Google Chromecast/ Review
I know what most of you are thinking…what is a Google Chromecast? For all the techies like myself that are up to date with the latest and greatest with technology….this has to be one of the coolest devices that Google has created. It’s a pleasure that I am able to get my hands on this device and tinker with it. So, what does the Google Chromecast do? Well….this device allows us to stream media from our smartphones, pc tablets, and laptops directly to the TV.
So, what makes the Google Chromecast different from other devices to stream from? That’s a good question that I’ll be glad to explain:
Let’s start with the unboxing. As I, unboxed the Google Chromecast the device came with an AC adapter, USB cable to connect from the AC adapter to power up the Chromecast. An HDMI extension cable for the tight squeeze of the HDMI ports on the back of your TV. I started to connect everything together and realized I had a slight problem. The power cable wasn’t long enough to connect to the Google Chromecast. This might be an issue with people who have their TV’s mounted high up on the wall and the power outlet is far away. I was barely able to connect the power cord to the Google Chromecast. I turned on my TV and it directly took me to the setup screen (pretty nice for the Chromecast to automatically take you to the setup screen). I followed the simple directions provided on the setup menu. I inputted the web address on my laptop to download the program that was needed to install the Chromecast to my laptop. After, I downloaded the program then I went through the setup process and synced the device to my Wi-Fi. When I connected the device to my Wi-Fi a Window opened on my laptop and I had to add the streaming application to allow me to stream media from my devices to the TV. When I accepted and applied the settings a short YouTube clip featuring the Google Chromecast tutorial played. (It was cool of Google of adding that tutorial to explain to the new user on how to use the Google Chromecast). Then after I finished watching the short clip, I was able to stream media from any devices connected to my Wi-Fi directly to the TV.
At first, I was very overjoyed too easily stream media from my smartphone and laptop with no problems. Not having to connect my laptop to my TV was pretty nice. I was able to stream from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and I was even able to stream TV shows from my Comcast Xfinity account. I don’t have Google Play, so I didn’t get to test that out. The catch with playing media from Hulu and other media sites is you have to use the Google Chrome web browser. Basically, Google Chromecast allows you to use your TV as computer Monitor wirelessly. This is an awesome feature. I am able to bring up shows that I watch on Hulu using Google Chrome to play it wirelessly to my TV and still use my laptop to do whatever. For example, I can watch shows on my laptop play it on my TV and check the football scores on my laptop with no interruption. What’s also great about the device is that you don’t need to connect any computer speakers. It doesn’t require any other special accessories. What you are streaming from the laptop, smartphone, or tablet the Video and Sound play directly on your TV.
Let’s start off with the size of the Google Chromecast. This device is the same size of a USB stick. It makes it very convenient to plug the device in the back of your TV with no problems (As long as you use the HDMI extension cable). Compared to Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, laptops and other streaming devices…the size of the Google Chromecast doesn’t need a lot of space. All you need is a power outlet and HDMI port. It’s pretty much a plug and play device.
As I unboxed the Google Chromecast it was nicely packed in a small box. When I opened up the package the Google Chromecast device was well placed inside with the USB cable, AC adapter, and HDMI extension adapter.
For something that looks cheap, the plastic casing of the Google Chromecast is well built and sturdy.
For $35 is not a bad deal for what this device is allowing you to do with smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
What bugged me at first was the length of the cable. It would be convenient if this device was wireless or if the cable was longer. For those who have their TV’s mounted high it might be in issue connecting the power cable to the power outlet.
You must have the device powered on at all times to use it. I kind of wish that the device would be powered on without connecting the power cable at all times, but this is something I can deal with for now.
You cannot stream from local media. You can stream media from Google Chrome, YouTube, Netflix, and Google play for now.
I found this device so convenient and easy to use. I can turn off my laptop and stream from my smart phone or tablet with ease. I can switch from devices and choosing what I want to watch.
This device was an easy setup. It wasn’t complicated to install to setup on devices. As long as your devices are connected to your wireless router then all devices will be able to play media on the Google Chromecast.
The price isn’t that bad. For $35 and the capability to allow you to stream media from almost and device is pretty neat. This is a feature that other devices won’t allow you to do. It’s a great buy because of how you can turn your TV in a wireless monitor from your laptop.
Overall I give this device 4 out of 5
For the price and the capabilities of the device I think this a great product from Google. This is something you don’t want to pass up. Being able to view whatever I am looking at on Google Chrome web browser to my TV is a feature I am really enjoying. The only thing I wish to have from Google Chromecast is more options to stream local media, but I am sure that will be available in time.