Anyway, back to the PC software for the Honestech nScreen Deluxe. It works in two ways. You can either have it simply mirror your desktop to your TV or alternatively you can choose music, picture or video files from within the nScreen software and have them streamed to the device.
The mirroring function isn’t quite as good as we'd hoped. The marketing blurb on the box says that the nScreen works at resolutions of up to 1080p. Unfortunately, it turns out that when it comes to mirroring the maximum it can handle is 1280x720, which is quite low. Also, the supported data rate doesn't seem to be that high, so although it works fine for desktop apps like PowerPoint and web browsing, if you try to play video in this mode there's noticeable tearing and jerkiness due to the compression used.
In the second mode, the nScreen doesn't do mirroring at all. Instead you simply use a file browser to load in a media file, such as a video, and then hit the play button to start streaming the clip directly to the device. In this mode you can play videos of up to 1080p in a number of formats including MKV, DivX and Xvid.
However, audio support is quite limited, as the nScreen doesn’t seem to be able to handle surround sound soundtracks. If you load a video file with an AC3 or DTS soundtrack, the video will play but you'll hear no audio, which rather limits its potential as a streamer. Also, the PC software seems quite buggy. We found we sometimes had to select our video file multiple times before it would actually load into the streaming interface and allow us to play it.
We also tried the Android software on a Sony Tablet S. The interface for this is incredibly basic. When you open up the app it just presents you with a file browser that you use to locate the media you want to play. Once you've selected the file you hit the play button and its streamed form your Android device to your TV. However, the software is even more buggy than the PC version, causing a number of "force closes" on our tablet. We could also only get it to play video at a maximum resolution of 720p, as all the 1080p videos we tried caused the software to through up a media renderer time out error.
On paper the nScreen Deluxe looks like quite an exciting product thanks to its ability to work with not just PCs and laptops, but also iOS and Android mobile devices. However, a number of weaknesses, including the low resolution of its desktop mirroring, buggy software and its inability to handle surround sound audio means it's difficult to recommend.