Google Chromecast buyers and owners thread

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Sam Posten, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    /facepalm
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    So, what this is, is a way to make "anything" WiDi...but with content restrictions that WiDi doesn't have.Am I close?
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Sounds like something my father would love.

    _Man_
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    what I meant is a decade ago, no imagined such a thing. Specs and TVs are trailing what can now be done, such as these dongles :)But I didn't realize that HDMI 1.4 enabled power over HDMI. So that's cool.
     
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I got my one from Amazon today and the Google ones are still coming gosh knows when. I am not sure how they can be that screwed up. I paid zero for my Amazon delivery and $8 for the Google play one. /fail

    I didnt even unbox it today, will play tomorrow.
     
  7. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I keep thinking I'll write a longer review, but I've got to catchup on Blu-Rays this weekend, had 4 in the mail this week. But my really short review: pretty well sucks. Quality is not so hot, performance is mixed, mine at least stalls. I have it connected to my Panasonic 3D set, and it doesn't power off of HDMI, but I was able to get it to power by using the USB port on the set.. still.. the more I thought about this, the more you realize that, damn, Refurb AppleTV's are $60, Roku's can be had for $50, and all this does is show you what you can get in Chrome on a set. I was hopeful I could use this to connect with MediaBrowser3, but the results pretty well suck.

    Very unimpressed.
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    So I should keep my PTV then...
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Reading Erica Sadun's quick take indicates only confuses me further. http://www.tuaw.com/2013/07/25/why-chromecast-may-be-cool-after-all/Today, in the TUAW backchannels, we've been discussing Chromecast, Google's sub-$40 streaming dongle for television sets. I like the idea and will probably buy one. If I'm understanding the early publicity correctly, Google has two really strong use cases, but I don't think it's any kind of "competitor" to Apple TV. It's another thing entirely.The real draw for Apple TV isn't mirroring. Sure it mirrors, and sure you can stream data out to it, but you do so with a lot of DRM issues -- with the motion picture and recording industries hovering over your shoulder and making sure you behave. (That's probably a big reason why Google isn't open-sourcing their SDK.)No, the reason people use Apple TV is the content. The draw is Netflix. The draw is Apple special events. The draw is music and slideshows. The draw is any of the other subscription services that let people like Dave Caolo watch baseball. You don't have to bring your phone to ship over compelling material, you just sit on your couch and watch....While content streaming makes sense for some things -- presentations, sharing photos, etc. -- it's not always the best for high bandwidth TV shows and movies. That's why Apple TV comes with an Ethernet port and onboard services that let you catch up without having to mess around with your cell phone or tablet.So where do I expect Chromecast to succeed? For travel -- both business and personal.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  11. mattCR

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    Anything that will play inside of the Chrome browser will play on it. It mirrors what's in the browser.
     
  12. Hanson

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    It will mirror content from a Chrome browser window, which is the only way to get Amazon video working. It does not natively stream it.
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

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    Yeah, basically, its best use is probably as a Chrome mirror interface for mobile devices (and laptops perhaps), which is why I imagine my father loving it.For everyone else, you're likely best off sticking w/ AppleTV or Roku or the like... _Man_Sent via HTF mobile app
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm still confused. Is it mirroring, by local wifi, what's displayed on the mobile device (as AirPlay does for ApplyTV)? Or is it being sent a URL and then independently loads that URL?
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    From the first page comments I had the impression this was precisely what it doesn't do. I thought it was being sent an URL and then independently loaded that webpage. But it wasn't actually mirroring a web page live from the mobile device. It is doing an "Airplay" type device-to-dongle streaming.

    So can I install Chrome on my iPad and watch Amazon Prime videos on a TV with a Chromecast?

    I don't know why, but I've found the explanation of this cheap device by the great multitude of tech bloggers and journalists utterly confounding.
     
  16. schan1269

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    Dave...

    I've been reading along and it seems the "bloggers/reviewers" of this device don't understand stream vs mirror*. I stopped reading reviews for that reason.

    What the ChromeCast is...is this...

    http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-PTV3000-100NAS-Push2TV/dp/B00904JILO/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1375031279&sr=1-1&keywords=ptv3000 (which I have the 2000 version as the TV I use it with is 720P...and don't care about the 5.1...as I don't think anything I have has 5.1 sound to be sent anyway)

    But works only with the Google Browser.

    Plus is, it works with everything that uses Google.
    Minus is, (and this is only if you have a WiDi device) it doesn't do everything the PTV do.

    *One reviewer even referred to it as a "mirrored stream"... :wacko:
     
  17. Ken Chan

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    As I mentioned on the first page, if you think of the three things AppleTV does, Chromecast does only two. It does stream via URL sharing. And yes it does mirroring -- however:

    [*]It is rarely mentioned, but requires decent CPU power. Not a problem for recent "normal computers", but interestingly a problem for less beefy Chromebooks.
    [*]You can choose 480p or 720p.
    [*]It mirrors the content of a tab. On Windows at least, there is an experimental feature to cast the entire screen, but that just crashed the extension for me.
    [*]Some web content that uses a native plugin does not work correctly. For example, QuickTime and Silverlight are officially listed as not working. With QuickTime on a Mac, there is no audio; perhaps QuickTime routes audio directly to the computer's audio system, while sending the image to the browser to be composited with the page. Therefore Chrome cannot capture to audio in order to cast it.
    [*]If you open an .mp4 file with Chrome, then its native renderer is used and the video and audio are cast successfully. But take the same H.264 and AAC streams and package them in a .mov and Chrome wants to hand it to QuickTime, and it doesn't work, as described.
    [*]I've read people have had mixed success with .mkv. That might come down to the renderer they are using, and maybe even how specific video and audio codecs are handled.
    [/list]
     
  18. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    MKV pretty much only works if it's MP3 audio and simple video. Anything I've thrown at it with HD streams or PGS Subtitles dies.
     
  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Still on the fence whether I really want this or not.

    Sam's review isn't very positive.

    Right now, it's out of stock, so that gives me time to
    think about it more.

    In the meantime, I'll keep reading this thread...
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ken - I read your first page post, thought I had it, and then got turned around from subsequent reviews.

    Sam - Unfortunately, I have no idea what a "PTV3000-100NAS" is or what it does :)


    For a cheap device, it's weirdly complex and confusing.


    I see now: it's Chrome browser specific. (Where "Chrome" is the browser, not the OS. I don't know if this includes Chrome browser on ios.) This is not a screen-mirroring device. It's a Chrome-browser-single-tab-mirroring device. And sometimes it's a URL-sharing device, and is not actually mirroring the source device.

    The short answer for me so far is: it won't mirror my iPad screen or an iPad browser tab so I don't have any use for it. If it turns out I could watch Safari prime video from iPad to TV with this thing, that might change my interest. (Unless I first get a new Tivo that works with Prime.)
     

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