Chromecast, the popular Google accessory that enables people to watch Internet content on their TV, is an easy way to extend the Internet onto a big screen. While a computer-to-TV interface sounds great, there are some things Chromecast can’t do. But with hundreds of millions of “casts” under its belt, it’s a simpler, easy way to get web content onto your TV without resorting resorting to pricier options via streaming boxes like Roku or Apple TV.
A Solution On A Stick
Chromecast uses a simple dongle design to create a wifi connection between a TV and a computer (or smartphone). The dongle fits into a TV’s USB port, and can be powered by the HDMI port, or by an external power adaptor (included).
Using the device to connect to an HDTV requires a computer, tablet or smartphone that runs Google’s Chrome browser with the Cast browser extension installed.
Things It Does Well
Some of the things that Chromecast does well include:[contextly_sidebar id=”MRebymGdepN3MVwhaojo5HYix9P9sHZS”]
Streams Web content with ease
Streams music from the Internet (Pandora, etc)
The price – $35 – is good compared to other products that offer similar functionality
Packaged in a delightful, Apple-like box, Chromecast packaging is easily recycled.
Things It Doesn’t Do
Before jumping onto the bandwagon, it’s valuable to know some of the things that the device cannot do, including:
Streaming music or video that is stored on your computer
Opening Google Drive content (except for Google Drive presentations)
Does not “mirror” things on your computer screen. However, this feature may be coming soon.
Google reportedly has 6,000 developers signed up to integrate their apps with Chromecast, so new apps will likely be emerging.
Installing the device takes only a few minutes. Good installation instructions can be found on the package, at Google’s Chromecast setup site, or on YouTube, where lots of videos explain installation.
Where To Get A Chromecast
They are easy to find at over 30,000 stores globally. In the U.S. they can be found for $35 at Best Buy or on Google’s Chromecast Web site. One can also find it at Amazon, where it is the number one selling electronics product.
Reasonably priced, beautifully packaged and easy to install, Chromecast is a good way to stream content to a TV. Equally important, Google seems committed to improving the product’s usefulness, and developers are creating new apps that should make it even more valuable to users.
As Google gets into home automation and competes with Amazon’s Echo, the device may become integrated into an array of services, according to some observers.
Want to learn more from users? One of the best places to read reviews and comments is on the Chromecast Reddit page. In addition, Amazon customer reviews are a good place see what people don’t like about the device, and about what they do like about it.