Looking for a modern, wireless presentation solution for your classroom or meeting room? You may have come across Airtame, and more recently, the Airtame 2. Read on for a comparison between the Airtame 2 wireless screen sharing device and the KLIK Boks PLUS.
Airtame 2 is the improved version of the original Airtame wireless screen sharing device that was recently discontinued. Whereas the original Airtame was housed in a small HDMI “dongle”, the new model uses a round housing with an external HDMI cable for connection to the display. Likewise, where the older Airtame was supplied with a USB cable and could draw its power from the display, this new model requires an external power supply, drawing considerably more power. The new Airtame 2 is also $100 more expensive than the old model, now offered at $399. Airtame 2 comes with a 1-year warranty (US).
KLIK Boks PLUS is the mid-range wireless screen sharing system from KLIK, and comes in at $249. PLUS comes in a small housing that can be shelf-mounted or attached to the display, and comes with a USB power cable and external power supply, so it can be powered either by the display itself, or the adapter. The unit offers separate connections for HDMI and VGA displays, an Ethernet jack for connection to a network, separate analog and digital audio outputs for connection to a sound system, and a wireless remote control. PLUS comes with a 3-year warranty.
Prior to use, both Airtame 2 and KLIK Boks PLUS must be connected to the display, a power source and to the local area network.
Since it has no Ethernet connector, Airtame 2 relies on a wireless connection to the network, by pairing it with the available Wi-Fi access point. Airtame offer a wired Ethernet adapter for an additional $20, along with instructions for connection and setup using the more reliable wired connection.
PLUS can plug into a wired network directly, or be connected wirelessly. Wired connections require no additional setup as the device receives its IP address and other details automatically from the network. Wireless connections can also be made, if there is no available Ethernet connection point. PLUS uses dual, external Wi-Fi antennas for extended range.
One of the most attractive features of any wireless screen sharing device is the ability for users to stream from their devices, without being forced to install an app. Native streaming is built into devices powered by Windows, Mac OSX, iOS and Android, under a variety of different names.
Airtame 2 supports screen mirroring from iOS devices using AirPlay Beta, which needs to be enabled manually before first use. According to the company, “AirPlay works both when streaming from OSX and iOS devices, but development efforts are focused on iOS devices.” Since the feature is still in beta, the company lists over a dozen known issues with AirPlay. Aside from AirPlay Beta for iOS, Airtame 2 does not support any other native streaming protocol.
KLIK Boks PLUS supports screen mirroring from Mac OSX, iOS, Windows and Android devices, natively. KLIK’s implementation of AirPlay compatibility works with iOS devices, allowing for full screen mirroring with any content, including YouTube video when played from a web page. AirPlay on Mac allows for screen mirroring or extended desktop mode, supporting presenter mode in PowerPoint and Keynote. Windows (8.1+) users can stream to KLIK using the native Miracast utility that’s built in, with the ability to mirror or extend the desktop. KLIK also supports Android devices with full screen mirroring, since they also use the Miracast protocol.
A wireless screen sharing solution is a welcome addition to any collaboration space, but there are applications where access restrictions need to be placed on the device. For example, where adjacent meeting rooms could lead users to accidentally connect to the wrong room, or schools where a higher degree of access control is needed.
Airtame 2 can be set up to require a “PIN code” that users must enter before starting a streaming session. The PIN code is randomly generated and ensures that only users who are physically in the same room can connect and stream to the Airtame 2. The feature needs to be enabled through the Advanced settings option.
KLIK Boks PLUS comes with password-restricted access enabled by default. Like Airtame, users must enter the 4-digit password to connect with KLIK and start a streaming session. The feature can be disabled easily from the KLIK app or the KLIKWizard.
In addition, KLIK offers moderated control that allows one person (teacher, team leader, etc.) to assume the role of moderator, with exclusive control over the start of any streaming session. The function can be controlled by handheld remote control, a touch screen input, or when controlled from the KLIK app, the moderator can preview the users’ screen before starting a streaming session.
Airtame 2 offers wireless screen sharing as its core competency, then adds a central management console to allow system administrators to configure and maintain the devices remotely. The management console is web-based and requires that the Airtame device be connected to the Internet. In addition, Airtame 2 offers a basic digital signage interface with various apps that are free to use during the beta period.
KLIK Boks PLUS offers wireless screen sharing, and comes with a remote configuration and management application that runs on a local computer. The KLIKWizard app does not require the KLIK Boks PLUS to be connected to the Internet, which can be a security concern for many organizations (Education, HIPPA, etc.).
KLIK does not offer digital signage, but it does include a media player capable of playing back video, music and images from a USB drive or from the network. The included remote control provides direct access to the media player as well as many other system features and settings.
KLIK also offers a remote viewing capability not supported by Airtame 2. The KLIKStream feature allows users to view a presentation in real time, right on their own device. KLIKStream is browser-based, so no additional software is required, and allows users to make screen captures of the content for later review.
If you’re looking to add wireless screen sharing to your collaboration space(s), both Airtame 2 and KLIK Boks PLUS are capable solutions. While both devices allow password-restricted access, if you have a large number of presenters that you need to cycle through (as in a classroom or committee meeting), then KLIK is a better choice.
If you’d like to try out the digital signage feature, Airtame could be an option, although a more capable, stand-alone digital signage player can be purchased for less than $100. Finally, if your application is straightforward from an installation standpoint and the available Wi-Fi is strong enough, Airtame may be suitable. Otherwise, you may want to consider the standard Ethernet connectivity, external Wi-Fi antennas and audio outputs found on the KLIK Boks PLUS.
All feature comparisons are based on published specifications obtained from the Airtame website, on the date of publication of this article. We welcome clarifications and corrections and the legal beagles want us to tell you that Errors & Omissions are Excepted, all trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners, and that this content is Copyright 2019, KLIK Communications Inc, all rights reserved.