Last month Google introduced Chromecast. Described as “the easiest way to enjoy online video and music on your TV,” Chromecast is a small device that connects directly to your HDTV through an HDMI port. With a selling price of $35 and initial setup with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and others, Chromecast has a lot of potential. We’ve played with Chromecast for a few days and put together the following review.
What we like:
5 Minute Setup
Works with Netflix, Google Play, Chrome Browser out of the box
A little chunky casting from a Chromebook
Limited apps right now
Whats in the box:
*Chromecast – The Chromecast is the size of an over-sized thumb drive. It plugs directly into an HDMI port on your television.
*USB Cable – Unlike a thumb drive, the Chromecast needs external power. A small port on the back of the Chromecast allows you to use the USB cable for power.
*HDMI Extender (optional) – The Chromecast is a little wide and may overlap adjoining HDMI ports. The extender allows the Chromecast to be plugged in while not overlapping the adjoining ports. The extender may also re-position your Chromecast allowing it to get a better WiFi signal.
*Power Supply (optional) – If your television doesn’t have a USB port the power supply can be used.
While we started typing up a how tutorial about how to setup the Chromecast, we decided not to reinvent the wheel. One of our favorite websites CNet.com already did a great video tutorial you can see here:
The Chromecast worked great from our phone for Netflix, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music. When we jumped over to our Chromebook and installed the browser plug in, we were given the option to “Cast this tab.” This option basically mirrored the Chromebook screen onto our television.
While giving us the ability to send anything viewed on our screen right to our television, there was noticeable delay in video playback. From other reviews we’ve read online it seems the Samsung Chrombook is just not powerful enough to cast content over to the Chromecast in HD. We’ll do some more testing but this was really the only negative we found.
There are already articles online discussing future apps and uses of Chromecast. For $35, this device should be a no brainer for anyone with an Android phone and an HDTV.