Baidu Shadow Stick is a clone of Google Chromecast. And the good thing is it is $3 cheaper than the Google Chromecast. But after all it is Chinese product. Is it worth it?
Baidu Shadow Stick has a white plastic body with a micro USB slot on its side. It is a bit bigger in size than Google Chromecast. It comes with a huge extension for the HDMI port. The extension cord is of high quality. A small micro-USB to USB cord is also provided. No USB charger is provided.
Baidu Shadow Stick has got some real good specifications. It sports Cortex A9 chip clocked at 1.5GHz. It comes with 1GB DDR3 RAM and 4GB of flash storage. It supports wireless networks i.e. 802.11b/g/n.
It supports Airplay and DLNA.
The Baidu website provides detailed instructions for setting up the device. Since it is a Chinese product, the information is in Chinese too. Instructions have been shown for Android, iOS and PC.
The menu of the device gives information on setting up the device. A good thing about the menu was the barcode for the mobile app.
We need Baidu Video app for this. This can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store. Unfortunately only the Chinese iOS App Store features the app.
Once the app is downloaded, just click on option with a small logo of the device next to it. It should detect the device and you can set it up with your Wi-fi network.
The device is ready for streaming purposes. There is no option for changing the name of device on the network i.e. it is the original id itself like BD-bc0c67.
I will use Airplay for the demonstrations. One important thing to note is that no information of media is shown while streaming through Airplay.
Music Streaming was good. The quality of sound did not deteriorate much. However even when I was close to the device there were times when the output would distort for few seconds. This may be due to the network but frankly I was at a distance of 5 to 6 feet from the device and the Wi-fi router.
Video streaming from internet based services like YouTube was below par. I got a very poor quality output. The Google Chromecast is really good at this. Using Chromecast, I at least get 720p output.
I used the device on a 4K television but was surprised that it showed black checkerboards even when the output of the device was set to 720p i.e. 16:9 aspect ratio. Chromecast never showed such issues.
Streaming video from local PC storage gave DVD like output.
Though the device supports Airplay, it allows multiple devices to connect to it simultaneously and stream content. This can cause chaos especially when playing one device plays something and the other device plays something else.
I just love the way China clones the products and adds in more features. I admire the way they make it available to the public at a cheaper cost. But they lack perfection in quality.
Given a choice I would go for Chromecast. Majorly because I am a more avid user of Google Services. Plus the quality of video streaming is average and Airplay has not been programmed well. The black checkerboards are very disturbing while watching a video and you don’t enjoy the video.
Pros – Cost, Features
Cons – Airplay (Performance), No Media Info, Poor Video Streaming
6.8 out of