tl;dr version: Save the $35, its not ready for everyday use or on large screen devices.
A few quick notes to consider before you get started. Consider how your audio is played. For example I run all my video and audio through a receiver, so while I was able to get video after setting up my Chromecast directly on a TV input I couldn’t get audio. When I connected the Chromecast directly to the receiver it worked properly. However, that means I couldnt power via USB since I have no USB on the receiver, so I need to find an outlet for the power adapter.
The setup wizard was straight forward.
- Connect your Chromcast to an available HDMI port and either USB port on the TV or power outlet
- Turn on the TV and change to the input assoicated with the HDMI port you connected the Chromecast to
- You should see a message similar to “Set me up”
- Go to google.com/chromecast/setup
- Download the Chromecast app, copy to the install folder and run the app
- Accept the license agreement
- The app will find your Chromecast, click continue
- Verify the code in the Chromecast app matches what is displayed on your TV and click Thats my code
- Select your wifi network and enter your wifi key/password and optionally, change the name of your Chromecast device and click continue
- The message on your TV should be similar to to the Chromecast app – connecting to wifi, then downloading updates if necessary
- Once the updates are complete, the Chromecast device will restart and apply the updates
- Click continue on the Chromecast app
- Click on Get Cast Extension which is a browser plugin to stream from Chrome to your Chromecast device
- A new Chrome window will open, click on Add Extension, click Add
- Click the Cast icon in your browser and select your device
- You can now see your browser screen from your computer on your TV (less navigation bars)
via OSX Mavericks with Chrome
- There is enough of a lag from the video playback to give you a headache. This could be either
- A) 802.11G not being fast enough
- B) TV refresh rate being to slow (60Hz)
- C) Video quality from the web being to low for a 52″ TV (YouTube/AMC.com Walking Dead Webisode, the lag seemed consistent also on NBC.com)
- If you are not using Chrome, you will have to, there seems to be no support for other browsers
- Cannot watch Amazon prime videos in full screen mode
via an iPad (and assume iPhone)
- Notifications do not seem to interfere with video/audio playback.
- Can only seem to stream from Youtube or Netflix, the Chrome browser in iOS does not appear to be aware of the Cast app.
via Windows Phone 8
No support for WP8, this may end my WP8 experiment before it even really got started
Its a $35 device, and that is about on par with the quality I might expect from a $35 video device. Hopefully the Chromecast isn’t a one and done type of device as I think it could be useful with more device and website support. I will look at testing this more with an Android device, maybe its a bit better working with the Google ecosystem or as a travel companion, however for now I’ll stick to streaming through my Blu-Ray player and internet enabled TV. Take the $35 and put that towards a night out or towards a Roku.