Many people are busy. That being said, many people still enjoy kicking back and enjoying consuming some form of media at home when they are home.
I myself don’t have cable at home. I’m not home enough to justify forking over $80+ tax a month to watch tv maybe once or twice a week for a few hours. Truthfully, there are other things I’d rather spending my money on and I am never home when the shows I want to watch are on, so cable for me is a waste of money.
(Cable) Cord cutting doesn’t seem just a trend anymore. More and more people are ditching traditional telecom providers and moving to alternative means to get media they want.
Some people live dangerously and download.
Then there’s the rest of us, who bother those pirate friends to download things for us. Or we get Netflix because it’s much easier than pestering our friends who are busy downloading their own things.
Enter devices that enable you to stream content on your television. There are many, but the most popular ones are Apple Tv, Roku, Western Digital Media Players and Google Chromecast.
This post is dedicated to the Chromecast which was released in July 2013 in the US for the retail price of $35. They flew off the shelves and were sold out immediately because they were 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the other digital streaming devices and initially the first batch of kits sold included a 3 month free subscription to Netflix. (Please note: They are no longer sold with the Netflix subscription).
In the fall I went on a trip to Atlanta and made my way to the closest Bestbuy and luckily they had one in stock.
I took my Chromecast home, downloaded the app on my phone and tablet and set it up under 5 minutes. Part of the process was creating a network for the Chromecast so that your devices can connect and cast to it.
The basic way the Chromecast works is that you start the content you want to stream on you phone, tablet or Google Chrome browser and cast it your Chromecast.
It’s a simple as clicking the icon in the corner of the app that picks up your Chromecast is ready and choosing to cast to the Tv via Chromecast.
The Media can be controlled on your phone if you want restart.
In addition to Netflix and Youtube you can also stream audio content from Songza.
Control the volume in the App, or use your tv remote.
Using Google Chromecast is pretty easy. My technologically challenged parents can figure it out.
However sometimes it can be glitchy and unresponsive. I usually turn my TV on and off or restart the program on my phone or tablet. I haven’t actually used the Google Chrome Browser to cast anything yet because I don’t often have my laptop on and it’s just easier using my phone or tablet.
I will say I enjoy that the actual unit itself is so small and that all I can bring it anywhere and set it up quickly and tried it out at my parent’s house over Christmas. That portability factor makes it great if you want to take it over to someone else’s house as long as they have WiFi.
The only thing about it is that are slight drawbacks are that most of the other programs (HBO Go, Hulu, Pandora) are only available to American users. The DNS is hardcoded and though it isn’t impossible to hack to access US Netflix, it’s much more difficult because there’s coding involved and would have to be done through the router/firewall. I haven’t bothered trying because I’m not that SMRT, don’t want to mess my settings up and just haven’t had the time to bother figuring out how to.
That being said I still think it’s decent given the $35 pricetag for basic digital media streaming and home theatre set ups. I’m not bothered by my other devices acting as a remote, (one less thing to look for in couch cushions!) I especially like the portability of the unit compared to other alternatives.
*Disclaimer: This nerd DIGS it/ nerds Unite!