The iPazzPort Cast from Unisen is a product that has a lot to offer but requires a bit of patience to get it set up and working properly. This is in part due to the multitude of different devices and HDTVs that are in use today. As this is a new technology, these devices may work differently with the iPazzPort so trying to get everything to play nicely together can require a bit of nurturing to get it right, but it's well worth the effort.
The iPazzPort Cast is a small, portable, HD Video Decoder about the size of a typical flash drive. One end of the Cast has a Micro USB port. Attach one end of the included USB cable to this port and the other end of the cable to the USB port on your HDTV or the power adapter which is also included. I found it best to use the power adapter to ensure enough power for the Cast to work properly.
At the other end of the Cast is a male HDMI connector which plugs into the HDMI port on your television or the 12" extension cable which is included with the Cast. If your television or monitor doesn't automatically switch to the proper signal input, you will need to change it to HDMI input once the Cast is attached.
iPazzPort Cast Specifications
- CPU: Single Core ARM Cortex A9
- System: Linux OS
- Architecture: HD video decoder (1080 @ 60fps)
- GPU offers 3D graphic with OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG 1.1
- 2D/3D GPU(1x mali 400)
- HDMI 1.4
- Memory: DDR: DDE3-256M
- WIFI: 802.11 b/g/n
- Functions: Miracast - For Android 4.2 or above device
- DLNA - Digital Living Network Alliance
- AirPlay - For iPhone and iPad with AirPlay
- The Cast requires a television or monitor with HDMI input.
All my Android devices are running Android 4.1 or older so I used the DLNA protocol for my tests. I set up my 8" Nextbook NX008HD8G tablet and my DROID X smartphone to connect to the iPazzPort Cast. I connected each in turn to a Westinghouse 36" HDTV with HDMI input and an ASUS LCD flat screen monitor with HDMI input and onboard speakers.
There should be a User Manual in the box with the Cast when you get it but I always like to download and print the manual. It's usually larger and easier to read than the little one that comes in the box. Using the manual of your choice, follow the instructions which will walk you through connecting your tablet or smartphone to the iPazzPort Cast. An Internet connection is not required to stream your video, music, or photos to your HDTV using the Cast.
You will also need to download the iMediaShare application form the Google Play Store or the Amazon Appstore. There are two versions of iMediaShare.
iMediaShare personal - This versions can be used play local photos, videos and music.
iMediaShare Internet (Flipps) - This versions can be used to play Internet videos, photos and music.
iMediaShare provides an easy interface for accessing your photos, videos, and music and then streaming your entertainment of choice wirelessly to your HDTV or an HD monitor using the iPazzPort Cast. Once you've installed iMediaShare on your device, you will be able to select from:
- Gallery Videos - iMediShare will search your device and present you with a list of available video titles.
- Gallery Photos -iMediShare will search your device and present you with a list of available Photos to view. This will also include book covers for any ebooks on your device which is a bit annoying if you have a lot of ebooks on your device.
- My Music -iMediShare will search your device and present you with a list of albums and music titles.
- Local Network - View and connect to any media servers detected on your home network
- Facebook - Login to your Facebook account from the iMediaShare interface.
- Picasa - Login to your Picasa Web Album with your Google username and password. The Picasa 3.9 application is a free download.
- Free Movies - Loads the Flipps service to view online video content.
- Free Music Clips - Loads the Flipps service to view online music and audio content. Download the Audible App for Android to listen instantly on your device.
Once you have installed the Flipps App on your device, clicking on either the Free Movies or Free Music Clips options on the iMediaShare interface will automatically launch the Flipps Service.
Streaming media wirelessly to the Cast and onto your HDTV is not difficult as long as you follow the directions in the manual. The quality of the video, photos, and music sent to the larger HD display and through the television's speakers is truly amazing. Even the sample photos that came with the tablet were stunning on the big screen. Streaming content to the TV was not something I really gave any thought to before but I am definitely a convert now. Streaming full length movies from the SD card on my tablet to the big screen HDTV turned out to be an easy process with the benefits of a better, larger screen and use of the televisions speakers instead of those on the tablet for much better sound quality.
Depending on your existing equipment, you may also be able to stream content from the Internet to the Cast and onto your HDTV. Unfortunately for me, the Cast could see available wireless networks including my own but my 6 year old 802.11g router would not assign an IP address to the Cast. I can't fault the Cast for this. A newer router will likely connect to the Cast without issue. If you encounter problems in setting up or using the iPazzPort Cast help is available at the email address on the front page of the manual. They promise to respond to all inquiries within 8 business hours.
The iPazzPort Cast can be found on Amazon for about $25 making it a very useful and affordable new gadget for streaming media to your big screen HDTV or a monitor with HDMI input. Visit iPazzPort online to find out more.