Chromecast

Just out, I purchased one of these to see what it was like. At the simple cost of £30, the device connects to an HDMI source and USB socket for power.

The setup process was really simple. Plug it in and give it power and you are taken through a few simple steps of setup…  I am lucky in that my TV has an HDMI input right next to a USB socket that provides external power, otherwise you would need an extra plug (provided) to power the mini-USB port.

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All plugged in on the side of the TV, the device isn’t as small as I’d hoped, but it is supplied with some HDMI extension cables to position it where its required.

Once its connected, the screen displays a  setup screen asking you to connect to the device through a browser in order to set up and configure the device.   I was surprised to see the device is supported on Android, IOS and Windows devices, so as I don’t own an Android device (probably the best one for compatibility) I decided to test out the Iphone instead.

Visiting the setup page on an Iphone prompts you to download the Chromecast app on the phone.

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The setup page shows the device name at the bottom, so that you can connect to it as a Wifi source to proceed with setup – all very simple.

You are then prompted to connect to the Chromecast device as a wi-fi source, so it can continue with its setup, so as shown on my Iphone you can clearly see the Chromecast6116 broadcasting an SSIS to connect to when you go into Wifi settings.

20140320-123528.jpgand when you connect, you are then greeted with a connection accepted message on your Iphone app as shown below

20140320-123601.jpgIts at this point you can then opt to rename your device to something more suitable and it asks you to enter the password and SSID of your local area network so it can connect to the internet.

Of course, once connected you wait for a few minutes for the device to download updates and the latest version of its operating system and then

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Waiting at the update screen for it to download the latest update over wifi

 

What suprised me is that the device itself doesnt turn your TV into what was touted as a “smart tv” interface.   Part of me had expected a menu to appear and then a sort of media remote on the iphone to control the menu options, but instead once ready the screen just prompts an “awaiting” command, and you are then asked to launch a compatible Chromecast app.      On the Iphone at present there is only BBC Iplayer and Netflix that I could test, and they work well as the video content is streamed by the Chromecast device not the phone once its told to do so (you could in effect turn off your phone and it would carry on uninterrupted).

However until a larger amount of compatible apps appear (and these may be more free-flowing in the Android environment) then I think i’ll be giving this up to my dad to use with his Hudl and stick with my AppleTV for Netflix and other Airplay related apps.

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