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888 of 934 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Selling Media Streaming Dongle ....... Here's why
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to penetrate the HDMI dongle streaming market, Google finally nailed it ..... and the competition for that matter.
The fact that the Chromecast has taken Europe by storm, becoming a best seller in under a month speaks for itself!

Many simply cannot afford or justify upgrading to a new Smart TV. Others might be fed up...
Published 8 months ago by Antoine Camilleri

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worked fine for about 6 Weeks before problems started
Bought from Amazon UK. Worked fine for about 6 Weeks before problems started. Picture constantly freezes. Shuts down and restarts on its own. Loses Internet connection. Various fault messages appear onscreen including one about brain freeze. I'm now lucky if it works for a few minutes before it crashes.

Can't find any way of returning to Amazon for exchange,...
Published 3 days ago by S A


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888 of 934 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Selling Media Streaming Dongle ....... Here's why, 19 Mar 2014
By 
Antoine Camilleri - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to penetrate the HDMI dongle streaming market, Google finally nailed it ..... and the competition for that matter.
The fact that the Chromecast has taken Europe by storm, becoming a best seller in under a month speaks for itself!

Many simply cannot afford or justify upgrading to a new Smart TV. Others might be fed up with wires associated with set top boxes and just want to view online media. This £30 dongle will do the job in style. And the good news does not end there.... It is very cheap, sticks to the back of your TV and can be controlled via a myriad of devices.

Very true, the market is flooded with HDMI dongles, yet the Chromecast is the clear winner and a best seller thanks to "Heavy weight" Online Media companies embracing it into their apps. Since releasing the SDK (Software Development Kit) in February 2014, many app developers are hopping aboard the Chromecast wagon, in the hopes of getting a slice of the market. Terrific news for the Chromecast owners!

Pros:
○ Does what it promises on the tin ...
○ Converts your conventional TV to a Smart TV
○ Package comes bundled with everything you could possibly need to get you up and running in no time (including a UK mains adapter)
○ *Automatically switches on your TV and tunes to the CC channel when media is routed to it. *USB must be powered from mains adapter and not from TV itself
○ Provides seamless streaming of high definition web media such as Youtube, Vimeo, Netflix, Vevo, Realplayer Cloud, BBC iPlayer (for UK only), Google Play movies, and more (depending on country)
○ Cross platform compatibility (Windows/Android/Mac/iOS Computers, Tablets and Smartphones)
○ Can be controlled via your smartphone rather than a dedicated wireless keyboard, which would probably cost as much as this device itself
○ Tiny and portable. Great for taking to a friends or family house to share media on the big screen
○ Negligible power consumption. Plug and forget. Uses no bandwidth when on standby (except for the occasional firmware upgrade)
○ Maximum Stealth. Plug and forget.
○ Unbeatable Value

Limitations:
- Single band Wi-Fi antenna operating on 2.4Ghz (802.11b/g/n). The inclusion of the 5GHz band would have been welcome, albeit few phones support it.
- Amazon LOVEFiLM subscribers will find that they cannot view their movies. This is not a limitation of the Chromecast itself ........ Amazon has launched its own Amazon Fire TV in the US (2nd April), so it is unlikely to ever see CC support. Yet never say never... as mentioned before.

Current limitations:
- Windows 8 /8.1 phones limited support. Tubecast partially addresses streaming of youtube videos
- Streaming of local media stored from certain devices .... Update :Being addressed by Plex, BubbleUPnP, Allcast among others.
- Mirroring of the Google browser screen is still in Beta version. UPDATE: Much faster now

----------------------------------
THE CHROMECAST (In a few words) :
----------------------------------
The CC is a 3inch dongle which plugs into an HDMI port on an HD TV or a/v equipment and is powered via the provided USB cable (a mains adapter is also included just in case the TV lacks a USB port). Once set up it automatically connects to the internet. It provides seamless streaming of many "popular" web media services. The Chromecast can be controlled via smartphones, Android & iOS devices and desktop computers. No need for some clunky remote controller!

* As Trustedreviews website rightfully pointed out.... QUOTE "Google Chromecast does not come with a remote control at all. Instead, you use a phone or tablet to act as the middle man between streaming services like Netflix and your TV." UNQUOTE.

What it does best is what it was designed to do: streaming of media stored on the web.

---------------------
INSTALLATION & SETUP:
---------------------
Locate a free HDMI port on your TV (or a/v equipment). You might find that there is not enough room to plug the device due to its relatively thick base. The included extension interface is narrow enough to fit next to existing occupied HDMI ports, and the Chromecast will snugly fit over it. The next step powering the device. If you do not have a USB port on your TV, or are using it for a keyboard (you won't need it any longer most probably), a mains adapter is included in the package. The micro USB power supply needs to be connected to the device itself. The unit will spring to life, indicated by a flashing LED light on the unit itself.

Setting up the CC is very easy and straight forward, An app named "Chromecast", available for iOS and Android will aid you in configuring password settings for your home Wi-Fi. The Chromecast will then automatically log on to the internet and remain connected. That's it!

---------------
HOW IT WORKS:
--------------
When viewing online media, the Chromecast will use your broadband connection directly, and not hop the signal through the device you chose to stream from. The controlling device is just a remote control. This is particularly handy when using a smartphone. There is no battery drain on the phone and it can be used as a keyboard whilst still being able to function as a phone.

However if you chose to stream local media (ie stored on a phone or computer) things get a bit more complex. Yet to be fair, the CC was not designed to handle such content.

The following apps have varying degrees of success in streaming local media:
"Plex" works on any platform and is free
"BubbleUPnP" (Chromecast/DLNA)- Android phones and tablets
"EZCast" app has partially addressed seamless streaming of media stored on iOS/Android devices.
"PlayOn" Paid subscription is required, yet it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.

-----------
CONCLUSION:
-----------
I personally consider this device the best, unobtrusive, cost effective solution for steaming web media on your TV. Yet that is only my humble opinion.... Check out PC Advisor and TechAdvisor "Best free apps for Chromecast you don't know about" for some cool apps. There's no denying that this tiny device does what it was designed to to really well.

Highly recommend, especially to those who do not have a Smart TV, Apple TV or a Roku box.

I hope you find this review helpful. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions :)
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1,771 of 1,864 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chromecast: What it is, what it does well, what it doesn't do well, and what it doesn't do at all, 27 Mar 2014
This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
Update41: Once set up via the OS's listed, Windows Phone users can now cast! Search on chromecast in the WP appstore.

Update40: More devices added to official android mirroring list: support.google.com/chromecast/answer/6059461?hl=en

Update39: Viewster adds cast capability to its android app. Watch niche Movies and TV Shows free, legally (ad supported).

Update38: Tesco's hudl2 tablet gets android mirroring, enabling ITV Player etc to be cast.

Update37: Spoticast app back 04/11/14. Makes Spotify cast ready.

Update36: Google Play Movies adds "second screen" feature. On enabled movies, info cards on the android device give film details.

Update35: In addition to Fire TV (£79 box) just launched in the UK, Amazon US announce Fire TV Stick. No info on UK yet.

Update34: Firefox browser for android adds chromecast support.

Update33: Tesco adds UV support to its cast ready Blinkbox movie service.

Update32: Choose your own content for the screensaver, via the new "Backdrop" feature in the chromecast app.

Update31: New offer of free 3 month NOW TV Entertainment Pass worth £21.

Update30: Amazon Video adds support for android phones on Sept 10th. With a phone supporting official android mirroring, the stream can sent to chromecast

Update29: Netflix app adds post-play from 10/09. Do nothing and next episode casts.

Update28: Kindle Fire TV will go on sale on Oct 23 in the UK at £79 (£49 for Prime members if ordered by Sept 8).

Update27: Now TV adds chromecast support from 02/09/14.

Update26: YouTube adds queue feature to its chromecast functionality, including collaboration with friends on same network.

Update25: Wow. Now £18, still with free Google Music offer, itself worth £30! Get one, effectively, they pay you £12!!!

Update24: Price currently (21/08/14) an amazing £20 and free delivery with Prime, plus the Google Music offer.

Update23: Firefox browser for android adds chromecast support.

Update22: The listing at 18/08 now mentions the Google Music offer.

Update21: It's not mentioned in the listing, but Google have replaced the Movie offer with a free 90 days Play Music deal.

Update20: Tesco have now added Blinkbox support. Rent/buy movies and TV shows.

Update19: The listing here says that a UK charger is not supplied. That is incorrect. Chromecast comes with both USB and mains power options.

Update18: Mirroring means I can now play my Amazon mp3's via chromecast. Can't try it on Prime video as we use stock android.

Update17: Google starting official android mirroring. My N4 got it 09/07. Can now mirror ITV Player. Looks OK, but not HD.

Update16: Stevie app for android/iOS adds support for casting Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Update15: Tubecast app allows YouTube casting from Windows Phone.

Update14: Spoticast app removed from GP due to name confusion with Spotify :-(

Update13: Improved functionality in 2014 announced in Google I/O, including official android casting.

Update12: Google now list supported apps here google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/chrome/devices/chromecast/apps.html

Update11: Blinkbox (Tesco) announce chromecast support coming. Rent/buy movies and TV shows.

Update10: Spoticast app support added. Cast your Spotify music directly to your Chromecast from android.

Update 9: The reference to a £4.99 GP credit is back in the listing.

Update 8: Cast your Google+ photos and videos from June 3rd.

Update 7: FilmOn.tv adds support from May 26th. Watch a "live" TV stream without an aerial.

Update 6: Wuaki.tv app added from May 21st. Buy/rent movies & TV shows (HBO etc), or subscribe.

Update 5: Add browser and local content casting from your android/iOS device with the EZCast app.

Update 4: Recent figures from Netflix show the average speed of a customer connection in the UK is 2.72Mbps. A 3 or 4 meg connection *should* therefore deliver a good experience.

Update 3: The reference to an offer of a £4.99 credit against Google Play content has been removed, but is still on Google Play's own site. T&C's apply.

Update 2: If the Chromecast Help links I gave are removed, please search on the terms I used and you should find them. Alternatively, please post a question and if I see it I'll give them again. Links in questions seem to survive better :-)

Update 1: BT Sport app added from April 7th.

This Chromecast review is a summary of:

*what it is,
*what it does well,
*what it doesn't do well,
*what it doesn't do at all.

so that folks know what it *will* do, as opposed to what they assume it will do, and so can decide whether it's for them.

So - WHAT IT IS:

Chromecast (CC) is a small wireless dongle, designed to be inserted into a spare HDMI socket hidden behind a TV, AV amp, console etc. No other connections are available, in or out. A short HDMI cable extender is included, in case access is tight. The dongle is about 7.0cms long tip to tip, and about 3.5cms across at its widest point. Our main chromecast didn't need the extender on the lounge TV, but the kitchen chromecast did. In use, they're both hidden.

It needs power, either from a spare USB socket on the TV, or via a supplied 3 pin UK mains plug. It wirelessly connects to your router (on the 2.4GHz channel, if it's a dual-channel model). In theory it could work away, say in a hotel, if full access to the network was available. It does require always-on internet. Set-up was straightforward for me via a BT Home Hub 4, with its UPnP and Smart Setup options disabled.

It doesn't come with a remote. Instead, it uses what you already have in your pocket, or readily to hand - a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, or a laptop. They become a remote-with-a-display, unlike the standard "buttons only" remote.

Mobile devices need to be android running Android 2.3 and higher, iPhone/iPad/iPod (iOS® 6 and higher), computers need to be chromebooks, or running the chrome browser on W7 and later, or chrome for Mac on 10.7 and higher. You'd need to ask Amazon about Kindle Tablets and Fire Phone.

It's a dumb pipe. There's no interface or menu, all that is in the app on your phone. It neither adds nor subtracts anything from the stream being sent to it. Whatever it receives from the service being streamed, it hands over to the TV, including sub-titles when present. It does show a screensaver mode, a slide show of some lovely pictures, but otherwise, that's it.

WHAT IT DOES WELL:

ONLINE CASTING:

Its main purpose is to directly stream ONLINE internet services from supported apps (what Google call "Cast Ready" or "optimized" apps), in the home. On launch day in the UK, these included BBC iPlayer (free in the UK), Netflix (subscription), Google Play Movies/Music (buy or rent), and YouTube (free). BT Sport has been subsequently added (free for BT Broadband customers), as has Wuaki.tv, part of the Rakuten Play.com Group, the world's third largest e-commerce company (buy/rent movies and TV shows or subscribe), and Tesco's Blinkbox.

New services are signing up regularly. Some are free, some subscription, some PPV (buy/rent). Just like smart TV's, or any other streaming box or dongle.

The currently featured "Google Cast Ready" apps are:

BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube, BT Sport, Sky's Now TV, Tesco's Blinkbox Movies, Blinkbox Music, Play.com's Wuaki TV, Google Play Movies, Google Play Music, Google+ photos & videos, Viewster, Vevo, Red Bull TV, Plex, Real Player Cloud, Rdio, Chrome browser and android mirroring (allowing Amazon Video, ITV Player, 4oD, and Demand 5 casting from suitable kit) and hundreds more at

google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/chrome/devices/chromecast/apps.html

Where material from these services provides it, chromecast can deliver up to 1080p video and DD Plus 5.1 audio via suitable equipment.

In the US, users don't have BBC iPlayer, BT Sport, or Wuaki.tv, but do have HBO Go and Hulu services and some US sports stuff. Otherwise the app line-up is pretty similar. The US services we don't get are not available in the UK, on any legal platform. Territorial restrictions are a decision for the service providers, not a deficiency of Chromecast. Equally, Amazon Video does not work directly on Chromecast, either here or in the US. That is Amazon's decision. Their US users can change the video settings in a browser and cast that, but the choice isn't available in the UK. UK users with suitable android phones can however mirror Amazon Video to chromecast, or use iOS device or Amazon's own kit, of course.

The development kit has been released and apparently thousands of developers have signed up. So it can be expected that more services will be supported in time. Content is king, clearly. Roku boxes and Apple TV have been going longer so have more services, but let's be realistic - if a box has a 1000 apps, 995 will likely be dross you'd look at once, and never again. The reviews for Roku's Streaming Stick make this point. Apple TV has been going 7 years, and it still doesn't have BBC iPlayer, or indeed, any UK catch-up player. It has iTunes, but otherwise its online offering is poor. Where it scores is mirroring an idevice via Airplay. In an iOS house it makes perfect sense.

Still, many reviewers compare chromecast with other, more expensive solutions, or complain because it doesn't provide a function it was never designed for. On a £30 gadget, I think those expectations are a little bit unrealistic. Personally, I don't think it's comparable with any box solution.

Cutting to the chase:

*If you already have an Apple or other box with wires and yet another remote (at 3 times the price), or your MAIN NEED is to mirror something else, show local content, or cast a business presentation, don't bother with chromecast.

*If you prefer your own home server set-up, have multiple connection requirements, or want to overcome territorial restrictions with dubious work-arounds, don't bother with chromecast.

*If you have all the smart services you want on other kit or a smart TV, you don't need chromecast.

*If you only want Amazon Video via a Kindle tablet or phone, it won't work with chromecast. If you have an android phone which doesn't yet support mirroring, get Fire TV or wait for Fire TV Stick to be released in the UK.

But if you want to add access to some or all of the listed online streaming services, without another box, without more wires, in your home, neatly, cheaply and effectively - get a chromecast. Get two. Or three. There is nothing to touch it at this price. And it will only get better.

With CC, you browse the service you want on your mobile device, choose your title, press the cast icon on the app, and that tells CC to grab the stream directly from the internet. It's then doing the heavy lifting, so your device is free to take calls, browse, do whatever - even be switched off - although in practice you'd probably leave it on, so you can pause the stream when you go and put the kettle on.

On my Nexus phone and tablet, I can pause/stop the CC even with the phone locked, a neat touch.

This feature cannot be over-stressed. With an cast-ready optimized online app, CC handles the streaming, NOT your device. The device isn't being tied up mirroring and eating battery, and you don't have cables cluttering up the gaff.

On our set up it handles this main function very well. In fact, we have iPlayer on the TV and PVR, and the equivalent on CC is better. It loads quicker, and buffers less. We have Amazon Video with the old Lovefilm app on the TV, and frankly, I prefer Netflix (more on Amazon Video later).

Hidden away, no wires, no box, not another clunky remote you use by looking up and down from the TV. What's not to like?

We got CC #1 last year from Amazon US, to add Netflix and Google Play Movies to our existing line up, and it does this brilliantly and discretely, on our BT connection via a Home Hub 4. So much so we got CC #2 direct from Google on UK launch day to get some smart services on the kitchen telly.

That's its main purpose, and it does it simply and well. For £30 max. You can spend nearly that on a bottle of wine in Pizza Express!

WHAT IT DOESN'T ALWAYS DO WELL:

BROWSER CASTING: (PC/Mac, android/iOS)

CC has a beta feature where you can cast a chrome browser on a computer, hence the reference to PC and Mac. You're looking on your laptop at, say, the M&S web-site, with a little video going. With the cast extension from Google Apps, you may be able to cast (mirror) that browser to the TV. In some instances, you can maximise the video so that it fills the TV screen.

The cast extension for the chrome browser is available here:

chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-cast/boadgeojelhgndaghljhdicfkmllpafd?hl=en

On a recommendation I've just installed the EZCast app on my mobile devices, and can now cast a browser from them. It is available for android and iOS.

More information on browser casting is available here from Chromecast Help, entitled "Casting a Tab":

support.google.com/chromecast/answer/2998338?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=4602553

with the difference between casting an optimized app, and casting a browser, here:

support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3265953?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=4602553

LOCAL CONTENT CASTING: (PC/Mac, android/iOS)

In addition, you may also be able to cast your local content from a computer or mobile device over to the big screen. I've dropped jpegs and mp3s into a blank chrome tab on my laptop and they cast fine. With mobile, people mention the Plex app a lot, also Allcast. EZCast also does local content as well as browsers. I can already show my stuff on the big screen using Samsung's Allshare DLNA style feature, so this is not a major need for me.

So, it can be done. It's a bit like dancing dogs. The wonder isn't that it's done with mixed results, the wonder is that it does it at all, given the main aim of chromecast.

Success with either beta feature, casting a browser, or your local content, depends on the material, your kit, and your network. Pushing video across is intensive, and users have reported varying results. Sites that use plug-ins such as as Silverlight, Quicktime & VLC are not supported, and may result in a lack of picture or sound. Sky is an example.

Bear in mind chromecast is primarily an ONLINE streamer working with cast-optimized apps. If general browser or local content casting is your main requirement, in all honesty, look elsewhere. A cable connection will be less tidy, but likely to be more successful. A way round this with local content would be to set up an account with YouTube, and upload videos/picture slideshows to that, setting them private as required. Same with Google+. You'd then browse to them from their apps on your phone, and cast from the internet.

WHAT IT DOESN'T DO AT ALL:

It doesn't work with Windows Phone.*Update* 23/11/14. WP users now report success with cast ready apps in the Phone store:

windowsphone.com/en-us/store/search?q=chromecast

It doesn't support Amazon Instant/Prime Video directly, as the listing page says. That's an Amazon decision, not a deficiency with Chromecast. It only works on their mobile kit, their new Fire TV, the just announced Fire TV Stick, or iDevices. An iDevice apparently can push it to Apple TV via Airplay, as now can phones supporting android mirroring, listed here:

support.google.com/chromecast/answer/6059461?hl=en

Amazon list compatible devices here:

amazon.co.uk/gp/video/ontv/devices

It's fair to say most of these are likely to cost significantly more than £30.

Chromecast doesn't include ITV Player, C4OD, and Demand 5, or Sky services. They might come, who knows. Apps are there in Google Play, and presumably iTunes, so if they wanted they could do a re-code and add a cast option, just as BT Sport did. You could spend a £1000 on a new TV, and still not get all the UK's catch-up services. If they can be viewed in a chrome browser or android mirrored, the stream may cast.

The "Q&A" section has many posts about Cartoon HD. Bottom line, it's a mobile app which doesn't support CC. As a mobile app, it can't be viewed in a computer browser, so browser casting via the Cast extension isn't an option. On mobile, it may cast via a third party extension.

If you use Cartoon HD, bear this in mind. The original app was withdrawn from the two main app stores due to concerns. Various similarly named successors are popping up. If the service is free, how do they make money? Ads? I don't know, I've no cause to try it. If I had, I'd be carefully looking at the "permissions". What are they phoning home with from your device? Just a thought.

Equally, people ask about Show Box/Popcorn torrent services. They are not "cast ready" but may cast from a browser or mirror, if you sideload their apps. Whether you'd want to is another issue. Neither is on Google Play. Popcorn helpfully comes with a free VPN. They say "Our user's safety comes first!! Therefore we added a free Built-in VPN so you can use Popcorn Time ANONYMOUSLY!".

Or you could just source your content legally and not be worried.

Summary:

That's it really. What it does well, it does well. What it doesn't do well, it doesn't do well.

And what it doesn't do at all, it doesn't do at all.

Please read the tin. Visit Google Play Devices and read their listing. Read the reviews on PC Pro, PC Advisor etc. Go to the Chromecast Help Centre and read that.

If you want a box with various connection options, another dumb remote (some don't even have a volume control), more services, and non-domestic functions, pony up the extra cash.

If you want a simple, neat, cheap device to add some smart online services, with more to come, spend pocket money and buy a Chromecast. Some will say it provides a pocket money service. Fine. They will tend to support their own solution. That's human nature. Make up your own mind. If the Apple or Roku solutions do more, they should. They're more expensive. Apple TV makes sense if you want to mirror content from an iPhone. That's its USP. Worth nothing if you use android.

That they do more, and Chromecast does less, does not make Chromecast crap at what it is DESIGNED TO DO - easily add the specified ONLINE services, without a box and without wires. On the main TV at home. On other TV's in the home.

For that, as a value-for-money, neat solution, it is incomparable.

But please, do read the tin :-)
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gobsmackingly Brilliant. Works really well!, 18 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
I had my doubts about this but bought one for my neighbour (early Christmas present) and... "what the heck, only 30 quid"... one for myself.

I am gobsmacked how well this works. Plugged it into my TV HDMI socket, then power from a nearby socket (my TV has no USB port, which can be used to supply power ......No power on HDMI? What an oversight!...), switched TV input to that HDMI input and there was my Chromecast, ready to connect to the Internet and update itself (controlled using Chromecast app downloaded to my laptop).

After a couple of minutes, I was selecting a programme to watch on BBC iPlayer on my Android tablet, pressing the iPlayer "cast" button, and watching my programme (in pretty good HD) on my TV!

I also tried YouTube and we had great fun selecting old Top of the Pops clips on the tablet and casting them to the TV.

ITV, Channel 4 and 5 are not supporting this device. Sky are thinking about it. Well I think they will all have to think very carefully about this as this device is a huge winner and they will be the losers. Well done Auntie Beeb for having the foresight to support Chromecast which I LOVE. I am perfectly happy with all my BBC programmes (though no radio) as well as the odd YouTube video. Yah, boo, sucks to the other broadcasters!
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276 of 298 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Peasy TV upgrade, 8 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
So easy to set up!
Open box, remove dongle and power cable (there's a flexible HDMI adaptor in there too if you need the dongle to sit flush with the TV, if you're TV is wall mounted for example) plug dongle into HDMI inlet, power cable into USB port (or plug into mains adaptor if you don't have a USB on your TV - also supplied) connect power lead to dongle, then open your Chromecast app (I'm using the iOS version) It then locates your device, you confirm your network password and bosh!
That's it! Good to go...
You get a wonderful crisp 1080p picture, (I have experienced no buffering issues so far either - and that's on a measly 3 Mbps connection, so much better than is the norm on my YouView box :-$)
You've got UK support for YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BT Sport (!) Vevo and some others too, which will work from their native apps on your phone/tablet similar to AirPlay.
In addition, if you use Chrome as your browser on your PC/laptop then unsurprisingly there is a free browser extension available from which you can beam your browser screen to your TV screen, which effectively gives you access to all of the other players available or pretty much anything else you wish to view.
Purchased as a cheap alternative to the AppleTV on our main TV, this works just as well on a technical level and the browser extension gives me potentially just as much content.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, some issues but plenty of workarounds - use with plex for best results, 28 July 2014
By 
Brains (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
I'll add my voice to the thousands of others here and say this is an awesome product when combined with a Plex media server. It streams HD content effectively 99% of the time, we have had a few issues with movies freezing in Plex, but this may have been due to other wifi networks clashing on channels - there are a lot nearby - or interference from the microwave or a configuration/processor issue on the Plex server. We have only had this issue once in 6 weeks.

The flexibility of being able to play all your media from one place is unprecedented, especially if you have your TV hooked up to a good sound system for music. The Chromecast can be controlled from both IOS and android devices from anywhere in the house, which is great when the kids want to watch something and I'm not in the room - I can stay in bed in the morning and send them down to the lounge to watch peppa pig without having to get up/dressed etc.(lazy parenting tip) However - note that currently, the android version of plex doesn't provide the ability to queue up or play whole series. In IOS this is achieved with a long press. The only other problem with plex is sometimes it is necessary to stop and resume the film if the portable device was switched off or lost it's connection with the Chromecast, a minor niggle.

It works effectively enough with the other streaming channels such as BBC iPlayer and again can be controlled from a tablet/smartphone.

I have not managed to get it to stream well from the google chrome browser. I don't know what the issue is, I have a fast PC and reasonable wifi speeds. The TV is in the same room as the WIFI router, but the videos are choppy and unwatchable. I could not find any advice that fixed this so gave up in the end. If you install plex, you won't need to stream media that way anyway. (But you will need either a smartphone/tablet or a wifi dongle so the plex server on your PC can see the chromecast dongle directly)

There have been a couple of issues where one of us has been watching something and another person has taken over the Chromecast - there is no warning on the controlling device if something is already being streamed, so it can cause arguments, or be weaponised with justin bieber.

Lastly, there are a couple of emerging games in the google play store, these are very basic at the moment but demonstrate some potential for future releases.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what BT Sport and PLEX needs, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
For those of us who up to now have only been able to access BT Sport via a tablet or laptop, this is the solution to displaying it on a flat screen tv without using an HDMI cable. The BT Sport app now has a Chromecast 'button' which tells the Chromecast adaptor (plugged into a spare HDMI port on the tv) to use its own 'built-in' BT Sport app to start decoding the stream directly. This means the quality of the stream is maintained and the tablet or laptop can be turned off or used for something else. The only other thing that is required is a power feed - a mains adaptor and cable are supplied but if your tv has a spare usb port you may be able to use this instead. My LG tv has 3 usb ports very close to its HDMI ports and I purchased a short usb to micro usb adaptor cable for a very neat installation.

For those of you who have a PLEX media sharing setup I recommend this as a means of getting PLEX on your TV if it hasn't got PLEX 'built-in' (like my LG) or as an alternative to using DNLA. If you aren't using PLEX I recommend having a look at plex.tv. Its the best all round solution to keeping all that media under control!
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443 of 491 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but..., 23 Mar 2014
By 
Richard H (Peterborough, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
Superb device, and so cheap. Works brilliantly. An absolute must buy. But... Pathetic Amazon won't allow the tab browsing function of desktop Chrome to sream Lovefilm videos to Chromecast. Absolutely fed up with Amazon and their petty refusal to work with Google, especially as the whole Kindle operating system is a knocked down version of Google's own Android OS. As well as refusing to allow me to access my Lovefilm account on any Android device, this latest petty stance from Amazon makes me mad. Closing Lovefilm account and getting rid of any Kindle software and devices. Had enough. Sort your politics out!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What No One Tells You - It's Even Better Than You Ever Imagined !, 26 Nov 2014
By 
Mr. N. Bain "Nigel B Bain" (nr Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
Chromecast is a very simple and inexpensive way to upgrade your ordinary TV into a Smart TV via wifi & smartphone. But what no one tells you is this.It's even better than you ever imagined. It does even more than they tell you.
Used in conjunction with the Chromecast App, you can use your Smartphone (you need to check it's suitable) to mirror caste any of its screen images onto your TV screen,fullscreen. Simply tap 'Cast Screen' under 'Devices' on the Cc. phone app. Then using the usual apps, you can view your e.mails (and type/send new ones via your phone keyboard), order from Amazon, watch flights/departures from your local airport, read and type your letters etc etc etc - all on your TV screen as you like. (I say nothing about 'Security'.) Yes, everything you do on your phone can now be transferred to the Big Screen for convenience sake.
Add to this, the capacity to display your smartphone pictures & videos (the Allcast app is also useful here), play back missed BBC programmes on I Player (no luck with ITV however), watch 'You Tube', hear your own favourite music, see films from Netflix etc etc etc - all on TV.
Then you can also play any Programmes you download which show the Chromecast Logo. (I enjoy 'Deutsche Welle' for example.) And so on.
I only get about 1mb broadband reception via my router. This is not as high as is normally recommended. Even then, buffering where it's needed may take a little time, but I generally seem to manage pretty well.
In short, Chromecast is a superb piece of equipment. Don't listen to the detractors or you'll miss the bargain of the century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worked fine for about 6 Weeks before problems started, 23 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
Bought from Amazon UK. Worked fine for about 6 Weeks before problems started. Picture constantly freezes. Shuts down and restarts on its own. Loses Internet connection. Various fault messages appear onscreen including one about brain freeze. I'm now lucky if it works for a few minutes before it crashes.

Can't find any way of returning to Amazon for exchange, telling me it's out of return period. Contacted Google UK support for exchange, after 40 minutes on the phone running through various checks to remedy problems,they agree to exchange my Chromecast once I have provided proof of purchase from Amazon. They tell me they will email me me with the details. One week later no email received. Back on the phone the Google UK support for another 40 minutes. After running through the same time wasting checks, they tell me they can't help me, because they are in the Phillpines and don't support the UK. They tell me to phone the UK support line and give me the same number I already have. I phone Google UK support for a third time. I ask them, before we go any further, are you the UK support helpline, they say no, but it doesn't matter, they can help me anyway. Another 40 minutes later running through same time wasting checks, they tell me they will get their experts to look into the problem and get back to me.

I have not heard from them, still no idea how to return faulty Chromecast.

I would advise anyone wanting to buy a Chromecast to but one from a local shop like Currys, PC world or Argos, that way you can return it to the shop.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Media Streaming, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (Personal Computers)
Takes about 10 minutes to setup with updates very simple. Once you up and running casting is very easy even for me and I've never streamed media before. I wasn't sure it if it would work with my PC but you simple download the cast extension for your chrome browser, chromecast is designed to stream media already available online like BBC Iplayer Netflix and Youtube or media that is playing in the chrome browser to your TV and it does this perfectly. , time to say goodbye to cables. Best £30 I've spent in a long time.
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