Oh gosh, where do we start? As an extremely price sensitive consumer, I am absolutely in love with the pricing of this tiny media streamer. The $35 price tag is absolute genius, making many of its competition completely irrelevant regardless of the differences in features. This amazing price point plus the brand’s excellent track record have caused the device to fly off the shelves since its launch. At the last we checked, the device is completely sold out in many places around the world.
The Google Chromecast is not only tiny in price but also in size. Measuring in at about the size of a large USB pen drive, it is only a fraction of the size of a regular media streaming box where it can be completely hidden out of view behind your TV screen when it is plugged in. Contrary to what you might expect at first glance, the Chrome case requires an external power source. This can be accomplished by either plugging it in into a spare USB port behind your TV or through a regular power socket. All the necessary cables and power adapters come with the device. Despite all that, the setup is in no way messy where it can still completely be hidden from away from view.
With the help of your phone or tablet, the Google Chromecast can stream contents from YouTube and Netflix to your TV. If you are using an Android device, you can also stream contents from Google TV, Google Music and the Movies app on your phone or tablet. The device also makes it possible for you to stream contents from your laptop or desktop PC. Through the Chrome browser, you can stream contents from websites such as HBO Go, Hulu, FOX, CBS, NBC and many others. Yes it pales in comparison when compared to the features found on devices like the Roku media boxes and Apple TV but for its small size and even smaller price tag, what more can you ask for?
Setting up the Google Chromecast was a breeze, thanks to Google’s clear instructions and imagery. Just prepare your wi-fi network’s password before hand and you will be down and ready to go in a matter of minutes. Once it is set up, a ‘Cast’ icon will appear in all the compatible apps on your device. For instance when you are watching YouTube, all you need to do is press the ‘Cast’ icon to stream it to your TV. It is really easy to use.
Another feature that makes the little Chromecast a winner is its image quality. Despite its size and price, the quality of the video and audio that is being streamed using YouTube and Netflix is on par with bigger, more expensive devices such as the Roku. However, the same can’t be said for its mirroring feature using the Chrome browser. The experience of mirroring content from the Chrome browser is mediocre at best.
All in all, if you are looking for a hassle free device to help you stream YouTube and Netflix content to your TV without spending too much, it is really hard to give the Google Chromecast a miss. Due to its size and price point, it is truly a device on a class of its own. With a little research on what the device can do (and cannot do) and the right expectations, it is hard to go wrong with this nifty little gadget.
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