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.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of TV Buddy Caster:
  • 46 Customer Reviews
  • 0% Recommend This Company
1.0 out of 5
5 star: 0% 4 star: 0% 3 star: 0% 2 star: 2% 1 star: 97%

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  • Scam

    • By Beth E.,
    • Sorrento, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Jul 3, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered one but I got charged for two. It took forever to arrive and it is not compatible with either of my TVs.

    I took it to the post office to return it and the address is not in the system. Expensive lesson. I also have repeatedly tried to email them and get no response so I guess I'm stuck with garbage that I overpaid for.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Scam
    • No customer service
    • Overcharged for trash

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


  • Crap company - don’t be conned!

    • By Jeff M.,
    • Sydney, Australia,
    • Jun 24, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Waited forever and it finally arrived but is useless as it only mirrors, no free channels as advertised - internet amplify device is also crap without an Aussie plug.

    Don’t get caught with these crooks pretending to be reputable!

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • False advertising
    • Misleading
    • Dishonest

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


  • Scam

    • By Gloria D.,
    • New York, NY,
    • Jun 19, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Don't be fooled, TV Buddy does not work with any internet connection. I have Spectrum, I spent hours trying to hook up the device, didn't happen. Then I contacted the shipper, they offered me 20% off rather than to send it back so I would only get $11.00 back off a $50.00 device. I'm so done. Then she told me to give it away. Never again. Buyers beware!

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Liars
    • Scam artist
    • Took two months to receive it

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


  • TV Buddy Caster

    • By Jacques B.,
    • Maddington Falls, Quebec, Canada,
    • Jun 4, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 3–6 months
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered this product on March 20, 2020, I never receive this product.

    I would like my money back, the order number is 84461521.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Take my money, never send the product

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


  • Scam company

    • By Martin P.,
    • Great Britain,
    • Jun 4, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Like everyone else, the product took ages to arrive. I had a few emails to apologize for the delay, then when it arrived and followed the instructions, it will not connect.

    Their so-called award winning customer service is a total joke, they have never responded to the e-mails I sent them over connection problems. As soon as they have your money they don't want to know. It is also false advertising as you simply plug it in and enjoy free channels, no mention of the set up procedure.

    They advertise a lot on Facebook, but Facebook is as bad, as people are continualy writing bad reviews but they will not remove them. Also, when you look the next day all the bad reviews have disappeared.

    Do not buy from this scam company.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Once they have your money, they will not help with any issues
    • False advertising
    • It is supposed to be a screen caster but it's only mirrors

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


  • If there is less than 1 star I would give it.

    • By Fiona W.,
    • Victoria, Australia,
    • Jun 4, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 3–6 months
    Overall Experience:

    It took from the 10th of February 2020 to the 2nd of June 2020 to receive the TV Buddy. 15 weeks! It is certainly not what was expected and this "casting" is only mirroring and it is not worth bupkiss to me. The advertising is fraudulent. I am now in the process of trying to claim back my funds through PayPal. I have already put in a claim prior to receiving the item but was told I have to wait until the 17th of June. I'll be claiming my refund at 12:00:01 on the 17th!

    DO NOT BUY! It's not worth it! Ripped off!

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Lack of contact

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


  • Fraudulent company practices

    • By Ivy A.,
    • Levittown, PA,
    • Jun 2, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered this product along with the antenna ($123.34) which was promptly billed to my card. I have yet to receive it and the number listed on my card is out of service. I would like my money back and would not ever consider telling a friend it is anything but a crap scam. I doubt I will ever get my money back or even hear from them again. Do NOT buy this product.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • It is a scam
    • They stole my money

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


  • Not happy

    • By Michael S.,
    • Australia,
    • May 28, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    It would be the worst internet purchase I have ever made. I don’t know how the product works as I have been waiting 6 months for my order to arrive. I received a part of my total order and the WiFi booster does not support the Australian power plug. What a joke, dealing with this company is clearly a scam. Be warned. My emails have not been responded to from support. I have demanded a refund, I’m thinking good luck with that. Be warned everyone, they can’t supply your order knowingly but they're happy to take your money.

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


  • Billed my card two times the same day. I want my charge refunded.

    • By Lawrence M.,
    • California,
    • May 25, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Not sure what is the review. Have not gotten the thing as of yet. Very upset my card was billed twice. Not getting off to a good start. I don't have 180 characters to write just want my card refunded today.

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


  • Never received product

    • By Larry D.,
    • Williamsburg, OH,
    • May 22, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Ordered the product on 4/17/2020. It is now 5/19/2020 and I have not heard anything more about my order. I tried e-mailing them twice and went to call the number on the order confirmation and got a busy signal on numerous occasions. Just want my product or my money back.

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


  • Terrible customer service

    • By Linda S.,
    • Minnesota,
    • May 22, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered 3 screen casters, waited months to get because of COVID-19 and then found that they were not what I expected. Tried to call to get the address to return intact new units and no one answered phones, e-mails, or texts.

    I paid $123.34 for these units and now don't want them.

    So much for their 100% return policy. I disputed with Visa so should get money back but I want to return them if possible. Trying to do the right thing here folks.

    Don't buy in case you have any issues. They don't care.

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


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