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Customer Review

1,439 of 1,512 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Selling Media Streaming Dongle ....... Here's why, 19 Mar. 2014
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 want to view mainly online media. This 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! Android lollipop 5.x now supports screen casting/mirroring.

Pros:
○ Does what it promises on the tin ... and getting better.. (Localcast for Android & Videosream for desktops work great for streaming local media)
○ 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 see CC support. Yet never say never... as mentioned before.

Current limitations:
- Streaming of local media stored from certain devices .... Update :Being addressed by Localcast, Videostream , Plex, BubbleUPnP, Allcast among others budding every other day.

----------------------------------
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.

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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. Update: Now even works great with local media !!!

The following apps have varying degrees of success in streaming local media:
• Latest Android Lollipop v5.x works great and with minimum lag in casting your device screen to TV
• "Videostream" for Windows and Android works a treat. iOS version improving.
• "Localcast" for Android is brilliant
• "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.

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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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Tracked by 12 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 49 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Mar 2014, 19:49:52 GMT
Great in depth review. I have a question, can Chromecast be used to stream video using something like MX Player or equivalent?

Thanks in advance for a reply. :-)

Posted on 19 Mar 2014, 20:32:48 GMT
Karl C says:
You are correct that Plex can be viewed without a subscription on the Chromecast, by playing the video in your Google Chrome browser and then casting that tab to the chromecast. However, if you do have the subscription service to Plex then you can login via plex.tv and cast directly from the Plex media server to the chromecast. This gives better video quality and less audio-video sync problems. Also, it means you can use your smartphone or tablet to send Plex videos to your Chromecast.

What is more, Plex have said they will make all of these features available free of charge, so you won't need a subscription, but have yet to announce a date.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014, 20:33:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Mar 2014, 20:34:40 GMT
Karl C says:
You can use an app called Allcast to send local video, photos and music to the chromecast....although the quality and speed isn't fantastic. I believe Google are currently working on an app of their own.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014, 21:12:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Mar 2014, 21:16:45 GMT
Antoine says:
Thank you for your kind comments. At the moment I do not think that this is supported, yet I am quite sure that the market will soon be flooded with apps supporting the Chromecast.

Plex support has started a few days ago and others will follow suit. Plex is available for free and is cross platform ... yet I will check and see what is available.

Just checked and Plex is cross platform. Yet Karl has suggested yet another app which is called Allcast.

Thank you,

Best Regards,

Antoine

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014, 21:15:10 GMT
Antoine says:
Hi Karl,

Thank you so much. I have just finished setting up Plex, which was your idea! I will install Allcast and see how that goes.
Thanks a million Karl.

Best regards,

Antoine

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2014, 07:20:39 GMT
Andriod says:
Lots of questions should I buy it?

I have a andrion phone and I has some local phots and videos

Can I go to my gallery app and cast them?

If I use Skype on my phone can I cast this on my TV

I sometimes use PDF on my phone can I cast these on the big screen

Sometimes on my phone I use google chrome can I cast that we page on TV?

Can I have like a live screening mirror of my phone streaming like a big VERISON on my TV. So whatever I do on my phone, its mirrored onto my TV??

Thank you very much « Show Less

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2014, 14:38:16 GMT
Antoine says:
Hi Android,

Apologies for replying a bit late. For an android phone you can use "Allcast" to stream pictures and videos, yet it is on the slow side. You could also try "Plex", which I find to be a bit better. You can cast your Boogle chrome screen to your TV.
The Chromecast concept is to view youtube, netflix, BBC iplayer... on your TV using your android phone as a remote.

Yet due to its ever growing popularity applications are in progress in order to acheive what you have asked me. As it stands right now, there is no app which handles your requests well. I am sorry to disappoint you, yet all is not lost. As I explained in my review, rest assured that these apps will improve in the very near future.

Best regards.

Antoine

Posted on 21 Mar 2014, 22:45:58 GMT
Thanks for taking the time! Very informative.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Mar 2014, 16:19:37 GMT
Antoine says:
Hi Mr. Winston,
Thank you very much! I am glad that you found the review helpful. I will keep updating the review to reflect new apps which support the Chromecast.
Much appreciated sir!

Best regards.

Antoine

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Mar 2014, 10:08:48 GMT
richo100 says:
Hi Karl,I'm a new user of iPad Air so not too tech savvy at present!!!!wanted to ask can I stream anything from my ipad to the TV,ie Lovefilm which I subscribe to if I purchase this item?thanks.
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Antoine
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Location: Malta G.C.

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