The smartphone is already the hub for all our music and it wants to do the same for our video content. And wireless hubs like the Google Chromecast are helping the smartphone take charge of content being streamed on the television as well. The latest in this new breed of devices is a small single called the Teewe 2 from Indian company Mango Man. I have been using the device for a month and here is my review.
The Teewe 2 is about the size of the Google Chromecast, but comes with an extender HDMI cable in the box so that you don’t have to plug it directly to the TV. There is another micro USB cable to plug to what is a power source. But the most crucial element of the mix is the Teewe app which I downloaded on a Android phone. The app lets you control what you see on the screen after the phone has created a connection with the dongle, not directly but using your home WiFi.
What is good?
I would have to start with the app. Once you are connected you just need to search for a video and play to get on with the streaming. But then you have to be a real fan of YouTube, as the app is now limited to what is there on YouTube. Not that YouTube has a limited collection.
The other good thing is the fact that you can stream any file on your PC or phone to the television. For those who have a lot of home videos or downloaded content, this will be a real help. You can stop taking the loaded USB drive from one device to the other.
Yes, having access to just YouTube can be limiting despite the enormous catalogue of the video-blogging service. This is why the Chrome widget is about help in playing content from Video or some other video service. The entire Browser can also be mirrored on the large screen this way. But I find that option pointless on a 40-inch TV.
What is not that good?
I would have loved to say the setup is really easy. But it is not that easy and easily took me an hour to finish. Things are more confusing because the app misleads you about what is working fine. For instance, even when it is connected to WiFi, it says that it cannot recognised the network. This is one area that needs some improvement.
The buffering is hard to miss. I have an 8Mbps Airtel broadband and speed is never an issue even when testing 4K smart televisions. So it is still not an issue with the WiFi. Moreover, there is noticeable bugger ending even when streaming content from a smart device or within the network. This is a bit of a kill joy.
I also had issues playing videos from the phone even though the app showed that the video was playing. For now the app offers just YouTube as the content from Eros is listed as coming soon. Teewe had to make its content oddity more robust to make this device more appealing.
Teewe 2 is a good effort. But for now it is too buggy for me to choose over Chromecast. The only lure to do that now would be it’s ability to play files in your PC. Some people might just use an old USB drive for this than spend Rs 2000 more on another gadget.