android experience technology

Google Chromecast – A detailed review

Chromecast is what I am going to talk about today.

It’s been more than a week since I started using the Chromecast and it is amazing! After yesterday’s blogpost, I thought of writing a short, yet detailed review of Google Chromecast.

The Box

Google Chromecast comes in a simple package. The box looked large at first, but when I opened it, all I saw was the device, a USB-HDMI cable and a wall charger. They could’ve packed it into a smaller box, like how Mi does it.

Chromecast Setup

Chromecast comes with a simple setup process. I plugged the device into my TV’s HDMI port and connected the other end into the USB port of the TV instead of the wall charger. The device booted up and asked me to log into chromecast.com/setup to set my device. I followed the instructions and downloaded the Google Home app (previously Chromecast app) to proceed with the setup process.

Within the next 30 seconds my Chromecast was paired with my phone. Once that is done, I connected the device to my home WiFi and the device was ready to go. The whole process took me less than two minutes.

Google engineers have put so much thought into making this a simple onboarding experience. Anybody can do it.

Streaming Quality

The streaming quality in Chromecast was excellent. I was able to stream Youtube videos on to my TV in HD quality and I had no problems. I tried a few 1080p videos and they were smooth. The best part about this was my phone’s display wasn’t turned on when the videos were streaming. I used my phone’s power button to put my display to sleep, but the video was playing in the background. I was also able to control the volume of the video using my phone’s volume rockers.

The Cast feature in Android was fun. I tried casting my phone screen.I tried playing one of the video from my Amazon Prime video app using the cast feature. I turned off the rotation lock and was able to see the video on my TV in landscape mode. This is a workaround as Prime video does not support streaming through Chromecast.

I also tried streaming a few pictures from my Google Photos account and was happy with the output.

Streaming Apps

Apart from YouTube, I’ve also tested streaming from the following applications – Hotstar, ALT Balaji, Netflix. I used the Localcast app to stream videos which I had in my mobile. For those who wish to stream videos that are present in their phone’s local storage Localcast would be the right choice.

Casting from PC

Chromecast also supports streaming of content from a PC browser. It was simple as I had the chrome cast plugin installed on my Google Chrome browser.

Idle Screen

When you aren’t casting anything, Chromecast shows images from the web. But, you can also configure the settings were you can project albums from your Google Photos, Flickr, or Facebook accounts. I linked my Flickr account and was able to see my pictures on the big screen.

Verdict

Google Chromecast is great device worth considering if you wish to turn your normal TV into a smart TV.

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