Wednesday, July 31, 2013

First impression Google's Chromecast

I broke down and bought the Chromecast from Google about 2 hours after it was announced. I blame it on simple math, in case my wife is reading this. The $35 unit was only $11 after taking into account the included three free months of Netflix (which is no longer offered, by the way). As an early adopter, $11 is an easy sell, even though I certainly did not need another Netflix box. But is Chromcast more than that? Maybe. I bought it on the hunch that it would become the next "it" TV box. We'll see.

So, the tiny do-dad came in yesterday. My TV doesn't have a USB, so I had to attach a power strip to the back of the wall-mounted LCD. Not a show-stopper, but I'll make sure my replacement TV has a powered USB next time (you can't use the service USB that comes with some TVs). I attached it quickly and brought up my computer to connect it to the world. And that's where things broke down.

Maybe the three different wireless networks in my house is a bit overkill. But I've yet to find a way to get an adequate signal throughout the house without some wi-fi trickery. And I'm guessing that's what was at the root of my issue. After a few rounds of making sure my laptop was on the same network as what I could only guess the Chromecast was on, it finally connected. YES! The next few steps were simple: I added the Chrome plug-in on my laptop and the Chromecast app to my Android phone. From there, everything went as advertised. So how is it? In a word, pretty cool. Or, I guess, maybe in two words.

I started with YouTube.  I found a video in my playlist and hit the Cast button and VOILA! the video began to stream on my TV. One thing to remember is that the video is getting pulled from the cloud and not from my phone, which is important. I messed around for a few minutes with Netflix, which seemed a stable enough-- though not as easy as choosing movies from the Wii U's Touchpad. I also streamed a few 70's hits from Google's Music app, which sent my wife (a well-known 70's hater) into a small tizzy. But it worked.

And now I have another Netflix box. Just don't tell my wife.

Find the Chromecast HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment