HomeReviewLow-latency casting has its drawbacks

Low-latency casting has its drawbacks

Proscreencast SC01 in use

There are many ways to cut the cord in your media setup. Wireless casting isn’t new, but for a long time, lag-free wireless casting in 4K was unattainable by mere mortals due to the cost of hardware and supporting infrastructure. We live in amazing times where limitations like this, are the past. Are you keen on low-latency casting? I’m trying out ProScreenCast SC01.

ProScreenCast SC01

The box has everything you need to start casting your screen. A palm-sized streaming box comes with a full HDMI and USB-C power port (which works with USB-C PD). Alongside, you will find a short HDMI and USB-C charging cable. ProScreenCast SC01 connects to both 2.4Ghz and 5GHz bands of your WiFi – but for the best results, the latter is advisable.

The setup is quick and simple. It will show you relevant information on the screen if you have it connected to a display. Otherwise, follow the manual to connect to the, created by the ProScreenCast, AP to configure its network and basic settings.

If you wonder what the button is used for, apart from the obvious (reset) you can press it to rotate the screen 90 degrees. It’s a handy feature that will save you from faffing about with the display orientation of ceiling-mounted projectors.

Chromecast vs ProScreenCast

Which one would suit you more? On the surface, both devices do the same thing, but once you compare them side by side, each one of them has its strengths and weaknesses.

Despite wonderful streaming abilities, ProScreenCast doesn’t support HDCP – which means that services serving content with copyright protection are off the table. Forget about Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other paid streaming platforms. For that, a good old Chromecast will be a better choice. It may sound like a deal breaker, but ProScreenCast SC01 has something up its sleeve too.

If you are into Plex, YouTube, gaming, and other platforms that don’t use HDCP or want to take advantage of the native Miracast protocol (no need for Chrome browser) then ProScreenCast has a big advantage here – it streams content with really low latency. Chromecast has enough latency to put off gamers and computer users hoping to use a wireless display as a 2nd display without annoying lag. With ProScreenCast SC01, you won’t have this issue.

Gaming

For best performance, connect to your 5Ghz WiFi especially if you want to get the best latency and utilize the full potential of the ProScreenCast. It’s a shame that ProScreenCast doesn’t have a Gigabit Ethernet (after all we are cutting the cables) but linked with my AX mesh routers it holds up well.

While competitive gaming is probably off the table (it’s where every ms counts) I had a great time playing Spider-Man Remastered for PC and Dying Light 2. Both games required reflexes to pull off combat moves and combos and I was reaching these without any issues. I tried both 1080P60FPS and 4K60FPS modes and both were very responsive to the controller’s input.

I only noticed the latency when looking at the game played on my Asus ROG Zephyrus Pro, but without a reference point, it’s unlikely you’ll notice it. It’s definitely low enough for gaming. Even in the most demanding 4K60 stream was very playable, however, I noticed a couple of moments where the framerate would drop a little – maybe to 40 FPS or for a second or two.

In use

The most annoying part of casting is trying to figure out if the app requires HDCP to cast images and videos or not. ProScreenCast works well but only shows up as an option in selected apps (available on YouTube, but not in the Plex app).

PC users can simply bypass HDCP limitations by extending or duplicating the display via the wireless display option but it’s nowhere as convenient as sitting on the sofa and starting the cast session from the app. Having proper HDCP support would be just what the typical user needs.

It’s possible to use the same Cast menu in Google Chrome to send your tab or the entire screen to Proscreencast, but a better latency is achieved by using the Wireless Display option in Windows (Win+ K).

EZCast/EZChannel

ProScreenCast comes with an EZCast app/web interface to stream the most popular content from internet video services like YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo. It does some cookie magic, as suggested content from YouTube appeared there as well. The feature is optional and can be disabled in the options if you already have a casting app of your choice.

Final thoughts

Despite the obvious (and slightly annoying limitations) ProScreenCast SC01 has good uses. It fits in a pocket and it’s easy to take with you for all your business trips in case you need to hook up to a projector, while gamers only need this and a game controller to play their favourites in bed. At $69.99 it remains competitive with the 4K version of the Chromecast as long as you care more about latency than the HDCP limitation. What do you think? Let me know in this Reddit thread.

🆓📈 – See the transparency note for details.

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