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Ditto vs. ScreenBeam

Which is Better for Screen Mirroring and Digital Signage?

Ditto vs. ScreenBeam

This comprehensive guide compares Ditto and ScreenBeam. Quickly discover how each solution delivers screen mirroring and digital signage to your spaces. Learn pricing and technical specifications. Use this guide to make informed decisions for your organization.

While numerous ScreenBeam models exist, we based this article on the ScreenBeam 1100 Plus unless otherwise noted.

Get the fast facts sheet for even more critical info, like five-year cost of ownership, real testing experiences and more.

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Key Points

  • Ditto is an all-in-one digital signage and screen mirroring software solution. ScreenBeam is a screen mirroring hardware solution with some digital signage functionality.
  • Ditto costs $150 while ScreenBeam prices range from $200 to $1370 for various models.
  • Ditto runs on Apple TVs and Windows devices while ScreenBeam runs on a proprietary hardware box.

Software vs. Hardware

Ditto is an all-in-one software solution. The Ditto screen mirroring receiver and digital signage software runs on existing hardware devices and media players connected to TVs and monitors, such as Apple TVs and Windows devices. ScreenBeam is a hardware solution that runs on the company’s proprietary boxes. ScreenBeam uses dedicated servers deployed on premises to manage devices and digital signage.

Compatible Screen Mirroring and Digital Signage Hardware

Admins must connect the following devices to TVs and monitors to display signage and allow users to screen mirror. While numerous ScreenBeam models exist, only the highest tiers, listed here, support both screen mirroring and digital signage. All Ditto receivers in this list support both mirroring and signage.

Ditto:
 
ScreenBeam:
Windows devices   ScreenBeam 1100 Plus
Apple TV HD   ScreenBeam 1000 EDU
Apple TV 4K    
Android TV devices (coming soon)    
Amazon Fire TV devices (coming soon)    

Screen Mirroring

Both Ditto and ScreenBeam allow users to share content and collaborate wirelessly by mirroring device screens to larger displays. The way users initiate screen mirroring varies between the two products.

Wireless Screen Mirroring — Compatible Devices

Ditto and ScreenBeam allow numerous device types to wirelessly screen share to larger displays.

Ditto:
 
ScreenBeam:
Windows   Windows
macOS   macOS (not available on 750 model)
iOS   iOS (not available on 750 model)
iPadOS   iPadOS (not available on 750 model)
Android   Android
Chrome OS   Chrome OS (not available on 750, 960 models)
How Connections Work

Ditto users share their device screens using the Ditto Connect app on their devices. The user experience and interface are the same across all device types. Users simply open Ditto Connect and enter the room code shown on the display they want to mirror to. Once the room code is entered, Ditto automatically connects the device to the correct display.

Desktop users can connect via a web browser if they don’t want to download an app.

Screen mirroring with room codes and Ditto ConnectTo share screens with ScreenBeam, users rely on their device’s native screen mirroring protocol. The connection process changes between different device types based on the protocols used — Miracast, Google Cast or AirPlay. While ScreenBeam is compatible with all three protocols, the company’s documentation prioritizes Miracast connectivity with Windows devices. After initiating screen mirroring, users scroll through a list of available wireless receivers and select the correct ScreenBeam destination from the list.

Get the fast facts sheet to see all supported device types, tech specs and more for Ditto and ScreenBeam.

Screen Mirroring Features
 
Ditto:
ScreenBeam:

Mirror entire device screen

Mirror individual apps

Mirror individual windows

Extend desktop

Mirror media content

Stream video URLs

Stream native media

✔**

Automatically connect to correct display

Users enter room codes

✕**

Additional security codes

✔*

Mirror to multiple displays simultaneously

✔***

Share multiple devices to same display simultaneously

✔**

Annotate shared screens

✔**** ✔****

*Optional
**Not included for all devices
***ScreenBeam notes a powered HDMI splitter must be used between ScreenBeam receivers and that results may vary. ScreenBeam does not test or support HDMI splitting and no other options are available.
****Available with Microsoft 365 applications, not a native feature

Ditto and ScreenBeam displays can transition from screen mirroring to digital signage and back again as needed. After a user disconnects from mirroring, ScreenBeam displays undergo a blank “idle period” for a specific amount of time set by the admin before resuming digital signage playback. Ditto transitions from mirroring back to signage automatically with no delay.

ScreenBeam’s Classroom Commander feature is included with the 1000 EDU model, which contains some class management features for Chromebooks and Windows 10 devices. These include allowing instructors to push URLs to devices, lock student device screens, and grant screen sharing permission. Some features are not available on all devices. A Classroom Commander license is required for an additional fee if you do not have a ScreenBeam 1000 EDU model deployed.

We tested ScreenBeam with multiple devices. Things got a little jittery — get the whole story here.

Digital Signage

Ditto and ScreenBeam both offer digital signage capabilities included at no extra cost on their connected displays.

Since Ditto runs on devices many organizations already own (like Windows devices and Apple TVs), Ditto cuts startup costs and deployment time. ScreenBeam requires a proprietary hardware box for every display. See the hardware list above for devices that can display both mirrored screens and digital signage.

Digital Signage Features

Ditto contains a library of pre-designed digital signage templates, removing the need for admins and content creators to have advanced graphic design skills. Ditto supports numerous file types, media formats, alerts and other features. ScreenBeam’s digital signage is HTML-based.

 
Ditto:
ScreenBeam:

Designed, customizable templates

COVID-19 signage

Image uploads

Video uploads

Animated GIF uploads

Automatic and CAP emergency alerts

Manual alerts

Widget integrations (RSS feeds, weather, clock, etc.)

✔* ✕**

Calendar integration

✔* ✔***

HTML-based content (such as public URLS and videos)

Signage scheduling

✕**

Set content duration

✕**

Playlist organization

✕**

User collaboration

*Coming 2021
**May be available using third-party services
***Showing calendar information on a ScreenBeam display is available if your organization has integrated Zoom and Office 365 accounts with your setup. This feature is currently in beta and ScreenBeam notes it may not work correctly.

ScreenBeam admins have one method of managing digital signage: manually changing a single URL in the CMS application.

Ditto releases new signage templates inside the Ditto account portal signage editor on a regular basis. This gives organizations more options to display content and cuts down on signage design and creation time.

When testing ScreenBeam digital signage for ourselves, we ran into some errors and display problems — see everything you need to know here before trying it yourself.

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Administration and Scalability

Ditto

Ditto includes a web-based application allowing admins to manage receiver hardware, user applications, digital signage and track usage metrics.

The Ditto account portal is cloud-based, accessible from anywhere and allows you to remotely manage digital signage, screen mirroring and administration. Administrators can optionally scale Ditto throughout an organization using Jamf Pro, Jamf School, Cisco Meraki or other preferred MDMs. This includes the ability to zero-touch deploy and configure Ditto from one central place.

Ditto doesn’t require multiple open network ports or mDNS to work and can securely cross VLANS. Users don’t need to search through lists of numerous receivers or networks to connect.

Average Ditto setup time with hardware already deployed: 2-5 minutes per media player.

ScreenBeam

ScreenBeam includes a self-hosted Windows-only application that allows for receiver management. Admins can perform simple tasks such as rebooting receivers, setting screensavers, uploading log files and resetting devices to factory default. MDMs are not supported.

ScreenBeam recommends mDNS be enabled and numerous ports opened in order for users to screen mirror. mDNS is a protocol that sends information about one client or device across the network to a recipient that is also connected to the network. This can flood the network with traffic if many devices are sending out information to seek other devices — and that’s exactly what happens when many users screen mirror on company networks.

Certain ScreenBeam models can be configured without mDNS — to do this, admins must manually configure ScreenBeam receivers to broadcast their own individual wifi networks. With this configuration, users must find and connect to each individual receiver’s wifi network before screen mirroring.

Hosting: Cloud vs. On-premises

Ditto software is cloud-based, allowing IT admins to zero-touch deploy the solution without leaving their desks. Signage assets are hosted automatically in the account portal. Because admins can access the Ditto account portal from anywhere and remotely manage the platform, Ditto is easy to scale throughout any size organization.

ScreenBeam must be hosted solely on-premises and requires dedicated Windows servers and IIS web servers to manage the solution. Servers must be set up prior to rolling out ScreenBeam and require ongoing maintenance and updates. Additionally, admins can configure and provision ScreenBeam receivers wirelessly, but to do so requires enabling mDNS on the network. If admins don't want to enable mDNS, they will have to manually install configuration files via USB flash drive on every receiver within the organization.

This process requires IT personnel on-site, adds expenses and requires additional time to procure, deploy and maintain all the necessary systems to use ScreenBeam.

See what real IT administrators are saying in our fast facts sheet.

Cost

Ditto offers a single all-in-one solution while ScreenBeam has multiple tiers of hardware.

  • Ditto: $150 per year per receiver (media player) — the complete price of Ditto screen mirroring and digital signage software.
  • ScreenBeam 1100 Plus: $999 per receiver (media player) — the MSRP price of this model according to a ScreenBeam press release. Contact your preferred distributor for additional pricing information.
Price breakdown

It's likely that you already have a compatible Ditto recevier/media player and can begin using Ditto without purchasing any additional technology or equipment. Ditto includes a free, 30-day trial that is full-featured and allows users and admins to use signage, screen mirroring and administration features. If you do require a receiver/media player, a device such as an Apple TV HD (priced at $150) will make the total cost of Ditto $300 for one display.

Ditto doesn’t exclude features or contain additional functionality at different tiers or price points. Get all of Ditto for $150.

All ScreenBeam hardware is procured by third-party vendors. ScreenBeam’s numerous tiers of hardware serve different markets, and each model can differ in certain features and functionality. Reflect on your own business needs to see which ScreenBeam model is right for you. If your organization needs to manage any ScreenBeam 750 or 960 models, you must purchase a CMS subscription license starting at an additional $500 per year for a maximum of 10 receivers. Annual subscription fees increase with additional receivers.

ScreenBeam trials are not readily available and device and digital signage management requires servers deployed on your premises. The additional resources, infrastructure and personnel time must be taken into account when purchasing ScreenBeam.

Get the complete cost of ownership chart here — it includes receivers, media players, TVs, subscription pricing and more.

Final Thoughts

Ditto and ScreenBeam both offer screen mirroring solutions and varying levels of digital signage functionality. ScreenBeam prioritizes screen sharing, while Ditto maximizes the use of every display an organization owns with scalable, easy-to manage screen sharing and digital signage.

ScreenBeam is a cross-platform screen mirroring solution that supports AirPlay, Google Cast and Miracast protocols, but largely prioritizes Miracast connections. Because users are required to utilize native mirroring protocols, the connection process and user experience can be inconsistent and cumbersome for many users. ScreenBeam's digital signage functionality is limited only to HTML services, so third-party platforms are required to adequately display signage. If your organization needs class management features for Chromebooks and Windows devices, consider ScreenBeam.

Ditto focuses on maximizing the value of an organization’s devices with both digital signage and screen mirroring. Ditto’s digital signage editor contains numerous, professionally designed templates that can be easily customized. New signage templates are added to Ditto on a continual basis and included with a Ditto subscription. Ditto doesn’t require mDNS for users to share screens which saves networks from being flooded with traffic.

With Ditto, any display in an organization can become a digital sign, a collaboration hub with screen mirroring, or both. Ditto prioritizes scalability and administration with its robust account portal and support for multiple MDM platforms. If you’re looking for a solution that makes the most of your spaces and displays, go with Ditto.

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