Cmple's Review of Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast has been available for some time now and has received mostly favorable reviews. It does have a few snags but these are likely to be ironed out in the near future and more features are expected to be added.
What is it?
Google Chromecast is essentially a TV dongle that enables you stream content to your TV screen using a mobile device or computer. This means that you need to insert the dongle into the HDMI port of your TV and use your smartphone, tablet, or PC as a remote control to stream content from the cloud.
There are two essential requirements for using the Google Chromecast. One is the need for a smartphone or PC in the home and the other is a WiFi connection. Even if you have an Ethernet connection you also need a WiFi connection before the Chromecast dongle will work.
The Google Chromecast is priced lower than comparable streaming devices such as Roku 3. However, this does require a smartphone or tablet to function as a remote, so if you include the cost of a smartphone the Chromecast becomes more expensive.
Ease of Use
One major advantage of the Google Chromecast is its ease of use. This is because you can use any of the smart devices in your home to control the streaming as long as they are linked to your WiFi. This means even a friend who drops in can use their smartphone and Netflix subscription to stream content to your TV. Once the streaming starts, it is not necessary that they remain. You can take over control of the streaming using your smartphone.
As the smartphone is used only to start the streaming and control it, but not to directly provide the content to the dongle, you can even switch it off if you want to. Alternatively, you can use it for other purposes as the content is sourced straight from the cloud. This saves battery power in the smartphone.
When you use a streaming dongle to receive content, the quality of the output is of electrifying and critical importance. The Google Chromecast provides outstanding audio and video output that is comparable to other similar devices. You can attain clear video of 1080p.
Google Chromecast allows you to access a wide range of content such as Netflix and Hulu. This also includes content is other geographic zones that are not normally available.
While Google Chromecast does not let you directly stream content from your home network or PC, you can get over this by obtaining a Plexpass. This feature is fantastic for you when are travelling and want to share content with others from your home network.
Google Chromecast streaming is slightly slower that Roku 3, but not significantly so. The start time will be only a few seconds slower, which is negligible given the many features this dongle provides.
Size and Portability
The Google Chromecast is about the same size as a thumb drive. This makes it easy to take along when travelling. You can use this device to share content at business meetings as well as family gatherings without having to lug around a lot of hardware.
The Chromecast can be used to set up conference calls using Google Hangout.
The Google Chromecast is platform independent – that is, you can launch it using a Mac PC, iPad, or an Android smartphone. This means that your choice of Chromecast does not force you to purchase a specific smartphone.
Overall the Google Chromecast is a marvelous streaming device that is inexpensive, provides flexibility of use, and offers a host of salient features.