Review – Google Chromecast

I got Chromecast. Here’s a quick overview.

Graphic courtesy of Google
Graphic courtesy of Google

The setup is super easy. The only thing that may not be obvious is that it needs to be plugged in, either via USB or regular electric outlet. As most televisions are located near a power outlet, it is not a big deal, but good to know.

You can stream Netflix and YouTube from your phone or tablet very, very easily (with much better results than the YouTube apps for any of the current gen systems). The Chromecast came with 3 months of free Netflix (promotion no longer applies).

The biggest thing that a lot of publications have got wrong is you CAN stream video from your computer to your television. Simply install the Chromecast extension on Google Chrome and type CTRL+ O to open a video file in Chrome. Then, cast that tab. Done! It works with all MP4 files, so far. It has been a little finicky with other formats. I’ve already tested with the likes of Doctor Who and Top Gear and it works great. Also, with a little re-sizing of the windows you can do things like cast a tab with TwitchTV and Pandora (the latter will have native in-app support “soon”).

Overall, if you don’t have a “smart” tv, or media center pc, or mobile device with HDMI, this is WELL worth the $35, even without the free Netflix. If you do have one or more those other devices, it’s more questionable.