TV Buddy Caster Review: Is It Worth It? Pros and Cons

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Published on: Dec 5, 2019

TVBuddy Caster is a device you use to mirror on your TV the audio and visual content on your smartphone.

What makes the device unique is that it brands itself as a better-made, powerful version of the Google Chromecast, a device the TV Buddy Caster looks very similar to. At first glance, the TVBuddy Caster looks like a worthy alternative to Chromecast.

However, it’s important to understand the facts of what this device can and can’t do, which we’ll accomplish in this review.

We will also talk about the device’s pricing and return policy, then compare it to the Google Chromecast and various TV brands that offer mirroring.

Pros: Cons:
  • Provides mirroring if your TV doesn’t have it
  • Only mirrors
  • Twice the cost of a Google Chromecast
  • Multi-step setup process
  • Risky return policy

How the TVBuddy Caster Works

Your TVBuddy Caster comes with two parts: the device and its power cord. The setup process takes a few steps.

Setup

To start, you’ll need to plug the devices USB power cord into the back of the TVBuddy Caster. Then, you’ll plug the USB cord either into your TV or into a USB wall outlet adapter.

Next, you’ll plug the HDMI cord into your TV and turn the TV on. At this point, you’ll need to connect your TVBuddy Caster to your wireless network.

This is a two-step process. First, you’ll need to connect to the device’s network: Mirroring-5AE740. You’ll see it listed in your phone’s available WiFi networks. The password for the network is 12345678.

Once you’re connected to that network, you’ll open your browser and go to the following website to connect your TVBuddy Caster to your internet: http://192.168.49.1.

This site is where you access the device’s internet settings. You should see the name of the internet network you connect to. When you find it, click/tap on it, enter your password and your TVBuddy Caster is prepped for the final step of setting up mirroring.

TVBuddy’s instruction manual provides the specific steps for setting up mirroring on Android, iOS/macOS and Windows users.

Once everything is set up, use your TV remote’s “Source” button to select the HDMI port you’ve plugged your TVBuddy Caster into. Once you have the right source, you should see your phone’s screen on your TV.

Mirroring vs. Casting

TVBuddy Caster’s website makes multiple mentions of its ability to “cast,” which is a term you can easily confuse with casting Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services via a Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick.

What TVBuddy Caster does is mirroring. This is different than casting. Mirroring, or “screencasting,” is what happens when your TV is displaying exactly what’s happening on your phone screen. Think of it as a much bigger version of your phone’s display. Anything that happens on your screen will show up on your TV.

Casting, on the other hand, is typically used to refer to what you do when you’re playing content from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Video and other content services and you send it to your Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Sending the content to your TV requires that you are connected to your home network and you tap the cast icon in the content app. When you tap the icon, you should see the name of your device (Chromecast, for example) pop up in a new window. You tap the device name and your TV shows a new screen branded to the app you’re using (Netflix, Hulu, etc.).

This difference between mirroring and casting is important for a few reasons.

First, it’s easier to cast than it is to mirror because the apps you cast have automatic settings for screen size and resolution, whereas you’ll have to make sure your phone is oriented to landscape and your content window is maximized to fill your TV screen.

Second, most new TV’s have a mirroring function that works the same way as the TVBuddy Caster. In the comparison section of our review, we’ll compare the TVBbuddy to five TV brands.

Finally, you may experience some lag when you mirror, which is an issue you won’t face when you’re casting. Since you’re mirroring to your TVBuddy Caster via your internet network, the lag could get worse if you have multiple devices streaming on your network and/or slowed internet speeds due to your internet service provider dealing with a lot of internet use in your area.

Pricing and Return Policy

You can buy one or multiple TVBuddy Casters at the following price points:

  • 1 device: $49.95 plus $8.95 shipping
  • 2 devices: $99.90 plus $9.95 shipping
  • 3 devices: $112.39 plus $10.95 shipping
  • 4 devices: $174.83 plus $11.95

If you aren’t happy with your TVBuddy Caster, you have 30 days from the day you received the device in the mail to start your return.

To be eligible for the return, your device needs to be in like-new condition and you must still have the original packaging.

If you meet these criteria, notify TVBuddy Caster’s support team at (855)884-0385 that you’re making a return and that you need the mailing address for the return.

Your next step is to send the device, original packaging, and a written or printed version of your address, email address, name and phone number included in the box. Once you ship the box, send the tracking number to support@gettvbuddy.com.

The risk of making a return is that TVBuddy’s customer service makes the final decision about your refund. The fine print says it will take up to 30 days for them to process your return and that they’ll notify you of their decision by email.

TVBuddy Caster vs. Chromecast

TVBuddy Caster and Chromecast are two different devices because the Chromecast can mirror and cast content, whereas TVBuddy Caster’s only function is mirroring.

If your internet connection is fast enough to where you never deal with buffering issues, then casting Netflix and other content apps should never result in lag. Screen mirroring can lead to lag, which reduces the quality of the user experience.

Also, you can buy one Chromecast for half the price of a TVBuddy Caster.

Because of this, our opinion is that Chromecast is the better choice because you’ll avoid lag, you get a brand-name device and the Chromecast is far cheaper.

TVBuddy Caster vs. Built-In TV Mirroring

Most of today’s TVs have built-in mirroring that makes a mirror-only device like the TVBuddy unnecessary. What makes a built-in option better is that you don’t have to buy a new device to mirror your phone.

Here’s a quick list of popular TV brands and how to use screen mirroring with them:

  • LG: These TV‘s do mirroring via a TV setting called SmartShare. You can also mirror to an LG TV through your phone’s screen-sharing setting or LG’s Screen Share app.

  • Samsung: All Samsung TVs made in 2013 and later allow you to mirror via your internet connection. To access screen mirroring, hit the “Source” button on your remote and choose “Screen Mirroring.”

  • Panasonic: You can mirror to these TV’s through the APPS button on your Panasonic remote or through the Mirror for Panasonic TV app.

  • Insignia: The only way to mirror your phone to these TVs is through a first- or second-generation Amazon Fire TV device.

  • Hisense: You can do screen mirroring through the Anyview Cast feature in your TV’s settings.

The Bottom Line

The TVBuddy Caster is a limited device with marketing that implies that it can cast like a Google Chromecast when its only function is to mirror whatever is on your phone’s screen.

Most new TV’s have mirroring built into their settings, which makes a mirroring device like TVBuddy Caster unnecessary.

However, if you have an older TV that doesn’t have any native screen mirroring options but has HDMI slots, the TVBuddy Caster would be an option, albeit an expensive one compared to the Google Chromecast.

Also, if your phone has issues connecting to your TV’s casting software, then TVBuddy Caster could save you some frustration. However, we suggest buying a Chromecast and testing it first.

If it works, then you’ve found a name-brand solution that’s affordable and offers the added benefit of casting apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more.


Read 25 TV Buddy Caster Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Customer Rating: 1.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 1 1 star:  24
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 25
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  • No device has been sent! Money gone...

    • By Wanee R.,
    • Benson, AZ,
    • Mar 31, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had ordered this device in early February 2020. Have not received it to this present time of March 26, 2020. Want my money back. I am afraid I have lost it. Not even an email was sent on the status if back-ordered or anything. What a big mistake...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Sending it back.

    • By Thomas O.,
    • South Dakota,
    • Mar 30, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered it on 2/2/20, today is 3/25/20. I called to cancel the order and was told it was on its way like magic. I told the person I will send it back the same day it arrives. They offered me a 20% discount. As soon as it shows up it goes back, just more FB carp.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Take note of these POOR reviews

    • By Ronald S.,
    • Illinois,
    • Mar 26, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Please understand there is a reason for all the poor reviews because they are TRUE! Should be NO stars. I saw those before ordering but thought it might be worth a try. When the product doesn't work, you will NOT get a refund upon return. When you finally get in contact, you will be instructed to return the product for a refund. AFTER return it is a litany of excuses, including the product was opened, damaged or you failed to keep the tracking number. Take my word, walk away from this FRAUD!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Been over 45 days, no device, account has been debited

    • By Jim H.,
    • Jefferson City, MO,
    • Mar 18, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I now know this is a scam just out to scam you. Took money right away out of my account but have not been notified yet about the product or when it's going to be shipped. Does anyone know how to talk to the customer service of this company? I noticed they're not on the internet anymore.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Faulty product and terrible customer service

    • By Astrid A.,
    • United Kingdom,
    • Mar 17, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    My dad who is 65 bought this product as it was advertised as very easy setup. He tried to set up himself several times but couldn’t get it to work. He assumed he was maybe doing something wrong so decided to wait for me to visit. I live 250 miles away and only got to visit today (unfortunately after a 30-day return policy). I who am reasonably tech-savvy so thought oh this should be easy and tried to set up. Connected the TV Buddy to the house WiFi but then when trying to cast nothing would connect/mirror, even though the mirroring was showing up on our devices. Tried a few more times in case I was missing something silly, no joy.

    Decided to go to the website and use the online chat for help, wish I still had the convo but unfortunately I got disconnected before I could copy. Asked for help and was directed to a video and a manual, tried again as I thought why not. When I told them it wasn’t working they kept telling me to do the same things I’d already done, despite telling them what I had done and sending several pictures of my screen. I was told that "no, that’s not right, you’ve missed a step" and when I asked for a walkthrough as the manual wasn’t clear, I was told actually the manual is very easy to follow (why don’t you just come out and call me stupid?!). In the end I sent the customer service advisor screenshots of me doing it step by step, got told at the step of connecting the TV Buddy to the WiFi that was the 1st time I had got to that stage?! I corrected the agent and told them that actually I’d already told them and send screenshots of being at that stage and the TV being connected to the WiFi several times.

    After over an hour of going round in circles and them trying to make me feel like an idiot the agent finally told me the product must be faulty and they can send me a new one. Usually, this would be fine but as the way I was spoken to was awful and I was made to go round in circle I asked for refund. To which they told me no as it was out of the 30 days but they could offer me 20% back. Asked if the 20% back also includes them sending me a new one and was told it was one or the other. As I’m not in the habit of throwing money out the window I’ve asked for the replacement. I think it’s bad that there aren’t any exceptions made for a refund when it’s a faulty product and the way the customer service team spoke to me was shocking. Thankfully it wasn’t my dad as he wouldn’t have reacted in the same way as me and would have been made to believe he wasn’t doing something right and was stupid even though it was actually a faulty product.

    Will make sure my dad lets me know about buying any tech products so he never buys from someone like you again.

    Severely disappointed and disgusted.

    DO NOT BUY!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Brutal!

    • By Patrick S.,
    • Mound, MN,
    • Feb 26, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    After taking over 2 months to receive the product, I was not able to install, for various reasons. According to their records, I received the package 35 days ago, which is 3 days beyond the refund period.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Mar 9, 2020

      Company Response from TV Buddy Caster

      Hi Patrick. We are sorry to hear about this feedback. Based on the tracking report provided by the courier, your order was delivered on January 18th. Our money-back guarantee is within 30 days from the date of delivery. Regarding the proper installation, please check on the instructional material below so you will be guided accordingly:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDIelMQVNHA&t=


  • Do NOT buy this useless product

    • By Susan B.,
    • Chandler, AZ,
    • Feb 22, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    It doesn't work! I tried many times.

    The internet numbers it gives you don't work.

    They ignore your emails other than stupid generic responses.

    I tried to get my money back, they ignored that too.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 23, 2020

      Company Response from TV Buddy Caster

      Hello Susan. We're very sorry to hear that the product did not work for you. We looked into your account and it shows that the order was delivered on Dec. 29th but we did not find any email coming from you requesting for any technical support or refund request. We only have 30 days from the time of delivery to process such requests. However, please refer to the link below so you can maximize the use of the device:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDIelMQVNHA&t=.


  • Piece of crap, do not buy, the Wi-Fi network mirroring 5AE740 does not show up on my TVs anywhere or phones.

    • By Torry A.,
    • Vancleave, MS,
    • Feb 17, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Piece of crap, does not work on my iPhone, on my tablet, or Galaxy phone, or on any of the three TVs. The information on the setup says that you select SS, ID number 58E740, well, guess what, that doesn’t come upstairs in any options for WiFi networks or any of my devices. Don’t buy it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 18, 2020

      Company Response from TV Buddy Caster

      Hello, Torry. We are most certainly taking your feedback into account. We want to offer our assistance to you in making sure that you are able to set up the device correctly and maximize its functionality. To make it easier for you, please check the link below for your reference:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDIelMQVNHA


  • This product is a rip-off...don't waste your money buying one.

    • By Robert M.,
    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Feb 15, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased a TV Buddy from an ad on Instagram. I have spent THREE DAYS trying to get it to work. There is technical support and there is no phone number to call to get help. I WOULD NOT buy one of these devices. I'm returning it tomorrow, but doubt I will get a refund. Apparently Think Tech Sales Limited is a company based in Hong Kong. The ad on Instagram is very misleading.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 18, 2020

      Company Response from TV Buddy Caster

      Hello, Robert. We're sorry to hear that you that the antenna did not meet your expectations. We do offer technical support on any platforms such as email, chats, social media, and via phone. if you find the product unsatisfactory, we have a 30-day money-back guarantee which entitles you to a full refund as long as the product is returned to us in its original packaging within 30 days from the day it was delivered. We hope to straighten things out as soon as possible.


  • Stay away

    • By Eric J.,
    • Lakewood, OH,
    • Feb 9, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    First, the product was misleading as it just lets you access apps from the internet to your TV, it does not access free over air television, or at least I could not get it to do it. When I called to return it they tried to get me to keep it at half price but it did nothing my Smart TV already did. You have to pay return shipping and get a tracking number, I e-ailed 2 weeks after it had been received by them with no response and I called them after 3 weeks, and was told they would not refund the full price and would not refund the tax. After asking for a supervisor they finally came back to say they would refund the full price but not the tax. This a complete rip off.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 18, 2020

      Company Response from TV Buddy Caster

      Hi Eric. We are sorry to hear that the product did not meet your expectations. We have followed up on your refund concern. An email has been sent to you last February 6th advising that a refund has already been issued to the original form of payment. Please allow a few business days for the credit to be reflected in your account.


  • Won't connect to WiFi

    • By Steven O.,
    • Nowra, New South Wales, Australia,
    • Feb 8, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I saw the advertisement and thought it would be great to be able to stop paying for cable, wrong. It cost $87 AU, took about 2 months to arrive and I cannot get it to connect to the WiFi. I am so disappointed, I should have researched and read some of the reviews first, waste of money for mine. Would not recommend for an enemy, let alone a friend.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 18, 2020

      Company Response from TV Buddy Caster

      Hi Steve. We're sorry to hear that the product did not meet your expectations. Your feedback is most certainly taken into account. if you find the product unsatisfactory, we have a 30-day money-back guarantee which entitles you to a full refund as long as the product is returned to us in its original packaging within 30 days from the day it was delivered.


Showing 1-11 of 25

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