After Google unveiled their new streaming dongle called the Chromecast a few weeks ago, they have been selling like crazy. A USB-powered, $35 dongle that weighs only 1.2oz connects via Wi-Fi and plugs right into your HDMI 1.4 port. This is nothing like the Nexus Q or the Apple TV or the Roku or even Google TV. One might ask what's the big deal? Let's break down and dig deeper.
Chromecast Review- Super Simple Setup
Setting up your Chromecast is easy. After opening the packaging:
- Just plug the dongle into your TV's HDMI port followed by powering it with a USB cable. (If you TV has the HDMI port in an awkward position, you can add the extender that comes with the packaging.)
- Now its time to move to the software side of the setup. Don't worry, the instructions for this part is now on your TV. First you need to add the Chromecast to your Wi-Fi network. I achieved this by downloading the Chromecast app for Android.
- Then name it and install the supported app extension on your computer, and that's it.
What Can I Do With the Google Chromecast?
For now, you can cast media using Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, or Google Play Movies + Music from your Android device. On iOS devices you can just cast from Netlfix or YouTube. Using the Chrome web browser, you can cast pretty much anything except for QuickTime & .mov files. You know Apple wouldn't allow that. The dongle also allows you to stream while watching different content on your device. So won't have to be stuck with the same content on your device and TV. You can also cast local content + non-supported content via Chrome browser. HBO Go, Redbox Instant, Vimeo, Hulu Plus have all expressed interest in bringing their services to the Chromecast. We'll see how that plays out.
What's Not So Great About It?
All is not perfect with the Chromecast as there can be some latency issues when streaming from the Internet giving you a noticeable delays. Also, there are no direct controls (play/pause, rewind, fast-forward) other than just hitting play/pause from whatever device you are casting from. At the moment, the Chromecast can only stream at 720p HD...for now.
Is the Google Chromecast For You?
There is plenty of competition out there that can stream content to your HDTV but this is one of the few (if any) that streams from the Internet for a $35 price point.But at the end of the day, the Chromecast was made for users who happen to love watching web content on a big screen. Making this the ace up Google's sleeve to penetrate your living room better than their previous efforts. The Chromecast is not merely an impulse buy. Easily the best $35 spent for HD web content. If you are into to that or would like to be, pick one up.
You can pick one up online at Amazon & the Google Play Store along with retailers like Best Buy.
Last week at Google's press event, the company announced a couple of new things for public consumption. A few of which we already knew about and one of them was a bit of a surprise. That surprise was the Google Chromecast.
At the current time, it only supports services like Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies, and Play Music w/ Pandora support on the way. The dongle is open to developers to add support for even more services. Since its runs Chrome, whatever media you can't view, you can pull up a Chrome tab of it and beam to your TV.
To ensure a great Chromecast experience over time, we've built Google Cast, a technology that enables developers to build consistent, intuitive multi-screen experiences across mobile devices and TVs. Today, we’re launching a preview version of Google Cast with more information for developers on our Google Developers blog. A handful of early developers are already working on enabling Google Cast technology in their apps, so more supported apps are coming soon. And while the Chromecast device is the first instantiation of Google Cast, we expect the technology to be embedded in a range of hardware from our partners in the future.
This little dongle definitely adds another tool for cord-cutters arsenal or those who seek to watch certain content on a big screen. At only $35 to beam content to your TV, will you give it a spin?
You can order one here