With its Google Chromecast device priced at $35, Google promises to deliver movies and videos via a simple plug-in device using Wi-Fi and a Windows, Android, Mac or iOS device as its remote/manager. Does Google deliver? Read this user’s review to find out.
The first setup performed was done using a Windows 8 laptop and the Google Chromecast with the included Power Adapter. The setup website was easy to access (google.com/chromecast/setup) with no lag time. Installation from the site took seconds. With the device plugged into the television and setup software installed, the entire setup process took less than five minutes total. The user was only prompted to enter the Wi-Fi password and name the Chromecast device. After that, it was ready to use.
The second setup performed was done using a Windows 7 laptop and the Google Chromecast with the included USB Adapter. The same experience took place as the first setup and again took less than five minutes total. The user was prompted to add the Chrome Extension which places the Chromecast icon on the top right side of the browser, if desired. This allows users to project their browser tab to the television, in addition to movies and videos. This is clearly an added benefit.
The third setup performed was done using a Samsung Galaxy SIII smart phone running Android 4.1.2 and the Google Chromecast with the included USB Adapter. Downloading the app from Google Play was fast and then setup took place immediately. The Chromecast icon was placed on the home screen for future ease of access. Accessing the movies and videos was accomplished with the Google Play Movies & TV app already installed on the phone.
Bottom line: extremely easy setup.
Playing Movies and Videos
Once the setups were complete, playing movies and videos was tested. Using the recommended Netflix and You Tube services the Chromecast icon was easily displayed. The user simply clicked the icon and chose their Chromecast device. Within seconds, the television displayed a You Tube video. Movies took a little longer; however, that is because the movie was not being “streamed” it was being “cast” to the television via the device. The process to “cast” a movie still took less than one minute; estimated at 10 – 20 seconds total.
Although setup is not yet available on iOS, playing is available. So, upon opening the Netflix or You Tube app on an iPad 2, the Chromecast icon immediately appeared within the app. Playback of a movie or video was fast with this device as well.
Again, it is important to note that movies and videos are not being streamed from devices. This was obvious when a video playing from the Samsung Galaxy SIII continued to play uninterrupted when the phone was completely shut down.
All four devices were able to perform other tasks while movies and videos were displayed on the televisions via those devices. The iPad 2 was even able to download app updates from the Appstore while a movie was displayed on the television via that particular device.
Bottom line: seamless playback of movies and videos.
Attempting to play a movie from Amazon through the Chrome browser was difficult. The only thing that would display on the television was the browser tab, not the full screen view of the movie.
The Chromecast itself became very warm during use. It is undetermined just how warm it would become with extended use at this time. However, it is important to note that this did not have an effect on the performance of the device or movie or video displayed.
Bottom line: non-issues at this time.
1. Windows 7 laptop
2. Windows 8 laptop
3. iPad 2
4. Samsung Galaxy SIII phone running Android 4.1.2
The three televisions on which the Google Chromecast was set up for testing included a combination of Sanyo and Samsung brands ranging in age from one to three years old.
The Google Chromecast is a great device at a great price. The setups were simple and aggravation-free. The playing of movies and videos was seamless and the devices were still able to multi-task. Having the ability to watch movies and videos on a television without streaming is a plus because there is no lag time or interruption, even when the device is off. The Google Chromecast does just what it claims to do and does it well.
If additional issues are found upon further use of the Google Chromecast it will be referenced here.