Friday, 26 July 2013

Google Chromecast

Chrome logo on a simple yet elegant device
Transforming your TV into Smart TV 

Google Chromecast, latest addition in the Chrome hardware family ( Oh yes, we have Chrome smart PC) .

Putting aside the hypes, most people would ask ,

What exactly is that small little USB device?
It is just a simple media player aka media gateaway. However Chromecast is unique not because of the concept but because of it's cheap price and design. To sum this up, Google Chromecast is just a device that hits the price sweet point coupled with nice marketing. ( Microsoft needs to learn a thing or two from their marketing teeam)  It is designed is such a way that it is portable, light and supports multiple connectivity.

In summary, this is a universal media player that stereams onluine videos and movies from Youtube and Netflix to your device, more imprtantly your TV. You can use any device of your choice, such as Apple Ipad, Iphone or any Android devices. You can also plug it into your laptops too and stream videos using the Google Chromecast The extra perks for Android users is that they can access to Google Music and Google TV and Movies. On the size and weight, the device is pretty small and light. Just imagine your USB storage.

However there are some cons to this overhype product. From some of the reviews . it seems that beta screen-mirroring feature is not working that well therefore so you are largely limited to four apps with no support for several major ones, including Amazon Instant, HBO Go, MLB.TV, Spotify, and Rdio.

Besides that, there is no remote control for this device. Hence the lack of a dedicated controller also means you always need a smartphone or tablet nearby. Imagine hugging  your Ipad tightly while watching your movie instead of holding popcorns.

The Google Chromecast price is $35 which is certainly cheap, but it comes with only limited apps and you need to use other device to control Chromecast. Certainly way behind Apple TV and Roku.

Is this worth buying?
Yes and no.

Depending on your usages, if you are on the go person with high mobility then it is worth taking due to it's small size ( USB pen drive shape ?) It is cheap and highly portable due to it’s weight and size. Just plug it in into your device which has USB port  and get ready to stream via WIFI.

No, I would not recommend this in your living room because if you are thinking about upgrading your TV into smart TV then this is an overpriced device with limited fuctions and apps. Moreover, a smart TV by any big manufacturers, for example a Samsung with Samsung Smart Hub which is already embedded inside is a part of the TV packages. Samsung smart TV has one of the best user interfaces for users out there. Built in WIFI, Apps store , video and picture sharing, built in full web browser, some models even comes with motion and voice control. They even built interface around social media such as youtube, twitter , facebook , skype and  of course including Amazon Cloud Player and Netflix videos . Therefore if your smart TV has smart hub embeded inside, why do you need another device with lesser functions?

The only perks is that you can access to thousands of apps in Google Play Store.

Sold out? Can’t get one? Then is there anything similar in the market?

Yes of course. For example , there is TV live range from Western Digital which supports much more functions compared to Chromecast,the only thing that are different is the size and the price which is only about $25-$30 difference. You have also Apple TV if you can’t wait.

Detailed specifications below. 

Model Google Chromecast
Type of productMedia Player ( Media gateaway- Streamer adaptor)
CompatibilityAndroid phones and tablets, Iphone, ipad, Chrome (Macs and Win)
Dimensions (WxDxH)0.5 in x 1.4 in x 2.83 in
Weight1.2 oz
Network & InternetUSB, Wifi , DLNA
ContentContent streaming
Web Browsing
Google Play
Amazon Instant Video
AppsAuto update via Chrome/Google Play