Saturday, 15 November 2014

Chromecast Review

Chromecast, made by Google, was released initially in 2013 for £30 and it is a dongle which plugs into your high definition television so you can stream apps from your phone to your television easily. It is compatible with a handful of apps on iOS and Android (mostly video apps such as Netflix and YouTube - but also Google Play Music).

I purchased one earlier this week, followed the instructions on how to plug in and set up – it magically connected to my Android phone immediately – however I soon ran into an issue; connecting to Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi in my house included quotation marks and exclamation marks which bizarrely caused an excessive amount of forward-slashes to appear and the Chromecast refused to connect. Only after I had removed the unwanted punctuation would the device connect. Once it had, I then needed to reset the Chromecast and my phone because I couldn’t stream anything despite the Chromecast icon telling me that they are aware of each other’s existence.

Backdrop on Chromecast
I’m sure if I didn’t have an awkward Wi-Fi name, set up would have only take a matter of minutes.

Chromecast doesn’t take long to load up (no time at all if you keep it turned on constantly by plugging it into a plug socket - however I opted to give the device power via my television’s USB port so it only is on when my TV is). Also, having holiday pictures from my Google+ gallery as the backdrop on my television when I’m not streaming is a nice touch.

I mainly use Chromecast to stream music from Google Play or videos from YouTube or Netflix and once I’ve launched the content on Chromecast I can close the app on my phone and simply use the phone as a remote whenever I need to. Chromecast streams straight from your rougher rather than through your phone.

Streaming from Netflix to Chromecast
I’ve used Chromecast for a week now on a daily basis and it has worked flawlessly (apart from the initial setup); content loads quickly, and because of how small it is, it never gets in the way. I have noticed through that it only takes two back to back episodes of House M.D (which got added to Netflix UK this month, by the way) before the Chromecast becomes worrying warm.

Overall, ‘The Verge’ described Chromecast as ‘one of the best impulse buys you will make this year’ which is a very true statement however this device doesn’t need to be an impulse buy, it is extremely practical for iOS and Android users who are seeking an inexpensive, smart content streaming solution.