Google recently caught everyone off guard with the announcement of its new Chromecast device. Google has been trying to get into your TV for a long time now. First they tried with Google TV, then with the Nexus Q. Both previous attempts have either failed to launch or has yet to take off. But now with Chromecast, Google may have a hit on its hands.
So let’s just get this out the way before I dig in. Google Chromecast is a device you plug into the HDMI port of your HDTV and then power by USB. From there you can use your Android or iOS tablet or phone and push your content to your TV. You can stream stuff currently from YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, and Google Music and Movies. There is potential for a lot more as they will be recently a SDK for developers to add code for Chromecast to their apps. So hopefully we can get some more sources in there soon. Some companies like Hulu and HBO have expressed interested in supporting Chromecast to name a few.
Now that I got this out-of-the-way, let’s dig into what is and isn’t cool with Chromecast. First and foremost, the Chromecast is super simple to set up. You literally just plug this little stick into any available HDMI port on your TV. If you TV also has a free USB port, you can connect the other end to that for power, if not you there is an included power adapter.
Once you connected the stick, turn on the TV and switch your input to that HDMI port. You’ll be greeting with the Chromecast screen and from there you can set it up from your computer or mobile device (phone or tablet). On the phone, tablet, or computer you’ll need to install the Chromecast app or Chrome extension for computer, but after that set up is easy. Once you find your Chromecast over the network you can rename it to something and then your all set for use. The whole thing took me about 5-7 mins max.
Now if you thought the setup process was easy, using Chromecast is even easier. You simple tune to the correct input for your Chromecast on the TV and streaming is a piece of cake. On your phone or tablet, launch open Netflix, YouTube, Google Music and/or Movies and look for your content. Once you found it just push the little TV icon in the corner and select which Chromecast device you want to send it. I actually did this last night from Netflix, I select The Avengers to watch and then just pressed the icon and selected the Bedroom Chromecast (as I named it) and then it hands it off to Chromecast to stream. From there I can do whatever I want from my tablet without interrupting the content on-screen.
It is literally so simply that I put a Chromecast stick into the TV in my 6 year old daughter room and I can now be waken up to the sounds of her watching her kid shows on Netflix that she casted up to the TV from her Nexus 7 tablet (yes she has a Nexus 7 tablet 1st generation lol)
Is Google’s Chromecast worth purchasing? While it does a good job at streaming Netflix, YouTube, Google Music and Movies, it is still quite limited to just those. There is the promise that more developers will support this, but only time will tell. But for $35 dollars, it is a very easy and simple way to get stuff like Netflix up to your TV if it isn’t really a Smart TV. And at $35 dollars, it really is a no brainer type of purchase. I have two of them myself I purchased. So is it worth it? Yes. Should you get one now? If you can actually find one, then go for it!