Wirelessly connecting a MacBook to a TV is a snap with the IOGear Share Pro. It uses the computer’s USB-C port to stream video to a screen up to 60 feet away, no wires needed.
I fully tested this accessory. Dive in to see how it preforms in regular use.
IOGear Share Pro review
Share Pro is made up of two components. One is plugged into your computer’s USB-C port. The other half plugs into the HDMI port on a TV or other display.
The first unit transmits video and the other receives, and they look almost alike. But you won‘t get them mixed up because one has a USB-C connector and the other an HDMI connector.
And there’s another significant difference: the HDMI receiver component has a micro-USB port which needs to be connected to a power source. The transmitter piece gets its power directly though the USB-C port.
Both Share Pro sections are quite small: 3.0 inches by 1.5 in. by 0.6 in. Each weighs about an ounce. Even together, they’re tiny compared to toting around an HDMI cable.
IOGear made the exterior of both from shiny black plastic. Still, they look serious enough to be used in a business presentation.
In this product’s box is an adapter that allows the HDMI section to be plugged into an HDMI cable. There’s also a wall charger with a USB-A port and a cable to connect this to the HDMI piece of the Share Pro.
IOGear also makes an alternative version that’s all HDMI. The Share Pro Mini doesn’t have a USB-C connector on the transmitter — there’s an HDMI connector on both components instead.
This version can’t be plugged directly into your MacBook or iPad Pro, but it’s usable with an adapter. And it’s compatible with DVD players and other AV equipment.
If that intrigues you, be sure to read my IOGear Share Pro Mini review.
IOGear Share Pro performance
The two halves of the IOGear Share Pro communicate over a private Wi-Fi network. They don’t need to connect to a router, and no other Wi-Fi needs to be available at all — this wireless connection is entirely self-contained and private.
One advantage of this is there’s no setup. Simply plug one unit into your MacBook and the other into a TV, wait a bit while they link up, then, bob’s your uncle, video is streaming between the two.
The external screen appears on a MacBook as any other secondary display. Your Mac won’t know, or care, that the connection is wireless. Audio is played from the external device, plus sound and video are perfectly synchronized.
IOGear says the connection is good for up to 60 feet. In my testing, Share Pro was able to cast video over a distance of 50 feet, and that’s with the HDMI section plugged into the back of my TV so the signal had to pass through/around this equipment.
But there’s a downside. The maximum resolution is 1080p at 60Hz. You won‘t get even close to 4K. Before you get huffy about this, consider that standard DVDs are actually lower resolution that 1080p. And cheaper Netflix accounts stream video at this resolution or lower.
The latest iPad Pro models have a USB-C port and can be used with USB-C monitors and the IOGear Share Pro too.
Screen mirroring works fine. Whatever is shown on the iPad will appear on the external display, no problem.
Tests with Apple Keynote found that this presentation tool works correctly too, with the external screen showing the presentation while the iPad display lets the presenter control it.
And some iPadOS software from video-streaming services also work as expected. Apple TV+ correctly places the video on the external display while the tablet’s screen shows a set of controls.
But most others applications from streaming services have problems. Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and CBS All Access put the controls on the iPad display but leave a blank external screen. They’ll play the sound through the external device, but not video. That’s all the services I could test. I don’t know how Netflix performs, for example.
But the all-HDMI Share Pro Mini I mentioned earlier works perfectly with the Disney, Amazon and CBS applications. No problems with that version.
Fans of VLC should be happy to hear it works perfectly with both versions of IOGear’s accessory.
IOGear Share Pro final thoughts
Wires are the downside of the electronic revolution. But there’s no need to stretch a cable across your living room to connect your TV and MacBook. Just plug half of the IOGear Share Pro into each of them and you’re ready to start watching.
Personally, I found this an ideal way to cast video from a MacBook to my TV. The laptop can sit near me without the hassle and risk of stretching wires across the room to the TV. I can see this wireless video system working well for presentations, too.
Just keep in mind that it tops out at 1080p.
IOGear’s price for the Share Pro is $186.95. At the time of this writing, you can find it on Amazon for a bit less.
Buy from: Amazon
Of course, a simple HDMI cable is much cheaper. You can pick up a 20-foot one for as little as $10. But this is a far, far bulkier option. And you always run the risk of tripping over the wire and flinging your MacBook to the floor.