Two weeks ago, Google began selling Chromecast. Just plug it into the HDMI port on your television and wirelessly stream content to your television from your computer, Android or iOS device. Chromecast is on the market for $35 a pop. Google says the device is "the easiest way to watch online video on your TV."
Reports and demonstrations show this device is small, convenient and very user friendly. Similar to Apple TV, Chromecast easily transmits content to your TV with the click of button, in this case the Cast button found on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Once content is up on your TV it can be paused, stopped, or fast-forwarded from the device that Cast it in the first place. Suddenly every device in your home may be connected to your television. Chromecast is integrated with Netflix, YouTube, the Google Play Store and your Chrome Browser allowing the video streaming to work better and faster than ever.
Some Room For Improvement
Just like many other products on the market today, there are some room for improving of Google Chromecast. First of all, there is a very limited amount of content available to stream to your TV. For any given app to work with Chromecast, the developers must first build in the functionality. I imagine it will take quite some time for all of our favorite apps to jump on the Chromecast bandwagon. So for now, streaming with Chromecast is limited to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Chrome.
I'm also not thrilled with the fact that Chromecast must be powered up through a USB port or a wall outlet, adding an additional chord hanging from the back of my television. Additionally, thought setup is pretty easy and billed as "Plug 'N Play" you still have to know how to change the input method on your television set in order to get to the correct mode for Chromecast to work.
Chromecast vs. Apple TV
At first blush, Chromecast appears to be very similar to Apple TV, so lets take a deeper look at the similarities and differences of these two products. Apple TV is designed to sit somewhere under or around your TV, while Chromecast is designed to connect directly to an HDMI port. Chromecast and Apple TV let you sling content from supported apps on your mobile device to your TV. Chromecast, however, streams content directly from the cloud (with your mobile device acting as a remote) where as Apple TV runs the content on your mobile device, with the output displaying on the TV.
Apple TV allows you to mirror anything that is on your iOS device's screen, even your apps that don't include built-in slinging capabilities. In contrast, Chromecast cannot mirror anything from iPhone or Android phones. The list goes on and I am sure we have not seen the final version of Chromecast. But for now the two items rival one another in features and in price. Chromecast goes for $35 opposed to Apple TV's $100 price tag. Are you willing to pay more for additional features? Or less for a newer product such as Chromecast? Have any of you been fortunate enough to try out Chromecast and Apple TV? Please comment and let us know what you think!