Chromecast is pretty sweet

Last week, seemingly out of nowhere, Google announced Chromecast. It’s an HDMI dongle that allows you to stream content to your TV from the cloud using almost any device connected to the same WiFi network (yes, it works with the iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices).

You simply plug the device into an HDMI port on your TV and plug it into a power source (my TV has a USB port right beneath one set of HDMI ports which is quite convenient. It also comes with a power outlet adapter) and you’re (almost) ready to go. Once it’s set up you’ll see a Chromecast button in supported apps and you simply click the button and Chromecast will begin streaming the content on your TV. You can control the content with your device, but you can also exit whatever app you launched the video from and continue using the device while the Chromecast continues streaming.

The only annoying thing about the Chromecast for me was the setup. It wasn’t as simple as it should’ve been. For some reason you have to change the name of your WiFi network to the name of your Chromecast device (ie. Chromecast9999) in order to connect to the Chromecast and get it set up. Then you can change your WiFi network back to it’s original name before you save the connection settings for the Chromecast.

I have yet to discover if that’s a process you have to go through everytime you use the device on a new WiFi network or if it’s simply for the initial setup. I hope it’s the latter because otherwise it won’t be as convenient of a device as it could be. Sure you don’t have to carry around an HDMI cable, but fooling around with router settings every time you go somewhere new would be a chore.

Overall I’m impressed with the device and for $35 it’s a steal. It initially came with 3 months of Netflix, however due to overwhelming demand Google had to remove that offer (luckily I got in before it disappeared). I’m also impressed that it works so easily with iOS apps, though as of right now you cant use it with the Chrome iOS app (it does support the desktop version). At the moment you can use it with YouTube and Netflix on iOS (I’m not sure if there’s a Google Play app on iOS, but I assume if there is that would work as well) and there should be more content to come in the near future.

12 Comments
12 Comments
Edited by churrific

@jdh5153: I didn't have to change my wifi name at all. Took a few seconds to connect. Easypeasy.

I do agree it's great for turning your dumb tv into a smart tv. Twitch streaming works on it through chrome mirroring (for a gaming angle). Haha looking forward to a GB live show on my tv to really be in the future (even though I can do that w/o it already).

Posted by jdh5153

@jdh5153: I didn't have to change my wifi name at all. Took a few seconds to connect. Easypeasy.

I do agree it's great for turning your dumb tv into a smart tv. Twitch streaming works on it through chrome mirroring (for a gaming angle). Haha looking forward to a GB live show on my tv to really be in the future (even though I can do that w/o it already).

Really? Now when I go to Google.com/chromecast/setup it says I can download and install the app, but when I went there initially the first step told me to change my WiFi name to Chromecast4062.... Weird.

Posted by churrific
@jdh5153 said:

@churrific said:

@jdh5153: I didn't have to change my wifi name at all. Took a few seconds to connect. Easypeasy.

I do agree it's great for turning your dumb tv into a smart tv. Twitch streaming works on it through chrome mirroring (for a gaming angle). Haha looking forward to a GB live show on my tv to really be in the future (even though I can do that w/o it already).

Really? Now when I go to Google.com/chromecast/setup it says I can download and install the app, but when I went there initially the first step told me to change my WiFi name to Chromecast4062.... Weird.

Maybe because I dled the mobile app to my old nexus 7 and set it up through there? The only time it asked to change a name was if I wanted to change the chromecast name itself, not my wifi. On my PC, I just added the extension to my Chrome browser.

Posted by Veektarius

How beefy can the videos you send be? Can you just pipe an HD movie from Amazon instant through to your TV without dropping frames?

Posted by jdh5153

How beefy can the videos you send be? Can you just pipe an HD movie from Amazon instant through to your TV without dropping frames?

I would assume so. From what I understand once you tell Chromecast what to play it streams it from the internet, not necessarily your device so it should be able to stream 1080p video from whatever app you're using. I watched a few minutes of The Avengers on Netflix and it looked a little blurry at first but it looked better after a minute or two. When compared to a 720p Roku, $35 for 1080p streaming is a steal. Of course it does little my Xbox can't already do, but it's convenient to lie in bed with my iPad and queue up a video on my TV without any sort of physical connection between the two.

Posted by SSully

How beefy can the videos you send be? Can you just pipe an HD movie from Amazon instant through to your TV without dropping frames?

Right now it works best to stick with the Netflix and Youtube apps. You technically can pipe a chrome tab of amazon streaming, but it will have some artifacts and possible stutter if your computer isn't that powerful.

The good news though is the API they have for developers is incredibly simple/powerful. I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon has an app out for it really soon. It also would be great if someone made an app for giantbomb. I was thinking about giving it a shot myself, we will see.

Edited by Veektarius

I've got an HDMI cable running from my desktop now, it'd be pretty cool if I could do away with it.

Posted by LordAndrew

Last I heard soup_menu had some interest in Chromecast, so Giant Bomb Video Buddy could get support in the future if you're willing to wait.

If any of you have Google TV, it's also supposed to get Google Cast receiver functionality at some point in the future, so you won't have to buy a separate device.

Posted by churrific

Last I heard soup_menu had some interest in Chromecast, so Giant Bomb Video Buddy could get support in the future if you're willing to wait.

If any of you have Google TV, it's also supposed to get Google Cast receiver functionality at some point in the future, so you won't have to buy a separate device.

If you're not willing to wait, I played html 5 videos directly from the site through the tab mirroring, and they worked flawlessly. So html 5 works as well at least.

Posted by ch3burashka

All of the reviews and updated articles basically say, "We're sorry for hyping this shit up; it's alright, I guess", which it is - 35 bucks for limited streaming is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not the future of streaming I was hoping Google would be bringing to us. If they get the tab streaming working, that'll be pretty impressive.

Posted by Apparatus_Unearth

This is pretty cool. I recommended it to my dad.

Posted by oldenglishC

I already sold mine on ebay, it just doesn't work as well as the Roku or the consoles do. If you don't have any of those things, for $35 it's a pretty good deal.