Ditto vs. Airtame

Which is Better for Screen Mirroring and Digital Signage?

This article breaks down the key differences between Ditto and Airtame. It will help you determine which screen mirroring and digital signage solution is best for your business, school or organization.

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Highlights

  • Ditto and Airtame are wireless screen mirroring and digital signage solutions. Ditto is a software solution that utilizes existing hardware. Airtame is a hardware solution that uses HDMI and proprietary hardware.
  • Ditto costs $399 while Airtame starts at $849.
  • Ditto and Airtame both support cross-platform screen mirroring, but there are key differences in how end users share their device screens using these solutions.
  • Ditto is an all-in-one platform while Airtame integrates with external services to offer some features.

Software vs. Hardware

Ditto is a software-based screen mirroring and digital signage solution. It allows people to wirelessly present their devices and display digital signage in businesses and educational institutions.

Airtame is a hardware-based wireless screen mirroring and signage solution. It also utilizes proprietary software for certain signage and management functions. Initially created to be a home-entertainment device, it has since shifted to business and education applications. Airtame wirelessly connects devices to a proprietary HDMI hardware receiver and allows users to share content to it.

Compatibility

Ditto and Airtame are both cross-platform solutions, meaning they work with different types of devices people use today. However, the types of compatible devices differ for each solution.

Receivers

Both solutions require receivers to be set up with a TV, projector or other large display in order for users to share content to them. Ditto software works with receivers that already exist in many conference rooms and presentation environments: Apple TV, Chromecast, Windows PCs and Macs.

These popular devices are bound by the quality assurance standards of Apple, Google and Microsoft. Once Ditto is installed on the receiving device, users can share content wirelessly to them.

Airtame uses a proprietary hardware receiver. Initially a cable-free HDMI-dongle, a newer iteration is a round device that uses a series of cables to connect to a display’s HDMI port and a power source. Separate extension cords and ethernet cables are available for an additional cost, all proprietary to Airtame.

Devices

Ditto and Airtame both allow numerous device types to present wirelessly to their respective receivers. The cohesiveness, functionality and support differ for each.

Ditto supports devices running Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Chrome OS. These devices connect with Ditto via an app called Ditto Connect.

Additionally, Windows and macOS users also have the option to connect to Ditto through a web browser. The web browser loads a temporary version of Ditto Connect which deletes itself after use, eliminating the need to download and permanently install software on a computer. The temporary application is ideal for guest presenters and users on personal, unmanaged devices.

Airtame supports devices running Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Linux, iOS, iPadOS and Android. Users connect to Airtame via their device’s native streaming protocol — either with AirPlay, Google Cast or MIracast. Additionally, Airtame provides a downloadable app that can share content, but for some devices is limited in functionality.

Connections, Speed and Quality

Presenting easily without substantial lag time is critical to any meeting, lecture or presentation. Connection quality varies between proprietary hardware and software solutions. Ditto and Airtame are good examples of this.

How devices connect

The screen mirroring experience is the same across all devices connecting to Ditto: Each Ditto receiver displays a unique room code. Users connect to Ditto by entering the room code into the Ditto Connect app. Ditto detects the device and automatically initiates screen mirroring.

Airtame connections rely on several factors. Airtame receivers broadcast signals to user devices. For most devices, users must wait for their device to recognize and accept the broadcasted signal, enter an on-screen pin code, and then choose which type of connection they’d prefer.

Connecting to Airtame on mobile

For mobile screen mirroring, connections are disabled by default and must be enabled by an IT administrator in Airtame’s admin settings. If you need full cross-platform mirroring with AirPlay, Google Cast and Miracast, the Airtame 2 device is required along with an Airtame Cloud subscription.

Using Airtame with iOS

The Airtame device broadcasts screen mirroring protocols that allow it to be used as an AirPlay receiver. Users must initiate screen mirroring natively on their iPhones or iPads to connect to Airtame, similar to the way users connect to an Apple TV.

Users cannot mirror their screens to Airtame with the iOS app. Additionally, mobile users cannot stream videos with the Airtame app, and animations inside slideshows will not play. Streaming certain static content from the app is supported, such as photos and some document file types like PDFs and slideshows.

It’s important to note that Bonjour and Multicast must be enabled on your network for iOS screen mirroring to be possible with Airtame. Many universities and businesses disable Bonjour and Multicast for security and performance purposes. Ditto does not require any of these protocols to work.

Using Airtame with Android

Android devices that are compatible with the Airtame app have similar functionality to their iOS counterpart. They cannot mirror screens, users can only stream static content like photos and documents. Videos or animations in files are not supported.

Android users can mirror using their device’s native mirroring protocols, namely Google Cast or Miracast depending on the device type. This process is inconsistent between devices and may be cumbersome for users.

Speed and Quality

Connection speeds

Connecting a device to a Ditto receiver is nearly instantaneous. The Ditto receiver accepts the room code without needing to look up device-specific network information, which saves time when connecting the devices.

Airtame uses a broadcast system. User devices must search for the Airtame broadcast signal on the network. Depending on network traffic, signal strength and network accessibility, this process can take several seconds or longer.

Display speeds

Latency indicates how long it takes the screen of one device to mirror to another display. Your specific network, receiver, personal devices and signal strength affect the output speed of any wireless presentation system.

These latency specs are representative of each product in an ideal presentation environment:

  • Ditto screen connections have latency of 30 milliseconds.
  • Airtame’s connections have latency of anywhere between 400 milliseconds to 1 second.

Display quality

  • Resolution: Both Ditto and Airtame support mirroring at 1080p.
  • Frame rate: Both Ditto and Airtame support mirroring up to 60 fps.

Digital Signage

Ditto and Airtame both offer digital signage, allowing admins to feature content on their displays when users are not actively screen mirroring. Functionality differs for each:

Ditto Digital Signage

Ditto is an all-in-one platform used to design, customize and schedule content from one central place.

  • Ditto supports digital signage content up to a 4K resolution
  • Users customize pre-made templates or upload their own signage
  • A built-in content management system allows users to organize and disseminate signage
  • Includes integrated emergency alert functionality

Airtame Digital Signage

Airtame displays content synced with its subscription cloud service. Most digital signage content must be created externally, such as with apps like Google Slides or paid services like Appspace, and then integrated with Airtame Cloud for changes to take effect.

  • Airtame supports digital signage content up to a 1080p resolution
  • A Cloud Lite subscription allows admins to set home screen images and URLs at no additional cost
  • Compatible with a handful of third-party apps and services
  • Users can schedule content and display sleep mode
  • Does not include customizable templates — design work is required
  • Does not include emergency alerts

Now or later?

Many schools and conference rooms are already equipped with Macs, Windows PCs, Apple TVs or Chromecasts, which means you could begin sharing with Ditto today. Since Ditto can be deployed with common devices you already own, you won’t have to spend the time or money to procure and purchase a proprietary hardware receiver from a manufacturer.

With any hardware device, you’ll need to wait for a shipment to arrive and then manually deploy them across meeting spaces, which could take weeks in total.

Cost

Ditto and Airtame are priced on a per-receiver basis rather than a per-user basis. This drastically reduces the cost when many people need the ability to share content. The specific price points, however, are different:

  • Ditto: $399 per year per receiver. Requires no additional hardware, replacement parts or subscription services.
  • Airtame: up to $849 per receiver. Does not include additional hardware costs or premium subscription for full digital signage.

How the price is broken down

Ditto is compatible with a variety of conference room technologies already used in businesses, universities and schools. That means you have the ability to use Ditto without purchasing any additional hardware. If you do require a wireless receiver, numerous options are available. Even if you decide to purchase a high-end option, such as an Apple TV HD (priced at $240 – JBHIFI), the total cost of Ditto, paired with a receiver, is $639 for one room. There are no additional charges or pricing tiers to use full-featured digital signage and screen mirroring with Ditto.

Airtame costs $849 for a single Airtame 2 device. Standard shipping to most locations is $25. Connecting your Airtame via ethernet with power sourced through the same cable (as the company recommends for reliable, stable performance) requires a proprietary PoE adapter. This adds an additional $239 per room. If you require a traditional ethernet connection, Airtame’s proprietary ethernet adapter is $30 per room. If you need a regular extension cord without hardwiring, that’s $29 per room. All of these accessories cost $25 for shipping to most areas. If your device’s Aircord (Airtame’s proprietary USB-C to USB-A and HDMI cable) needs replaced, the cost to replace it is $80 plus $25 in shipping fees.

Consider this:

Airtame charges a premium subscription fee for the full-featured use of its cloud service. This subscription is required for full digital signage. Airtame customers who need central management and digital signage in addition to basic screen mirroring will pay an extra $120 per year per device for Airtame Cloud Plus. A Cloud Lite subscription is offered without additional fees that includes device management and the ability to display a static home screen image or public URL on screen.

Without including premium services or subscription fees from Airtame, it would take four years for Ditto to reach the price of Airtame in one room. Airtame has demonstrated a production schedule of releasing new hardware every three years. In that case, customers will have to pay to upgrade all Airtame devices in all locations every three years in order to maintain the most up-to-date hardware and keep performance stable. The hardware costs and time to purchase, procure, deploy and maintain these devices must be considered to get a true estimate of the total cost.

Summary

Ditto is a robust software ecosystem where desktop and mobile users alike can present consistently and cohesively across every major platform. Built-in digital signage and content management keeps everything accessible and in one central place. If you want to leverage a robust ecosystem of applications to present to proven, reliable receivers, go with Ditto. If you’re looking for a hardware solution that focuses on desktop support and premium subscription-based features, go with Airtame.

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