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The Teewe app.
The Teewe app.

Lounge Review | Teewe

Google's Chromecast gets competition, developed by an Indian company

Look ma, no wires

Tewe, by Bangalore-based Mango Man Consumer Electronics Pvt. Ltd, competes with Google’s Chromecast. Both devices connect directly via HDMI to an HDTV and allow users to wirelessly stream content from their phones and laptops. The simple plug-and-play technique will appeal to most potential users.

The design is inspired by a USB drive. Unfortunately, the thick design tends to block the HDMI port next to the one it is plugged into. An extension cable is included as a standard accessory, and that solves the problem. For power, you can use one of the TV’s USB ports, instead of the AC adapter.

Without doubt, Teewe provides a convenient way to access media files that may be saved on your phone or a PC, and view them on the big-screen TV. The wide content compatibility adds to usability.

The good stuff

It is easy to set up. You can set a unique name for each Teewe device, which is useful if you end up buying one each for multiple TVs.

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The Teewe device.

Unlike Chromecast, Teewe’s desktop software (Windows and Mac OS X) makes it much simpler to stream movies and music stored on the hard drive. It has an intuitive interface, and works well for compiling media from the folders you have specified. It periodically refreshes for newer file additions. Content is separated well across media types—movies, TV shows, photos and music. The playback controls on the desktop software are critical for convenience as they reduce dependence on the phone.

During testing, we played back a variety of video formats, and Teewe handled most of these files smoothly.

The hardware inside Teewe is powerful—dual-core 1.5 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM, and will be capable of handling hardware-based video resolution upscaling as well, if the developers implement this feature.

YouTube videos and full-length 1,080p movies (around 9 GB in size) streamed without any stutters. Depending on the length of the video, playback starts after a wait of 3-10 seconds, from the time you press play.

The not-so-good

A couple of uncommon codecs didn’t play back smoothly from the PC, but that shouldn’t bother most users. Unlike full-fledged HD media players, Teewe (and Chromecast) cannot upscale standard definition content to high definition, yet. At the moment, the lack of this feature is perhaps the only glaring omission, particularly if you have a massive library of standard definition videos, and want to watch them on an HDTV. The other niggle is that the phone’s battery tends to discharge at 1% every 5-6 minutes when streaming to Teewe.

Talk plastic

Teewe is priced at 1,999. The apps for Android and iOS devices as well as Windows and Mac PCs, are free to download.

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