Chromecast is one of the latest Google products available in the market. For those not familiar with this device yet, Google Chromecast is a small HDMI dongle that lets you stream online video content from sites like Google Play, Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, etc. through your mobile or any Internet-enabled device onto your TV screen. It has the ability to turn any HDMI-equipped television into an app-driven smart TV box when used with a smart phone, tablet, or notebook. Although it’s not a full-featured streaming media player, it’s the next best thing because it’s an inexpensive way to access online media content on your HDTV.
Just slightly larger than a regular USB flash drive stick, Google Chromecast is touted as a reliable low-cost competitor to Roku 3 and Apple TV. It’s easy to setup and use. All you need is an HDTV, a separate power supply, and Wi-Fi network. Simply plug the streaming stick directly into your TV’s HDMI port, and connect the included USB cable to the micro USB port on the other end of the streaming stick to power it. A LED light will indicate if it’s on. Beware thought that it doesn’t have much of its own user interface, which means that it can’t act as a standalone device. It is dependent on your smart phone, tablet, or notebook. For this reason alone, Google Chromecast is not an excellent choice for those who do not have mobile devices.
Image quality from Google Chromecast is more than what one would expect from a simple streaming stick. Overall performance of Chromecast is dependent on the quality of your own networking equipment, wireless environment, and your computer or mobile device’s performance.
Key features include integrated Wi-Fi, HDMI extender, 1080p HD support.
Google Chromecast is compatible with a number of apps including Netflix, Google Play, HBO Go, Hulu, Pandora, Plus, Showtime Anytime, Starz, YouTube, in the US, and also BBC iPlayer, BT Sport, and others in the UK. Check out the complete list of compatible apps with Chromecast on the Google Chrome store. There are many apps restricted for UK users, but these could eventually become available soon.
Google Chromecast is a good choice for consistent android users and those who prefer the Google environment. It might not be as flexible and feature-rich as the Apple TV and Roku, but it offers a reasonable, simple way to watch and listen to Google media content.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to internet TV boxes like Apple TV and Roku 3, Google Chromecast is your best bet. It’s the least expensive way to access online media content on your HDTV.
- Easy to use
- Useful accessories
- No local media playback
- No remote control
- Limited Chrome integration
Despite its limitations, Google Chromecast is still a cheaper and reasonable alternative to access online media content.