18 January 2014

REVIEW: Netgear Push2TV Wireless Display Adapter

Mirror, mirror...

Here at The Test Pit we love our big screen phones. Some refer to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as a 'phablet', but we prefer the term 'Manphone', said in an appropriately grisly voice. But imagine a mobile with a 40 inch screen, or 50 inches, or even 90 inches!

Although only a gadget-loving giant would be able to fit a phone that size into his pocket, it is something you can achieve thanks to Netgear's Push2TV Wireless Display Adapter. We just urge you to leave your new massive phone at home.

This super small and easy to setup piece of tech allows you to mirror your phone, tablet or laptop screen with your TV, giving you the mobile experience on a big screen. It works with most modern smartphones and tablets, namely those with the Miracast or WiDi function.

The Push2TV is teeny tiny slab of plastic which is smaller even than an Apple TV or Roku. There are just two ports on the gadget, a micro USB and an HDMI input. Included with the adapter is a USB cable and plug (although it can be powered via your TV's USB port - if it has one) but not unfortunately a HDMI cable, so you'll need a spare one.

Once connected up to a HDMI port on your telly, the Push2TV will ask you to connect your phone, tablet or laptop. We found this really easy, as we were using phones that all had the Miracast capability. It was simply a case of going into settings and selecting Screen Mirroring. Within a couple of seconds the phone's screen appeared on the TV and whatever we did on the phone, happened on the telly.

Of course, you're probably wondering if your phone or tablet has the Miracast technology, and we must admit to not knowing ourselves before we were sent the Netgear Push2TV. For info on whether your phone is compatible, go here to find out.

We were extremely impressed by the whole operation and our enlarged phone screens still looked pretty sharp and clear (although that will depend on the quality of your TV). Although we found there was a slight delay in what we did on the phone showing on the TV, it was not enough to degrade the experience at all. Fortunately both images and sounds are wirelessly communicated, meaning big screen YouTube viewing was really enjoyable.

By far the most useful thing the Netgear Push2TV does is to display on the TV the photos and videos that you have captured with your phone. It was great to be able to film something, then immediately watch it back on a big, share-friendly screen without the need for wires, emails or the removal of SD cards.

Another use we discovered was as a video baby monitor. By launching our phone or tablet's camera app and leaving it pointing at the sleeping babe in the next room, we were able to watch the feed from the camera via the Push2TV. We could also imagine business or education presentations being a lot simpler because of it, without the need to lug around heavy laptops and projectors - all you need is your phone and the Push2TV.

So at the end of the day this is a very nifty bit of kit. It's size and ease of use make this a must-buy for those that love big screen fun.

Around £60

Visit www.netgear.co.uk

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