Google Chromecast is a $35 Netflix and YouTube casting device that allows you to watch videos from your Android or iOS device directly on your TV. All that’s required is a TV with a free HDMI port. It’s also nice if you have a free USB port on your TV as well because Chromecast requires external power, which it can get from either being plugged into a wall outlet or a free USB port.
There are five officially supported apps for Chromecast at this point with more coming our in the next few months. Currently these are Netflix, YouTube, Google Music, Google Video and Google Play Movies & TV. While the Google Cast API is not fully released, it’s still marked as a developer preview, there will be many more Chromcast apps coming out once this moves out of developer preview.
What Else Can You Do With Chromecast?
You can currently stream your local content from your device, running the Chrome browser, to your TV using Chromecast. This is done using the Google Cast extension for the Google Chrome browser. Currently file types such as mp4, m4v, avi and mpeg can be streamed. However mkv files don’t stream with audio. Just open your Chrome browser, once the Google Cast extension is installed, then type Ctrl+O (commend+O on a Mac). You can then navigate to the local content you wish to stream.
Using the Google Cast Chrome browser plugin you can also, “Cast this tab”. That is you can stream any tab you have opened locally onto the big screen! Not only this, but you can even “Cast entire screen”. While this second feature is still experimental take a look for yourself.
Chromecast Owner Review
I’ve owned the Chromecast device for several weeks now, and absolutely love the device. Setup was not difficult, there was one step I had to re-try, but I was up and running in very short order. Streaming YouTube and Netflix couldn’t be easier to do, and the quality is surprisingly high. It’s also very fast. Going from opening the Netflix app to actually casting full HD content takes less than 60 seconds.
I have noticed that my play controls sometimes disappear while streaming Netflix. Basically if I exit the app, to check an email or text message, the play and pause controls may disappear. To get them back I have to close, and re-open the Netflix app. While this is a bit inconvenient at times the video content never stops streaming so there’s no interruption in content viewing.
Over all I highly recommend the Chromecast device, and am looking forward to more app releases. I’ve also recommended it to friends and family who are also loving their new Chromecast. If you own one, or have any questions about owning one, leave us some comments below we’d be glad to hear from you!