miracast is an extension of WiDi — and I have no trouble at all with Miracast.

    But then, there are a number of techies who consider Miracast and WiDi as being fundamentally crummy technologies. So maybe it all just comes with the territory. But then, a number of crummy technologies have hung in there… the NTSC color TV system never got much love technically, but it lasted more than 50 years until digital TV put it out of its misery.

  7. Reply Doug Jan 9,2015 12:22 pm

    More on Win 8 WiDi with EZCast. I got out my computer last night and tried it out. A lot of frustration initially, but I finally got it working. Here’s what I found I had to do.

    Note: My dongle is set up to allow access via my Internet router as well as directly. That may or may not have influenced my experience.

    1. I had to leave my computer connected to my normal Internet WiFi. Connecting it to the dongle’s router, which works great with Android, was a total fail with Windows. When everything was finally going, the computer was still connected to my normal Internet WiFi, not the dongle, so I’m guessing that the Intel 7260 WiFi chip is capable of maintaining two connections at once. (That might explain why the 7260 is crucial to WiDi.)

    2. I had to use the EZCast2 program on my computer to put the dongle into EZMirror mode. I’d tried to use my Android phone to do that, but although the dongle went into EZMirror mode okay, my computer couldn’t find it. The EZCast connection from my phone totally blocked my computer from connecting to the dongle. As soon as I put my Android EZCast away (including switching the phone back to using my home Internet router), I was able to use my computer’s EZCast2 program to put the dongle into EZMirror mode, and then everything went fine. (From what I’m reading, the WiFi Direct protocol, on which WiDi is built, is 1-to-1, and can’t handle the 2-to-1 of a phone and a computer talking to the dongle at the same time.)

    1+2 side note: It’s possible that the reason that connecting my computer to the dongle was a total fail was that I might have already had a connection open from my Android phone; I don’t remember. Maybe if I’d stuck with the computer and left my phone alone, it might’ve worked. However, in the EZCast2 program on the computer I only saw the direct connection to the dongle, not both direct connection and via my Internet router like I see with Android’s EZCast2 app, so I sort-of doubt it. I think Windows is simply different in the way it interacts with the dongle.

    3. Obviously(?), having the EZCast2 program open on the computer in order to activate EZMirror meant that I couldn’t have the Project menu open for quick access to the “add wireless display”. By then I’d gotten very adept at the process, so no problem.

    – Bring up EZCast2
    – connect to the dongle
    – select EZMirror
    – turn EZMirror on.

    – Swipe out the charms from the right edge (or use Windows-C keystroke)
    – tap the Devices charm (second from the bottom)
    – select the Project icon (the bottom one, at least on my computer)
    – tap “Add a wireless display” (at the bottom of the list).
    [Note: the first three steps can be shortcut by pressing Windows-P.)

    – Within a few seconds the dongle appears in the list of devices
    – tap the dongle in the list.

    – The TV screen switches to show the progress of the P2P connection.

    Once the P2P connection was complete, I immediately got mirroring. I don’t know if that’s what always happens, or if it has to do with some setup item on my computer. It’s possible that in some cases I might have to swipe the charms out again, select Devices, select Project, and put it into mirroring (or second screen, if desired) mode. And maybe select the dongle as the alternate screen device.

    By the way, my impression was that with WiDi there was a lot less lag in the mirroring than with Miracast. Of course, that could simply be the difference in processing power between a computer and a phone.

    Here’s a great article, with pictures:
    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-use-miracast-wireless-display-or-screen-mirroring-feature-in-windows-8-1-or-later/
    … Note that in Step 1, “put your wireless receiver device in Screen Mirroring mode” means to run the EZCast2 program, connect to the dongle, select EZMirror, and turn EZMirror on.

    Commentary: this stuff seems to me to be way more complicated than Chromecast. However, to my limited knowledge Chromecast can only mirror browser content in the Chrome browser, not “everything that’s on the screen” the way that WiDi can.

  8. Reply Bob H. Jan 29,2015 10:28 pm

    Being relatively new to the EZcast/Miracast scene I am looking for some answers. Not sure I can get them here but never hurts to try. I found this page while searching for a way to use my devices 3G/4G network connection with the Miracast dongle and EZcast app. I have tried a number of things to get it to work but each attempt either fails of the EZcast app automatically turns on WiFi to make the connection. Anyone know how to make it work or am I just wishing here?

    Another issue I have is that I do not get how the DLNA feature is suppose to work. I installed the BubbleUPnP app on my device but it does not seem to be able to display anything. That could be because it is the trial version I am guessing. Any ideas on that one?

    I have yet to install the EZcast app on my PC but I think I will give that a go as I have had issue with some internet content playing on the device. It seems that if I choose to play a video that runs an ad first that all the app will play is the ad and not the content. Any ideas with that one?

  9. Reply AG Feb 5,2015 6:06 am

    Hi,

    Its a very nice article on EzCast/Chromecast. But I need a small clarification. I am not very technical so may be this question seems to be silly. I have android phone, Ipad, TV Screen and WIFI Router with Internet. Now my requirement is to mirror my IPAD/PHONE screen into TV. So that I can watch/View content(Photos, vedios, youtube, documents) from my phone directly on to TV.

    Please suggest which one is good Ezcast/Chromecast?

    Thanks

  10. Reply Doug Feb 5,2015 7:00 pm

    AG: I can’t guarantee that the following is correct, but it is As I Understand Things.

    iPad and iPhone do screen mirroring using AirPlay. You need an AirPlay receiver. The officially sanctioned device is Apple TV.

    Modern EZCast (2.0) dongles should support AirPlay when put into EZMirror mode. It’s probably not as nice as Apple TV. Here’s a video put out by the EZCast people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQYPI0rbvWs

    Chromecast doesn’t, to my knowledge, support AirPlay. Chromecast is from Google, who make Android, and who therefore aren’t particularly excited about writing apps for the Apple App Store to support various iStuff. For that matter, Chromecast is designed to use your device as a controller, and the Internet as the content source, not for screen mirroring.

    So: first choice would be Apple TV. Second choice, an EZCast dongle. Chromecast probably isn’t an option.

  11. Reply DC Mar 13,2015 12:01 pm

    Chromecast does support screen mirroring from Android devices using the Google Chromecast app.

  12. Reply Mike Mar 23,2015 2:32 pm

    Once connected you must clone or extend screen to see anything.

    Project your screen to a wireless display

    After you add the wireless display to your PC, you can project your screen to it and change what you see on each screen.

    To project your screen

    Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Devices.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Devices.)

    Tap or click Project, and then tap or click the wireless display you want.

    To choose what you see on each screen

    Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Devices.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Devices.)

    Tap or click Project, and then choose one of these options:

    PC screen only. You’ll see everything on your PC. (When you’re connected to a wireless projector, this option changes to Disconnect.)

    Duplicate. You’ll see the same things on both screens.

    Extend. You’ll see everything spread over both screens, and you can drag and move items between the two.

    Second screen only. You’ll see everything on the connected screen. Your other screen will be blank.

  13. Reply aroff Jun 3,2015 10:05 pm

    Hi… i hv a note 4. If i use ezcast mirroring my note 4 to the screen, can my note 4 screen ables to turn off? Therefore, it could save my note 4 battery. ..

  14. Reply Khalaf Jun 9,2015 4:13 pm

    Alright, nowadays which one is better?

  15. Reply Khalaf Jun 9,2015 4:15 pm

    what u recommend?

  16. Reply Pen Rissen Sep 14,2015 6:33 am

    Sharing some quick thoughts as I am only a novice using this Miracast dongle in the last few days.

    Personally, I like using a more “universal” tool like Miracast dongle (could be an EZCast or clones) which allows one to mirror the screens of iOS, Android or Win OS devices onto a smart TV. It’s cheaper than Apple TV (only good for iOS devices) and probably cheaper than Chromecast (only good for Android devices)too. I bought one at a bookshop for Singapore $29 (about USD20+) and it seems to work well on a few devices except iPhone 4 (with iOS 7.1.2), where full screen mirroring is not possible.

    I downloaded EZCast software to do screen casting & mirroring, eventhough the dongle is of a different make. It does take some trial and error steps to set it up to communicate with smart TVs. I experienced some lag while playing videos and songs; may have something to do with my internet speed. Well, I think it’s good enough for ppt presentation without the HDMI cable dangling at the side.

    But I read somewhere that it is now possible to do screen mirroring directly without the need of a dongle, as long as you have the latest range of Miracast-enabled smart TVs (e.g. Samsung)and mobile devices. Not sure how true that is. Perhaps it won’t be that long when physical dongles will be a thing of the past.

  17. Reply Milind Sep 15,2015 10:02 am

    I have Samsung notebook model N150plus with Windows 7 and does not having Intel WidiWidi.
    I have smart TV LG 42LA6620, which is having miracast.
    My LG phone G pro2 is also having miracast so scree mirroring is possible.

    My question is how to connect my laptop to TV does chrome cast or ez cast will be the solution, I tried to download Widi but processor does not support.

    Please guide.
    Regards
    Milind

  18. Reply Milind Sep 15,2015 10:06 am

    My laptop is connecting through DLNA server to my mobile and TVTV.
    But I can not mirror my laptop screen to TV screen. For this I need solutions.
    Regards
    MILIND

  19. Reply Jorge Oct 12,2015 1:53 pm

    I choose Ezcast because besides mirroring, I can watch local movies and series in divx and other alternative formats (Chromecast only reads MP4).

    Chromecast is only more suitable to stream Netflix which is not available im my country so the choice is easy to me.

  20. Reply Jorge Oct 15,2015 6:52 am

    Here´s some important pros and cons:

    Ezcast

    Pros:
    – Mirrors everything in the tv from your tablet/smartphone/laptop
    – Casts office apps
    – casts all video formats
    – Cheap (14 eur on Ebay)
    – Doesn’t need a wifi network to work
    – DLNA support

    Cons:
    – Bad for browsing the web (this is possible only through mirroring with a poor image definition and delays)

    Chromecast

    Pros:
    – Good web browsing directly through the wifi network, with no necessity of bad mirroring, just like a chrome extension

    Cons:
    – Doesn’t play other video formats than mp4 like avi, mkv, etc.
    – Does’t work without a wifi network

  21. Reply silverlittle Nov 12,2015 9:02 pm

    Hi Sir, I am not sure the EZcast or chromecast can use for Windows Remote Connecction ? As I know chromecast you need to get a Chrome RDP for this purpose, but what about EZCast ? Thanks .

  22. Reply Doug Nov 13,2015 11:45 am

    silverlittle: EZCast includes RDP in EZ-Mirror mode and can be used as a wireless display from Windows. However, my personal experience with my Windows computer and my EZCast knock-off has been that it’s a bit unreliable, and I’ve given up on it.

    Actually, I’ve given up on EZCast entirely, simply because my Sony TV has a problem with EZCast being plugged into an HDMI port (even with no power!) That’s my TV’s problem, not EZCast’s problem. I really should install the firmware update for my TV and see if that helps.

  23. Reply sachin Dec 14,2015 2:50 pm

    i want a wireless device which can cast only lossless hd audio from my laptop to my audio reciever. this reciever dont have digital optical or coaxial input…. no second screen than laptop is included in my case … plz suggest.

  24. Reply Andrew Dec 24,2015 10:50 am

    Chromecast mirrors everything just open Chromecast app and press mirror screen couldn’t be easier it even mirrors kodi from phone to tv ☺

  25. Reply Andrew Dec 24,2015 10:54 am

    I haven’t had a single video that won’t play over Chromecast so I don’t understand why people say it only plays mp4

  26. Reply Linda Mar 26,2017 11:36 am

    That’s right. It’s kinda the same as chromecast except I have chromecast in lounge and anycast in bedroom and I can only use the cheap crappy anycast through the tvcast app and get online streaming from website such as YouTube. I cannot get Netflix or Stan through the tvcast app … it’s shitty compares to chromecast which streams everything… and some people say it has a block to not allow porn, well if you use the tvcast app instead of chromecast app for your chromecast, it unblocks the porn block! Ha!

  27. Reply Danielle Oct 19,2017 12:48 pm

    i have a rather amateur question. but its bothering me, i sucessfully installed and use ezcast on my ipad and note8.

    however theres a few connections available,, direct link only, via router allowed, via router only. which should i choose?

    and the last question, by surfing the net or watching an online movie, does the my mobile carrys the data or my wifi?

  28. Reply don Nov 13,2017 11:28 pm

    As I keep my telephone and WiFi usage separate, I cannot completely answer your question. However, to be sure that you are not using mobile data when WiFi is available do this:

    1. Turn Airplane Mode ON. This turns off all wireless including WiFi.

    2. Turn WiFi ON. This turns WiFi on, but no other mobile service. You will not have phone service until you turn Airplane Mode OFF.

    Thanks for your comment.

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