Google Chromecast First Impressions and Review

DSC_0091When Google first announced the Chromecast, I was ecstatic. I immediately fell in love with the idea of wirelessly streaming videos to my TV. And with its $35 price tag, it was a no brainer.

However,  Chromecast isn’t as common in the Philippines. If you want to get one, you most likely need to purchase it online. I already forgot about it until a Chromecast unexpectedly fell in my lap.

When I got the device, it didn’t come with any wires. And I know, based on the previous videos I’ve watched, that it needs a USB wire in order to work.

Luckily, I don’t have to use the official wire that comes with the Chromecast. I can use any USB wire (I used my Samsung charger).  I used the one that I got from my Samsung phone.

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Another challenge that I encountered (which is not really Chromecast’s fault) is the way our TV is setup. The HDMI port of our TV is at the back. It was impossible to insert the Chromecast! I almost gave up but then I remembered that we have another TV. Yay!

And I was in luck because the HDMI port is on the side instead of the back.

Now, my problem with this TV is that it didn’t have a USB port. There was an easy fix though: connect the USB to a power source.

Again, thanks to my Samsung charger!

 

So, is it really easy to setup?

After those slight hiccups with the USB wire and the TV setup, setting up Chromecast to connect with my other devices was easy.

I was able to stream videos in less than five minutes.

Things you’ll need in order to “cast”:

  • TV with an HDMI port
  • Google Chromecast
  • USB Wire
  • USB Port in TV or USB Power source
  • Your Gadget of Choice (e.g. Laptop/Smarthpone/Tablet/iPod)

In order to connect to Chromecast using your Android phone, you have to download the Chromecast app first. You’ll need to search the Chromecast through this device. Once the phone recognizes the Chromecast, you’ll be able to stream videos right away.

The only requirement is that both the Chromecast and the device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

The process is pretty much the same with other devices. In iOS, you’ll also have to download the Chromecast app. In your laptop, you have to install the Chromecast plugin in your Chrome browser.

Here’s a video of me trying out Google Chromecast:

 

What are other videos that you can stream?

In the first few minutes, “casting” videos from my phone to the TV seemed fun. I kind of felt powerful. However, it gets old quickly.

First, I was only limited to playing videos from YouTube. I didn’t have a Netflix or Hulu account.

However, you can also stream content from your Google Play Music or Pandora account. I use iTunes, so this is inconsequential for me.

Secondly, I only watch short YouTube video clips. And most times, I watch them in my iPod or in my MAC.

Lastly, if I want to watch YouTube videos in my TV, all I have to do is connect my MAC to it and tun “mirroring display” on. So, everything I do in my MAC is projected on the TV.

Should you get one?

It depends on your current setup. If you’re like me who doesn’t have a Netflix or Hulu account and you already connect your laptop to your TV, you can skip Chromecast.

But if you watch a lot of videos like mini series and other YouTube shows, having a Chromecast can be a good additional to your collection of gadgets.

The Good

  • It’s easy to setup on any device.
  • Great way to watch the  videos in a bigger screen.

 The Bad

  • If you don’t have Netflix or Hulu account, you’re limited to streaming videos from YouTube.
  • Internet speed can affect streaming.

So, what do you think of Google Chromecast? Are you planning to get one?

 

 

 

Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan