Chromecast Opens Many Streaming Possibilities


Chromecast, the new digital media player that plays audio or video content on your PC or smart phone by streaming it from the internet or a local network via Wi-Fi, has finally made its way to Ireland. The gadget is smart, adaptable, small, and user-friendly. Plugging it into the TV will enable users to listen to instructions on how to install it. Users will need to install the app to their phones or tablets. They can thereafter connect to television sets using Wi-Fi network.

Chromecast needs power to operate. This can be done through a wall outlet or a TV’s USB port. The problem with using the TV as a power supply unit is that when it is turned off, Chromecast is turned off as well, and it will not be able to download updates. Since not all television sets have USB ports, Google has come up with a power adapter that will work for the Irish market.

Chromecast is sold at prices that compare well with other similar products, such as Roku and AppleTV. It is a good alternative to AppleTV. Even though the gadget is sold at half the price of AppleTV, it still offers the same benefits that AppleTV offers. In addition to Vero, YouTube, and Netflix, it also offers other apps that Google has come up with as a result of working with independent developers. These include media server functions, games, music and IP camera services.

A remote controller is not required when using Chromecast since the laptop, smart phone, or TV is used to queue and control the selected content. It cannot be connected to an ethernet. As a result, this can can limit usage if a location is a Wi-Fi black spot.

While Chromecast opens many streaming possibilities, it does not allow downloading media files stored on the phone or tablet. Third-party developers have come up with apps that make this possible. Instead of using cloud services such as Google Play, it is now possible to download photos and videos with ease as long as the equipment is compatible with the gadget.

While chromecast can cast from the chrome browser on PCs and Macs, that functionality is not yet available to Android users, thereby limiting browsing ability. This Thanksgiving, new content was added to chromecast. The gadget will now support apps for Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. Epix and Encore are the new additions to the movies category, as well as the Indian television service YuppTV.

Chromecast has made it possible for Google to reach living rooms in a way that it could not have done before. Competitors Amazon and Roku are now trying to imitate it since its functionality has surpassed their previous gadgets in the same field.

As Chromecast continues to open many streaming possibilities, Forbes announced last week that users can now use the gadget to play 100,000 radio stations on TV through TuneIn, an app suited for those who are just interested in audio. There will be four million podcasts available. TuneIn recently showcased available podcasts. The list included This American Life, Here’s the Thing, and On Point, among others.

By Benedicto Ateku

The Irish Times
Photo image by Clive Darra Flickr License

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