From focusing on its browser to making a fully-fledged gaming service, Google has released multiple ways to make your online life easier. But there was another work they’ve done that set a new bar for watching television back in 2013: a streaming media adapter that we all know as Google Chromecast.
It’s not perfect but it does its job well, especially for people who wish to watch what they’re viewing on their phones and onto a larger screen.
What is Google Chromecast?
Google Chromecast is a USB dongle specially made for TV viewing. You will need a TV with an HDMI port in order to connect the device. Mainly, you can use your phone to act as the control panel but you can do so with a laptop, computer, or tablet too as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Activate the Google Chromecast once you turn it on within the screen sharing mode of your device. Once it’s on, Chromecast will transmit what you’re playing or streaming from the device and into the TV, allowing you to watch shows from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, and the likes. You can even use Chromecast to play audio on your TV or mirror whatever you’re doing in the device such as browsing through the home screen.
It does its job well and for $30 to $70, depending on what model you’re getting, it’s worth every penny. There are some flaws to it (which we’ll get to later) but nothing too large.
Why You Need It
If your TV doesn’t have Internet functionality or Android TV, Google Chromecast fixes that problem. Just plug in Chromecast to the HDMI port and you already have a solution. Whatever you stream on your device, it goes directly to the USB dongle and onto the TV screen.
When you have a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or just want to watch a 10-minute meme compilation on YouTube, it’s always better to watch on a larger screen. The standard Chromecast supports up to 1080p resolution but a more expensive Chromecast can go as far as 4K.
Google also announced that its USB dongle will also support Google Stadia – a streaming service dedicated to gaming.
When Do You Not Need It
All that is good but if you’re not a subscriber to any streaming services, there is no point in buying this.
Additionally, if you’re looking to mirror the game you’re playing on your device to the TV, you get a few seconds of delay. Besides, it’s not very ideal to mirror games on mobile. First of all, touch-based controls do not have the same hand-eye coordination with controllers or mouse and keyboard. Second, there are input lags too; an input lag refers to the delay of execution when you press a button.
If you prefer to convert your game from the devices to the TV, consider using a proper HDMI cable instead. If you own a PS4 or Xbox One, it makes the Google Chromecast useless since these two gaming consoles do what Chromecast provides.
Also, if you are already subscribed to TV services with streaming capabilities, you really don’t need Chromecast. For example, you have DIRECTV (click here for the review), the service gives you a free TV box like Roku to allow Internet features on the TV. it bids the same for Verizon FIOS and DIRECTV.
Chromecast is Worth the Price
If you meet the prerequisites above, then Google Chromecast is worth it. But if you have an Apple TV or Roku TV, ignore the Chromecast because the two boxes can do more than just channel whatever you are streaming.