#1 By: Jason Fitzpatrick, September 9th, 2013 12:34
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/171690/htg-reviews-the-google-chromecast-stream-video-to-your-tv/
Scarcely larger than a thumb drive, Google’s new cloud-to-HDTV wonder the Chromecast promises cheap and dead simple video streaming. Does Google deliver? Read on as we take the Chromecast for a high-def spin.
#2 By: Naman Sood, September 9th, 2013 13:04
If you have kids old enough to watch Netflix kids content, for example, but not old enough to treat a smartphone or tablet with care
My sister and me were allowed to use our dad's phone (Nokia N900 in my time, Galaxy S4 in hers) before we were allowed to use YouTube.
Is it possible to load Android onto it and use your TV as one giant tablet (minus touch)?
#3 By: Xhi, September 9th, 2013 13:22
My tablet an Acer A500 has an HDMI port, don't know if yours does, many do. That ships the screen and sound to the TV. A Blutooth or a USB Keyboard and mouse turns it into a great desktop. You can still use the touch on the smaller screen if you like.
#4 By: A happy, September 9th, 2013 13:30
A rapsberry Pi... $30(?) And with xbmc it can do all these things ( I think) and more.
#5 By: Keltari, September 9th, 2013 14:15
Yep, Chromecast is a complete waste. Anything that can run a full desktop OS will be infinitely better than the Chromecast.
#6 By: LucSchots, September 10th, 2013 00:13
And it would be nice if the unit were available outside the USA. As of now, it's impossible to get it in Belgium...
#7 By: Jason Fitzpatrick, September 10th, 2013 11:31
Technically the Chromecast is running a heavily modified version of the Android OS with a lot of key components stripped out. Realistically, it probably isn't going to be running a full-fledged Android release with app support anytime soon (or at all).
While I agree a RaspberryPi unit running Raspbmc can do more it isn't going to do it for $35 and it isn't going to 1) play Netflix or 2) easily stream any desktop content you want.
The basic board for the Pi is $35, a cheap case is, at minimum, $10, you'll need an SD card (another $10 or so), an HDMI cable ($3), and as far as a remote control goes you can either use your phone (free or a few bucks) or buy a remote with dongle for around $20. So realistically you're already about $60 into the project without Netflix which is a big deal breaker for many people.
I love the Raspberry Pi and XBMC, in fact I'm the one responsible for writing the majority of Raspberry Pi and XBMC articles on How-To Geek, but for $35 the sheer ease of use and instant Netflix access provided by the Chromecast is a really great value. I wish Raspbmc (or Linux in general) would get native Silverlight support so I could watch Netflix in Raspbmc, but that's not happening anytime in the near future (and because of various DRM issues it probably won't ever happen). Right now the only option for a Linux-based XBMC install to get access to Netflix is to use some sort of Rube Goldberg like in-home streaming server setup to sling the Netflix from a system that supports it (like a Windows 7 desktop) to the system that doesn't (the raspbmc unit).
#8 By: Rizzoli, September 10th, 2013 11:47
Nice write-up - thank you. Two questions:
(1) Can this co-exist with Roku? I use Roku for all the usual Netflix/Hulu/Amazon but also like to watch the latest episodes of TV programs on my PC - both from regular TV sites (ABC, TNT etc.) and free TV sites.So - can I have both Roku and Chromecast plugged in and functional at the same time (my TV has 2 HDMI ports)?
(2) When streaming from a Chrome tab - what is the procedure between landing on the page with the video and "casting it"? Does the little extension box symbol show up on all pages with video?
#9 By: Naman Sood, September 10th, 2013 12:02
I meant after finding exploits, gaining Superuser, extracting ROM, examining it, and decompiling some stuff, is it possible to run something like Cyanogenmod on it?
#10 By: localhost, September 10th, 2013 12:43
Its running a stripped down version of ChromeOS - one without the Dalvik, which rules out app installs natively. As for installing Cyanogenmod, I don't see why it can't be done. The hardware is quite capable too, 1.2Ghz dual core, 512MB RAM, and 8 or 16 (I can't remember which) of internal storage.
#11 By: Naman Sood, September 10th, 2013 13:10
The hardware was the exact reason why I asked this question
#12 By: James Mason, September 18th, 2013 20:56
My Chromecast arrives tomorrow!!!! Will the Google Chromecast duplicate what video I have streaming on my laptop? Does it have to be on a Google Chrome browser? I was tripping on my HDMI cable that I had connected from my laptop to my HDTV, and was reason why I purchased the Chromecast.
#13 By: Jason Fitzpatrick, September 19th, 2013 14:34
Yes, that's the catch. You have to be able to watch it in Chrome. Whether you can watch it natively or with a plug-in/extension doesn't matter it just has to play in the Chrome window.
#14 By: James Mason, September 20th, 2013 11:21
However when my I click on my chromecast icon.. all that is displayed is the Netflix, Youtube, and the google play and music icons. I must be missing a step here.
#15 By: Miss Bliss, September 23rd, 2013 21:35
Can you cast video that you're playing on your smartphone via mobile chrome? Or does it only work on chrome for PC?