Besides the Uhost3 set top box, Smallart has a couple of other new devices. The one that caught my eye is the Smallart PTV WiFi Display Dongle. The PTV looks a lot like an Android TV stick. It is roughly the same size and has a HDMI connector that plugs into your TV.
However, the Smallart PTV is very different from an Android TV stick. In fact, it doesn’t even run on Android. It is actually a Linux device and the PTV is not a standalone device. It is more of an accessory for your smartphone and tablet. What it does is to allow you to wirelessly display your smartphone or tablet’s screen on your TV using either Miracast or DLNA.
Miracast uses peer-to-peer direct WiFi connections to echo the display on a smartphone or tablet on a TV. Miracast is mainly supported on Android devices. Apple has a similar technology known as AirPlay but both these technologies are not compatible with each other. In order for your device to use Miracast, it has to be Miracast certified. A list of Miracast certified source devices can be found on the WiFi Alliance website. Popular devices such as the Samsung Galaxy s3, Galaxy Note 2, the new Galaxy s4, and Google Nexus4 all have support for Miracast.
According to Smallart, they also plan to support more devices by using a third-party software. Devices that don’t have Miracast support can install this software and get display mirroring support.
The Smallart PTV is ideal for pushing photos, videos and music from your mobile device to your TV. It supports up to 1080p resolution. You can also use it for watching content from video streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu+ on your big screen TV as well. However, due to latency, the PTV is not suited for fast action gaming although it works fine with many games.
Besides Miracast, the Smallart PTV also has support for DLNA. DLNA doesn’t allow for mirroring the display but it does allow for photos, videos and music to be shared wirelessly on the TV. DLNA is an older technology and therefore is more widely supported compared to Miracast. Currently there are over 18,000 DLNA certified devices compared to only about 100 Miracast certified devices.
The Smallart PTV has a Realtek chipset. Besides the HDMI connector, it also has 2 micro USB ports. One of the port is used for power while the other is for connecting to a PC for performing firmware updates.
Androydz will have a full review of the Smallart PTV device in the near future.