Tronsmart T1000 -- Media streaming on a budget [Review]
If you want to send images, videos or music to your TV from another device the obvious choice might seem to be Google's Chromecast. However it's not the only game in town, the Tronsmart may not be a name you've heard of but at $24.09 it's around $10 cheaper than Google's alternative, so is it worth considering?
First impressions are good, it's made of a nice smooth matt plastic and the design is tidy if unexciting. The unit plugs directly into the HDMI port of your TV or projector and it offers 1080P resolution, though can be switched to 720P for older TVs. The T1000 will work with Android (including Kindle Fire HDX), iOS or Windows devices, you just need to download the right software.
The T1000 is a bit bulky, so depending on the design of your TV you might need an HDMI extension cable to connect it comfortably. On the Hannspree set we used to test it for example a lip on the bottom edge meant that though you could connect the T1000 you didn't have room to plug in the combined USB and Wi-Fi antenna lead at the other end. It needs a USB connection for power so if your TV doesn’t have a USB port you'll also need a power adapter.
Once you've downloaded the appropriate EzCast software for your client from the web you're ready to get started. Run the software and you can connect to the T1000, this is a bit frustrating if you're wirelessly connected to the internet as unless you have two adaptors you'll need to drop your web connection. However, once up and running you can connect the Tronsmart to your router so that it acts as an access point.
The T1000 allows you to mirror the display from your Android mobile device or PC to the TV screen using Miracast so in theory anything that displays on your device you can show on your TV. This isn't yet available for iOS users though. Alternatively the EzCast app lets you use your device as a remote control to play local content to the TV.
The printed instructions seem to have lost something in translation but the EzCast software is pretty straightforward once you get started.
It's a little cheaper than a Chromecast and it's potentially more versatile as it supports more devices and has more options. But the setup is a bit fiddly and it's generally a less smooth user experience. It is cheap though so if you’re looking for a budget streaming device for occasional use it might be worth a look.
The Tronsmart T1000 costs $24.09 (£14.84) from Gearbest.com.
Photo Credit: Ian Barker