If you are looking for a star rating I’ll save you the trouble of scrolling to the bottom of the page. 4 out of 5 stars for the Google Chromecast device. Here, in all its glory, is my Google Chromecast review.
I bought the Chromecast for $35. You can grab one for that same price at your local electronics store or online at Amazon or Google Play. When it was initially launched Google sweetened the pot by adding 3 free months of Netflix to the deal – even if you were already a subscriber. That added $24 value made it a no brainer for me. Unfortunately they halted that deal less than 24 hours after the launch. Big bummer. Still, $35 for this dongle that can help you cut the cord is a steal.
The things that rock:
It’s hidden. You can’t even see it! It’s behind my TV doing all sorts of wondrous things without even taking up any visual space in my living room. I think that’s awesome. One end is plugged into an HDMI port and the other end is plugged into a USB port (for power) on the back of my TV. No. Messy. Wires.
It works with my phone. It is nice not to have another stupid remote on my coffee table. I control the device with something I already have in my pocket – my smartphone. Can you tell that I hate clutter?
Great picture. It hooks up to the back of my TV via HDMI. That means that it’s able to produce a hi definition picture. I was worried that with my super slow cheapo internet ($14.95 a month) I was going to have issues getting a crisp and clean picture on my 42 inch TV. That hasn’t been the case at all. The Chromecast is delivering a fantastic quality picture to my telly.
It makes Netflix awesome. My wife and I used to watch our streaming movies and TV shows on our computer. It wasn’t awful. But now it feels totally different. We watch more Netflix than ever before (not necessarily a good thing). I’ve always heard great things about Roku but was too cheap to buy one. I’m sure it is lovely but since I’m already used to accessing my Netflix account via mainly my computer and smartphone it is nice to still have those as my main interface to watch via Chromecast.
Other folks can use it. My mom came over to babysit our little tike the other day. We hooked her up to our wifi and she was able to watch a couple of shows while the baby slept. She used our account because she isn’t a Netflix subscriber but she also could have easily used her own. That’s a pretty cool feature. I’m pretty sure it isn’t nearly as easy to use another account on Apple TV or Roku.
The things that stink:
Sometimes the remote (my phone) doesn’t work properly. This is definitely the most annoying thing I run into. It’s awesome that I can control what I watch with my phone. But then if I reply to a text or check my twitter feed while watching, it can mess up the remote connection. I usually have to log back in to Netflix in order to then pause or stop the show. I haven’t read that others have experienced this problem so it could just be my silly HTC phone.
Streaming options are currently limited. Right now you can watch Netflix, YouTube, or videos you purchase from the Google Play store. Don’t worry though – more options are coming. Very soon the Chromecast will support Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Vimeo, and more so this is one negative aspect isn’t something I’m very worried about.
I think Chromecast is going to surpass Roku as the go to content streaming device. As they add content hubs like Hulu and HBO Go their sales will continue to skyrocket – and we’ve already seen them sell out. If you are a cheapskate like me and have avoided purchasing a device that lets you stream your content on your television, this is the device to jump on. It’s $35 that I certainly don’t regret spending. A definite 4 out of 5 stars goes to this ingenious little dongle in my Google Chromecast review.
Do you watch programming on your TV via Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV? What’s your favorite? Has it helped you kick cable to the curb and saved you money every month? I look forward to hearing from you money saving fiends.
And if you are already doing the streaming thing here is my list of the top 20 things to watch on Netflix.