When Google finally announced that the Chromecast is available in the UK I couldn’t help myself, my curiosity took over and I ordered one. Having finally plugged it into the tv, I now find myself exploring the many great ways, and apps, to ‘cast’ my experiences from my smartphone, iPad, and macbook to the tv screen.
As my tv is now a few years old it does not have built in smart tv functionality like so many newer tv’s do, so I can’t access YouTube or send videos from my other devices straight to the bigger tv screen. Whilst I have other boxes that allows me to stream from my NAS drive to the tv, the Chromecast is potentially something I will use to replace those other boxes going forward, allowing everything to be controlled from my smartphone, tablet, or through Chrome browser.
Getting the Chromecast set up with my tv was very easy. I simply plugged it into an available HDMI port, connected the micro USB to the AC power (my tv does not have a USB port for powering the Chromecast), and then accessed the Chromecast app on my iPad to get it all set up. Within a minute, and some automatic upgrades, it was up and running and I was playing around with the YouTube app on my iPad Air. All very straightforward and intuitive.
Considering the low cost of £30, my first impression of the Chromecast is very positive. Knowing that more and more apps will likely start supporting the service, I look forward to start using it more and more, and hopefully start replacing some of other streaming boxes that I have, and getting rid of some remote controls.
I will be back with more information/review of the Google Chromecast over the coming days. For the moment i’m testing out some of the official and recommended apps that support it, as well as some others, such as LocalCast, which allows me to easily cast content stored on my NAS drive.
As for the future, the first thing that comes to mind for Google to add to the Chromecast dongle is some sort of WiFi Direct feature, allowing the device to generate it’s own wireless network to connect to for casting.