You Love Google Chromecast; But Do You Love Roku and Apple TV More?

July 26, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

We had yesterday told you all about Google’s recently announced Chromecast, the streaming device that costs just $35. Reportedly, the device has been completely sold out and back-ordered for weeks.

Chromecast is a 2-inch-long dongle device that lets you to stream video, pictures and music from the internet on your TV. You can place the device on the HDMI input on your TV.

In case you want us to tell you the specs, the Chromecast has a black matte finish body that makes it easy to handle. The device is small and that makes it easy to take it with you on-the-go. You can easily throw it into your bag while traveling, that is.

You Love Google Chromecast; But Do You Love Roku and Apple TV More?

The device holds a microUSB port, a small status light and a tiny reset button. However, the device perfectly hides behind your television set. If your television set has a USB input, you can probably use it to power the Chromecast device. Google has also included a USB power adapter, incase your TV lacks a USB.

Once you plug in the device, your TV will tell you to visit the online setup using a laptop or smartphone. Then you just need to download the Chromecast setup app. The setup process will take a few minutes and you will be assisted with lots of helpful step by step illustrations by Google.

Once the setup process is completed, by using a smartphone or tablet, you can access content from four sources like Netflix, YouTube, Google Music, and Google TV and Movies.

All you need is simply press the Cast icon and select your Chromecast, and it will send the video into your TV. The Chromecast directly pulls the content straight from the data, instead of streaming data from your smartphone or tablet.

After you get the video on your TV, your tablet or handset acts like a remote. With your smartphone or tablet, you can pause content or use the scrubber at the bottom to skip forward or back. Using the device’s hardware volume controls, you can even adjust the volume.

One of the best features of Chromecast is that the image quality from Netflix, YouTube, and Google TV and Movies come on to your TV as excellent. This happens because the device streams directly from the cloud.

All these sound immensely good, but then take a look deeper into the device. At first, you could feel that Google has perfectly priced the device, but then, has it?

For $35, the device has its own demerits. It lacks any kind of dedicated app for major services. Going by a CNet review, it no dedicated TV interface for standalone use and it doesn’t support personal media on your devices.

The Chromecast lets you stream from Netflix and Youtube, but it can’t be a competitor to the Apple TV or Roku’s boxes, as both of them remain much better options as video streamers.

What we feel is that Google’s Chromecast needs more improvements and more apps so that it can be a perfect alternative to Roku and Apple TV. Lets also add, we wouldn’t want to write it off completely as these limited features have stuff in them to satisfy those people looking for a living room solution.

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