You’ve seen me talk about the CX-919 Quad Core Android TV Dongle and have mentioned others, I will be reviewing MT-09 Dual Antenna Quad Core Duel Antenna Android Dongle, and a Mele F-10 Pro fly mouse, but what I want to let you know about is Google’s new dongle the Chromecast.
This little device is said to do the same thing as Apple TV and these others that I’ve mentioned. But is it worth $35 or would you like to pay $40 more and get something that can do much more? I would say techies or hobbyists might want more power, but for those having no clue what I’m writing about then the Chromecast might just be up your ally.
Google introduced the Chromecast, a sticklike device that connects to one of your TV’s HDMI inputs and accepts video wirelessly pushed from smartphones, tablets, and the Chrome browser. It’s available for just $35 starting today from the Google Play store in the U.S., with availability in other countries to follow. Google is also offering three months of free Netflix to Chromecast buyers and even existing Netflix subscribers will be able to take advantage of the promotion.
For the price, I would go for it and well, three months free of Netflix almost pays for the device itself. It is small and compact works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music at launch. Now you can send files from your tablet to be put on the TV. But who wants to have all their files on their tablet to stream? In approach, the Chromecast is different from most devices on the market: it’s half remote, half streaming-media box. The idea is instead of designing a TV-optimized user interface. You’ll be able to select and control content from your smartphone or tablet. Browse the Netflix app, find your content, then tell it to play in your living room. The Chromecast even goes one step further, by automatically switching your TV to the correct input and giving you the ability to adjust the volume using your mobile device’s built-in volume controls. The ability for Android devices to pause content without unlocking the phone first seemed particularly well-implemented.
The Chromecast will be powered by a USB power cable that can be plugged into your TV if there is an open USB, or you will have to use the power adapter that is provided make the stick a stick with a tail. Internally, the hardware supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 802.11, which isn’t quite as nice as the dual-band Wi-Fi offered on Roku’s Streaming Stick. The internal processor is capable of playing back full 1080p video with 5.1 surround sound. It will include screen-mirroring; this is now in beta. I would see this being handy only if my TV wasn’t facing the other way, and it can’t be moved.
But being limited in what apps/software is on it and what can be played. They should have waited longer until there were more compatible things like Plex. I like my dongle; I can play games (I don’t do much of), and stream with Plex and other services. A big thing I like is that I can take it most places (family’s homes) that have an HDMI port and power to have myself a mini computer to do what I want while visiting. Antisocial I know.
Forrest L. Rawls