TeeWe – India’s Answer to Google's Chromecast
Indian consumers have long been lamenting about not being able to use Google's Chromecast, which is yet to officially hit the market here.
Did you know Indian consumers could get their hands on Chromecast through importers for a price tag of Rs 3,500 or more? This price however, is much more than the $35 (approximately Rs 2,100) that it costs in the US, and thus makes its USP, which is its affordable price, redundant. Now, Indian consumers have another option at hand. A new product called the TeeWe, made by hardware startup Mango Man Consumer Electronics, hopes to fill the void with an HDMI dongle that is priced at Rs 2,399, with a pre-order price of Rs 1,999. Users can use iOS or Android devices to connect to the TeeWe, with desktop clients for PC and Mac on their way. Here's everything that you should know about
TeeWe seems to have overcome the hurdle that most Indian-made products have to cross - great design. In terms of size, it's quite similar to the Chromecast, but is a bit bulkier. It is shaped like a smooth rectangle, as opposed to Chromecast's key-shaped design. One of the smaller sides sports the HDMI jack, and the long side at the other end of the stick houses the micro-USB port. This connects the dongle to a power supply. While the plastic body misses the premium mark, it does its best not to look tacky or cheap.
It is pretty simple to set the TeeWe up. All you have to do is, connect the dongle to the HDMI port of your TV, and connect the power. Next, you have to set up the TeeWe's Wi-Fi by following the on-screen instructions. Connect your mobile device to the Wi-Fi network generated by TeeWe, and set up the TeeWe with your home Wi-Fi using this connection. Once done, select the content on your mobile device that you wish to stream, and begin to stream it to your TeeWe.
The main purpose of the TeeWe is to semalessly stream music, photos, movies and other local media and forms of entertainment from your tablet or mobile device to a big screen television. It can also be used to stream video from the Web, which you control through the app on your tablet or phone. The app has different sections laid out in scrollable rows, and is pretty simple to use. User have access not only to YouTube videos, but also a curated list of free content on the Internet to make it easier for them to find free Indian movies and TV shows.
You can even push videos and songs directly from your phone to the locally stored content on the app, without needing to be connected to the Internet. Just make sure that both devices share a Wi-Fi network. A screen-mirroring option seems to be missing, but the overwhelming feedback that the TeeWe team has received, has prompted them to add it soon via over-the-air software updates.
TeeWe seems to be quite responsive, being able to successfully stream videos seamlessly from YouTube. There is no lag or stutter in the playback, and playing local content is also hassle-free. It supports many formats such as MKV, MP4 and AVI, but seems to stutter a bit with full-HD. It plays 720p videos without any hitch though. Users can only use the TeeWe app to send media to the dongle, which is easy to use.
The Final Word
For users who are looking for a 'me-too' of the Chromecast, and don't want to shell out the extra moolah for the device, the TeeWe is a great alternative. It is an affordable way to seamlessly stream videos from your device, smartphone or the Internet to your television. The streaming works for the most part without a problem and the companion app is fairly simple to use.
The only thing to consider is that you can have the same functionality on your television without investing in the TeeWe. For instance, you could connect your laptops directly to your television with the help of a HDMI cable or if you are the proud owner of a gaming console such as the PS3 or XBox 360, you may use it to share videos over Wi-Fi. Yet other alternatives are Apple TV and HTPCs.
But if you have a modest budget, one that doesn't allow you to purchase a gaming device or a laptop, or you have portability issues, then the TeeWe is compact, affordable and pretty darn awesome.
The only major thing that TeeWe seems to lack is third-party support, which the Chromecast has. Chromecast is Google's official dongle and support for the device is integrated into several apps on iOS and Android. For instance, if you have the Popcorn Time app on your Android device, you can use it to download and stream movies using Chromecast directly to your TV.
Unless Mango Man can strike a deal with developers such as Popcorn TV for this kind of third-party support, Chromecast will continue to trump TeeWe in that sense. All said and done, despite the fact that the TeeWe may never be as popular or world-famous as the Chromecast; it's still a contender worth watching out for.