Top positive review
10,020 people found this helpful
An Actual Chromecast Owner
on July 27, 2013
I actually ordered a Chromecast the day it was announced from Google. However the next day, I was told that they were available for purchase at bestbuy. I was anxious to try it out so I went and bought another one and gave it a try.
Setup was easy and within 5 minutes, I was watching a youtube video on my 65" TV. The quality was VERY good. I tried a 1080p video first "Big Buck Bunny" and it looked, played and sounded wonderful. Next, was playing music from my Google Play music app. Same result, the music sounded great.
I moved on to my Macbook Pro, and again, the videos was clear, without lag, no audio sync problems at all. Same for my Windows PC.
Those considering buying the Chromecast should consider what the Chromecast actually is and does, instead of what they wish it could do. So here are some facts:
1. The Chromecast is not a streaming device of local digital content. In other words, it does NOT play digital music and videos that is stored locally on your network drives or computers. However there is a work-around for this:
Use PLEX Media Server. If you don't already have it, here's the link:
Once you download it and point it to your files,it will act as a proxy and allow your music and videos to be played on your HDTV using the Chromecast through the Chrome browser. Simply launch the PLEX Media Manager in Google Chrome browser. Pick a file to play, Hit the Google Cast button and you'll get seamless playback of your own files. [Edit: Please see comments to see an alternative method].
2. The Chromecast is not a DLNA or Miracast device or Apple's airplay. This is a lot like my number 1 fact, but I wanted to make this clear. If you want device mirroring (display whatever is on the device's screen), the Chromecast, is NOT for you. The video and music does NOT stream from the controller device (Your computer, tablet, smartphone). Chromecast works by fetching the content from a website or cloud service itself, NOT from the device you're using. Here's what's cool about that:
A. You could start playing a video using your smartphone,tablet,computer as a "remote" and still be able to browse the web, play a game, check your social apps, write a book report, put the device to sleep,turn the device completely off (I tried this myself), or leave the house, and the video WILL still play without issues.
B. Your battery life is saved! Because your phone, tablet or computer (not plugged in)is not actually streaming to the Chromecast, your battery consumption is minimal. You could Play dozens of movies over several days and still have most of your battery life remaining (Of course this would depend on what else you do with the phone, tablet or computer and how long your device can stay in standby).
C. Every device connected to the Chromecast on the same network can take control of playback, adding to the queue (what's going to play next). Pause, fast forward, rewind, etc. So if your roommate, friend, parent, sibling, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend has to leave with their device, you don't have to worry.
D. You can play content from thousands upon thousands of sources using your computer. Using Google Chrome, nearly every webpage, that has content can be viewed using Chromecast. Of Course, this depends what protocols the site is using. If the site has trouble playing on your computer, then it probably won't work well on the Chromecast, either.
3. Chromecast IS cross platform (works with multiple devices). As I said, I tried it with several devices with different operating systems. At the time of this review, it works on Windows PC's, Macbooks, and android devices. The app for iOS devices is coming soon. Everyone knows the Apple App store has stringent policies and at times, it can be a long process. Look at the Onlive game streaming app. We won't get into how Apple has been trying to eradicate google applications from it's ecosystem anyway. I'm sure the app is waiting for approval. Just be patient. [Edit: Please see comments for a reply to it working on iOS devices].
There are several youtube videos that can show you how to set it up or how well it works. I made a video myself:
Watching my video isn't required, but it does help to verify what I'm saying.
4. The device you use with the Chromecast, must be on the same WIFI network. The important word here is WIFI. If you are trying to use it, with a ethernet (wired) connected device, even though it's on the same network, it will NOT work! Yes, that sucks, but not being able to use sink water in your gas tank, kind of sucks to. If that's a deal breaker for you, then you shouldn't purchase it. It's how they chose to implement it's use. It is, what it is. [Edit: Please see comment section].
5. The Netflix 3 months free limited time offer is over! I received 3 months free with both my purchases. I live in the eastern time zone. Even though I bought my second Chromecast on July 25th at 6:46pm. I realize that when the offer was no longer available, it should have been posted immediately so that consumers could factor that into their decision to buy the Chromecast. Instead of calling it a limited time offer, they should have said "while supplies last." Never the less, the features and functionality of this device has nothing to do with the inadequacy of a bonus offer. To help people make a decision about a future purchase and if it will work for THEM in the home configuration they have, is paramount in my book.
6. The Chromecast REQUIRES power through USB connection or from your wall outlet. The required peripherals ARE provided to you in the retail box. Some people are saying if you have an HDMI 1.4 compatible port on the back of your TV, the device can be powered by the HDMI port alone, without the USB cord connected. I CANNOT speak to that, as my HDMI ports did NOT power the Chromecast. I had to use the provided USB wire and connect it to a USB port available on the back of my TV.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the purchase. I've read some of the other reviews, particularly the 1 and 2 star reviews, because it's an indicator of what can possibly go wrong with the device. I would suggest that people make their decision based on people that have actually bought the device and have experience connecting, setting it up and ACTUALLY using the device. Most of the bad reviews are from people that have not used it, didn't understand the features of the device, or, to be honest, has a problem with the competition between Apple and Google and wants to dismiss this product because of their affinity for Apple products. Look at the features and functions of this device and consider them for yourself.
I hope this review helps someone who may be considering this device.
EDIT: Recently more apps were added with chromecast support, including the PLEX app! Other editions are: HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Vevo, Redbull.tv, Songza, Post TV, Viki, Real Player Cloud.