I am not much of a techie compared to the husband so writing this review is really a challenging task for me as I don’t know the right lingo to use. But as this product is not currently (officially) available in Singapore yet, I think it’s worth taking a closer look at it before making a purchase. In my layman’s terms. Do note there are some people in the ‘grey market’ already selling this at exorbitant prices on tech forums here. Worth it or not, read on.
Introducing the Google Chromecast, a compact HDMI dongle device that provides easy access to enjoy online videos on our TV screen. Just plug into any HDTV, connect to your home wifi network and we can start streaming our favourite videos on TV from our smartphone, tablet or laptop. No more straining your eyes and ears with small screens!
The box consists of the Chromecast dongle, USB power cable, HDMI extender and power adapter.
Here’s a quick run-through of my set-up experience –
Connect the Chromecast to the TV with the USB power cable. You’d then see a white blinking light on the dongle once in place. Alternatively, you can also power the dongle with the adapter, whichever works for you.
Next, download and install the Chromecast app which can be found here.
I use my iPad for the set up so upon launching the app, this is what I see. Just follow the step-by-step instructions.
After you have named your Chromecast, it will next prompt you to select a wifi network. Select your usual home wifi network and you’re ready to cast.
You should see this screen on your TV when your Chromecast is successfully connected to your wifi network.
Open any video with the YouTube app on the iPad and you should see the Chromecast icon on the top right hand corner of the video. Click on it and select <your Chromecast name> to stream the video on TV.
See, it just takes a few seconds!
And the good thing about it is, while this video is playing on the TV, you can still access the YouTube app to search for other videos. However, if you don’t have a sound system yet, adding one is a good move as well. You can choose from a wide array of great Chromecast soundbars in the market if you want to go this route.
Chromecast works with Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome Mac & Chrome Windows and supports the following operating systems:
~ Android 2.3 & up
~ iOS 6 & up
~ Windows 7 & up
~ Mac OS 10.7 & up
~ Chrome OS
My overall verdict after using this for a month?
– Affordable price of US$35
– Compact device with a sleek design
– High resolution images & videos with good sound quality
– Doesn’t support Kindle and Windows Phone
– Only supports 2.4GHz wifi networks
– Supports limited 3rd party apps
If you’re a frequent YouTube user, I’d think this product will come in useful for a better viewing experience. Also, you can download the Google Cast extension so you can cast content from your Chrome browser to the TV whether it’s a website, video, document or photo without cable or cord clutter.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t support the popular PPTV and Funshion 风行网 apps for streaming movies.
If you’d like to purchase the Chromecast, you can do so from one of its authorised distributors/retailers, Amazon.