In this column, you have seen reviews of most major media streaming devices including Roku, Boxee, Movie Night, Logitech Revue, Rabbit TV, as well as few others. While it has been out for a while, I just got a hold of Google Chromecast and within a few minutes of owning it, placed it at the top of the list.
It came with a USB power cord and an HDMI extension cord with claimed to be able to enhance wireless performance. It boasted cross platform compatibility and was installed on all devices allowed, including; an iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab3, MacBook Air 2011 and Windows 8.1 desktop. For OSx and Windows, install meant having an extension installed on your browser, while the android and iOS version had actual apps. Between setup and installing of all the apps across the different platforms, it took maybe 15 minutes.
It was now time to “cast”.
Chromecast was tested on 4 different devices;
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
- Apple iPhone 4
- MacBook Air
- Windows 8.1 desktop
AND with the following apps;
First off, I want to tell you what I find to be the best reason for a MacBook Air owner to have Chromecast. Two words; External monitor. You no longer have to use, or rather purchase an Apple branded monitor or other compatible external monitor, as you can now “cast” your Macbook right to your nearest TV. While it does not boast compatibility with all apps, it is compatible with the Chrome browser. This means, that any app you have that does also have a web based app can be projected on the easier to see TV. These apps include; Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, and general sites that can be fully controlled by your mac.
As for mobile devices, including the Galaxy Tab3 and iPhone 4, it not only allows for what you read above, but imaging viewing Youtube and Netflix on the big screen ? How about having the best music from Songza there as well ? Well, it is not just a wish, it is 100% do able, without distortion or loss of signal, etc. No more squinting or needing the reading glasses. You can effortlessly transmit your favorite movie, video or song right to your TV.
Chromecast works just as flawlessly on a Windows 8.1 desktop. You now have the ability to transmit any browser based app or even just a simple website, to your TV. Now, while you are typing away, you can easily get others to follow along an see what you see.
This is definitely a must have gadget. You can learn more on the Chromecast Website.