Discovered ChromeCast was out here yesterday. Hopefully mine should have arrived from Amazon today. :)
Google’s Chromecast has finally gone on sale in the UK after an age of waiting following its initial US release in July last year. This digital media player in the form of an HDMI dongle delivers streaming content to a telly including support for the BBC’s iPlayer. It’s only 30 quid too – so you might as well buy one even if it …
Saturday 22nd March 2014 11:52 GMT Anonymous Coward
got mine yesterday
Went for the 2-5 day super saver shipping and it arrived within 16 hours. Bonus weekend playtime.
I don't have an apple TV and was looking at setting up Plex on my old desktop pc, so this fits nicely for future use.
Meanwhile Netflix on a big screen without having to plug the laptop to the (7 year old) TV is real reason I bought it. Works a treat - can start playing from my iPhone and it takes over, don't need to keep it running - but you can if you want a remote.
Tuesday 25th March 2014 11:33 GMT JeffyPoooh
@Google - Features Request
1) For Android devices, there's no need to limit yourself to adding the 'Cast' feature to specific apps, one by one. Build this 'Cast' capability into the OS, i.e. *your* Android OS. I can see why you won't be able to build this into Apple's iOS, but there's no excuse for not building it into Google's Android. (My guess, you're already working on it.)
2) There should be a feature to effectively redirect the audio back to the portable device, for convenient use of headphones. Think about it, it's brilliant.
3) Bug report: After selecting Canada, it still offered Pandora. Following the links, it was - of course - still not actually available. A very rude tease.
Friday 21st March 2014 14:47 GMT Anonymous Coward
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Thursday 27th March 2014 16:21 GMT Michael Wojcik
At that price, you don't even need to think about it.
No, but I can think about it, if I wish. And I did. And I don't want one. I can think of plenty of things I'd rather spend $35 on.
I'm sure many folks will find Chromecast useful, but "buy it because it's cheap" doesn't strike me as a compelling argument.
Friday 21st March 2014 14:52 GMT dogged
Friday 21st March 2014 14:53 GMT Cosmo
Tuesday 25th March 2014 20:02 GMT JeffyPoooh
Re: Ordered mine from the Google Play store
"...put mine through its paces this weekend."
It won't take that long.
It took me about 30 minutes to make it work (mandatory download, etc.), and then I was more or less bored with it in just about 20 minutes more. It's more functional than interesting.
Friday 21st March 2014 14:57 GMT RyokuMas
Friday 21st March 2014 14:57 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 21st March 2014 14:59 GMT AJames
Tab-casting versus handover
When you tab-cast anything from your Chrome browser, your PC is indeed doing the heavy lifting. It has to transcode the incoming video stream to a compatible format and re-transmit it to the Chromecast. The Google Cast extension in Chrome that does this is not very efficient, and the video stutters, quite badly on slower computers. The WiFi connection doesn't really enter into it.
When you cast from the BBC iPlayer app on Android, it instead hands over streaming to the Chromecast itself. You can shut down your Android device entirely if you wish after starting playback on the Chromecast. In this mode you will find that the BBC iPlayer video streams smoothly.
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Friday 21st March 2014 15:25 GMT LoPath
Re: Tab-casting versus handover
Yes, Netflix and Hulu both stream straight to Chromecast once the connection is made. Your phone just acts as the remote control. So if you use the device in this fashion, it works great, as there is no third party device "in the way" to slow things down. Of course, your internet and WiFi speeds make a difference.
Friday 21st March 2014 15:27 GMT Cesar _
Re: Tab-casting versus handover
Yes. Netflix and Plex etc all hand off the transmission from your phone or PC to the dongle.
Netflix is superb through it; it means you can use your phone to browse and pop it up on the TV when you find something to watch; Plex similar.
The Chromecast is *superb*, I couldn't be more positive about it. Really neat way to make a TV accessible to your content.
Thursday 27th March 2014 14:09 GMT tabman
Re: Tab-casting versus handover
Ceser states: "The Chromecast is *superb*, I couldn't be more positive about it. Really neat way to make a TV accessible to your content."
I agree, I bought one after reading the review here on el reg. Using my Nexus 2 in conjunction with the chromecast app is a very good experience indeed, the nexus can be shut down, charging, doing nothing at all, running different apps or working as your remote control.
I have a Sony Bravia which has most video services built into it except for Netflix. To be able to watch Netflix without turning on my PC, logging in, going to Netflix and selecting a film, then switching my graphics card output from dual monitor to the HDMI connection to the TV is well worth the £30 I paid for it alone. I imagine that more video streaming sites will become available over time which will make it even more useful.
If you have the £30 to spare then I would recommend buying one! The only downside for me is that as an owner of a Nokia Lumia 925 phone, I can not stream (I can't see Google creating a method like this for WP8 phones!) so let that be a warning to potential users, it doesn't (and likely never will) work with WP8 or at least the vanilla WP8 I use.
Still, android phones work as do modern iPhones; laptops and desktops too. The method is different for laptops and desktops but it does eliminate the need for the HDMI cable which now has a new home being permanently connected to my RPi.
Potentially using this whilst being on the go (staying in hotel rooms) is also a big boon but I haven't tried that yet and the only way to switch Wi-Fi networks seems to be a hard reset. I will have the opportunity next week so fingers crossed I can watch big screen Netflix instead of Nexus Netflix.
I'm not a big fan of google but along with the Nexus 2, they seem to have created a very good product indeed. 5 stars! Note that the service working from a pc or laptop is not quite as smooth.
Friday 21st March 2014 16:50 GMT Steven Raith
Re: Tab-casting versus handover
AJames is entirely correct - tabcasting is a beta feature, but the review seems to think it's the main function; it's not.
The main function of the device is to act as a client for streams, which the Chromecast software provides it with (IE you go to Youtube on a browser, load the video, and hit the 'cast' button, it just sends the stream address to the Chromecast, and it does everything else).
If you try to Chromecast a tab, the computer is attempting to transcode the entire display framebuffer to H264/WebM and transfer across a potentially flaky wifi signal, with expected results - lag, and occasional image quality issues.
Tabcasting is useful (it sure as hell beats hooking a laptop to the TV over HDMI to show a webpage or something) but it's not the reason d'etre of the device - streaming longformat video content (see youtubes Drive channel as an example - most of their car reviews are nicely shot in HD and last around 15-20 mins - or Netflix) whereupon the quality is really rather nice (better than a browser with Flash in my experience - no framedrops, 720p all the way) and it's a 'nicer' viewing experience.
Something like Drives Big Muscle channel (lots of muscle cars) through a decent AV system via Chromecast would be far, far superior to watching it on a desktop with a 2.1 or on a laptop through headphones.
I've bought one, I use it almost exclusively for Youtube long format stuff, and as far as I'm concerned, it's totally worth it. No muss, no fuss, just works - even though it doesn't like my Draytek AP (I've got it connected to an Engenius AP I normally use for my bedroom upstairs - so not optimal but no problems with transfer rates it seems) and it fits a use case that I can exploit.
The Synology DS Video app works OK - if you feed it an MP4 as my DS214+ doesn't transcode, so I can't use Plex on it....(which does apparently work....)
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Friday 21st March 2014 15:09 GMT Stumpy Pepys
I'm very happy with mine--for me, it's worth it for YouTube, Plex and Pocketcasts alone. It'll be dead handy when it gets added to Google Drive and you can cast a slide presentation.
You're right though--it works much better when you use cast-enabled apps, compared to casting from Chrome tabs on a PC. Although the latter works acceptably for me.
Friday 21st March 2014 15:17 GMT Jim 48
I've had an import for a few months and have just received a UK edition. For my use-cases it works perfectly, everything is done from an Android device and the content I use it for is mainly from Google Play Movies (both rented & bought; Game of Thrones series 3 was available a long time before you could get it on DVD), YouTube and now iPlayer. I also use an Xbox360 for streaming LoveFilm or NowTV but it's rare that I don't get any buffering though this, the Chromecast seems to handle it better when I have one kid skyping and another watching youtube.
I have a RaspBMC for streaming local content from my NAS.
Friday 21st March 2014 15:24 GMT magickmark
A must have
I've had one for months (got it off Amazon.com) and I love it. I tend to use it from my Nexus 7. I tend to use it for Netflix and youtube but also Play Music, I dont subscribe I just use it to play my own content. I have set up so when I rip a CD its automatically uploaded to Play Music and then I can play via Chrome Cast and the new addtion of BBC iPlayer adds an extra incentive. I also have a few other apps that will work with it as well (all cast is a good one).
I have cast stuff from Chrome via my PC and that works though not as well as the dedicated apps.
Never had a moments problem with it, was the best £30 I've spent.
Friday 21st March 2014 15:29 GMT ChrisPW
I've had two for the past few months
Mostly I've been using mine with youtube and plex, with some google music mixed in.
The Plex support was the main reason I went for it and generally it works very well, with most of the problems I have (e.g. freezing if I skip around the video a few times) appearing to be a Plex problem rather than a Chromecast problem.
Youtube support works well and gets a regular work out, google music is also good and I don't think you need to pay £10/pm unless you want access to the general catalogue (I do pay it, replaced my Spotify a while back).
Friday 21st March 2014 15:59 GMT Buzzword
Friday 21st March 2014 17:31 GMT asdf
Re: NetFlix vs Music
Your point might explain why the movie industry is still fairly strong and the music industry is largely a corpse. Not that the MPAA isn't a POS but the music industry fighting digital music download early on instead of embracing it and keeping the that mindset to some extend even today shows why we get endless boy bands as the latest greatest thing.
Monday 24th March 2014 15:28 GMT Lunatik
Re: NetFlix vs Music
Fair point, but the slight difference is that your £6/mo buys you transient access to a tiny fraction of the video content made in the last 50 years, with almost nothing produced in the last 12 months.
Conversely, the £10/mo for the music service gets you just about everything that's been recorded and committed to bits in the same period*, with most new releases available immediately for stream and download.
Imagine a £18/mo video service that offered the same freedom? Doesn't seem likely, does it?
I think longer term the music model may prove to be more sustainable.
As for Chromecast the only issues I've had are with occasionally unresponsive control, but that may be my BT HH3 which seems to be on the way out. Great little device for sticking on the kids' distinctly un-smart bedroom TVs.
*Digital hold-outs excepted. AC/DC, I'm looking at you *growls*
Friday 21st March 2014 16:01 GMT PaulR79
"In the interests of research I discovered that ImageFap wouldn’t show anything, YouPorn was quite happy to relay video from a Google Cast tab and xHamster slideshows would also play out nicely. You’ll have to do battle with pop-ups though."
Battling with pop-ups while browsing porn? Not a problem >_>
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Friday 21st March 2014 16:17 GMT Drat
Re: ...a solution...
The problem is browsing content efficiently on a TV to playback on a TV. The solution is browsing for the content on your phone to playback on the TV.
Have had a Chromecast for a couple of months, I love it for playing Netflix, play music, Plex and you tube, and now iPlayer. And my wife finds it easy to use too which is a huge plus.
Friday 21st March 2014 17:25 GMT asdf
Friday 21st March 2014 17:01 GMT Berwhale
Got mine this morning. I already have an extensive Plex library, a Netflix subscription and all my music on Google Music, so this was a no-brainer for me.
I'm controlling it from a Nexus 5 phone and a couple of Nexus 7 tablets. So far, it's played everything flawlessly (including direct play of 1080p movies from Plex). I've also been impressed by the quality of the iPlayer and Vevo apps. This is what tablets were made for :)
Friday 21st March 2014 17:22 GMT asdf
my simple chromecast review
I have it in my back bedroom and now I have cut the cable cord I do like it. Its is fairly convenient and cheap. It can be a bit buggy but not annoyingly so. My only real annoyance is occasionally have to unplug the power cable to the thing to reboot it when in a hurry. It can be a PITA to get the thing from a paused netflix movie to the pretty natures scenes screen. I don't like leaving wifi on my phone after I set the movie playing so its a hassle to do it any other way quickly. Still for $35 tough to beat it for internet tv.
Friday 21st March 2014 18:15 GMT No Quarter
Friday 21st March 2014 20:06 GMT asdf
Yes and your computer eats up probably two orders of magnitude more of electricity which you have to pay for. Not just that but there is no fan noise and no annoying cables (other than microUSB power) with a Chromecast. As for cheaper you probably didn't get your computer and cheap HDMI cable for less than $35. To each his own though. Don't get me wrong I love computers too :).
Friday 21st March 2014 22:37 GMT Berwhale
Friday 21st March 2014 22:43 GMT cambsukguy
Given the rather large likelihood of having a computer, especially a laptop, with an HDMI, I don't think counting the cost of the computer is sensible.
Given that the computer is almost certainly on most of the time you are at home watching TV, counting the (minimal) cost of electricity for a laptop is also not sensible - my TV uses three times the power at least. Fan noise, not a great deal these days but I assume we are not talking Home theatre, Dobly Digital super movies in any case, Blu-ray would be the case otherwise, never bother myself as my town is equipped with a cinema.
And, a connected laptop (cable, £7.50, 10m, works perfectly) does everything, perfectly, in a little window if I want, at the same time as using the computer. I don't have to browse using a phone, I can use a large laptop screen, have the show on TV and use the laptop at the same time.
And all you require is a TV with HDMI, not a big ask.
Still, as people say £30, hardly a big deal, useful for a kids bedroom, or indeed one's own bedroom if you have a bedroom TV and your tablet doesn't have HDMI out or you don't want to connect it.
Friday 21st March 2014 23:37 GMT Steven Raith
Yes, or I could take my Chromecast to my dads house, slap it in an HDMI port, tell it to use his wifi, and then point it to a Youtube video using my phone.
None of which requires dragging out my laptop, finding a cable, making sure it's at the right resolutiion for the display, etc.
It's a (literal) two minute job to show him the latest Project Binky (Celica 2.0 Turbo 4wd drivetrain into a BL mini) video in 1080p, as opposed to farting about with the Macbook, hoping it gets the right res for the screen, finding the video on Youtuve, adjusting the volume, etc.
There is a usage case for this device - it's called 'people who don't want to be fucking about with cables and want good Youtube videos on their telly' - and that's before you get to TabCast and Netflix.... used Tabcast to introduce my dad to The Oatmeal - he spat his coffee out a couple of times.
PS: Tonight I literally did the following - plugged Chromecast into HDMI and power source, told Chromecast the Wifi details, then projected Project Binky Pt4 to the Chromecast and sat back with a coffee after it had finished, discussed the merits of a 2.0 litre turbo in a BL mini - without any obvious effort. Seriously, it's awsume - if you have the content to justify it. And if you don't, it's £30. I'm moderately skint, and even my attitude is 'so what?'
Friday 21st March 2014 18:21 GMT Uncle Siggy
Great for multimedia
I organize Heroclix games and host at a local library with a giant flat screen that can accommodate the Chromecast. I use my MacBook Pro and Chromecast with Chrome to tabcast alternately Netflix (superhero movies or cartoons) and Pandora (video game, game culture music) to make the atmosphere fun. Rules, rulings, schedule and game website are kept in other tabs. I cast the appropriate tab during the different points in the tournament, best of all showing everyone their past and present standings. All this across the miserable wireless connection of the library. There are good days and bad, but everyone agrees that it has enhance the gaming experience.
Friday 21st March 2014 19:42 GMT Efros
Living in the colonies I've had access to the Chromecast for a few months now. I recently bought a second one if that tells you anything about what I think of it. The advent of local content casting with the Plex app has really increased this doodads appeal. A poster up the page a bit quite rightly says that tabcasting is not the main use of this, although it is useful, using your phone or tablet to control content on your TV is. At this, the Chromecast excels. 30 pounds is a bit steep, my second one cost me $30, the first one was $35 with 3 months of Netflix free.
Friday 21st March 2014 20:59 GMT WylieCoyoteUK
Didn't work for me
Bought an import a while back.
Didn't with my XperiaZ, or my ground floor AP.
When I got it working with my Android tablet, the only thing that worked properly was Youtube.
Netflix and Plex are of no interest to me, and iPlayer wasn't available at the time.
Tab casting didn't work from Chrome on mobile either.
Sent it back.
Streaming is still in its infancy, and it shows.
I dropped Netflix after the free month because the content was so poor (unless you like American TV, which I don't) I only actually watched 2 films in that month, and the second was so bad I turned it off halfway.
Lovefilm was better, but most of the stuff I wanted wasn't available to stream , and can't be bothered waiting for a disk.
These days I use Blinkbox because I don't have to shell out a monthly sub, when there is so little worth streaming.
Friday 21st March 2014 23:15 GMT Anonymous Coward
"particularly sensitive to signal strength" and "forget streaming HD video from a computer"
"Overall, the Chromecast is very much a get-what-you-pay-for device. In use, it appears particularly sensitive to signal strength and even moving around a room can affect its performance. YouTube was the most resilient playback channel and for best results, forget streaming HD video from a computer"
That's a bit disappointing. But maybe we can get a better perspective. It would help if the supporters and detractors told us how far away their TV is from their Wi-Fi? And what kind of obstacles are presented to the signal including bunker walls or Wi-Fi channel interference i.e. Apt complexes?
Friday 21st March 2014 23:42 GMT Steven Raith
Re: "particularly sensitive to signal strength" and "forget streaming HD video from a computer"
My TV is 20ft from my AP, through a wood/plaster floor, but the difference is I'm using it as intended as a streaming client through native apps.
I'll repeat again - TabCast is a beta and not the devices intended use. TabCast is a beta and not its intended use. TabCast is a beta and not the devices intended use. TabCast is a beta and not the devices intended use.
Sling it a good quality Youtube feed from a compatible device (IE any Android 2.3 or above phone) however, and it fucking rocks- HD content and no dropped frames.
Go into it with open eyes, know what it's meant for (unlike the reviewer - sorry, but you missed the point of the device by a country mile) and it's spot on.
Friday 21st March 2014 23:15 GMT Blackisle
I am working out in the US atm and bought one to have a play with ($35 = £20 approx) - the tab casting is a bit iffy but for playing local content from mobile/tablet/desktop I have found BubbleUPNP to be pretty good. You don't need a full server install (unless you want to do transcoding of files that the chromecast doesn't support natively) on a big machine - client just points the local file and streams it directly to the 'cast. Works well and again, you can open up a web browser on your device and do other things as it streams in the background. couple of £ for the android client, think the rest if free and OSS (NAS installable too).
Only real PITA is that it must, at all times, be connected to the internet, even to stream local content. If you're on a hotel wifi with a sign-in page you're rooked. I have to bridge through a little pocket wifi router + laptop in order to get round this issue.
Other than that, can't be beat for £20.
Friday 21st March 2014 23:21 GMT David 132
Meh. Roku barely more expensive, and much better.
I bought a couple of Roku3 boxes late last year - OK, they're more expensive than this, but the Roku1 is in the same ballpark ($50) if you don't want the waggly controller thing (oo-er). Combined with the Plex media server they work brilliantly AND do 1080p, AND can be controlled from a smartphone if for some reason you don't like the supplied remote.
Not tempted by this, myself. But each to their own.
Friday 21st March 2014 23:59 GMT Andrew Jones 2
Argh! If you are going to do a review - DO THE RESEARCH FIRST!
Dear El Reg,
Please do the research before you start writing useless reviews.
TAB casting is exactly what it sounds like - the computer essentially transcodes an MP4 (although it might be VP8) audio and video stream of the contents of the tab and then sends it direct to the Chromecast - thus if you are attempting to watch anything with streaming video the data is coming from the internet to your computer where it is decoded displayed in the tab and then re-encoded and fired across the network to your Chromecast - this is HIGHLY bandwidth and CPU intensive and should only ever be used as a last resort - the functionality exists ONLY as a catch all to offer some form of basic support for services which are not NATIVELY Chromecast compatible. If you had opened Netflix for example or even YouTube you would of seen a Chromecast button IN the video player for that service which upon clicking does something quite magic, it tells the Chromecast "hey you - go off and fetch this URL" which it then does.
You also didn't discover that you can start a cast from (for example) Netflix on your Computer and then pick up another device like your iPhone and open the same app and instantly get control of the stream - to adjust the volume or seek forward or backward - the Netflix app offers a handy "back 30 seconds" button.
Native Chromecast apps - of which there are now quite a lot - offer everything from Mutliplayer quiz games, Multiplayer drawing, TicTacToe, Flappy Bird. On Android there is AllCast and Avia for streaming Local content from your device to the Chromecast and files from your Network either via SMB file shares or DLNA.
And you completely missed the point - while YOU personally might not want to buy anything from Google Play (and by the way you can upload 20,000 of your own music tracks to Google for free) - one of the things that makes the Chromecast such a joy is that I can visit you bringing my Nexus 4, connect to your WiFi and then cast music, movies, TV shows to your Chromecast without ever having to login to anything other than your WiFi - which immediately makes the Chromecast great for social occasions. Similarly I can cast something from Netflix even though you might not be a subscriber.
Monday 24th March 2014 09:09 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Argh! If you are going to do a review - DO THE RESEARCH FIRST!
"If you had opened Netflix for example or even YouTube you would of seen a Chromecast button IN the video player for that service which upon clicking does something quite magic, it tells the Chromecast "hey you - go off and fetch this URL" which it then does."
Something my TV already does without paying £30 to install Google spyware on my computer.
Saturday 22nd March 2014 01:34 GMT J 3
harks back to the days of cheap printers with overpriced ink
What do you mean, "harks back"? It is still going strong.
Anyway, reading this review gives me a measure of relief. On our visit to the US over the holidays, my wife was contemplating buying either the Chromecast or the AppleTV to play the media she has on her Mac.
Since the AppleTV was just $80, and she being sort of a fangirl, she bought the Apple thing. I don't like Apple much, but I have to say the thing works over our humble WiFi without any problems (apart from sometimes needing to restart iTunes, for some reason), streaming high-def video like it was connected through a cable, be it from her local collection or from YouTube, Netflix, whatever we have tested. Sure, the two devices have slightly different features (I'm pretty sure you can't cast website tabs on the stock AppleTV), but still. Seeing how difficult it is to play local media from a computer using the Chromecast is quite surprising to me.
Saturday 22nd March 2014 16:55 GMT Steve Todd
Re: harks back to the days of cheap printers with overpriced ink
The Apple TV does allow mirroring of your desktop or tablet display. If you're running OS X Mavericks then you can use it to extend your desktop also. It's a more flexible solution that works with more software, but then it's more expensive and is tied in to the Apple ecosystem. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
Saturday 22nd March 2014 12:01 GMT jason 7
Saturday 22nd March 2014 12:05 GMT David Harper 1
Way better than Virgin Media TiVo for BBC iPlayer
I bought a Chromecast via Amazon this week to find out whether it would help me to escape from Virgin Media TiVo / BBC iPlayer hell. In short, VM's TiVo system cannot play on-demand TV using the BBC iPlayer. The video stream glitches every few seconds, making it pretty much unwatchable. According to the VM engineer who came to check our newly-installed TiVo after I complained about the crap iPlayer video quality, this is apparently a known problem, but neither Virgin nor the BBC will admit responsibility.
Anyway, I'm happy to report that Chromecast solves the problem. I can now cast BBC iPlayer video streams from my smartphone or tablet to my TV, and the quality is excellent. Thank you, Google.
Saturday 22nd March 2014 16:02 GMT Neil Hoskins
Saturday 22nd March 2014 21:43 GMT Simon_E
Monday 24th March 2014 23:29 GMT Two Posts
Re: Almost perfect
Casting from a miniDLNA server to a Chromecast here. The miniDLNA server is on my Asus RT-N66U router.
Downloaded Bubble UPNP from play store to my android phone.
On start up selected the library as my miniDLNA server and Chromecast as the renderer and that's it. I only have MKVs in my Video folder and MP3s in the music folder but everything is working great.
Saturday 22nd March 2014 22:34 GMT kurkosdr
"You’ll have to do battle with pop-ups though. "
AdBlock people! And no, I don't care if websites need to make money. Either host your own ads, or find an ad server that won't serve pop-ups or malware.
PS: No interest for the Chromecast if it can't mirror tabs or play local files properly, the good news is some chinese vendor can take the same chip and build an ultra-cheap 1080p player
Sunday 23rd March 2014 19:28 GMT Anonymous Coward
picked mine up today
was going to order one from Amazon....but got distracted.. then in town today popped into John Lewis..who didnt have any yet.. but passed by PC world on way back to car, they had loads behind the counter. Picked up just one for now - been using it for past few hours - works fine, using various clients and even PC. have installed a few useful apps to allow to stream locally/efficiently.
shame it only runs in 2.4GHz as that spectrum is very full and messy... could be the cause of some peoples issues - 5GHz would have meant more free space and less disturbance from neighbours - (it also appears to not be able to use channels 12 or 13 either so very US-centric on the 2.4 :/
for home use its so far great..and will only get better the more Apps and web developers 'get it' -
but for enterprise use.... eg presentation screens, meeting room TVs etc - its really currently a no-show - doesnt support 802.1X for WPA2/Enterprise WiFi - and it has no security - ANYONE on the network who can see/detect it with their chromecast app can stream to it. needs some form of partnering/session/PIN system really (tie that into google calendars with some form of booking system - if person+room+chromecast are all booked into same session..... ;-) )
Sunday 23rd March 2014 20:32 GMT ecofeco
Thursday 27th March 2014 16:54 GMT Michael Wojcik
Re: Maybe it's just me....
I don't have any use for a Chromecast either. I've never streamed anything from any device to my TV, and never felt the desire to do so. If it weren't for my wife, I probably wouldn't have a television at all, except for the little one in the basement I use for playing video games while running on the treadmill.1 When I want to watch video, the laptop screen does just fine.
My wife does occasionally stream shows from her phone or laptop to the TV, so I know we have at least one HDMI port, but to be honest I'm not even sure whether there's another one. (Though I guess most sets that have any have at least two.)
Clearly many people do want something like this, and that's fine. And some people have noted that they find it useful for things like showing pictures at someone else's home; I can see that too, though it's not something I want to do often enough to bother with a Chromecast or the like.
But the number of commentators who apparently can't understand why anyone wouldn't want one of these is surprising.2
1This takes some practice. Slower speeds are recommended until you get the hang of it.
2Or would be surprising, if I weren't so cynical about people in the first place.
Monday 24th March 2014 08:59 GMT Annoyed Grunt
Experimental still :-(
Great concept but for me it didn't work well at all. Video from Plex and netflix stuttered, doesn't have app casting support from the usual vendors (only mirroring which requires chrome). This was over a 802.11n network with the chromecast right next to the router. In comparison other devices achieved >120mbit/sec and smooth streaming. (Virgin cable).
Also one big problem, it is hard set to use googles DNS servers. This means they unblock-us and other similar services don't work.
It's a great concept, don't get me wrong, but it is still beta in my humble opinion. I'm not a big apple fanboy but airplay currently works a lot lot better for me.
Monday 24th March 2014 09:03 GMT T I M B O
More spyware. Years ago Google was a trusted name, but the more apps i see and what they wish to know about you i feel that trust is now a big issue when getting involved with Google.
I may not be completely up to date with all the modern paraphernalia, but why on earth would Google need to know about my Phone calls, status & identity? Next they will be after my inside leg measurement. When will all this spying stop.
Monday 24th March 2014 09:04 GMT Anonymous Coward
Chromecast Vs RaspBMC?
Genuine question - why would I buy one of these when I have a RaspBMC which seems to offer all the same functionality (and more)?
I get full access to iPlayer, 4oD, itvPlayer, as well as less official streaming sites. It can access my NAS for fillm, music and photo archives. And is operated remotely from my phone.
This review tends to suggest that I need a smartTV and computer in order to operate the Chromecast - is that true?
Monday 24th March 2014 09:28 GMT Arachnoid
Tried it already
Seems to have issues when you want to change content even on an android tablet and it can at times lose connection to your tablet so you have no control at all over the dongle which carries on playing.
Setting up I had connection issues the device just wouldn't connect to the BT router and responses read via internet trawling didn't look promising.I resolved the issue by disabling the password requirement to the router successfully connected the device then after re enabling it the device worked fine with the password requirement ......why it didn't in the first place is a mystery.
As has already been stated it needs more support from other vendors I guess its akin to a new Windows version in that requirement.
Monday 24th March 2014 10:59 GMT Mr.Mister
More Chromecast possibilities
I somewhat agree with Andrew Jones 2 here that The Register could have done a bit better job here going a bit deeper in their review of what is possible and what potential the Chromecast has.
For instance owners of Synology NASes will appreciate the DLNA-possibilities of the Chromecast, as their NAS (from DSM 5.0) and their corresponding apps on mobile now has Chromecast support. I play my music files directly on the Chromecast from the HDMI in my surround receiver, and control it with the DS Audio App on my android device(s), with the server-defined playlists etc. Very nice for Synology owners to get that possibility. Plex offers the same possibility (with a better GUI) - but the DS Audio solution is free. I have only used the music player, the DS Video app is also supposed to work in the same way. The Chromecast is then playing directly, no streaming via the mobile.
Also - in the social arena it is interesting to note the Chromecast possibilities. A user of Netflix can easily cast to someone else's Chromecast. So if you get a visit from someone with a mobile and Netflix subscription (and you don't), you could decide to watch a movie from "his" Netflix at your place simply by making him cast to your Chromecast (via the Netflix app with cast support). The native Netflix app on the Chromecast somehow uses his/hers credentials and playes the content (again, without streaming from the mobile).
This last possibility has quite nice potential, if it was supported by more companies. For instance if Spotify could support it the same way: Just imagine a party with different persons using their mobiles with their Spotify users - they could easily have cast songs from their Spotify apps to the playing queue of a native spotfy Chromecast app, using the credentials of their individual users. Chromecast could then be a "common ground" for playback of Spotify content all around. With support for other streaming services, it could become the "common ground" for playback of all sorts of media content. But ok, that would require Spotify etc. to see the value of that...
Sorry if my english is not perfect, Norwegian reader/writer.
Monday 24th March 2014 13:32 GMT Mr.Mister
Re: More Chromecast possibilities
Ooops, I think I must be a little bit careful stating that the Chromecast has DLNA support. I am not sure on what protocol the NAS talks to the Chromecast apps with. It is more probable that the Synology NAS through DSM 5.0 got support for the Chromecast supported protocols. Sorry
Monday 24th March 2014 13:51 GMT stu 4
Tuesday 25th March 2014 11:40 GMT Hellcat
I could be wrong but don't the 100+ other android dongles lack the simplicity of the single button to click for the dongle to then download and play the content?
I bought a Chromecast despite having windows phones and an RT surface - none of which have any official support. Got it setup using my painfully slow old Galaxy S2, and can cast youtube using the free WinPhone Tube Cast app - that works perfectly but lacks playback controls.
I would have liked to make use of our Amazon prime instant videos with a view to drop the Virgin TV - but the tab casting plain just doesn't work. I can ping the chromecast from the desktop PC, and it has the device under the browser extension but get the "device is not available" error every time. Still, for £30 it is keeping the kids busy watching Stampylongnose and 20 minutes of silence is worth much more!