My review of the Chromecast

Discussion in 'Android News' started by pc747, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    I will cover the pros, cons, and my personal experience with google's chromecast
     
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  2. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Had the chromecast for about a week now and have to say the setup process is pretty straight forward. You are up and running in a matter of 10-15 minutes. Once you are set up all you have to do is download the chromecast app to your phone or tablet and the chromecast extension to chrome browser on your mac or pc (to stream service and mirror from your computer).

    Once you are up and going streaming content is as easy as touching the chromecast icon which can be found in youtube, netflix, google play movie app, and google play music app. Make sure you update your apps to the latest version. Once your chromecast dongle is set up you can control it from your android device or pc that is on the same wifi connection. I mainly use my galaxy nexus as my "chromecast remote". What makes this device awesome is how clean and simple it is especially for those of us who view a lot on online content. It is as simple as finding the content and clicking the icon. For me I found it useful and well worth the $35. I personally watch a lot of netflix and youtube content and hated having to drag out the hd cord and have wires all over the place or with my note 2 dock having to have cords all over the place or not being able to use my phone because of not wanting to interrupt the movie. With the chromecast you click the icon and you can continue using your device to make calls, text, or play angry birds without interrupting the video playing on screen. And if you like renting movies the google play store works awesome with the chromecast. Pick up your phone or tablet, find the movie you want to rent/buy click and pay, then click the chromecast icon and you all set. And if during the movie you run out of popcorn or need to refill your beverage just pick up your phone and touch the pause button that is integrated into your lock screen, or if you missed something you can rewind the video. Videos play smooth and the resolution is dvd to hd quality (depending on your connection speed).

    Pros: Easy to set up and control, $35 (easily worth twice that imo), clean and simple, a must buy for those who view a lot of online content.

    Cons: no hulu yet (though there is a work around by just going to hulu on your chrome browser and hitting the chrome button to mirror the tab), 3- 4 weeks to get one as of the time this post was made, at times (though rare) when clicking the chromecast icon you would get a "no connection" message. Like I said it was rare and most of the time I will grab my galaxy nexus or n2 and click the icon and it would pop up.

    I really see a lot of upside for the chromecast and think Google can turn this into a power house. I do not think it any accident that they are negotiating with the nfl right now and my prediction is that if they can ink that deal you will see a lot of other pieces fall into place. I expect to see other players like HBO, Showtime, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, MMA, NHL, Hulu (which is already reportedly working on an app) bring content to the chromecast which will put a lot of pressure on the cable/satellite companies. The age is upon us where the viewer will have control of the content on tv instead of the cable/satellite company and in my opinion that is a good thing. Because I get to decide what I want to watch and when to watch it when I sit down vs flipping through 100s of channels hoping to find something that may interest me. Though we laughed at Google when they went from market to play store, now I have to say they are laughing to the bank on this (especially if the above falls into place). Though Google says they are not keeping out small development you can bet they are putting into place securities to put at ease that the content will be protected. You can bet lawyers and executives from the nfl, hbo, studio, etc want google to ensure some garage hack cant backdoor their way into free content and then share that info robbing the companies of revenue. And as much as google may love us bringing our hundreds of dollars to the table in purchasing android devices they are going to do more to cater to the people bringing millions and billions to the table. And to be honest, as much as I love to root, I have to side with google on that. I am waiting for when google bring nfl games to chromecast because that will be the day I will cut cable and go to basic tv (for the news).

    So if you watch a lot or even a little bit of online content (more than 60 mins a week) then for $35 this device is a steal and well worth the wait.

    Want to hear your opinions and reviews.
     
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  3. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    I drove over an hour to get one and IMO, it was well worth it. People are complaining because all the features they want aren't available, but the SDK is still in beta and is limited right now. For what it does right now, $35 is a steal. I bought 2, one for each TV and have 4 months of free Netflix. We use it daily to watch shows we didn't watch on TV (Breaking Bad is what we are watching right now). I like to play music through it via Google Play Music because I hate using my computer speakers to blast music through the whole house when its cleaning time. YouTube is nice. I like to watch StarCraft 2 replays so its nice to be able to watch it on the TV. All in all, for $35, I'm very happy and more will come, that I have no doubt about.
     
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  4. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Senior Member

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    Thoughts on Google's boxing out of Koush's streaming app? And also: if a good developer can bend an Android device to his will, won't it just be a matter of time before the Chromecast can do anything we want, despite what the lawyers agree and what the Google engineers put in place?

    -Matt
     
  5. jspradling7

    jspradling7 Active Member

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    Won't smart TV's make this obsolete? I admit to not knowing all the advantages of Chromecast. I use a Wii box to watch Netflix and stuff on my TV now and I was under the impression that smart TV's were/are going to make even that unnecessary.
     
  6. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    I don't doubt that people will still find away to back door the device but the goal of Google is to make sure you can not backdoor the content. When the NFL 2013 app was catching heat because it was able to detect a device was rooted and block content even when use a program to temporarily unroot. I do not doubt that was by accident. Because the NFL app only had news at the time (as VZW controlled the subscription for streaming) they removed the block. As I believe they were going to do that any way but wanted to see if it worked and based on all the angry comments they found out it did. So basically when the time comes back dooring the device will not mean they can back door the content and I believe that is all they really care about.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    For those who buy a smart TV but there are many who didn't want to buy a smart TV and I think this may provide an alternative to smart TVs. For $35 you can view the same online content smart TVs can on a regular HD TV, which is getting cheaper by the way.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
     
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  8. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    Google made a statement that they only blocked Koush's app because the SDK was in beta. After the SDK is officially released, streaming of local content will be allowed. I have a feeling there are a lot of features coming for the Chromecast and Google is ironing out the code for it. Koush also reverse engineered the code on the Chromecast which is kind of a big no no. I think Google is trying to put a lot of polish on the device and releasing it without an official SDK was more of a 'test the waters' move. If the device failed, then no biggy. Its google. If they lose 100 million because of the device, they have billions in the bank to keep on going. The Chrome is something of a huge success. I have no doubt that within a year its going to be rocking strong. Look an Android itself. Remember the days of Cupcake and Donut? Back then Android was so simplistic and lacking polish/features. It took a year or two to really get rolling and now they are steamrolling the competition. I think Koush did a great job showing what is possible and no doubt will be allowed when the SDK is finalized. We are a generation of wanting something fast and now. We don't like to wait. We just need a little patience and enjoy the device for what it can do right now, out of the box which is quite a bit. I understand not everyone has Netflix if they didn't get the free trial. Hell, I didn't but now that I can use it so easily, I'm going to start paying the $8 a month when my 4 months free runs out. I think the Chromecast will make SmartTVs obsolete. I will never drop a grand just to get a new TV for a few new apps on it, but I will drop $35 to add the functionality of a smart TV to my existing 7 year old TV. Same with using a game console to stream Netflix or Youtube. Its cumbersome and annoying. Whether you use a mobile device or a computer to start the streaming to a Chromecast, its still the cheapest game in town.
     
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  9. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    Great writeup! Thanks pc747!
     
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  10. rjsurfer

    rjsurfer Member

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    I have had mine for a few days now and I'm really enjoying it.

    But the restrictions Google place on it's use can be a pain.

    For example you can't play movies that you have downloaded from the Google Play store to your tablet, they only allow you to cast movies on the fly when renting. Doesn't make to much sense, I mean you did pay for the rental via the Play Store.

    Second, yes you can cast music to the TV but only music that you directly purchased from Play Store, any music imported to the music app won't play. And I think it only works with music that doesn't reside in the cloud, songs have to be loaded to your device first.

    Other wise a good product and the price can't be beat.

    Ron W.
     
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  11. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    good point and that was hole that Koush's Air cast app filled. But until google releases an official Sdk it may be a bit before we get that feature again.
     
  12. CJM

    CJM Super Moderator
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    I had mine for about a week & really like it. Mostly got it so my daughter could watch Netflix & youtube in her room from her ipad. I can't wait until we can watch movies from our devices gallery, but I'm sure it'll come. Fwiw, Koush was invited to lunch with the Chromecast development team. Curious if he'll attend & what will come out of it

    Tapped from a Nexus
     
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