It seems like everybody wants to hop aboard the “tiny, affordable, Wi-Fi-driven streamer” bandwagon. There’s the Google Chromecast, the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Roku Streaming Stick… and now the Lenovo Cast.
The Chinese company’s contribution to this burgeoning market sector is a puck-like device that, like the others mentioned above, connects up to your TV via HDMI and your home network via Wi-Fi. But it’s different from its competitors in that, rather than stream content from the internet, it taps into your computer, tablet or smartphone via DLNA and Miracast, allowing you to display anything on them on your big screen in up to 1080p resolution. There’s a 20m range, and support for dual frequency Wi-Fi.
While we suspect that the setup process won’t be quite as simple as on the other, app-driven devices, the Cast’s use of DLNA and Miracast should also mean more flexibility in terms of what you can stream. While the Chromecast offers some measure of screen mirroring via its Chrome browser support, this isn’t a feature we’d rely on for streaming downloaded videos. Miracast and DLNA should offer a lot more stability for this kind of stuff, as well as photo and music streaming.
The Cast will launch globally in August priced at US$49 (£32), which makes it a little pricier than the Chromecast (£25) but slightly cheaper than the Amazon Fire TV Stick (£35) and significantly more affordable than the Roku Streaming Stick (£55). We’re looking forward to putting it through its paces ahead of launch.