This is my review of Google’s New Chromecast. When Google announced that they would be releasing a new version of their internet streaming device, I ordered one as soon as I could. I have been a long time user of the first version and was excited to see what changes the updated version would have.
What is the Chromecast
The Chromecast is a $35 device that streams internet content via a small dongle that plugs directly into a TV or other HDMI device. It is powered via USB which can come directly from the device it is plugged in to or via an included power adapter.
Controlling internet streaming is done via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. There are a large number of apps that support the Chromecast natively. You are also able to send content to the device via the Chrome web browser.
Unboxing the Chromecast
The device comes attractively packaged with everything you need to get started. Within the box you will find the Chromecast itself as well as the USB power cable and adapter. A simple getting started guide is printed on the inside cover.
After opening the device, I simply plugged it into the back of my TV along with the USB cable. A setup screen appeared on the TV. I already have the Chromecast App on my tablet, and when I started the app, the device was already in the list but said that it needed setup.
Clicking on the setup button walks you through a simple process of connecting the device to your wireless network. Once I had connected the device to the wireless network, there was a small update which the device handled itself.
Setup took about 3 minutes total. I don’t think that there is anything that could be done to make this process any easier.
So What’s New?
The most obvious difference between this device and the prior is the shape. The new Chromecast is a disk with a flexible HDMI cable while the original was a rigid dongle. The device is also magnetic presumably to attach more easily to whatever it is plugged in to. For me this was not an improvement but I can see how it would be for people with a TV directly mounted to their wall.
The new device is available in three colors – black, lemonade, and coral. The previous version was only available in black.
Internally the device has an upgraded antennae as well as an upgraded processor. These should help with even better streaming then the previous device.
The app used to control the device is a huge improvement over the prior version. Previously the app was mainly used for setting up and managing a device. Now the app serves as a sort of hub for all media content with universal search.
The main screen of the app now shows content from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other apps I already use. The app is also capable of streaming audio from services like Spotify and Google Play.
I really like the search feature of the new app. Have a favorite show or movie you want to watch? Simply type it in and you will find what services have it available. You can even find YouTube videos and songs!
The Bottom Line
Overall at $35 the new Chromecast is a worthwhile buy. I would say that this is a case of the best getting even better! Get one at the Google Store! Additionally, you can check this link for free offers to Chromecast users – it is definitely worth checking out for free movies, subscriptions, and more.