Monday, November 18, 2013

Google Chromecast Pros And Cons

If you're not already familiar with Google Chromecast, you soon will be, as it's promising to be the next big thing in streaming entertainment to your television.  Chromecast is basically an HDMI dongle that plugs into the HDMI port of your television and receives streaming media from your computer or tablet, which acts as the remote. So, you can stream media from certain apps on your computer or tablet into Chromecast via your wireless network and onto your television set.  I got mine in the mail the other day and was able to give it a few good test runs and while there are some great things about it, there's definitely room for improvement.

Pros And Cons of Google Chromecast

Chromecast Pros:

  • At $35, Chromecast is an inexpensive way to get into streaming media
  • You can cast anything from your computer so long as you can open it up in your Chrome browser. If you want to stream an MP4 or AVI movie file, just hit CTRL O, in Chrome, browse for the file, open it and hit the Cast icon.
  • You can cast Netflix, Hulu, Google Movies, Google Music, Pandora and Youtube from your mobile device
  • It's a much more portable device than a Roku or Apple TV. It fits in the palm of your hand. 

Chromecast Cons:

  • There's currently no way to cast locally saved videos from your mobile device to Chromecast. So, all those movies you ripped and put onto your micro-SD card are not currently usable.
  • There's no security to speak of. Anyone who has access to your wireless network can take control of your Chromecast.

As of right now, we're on the cusp of realizing the true potential of Chromecast. Once Google releases the API and third party developers begin making apps for it, Chromecase will truly be a versatile streaming media solution. It's not there yet, but I'm confident that it will be soon. If you've already got a streaming media device like a Roku or a gaming console,  you can probably skip Chromecast for now. However, at only $35, why wait?  

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