What do you think about Google's Chromecast? Did you buy one?
This is being pretty heavily interpreted as Google's Airplay competitor, and it seems to be far better than what Google tried to offer with the Nexus Q last year. It's on sale now for $35 (https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=c...), and people seem to be clamoring for them already.
What do you think about Google's new TV-centric offering? Did you buy one? Will you buy one? Let us know below!
I'd also have liked to see them release an audio-only version of this product. I'd like something that I can connect to a set of speakers with a headphone jack. I'd put them around the house and suddenly have a whole-home audio system.
For what this does, it's pretty nice. At the moment, though, I have a Google TV which appears to be getting the Chromecast update, so that's good.
I experimented with DLNA a while back and was very dissatisfied with its ability to pause, fast forward and rewind from your easy chair. It could be that I was using a limited version of DLNA, but it left me cold. What I'd love to see is an Android version of AirPlay -- or heck, a licensed version of AirPlay like DoubleTwist and Twonky use.
But I'm practical. I'll use Chromecast, much as it creeps me out, IF it delivers a seamless device-to-AVR-and-TV experience.( I add AVR because music is even more important to me than video.) If it doesn't, to heck with it. Roku and Apple TV aren't perfect, but at least I know they're the product; with Chromecast, if course,the product is me.
It looks like your chromecast and your laptop definitely need to be on the same network, but a network connection is not required. I tested this out, but unplugging my cable modem and dragging an H.264 video I downloaded into a chrome tab (so anything chrome can play, the chromecast can play? Don't have enough different formats of content to actually test properly) and hitting the cast button and it works, so at the very least, you don't need an internet connection and it doesn't seem to need upload the content your playing somewhere to then play it back (I'm not 100% sure it still doesn't send some type of information to some google server somewhere, didn't really have time to install a networking capture app to get this info, but you do have the option to not send usage information during setup with the setup app). There is a slight delay when you hit cast to it actually playing, maybe a second or two. Content still plays on your browser tab, but audio turns off, while playing on your chromecast connected TV. You can view webpages, both offline and on the internet, there's also a slight delay in registering mousing and dragging gestures. I tried Netflix, Youtube, and the Xfinity comcast site and they all see to broadcast fine from the chrome browser.
It reminds me of PLAiR (sucks to be these guys) a lot:
Also, it looks like it's based on the DIAL protocol that's been jointly maintained and developed by Netflix and Google:
Overall, I think it's a neat little device, that would be cool for travel and trips and when you just want to watch something not on your laptop, but on a bigger screen. This could also be cool for presenations and such.
If anyone has any questions, I'll try to answer them.
B) I don't think this is possible to do during setup, but I'm not 100% sure, I'd have to try the setup again without a network connection. During setup, I downloaded an app on my computer and did the configuration (entering a 4 character code displayed on the screen and entering in the WiFi information of my network) from there, but from there, it doesn't look like you absolutely need an active internet connection to use the chromecast if all you want to do is send local videos/audio to the chromecast.
But still, I think this is really interesting, and since it's running a Chrome OS-based thing, it could get only better. The tab-syncing thing is what makes me most interested, because Google has been able to get some really spectacular things going on in Chrome tabs. Technologies like OpenGL and WebRTC are possible in Chrome tabs.
Put into perspective, even if it's not quite as good as I initially hoped, and even if it doesn't get better, at least I'll get to watch 3 months of Netflix for free on a device that costs a little more than half the cheapest Roku. It should still be able to do some pretty cool things for an incredibly cheap price.
But I don't think it will be in my country anytime soon, so I won't be buying one
Turning on the TV is a cool trick, I am not sure how thats accomplished, but I am 100% sure it can't turn on my home theater sound system.
I like the idea of mirroring (not really mirroring) your web browser, phone or tablet to your TV. I like that the chromecast app is an app and not part of the Android system. I like that developers can choose to enable if they want.
I don't like that this is being compared to Apple TV because it obviously is not; that would be Google TV.
If you watch anything in a browser and you want that on your TV instead of your computer or laptop or phone or tablet then this product should appeal to you. Just because it is not a full fledged app running Apple TV competitor doesn't mean that it's not a great, cheap product.
I see this as finally being the reason the Cupertino kids drop the price of the Apple TV. With Roku LT being on the market at $50 for this long I guess we needed something else to show just how overpriced the Apple TV device really is.
Oh, I'll buy a Chromecast in the hope that someday it'll let me play podcasts from my HTC One through my Denon AVR and Panasonic plasma. ButI've got a hunch it won't work any better than the Airplay module on DoubleTwist. Until the day I'm proven Wrong, color me Grumpy, Suspicious and Privacy-Loving.