Google Chromecast buyers and owners thread

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

  1. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Dave...

    The PTV is a mirroring device for WiDi(windows 8 computers and some windows 7...along with some android and windows phones). But, for now...it also doesn't work with MAC/Ipad/Ipod(I think??? I suppose Apple has jumped on the WiDi bandwagon...I hope)

    PTV does not have its own native URL...at all.(but WiDi computers, the PTV device doesn't need its own URL, as all WiDi laptops are capable of "twin screen" anyway)

    Google ChromeCast does have its own URL...but(and this is part of the confusion) it requires another device linked to the G-CC for it to even function on its own URL...which, doesn't that make its own URL pointless?

    Anyway...the reviewers out there are confusing even me. WiDi/PTV I totally understand. This... :blink:
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    The problem is it is neither fish nor foul. It isn't a fully functional stream device, though it can do netflix on it's own.It can't natively decode anything, but it doesn't exactly mirror your device, only tabs or what you assign to it.
    It's hard to really describe what it does because, frankly, it doesn't have a lot of functionality on its own.
     
  3. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    For its advertised functionality, it is quite simple. You want to watch Netflix or Youtube on your TV? You just hit the button. Future apps will support it the same way. Even for the secondary feature of showing the Facebook page in your Chrome browser on the TV, same thing.

    The issues are for people at the edges, trying to run arbitrary video, which means you need the codec and container support to decode, and then the horsepower and bandwidth to re-encode and transmit without stuttering, losing audio/video sync, etc.
    It must natively decode H.264 and WebM; otherwise the Netflix and/or Youtube functionality would not work. For the mirroring, the host device encodes to one of those and sends those bits (perhaps over a wire first, and then) over the air.

    If you mean that you can't start to watch something by itself, that you need another device -- phone, tablet, computer -- to point at something and say, "I want to watch this"; then that's feature, not a bug. Your other devices are better at finding content, and potentially better at controlling playback than any audio/video remote control ever.

    The Chromecast is a very cheap and simple way to get that content from your device onto the big screen. It's not intended to be a thing on its own -- it just makes your TV a second screen for your device.
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Short review: Total pile of shit.

    Slow
    Has trouble connecting to strong wifi access points
    Setup seems clever but then goes into stupidity by making you swap YOUR wifi access point on setup device to the Dongle itself.
    Requires USB power on a 2013 Samsung TV. Fail.
    Ridiculously too long USB cord looks ugly and stupid.
    Where is my Netflix code, Amazon?

    I'm refusing delivery from the Google Play store if I can for my other 2.
     
  5. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Sam-

    They are no longer honoring Netflix Codes. Google didn't have enough, unless you were in the very first, you aren't getting one. Sorry.

    Ken-

    No, that's not realy how it works. Yes, your PC finds it, but so far unless everyone has an experience different then mine it is definitely driving some CPU use from my connected device, so I don't know how much it's decoding on it's own and what it's just passing on to my laptop that drives it.
    I tend to agree with Sam, it's shit. Seriously, pay an extra $30 and get something good, or just pass.
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    When I read(from glowing "pre-reviews") that you could mirror one thing and still use the device sending the content for something else...

    I was like, 'oh gee, my 5 yo Acer Aspire* can already do that when connected HDMI to a TV. So can the Ipad when using the "HDMI adapter"(not what it is called, don't remember what it is called).

    :thumbsdown:

    *And it still runs Vista.
     
  7. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    It's easy to prove: cast a Youtube video or something that's at least a couple of minutes long. After it starts playing on the TV, put the computer to sleep (close the lid on the laptop, whatever) or disable its network connection (detach the cable, turn off WiFi). The video keeps playing.

    The computer may burn some CPU trying to maintain a live connection to enable remote control. But it is not required.
    How do you setup a WiFi connection that requires a password when the device itself has no controls for input? Is it possible to securely transmit a password over WiFi to a device that is not yet on your WiFi network while maintaining a connection to that network?
     
  8. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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  9. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I assume YouTube etc goes with it. I should append by saying streaming localized content.. MKV, avi, etc all definitely seems to be locally powered. I close my laptop or put it to sleep and chrome cast dies instantly, even if file is stored on a NAS.
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm glad you asked!
    https://twitter.com/BenedictEvans/status/361974666631454720/photo/1
     
  11. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Bluetooth works well with Apple, since in their wisdom, they've included it as standard on even desktops for years.

    But "tap with Bluetooth" only works well with hand-held devices. More importantly, what about all those (perhaps older) Windows computers without Bluetooth? You would still need WiFi for them? And then you would have to develop and maintain two separate ways to do setup, for a function that users need just once?
     
  12. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    I love the chromecast for Netflix and YouTube. It does one thing with Netflix that the Apple TV does not do. The chromecast passes Dolby Digital+ audio. The Apple TV is limited to just Dolby Digital. I also have the Google All Access music thing, and I don't even need to turn on my TV to enjoy non-stop music now from the service. For mirroring, I've found it more reliable than AirPlay for playing back SiriusXM from the web.

    The big downside has to do with movies from the Google Play store. Many movies for rent or purchase there are stereo only while sites like iTunes, Amazon and Vudu have them in 5.1. And even if a title is offered in 5.1 at Google Play, it doesn't seem to want to play in multi-channel with the chromecast. I bought Star Trek Into Darkness as a test yesterday to hear how it sounded and it was stereo only, despite the page saying "5.1 Surround". I suspect this has something to do with Google using HE-AAC.
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    My Chromecast finally arrived today from Amazon. The set-up was pretty easy and it is doing what I want it to do. Mirroring from my wife's Windows 7 VAIO laptop seemed pretty sluggish, but the Chrome browser on my iMac with OSX Lion did much better. I will mostly be using it for "casting" music with my Android phone or tablet from Google Play Music, but I like the flexibility and portability for other stuff like Youtube and slide shows from the web. Not the killer device it could be yet, but worth $35 if you live part or full time in the Google ecosystem. Support for more apps and 5.1 sound would definitely be steps in the right direction.
     
  14. DaveF

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    I don't have the ChromeCast, but I love the equivalent YouTube sharing feature in the new TiVo. It's quite handy being able to search videos on my iPad and then play it on the TV.
     
  15. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Rented a movie from the Google Play store yesterday evening (World War Z Theatrical Cut) and it played with 5.1 sound! :thumbsup:
     
  17. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Anyone still using? I just picked one up off Groupon for $25.Very easy setup and now I'm sending The Big Mouth from my browser to my tv off my Air. Perfect. But looks like chrome for my Samsung note 10.1 doesnt offer that feature. Anyway it's a tiny choppy but the picture looks nice otherwise. I like it.
     
  18. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    I use my chromecast on virtually a daily basis with 95% of the viewing being Netflix or YouTube from my phone, and the rest being video from my pc
     
  19. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I also bought during the Groupon deal(posted about it being $25).Haven't gotten them yet, bought 2. Should be here Wed, I hope...I finally got in because of the Spotify "hoop". If it works for various music streams...I'm happy.
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I stopped using mine after my mini review above. Sounds like it's improved a bit since then but I really have no need for this feature... Let alone a whole product dedicated to it.
     

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