Chromecast

2014/04/26

I bought myself a present yesterday: A Chromecast. Why you may ask? Mostly because I wanted something to send Youtube videos to the TV for the kids. I was doing it with OpenELEC on the Raspberry Pi, but it was not the most straight forward thing for the children.

Setting up the device was not straight forward, but this was not Chromecast’s fault. I had to fiddle with the WiFi channel of my home router (I switched from auto selection to some specific channel) in order to make it see the home network. After that, the device connected to the Net, upgraded itself and worked like a charm.

Things I tested:

  • Driving the Chromecast from an iPad and a Nexus 7. Youtube videos displayed fine and you could use the tablet for other stuff after it started streaming the video.
  • Tab casting from a Windows machine using Chrome.
  • Full screen casting of a windows machine, again using the Chrome extension.

Tab and full screen casting has about a 1.5 second delay between the laptop and the TV screen, but once you get used to it, it does not really bother you.

After one day of using it I believe that Chromecast is great both the idea and its execution. But I find it overkill for Greece where you’d mostly stream Youtube and use no other applications. Granted it is cheaper than something like Airtame, but there may be cheaper options. What sold me, was its ability to work with Chrome in order to share your desktop to the screen. Sort of a Hangout screen sharing with your TV.

Now let’s see whether edX streams through Chromecast just like Coursera does.

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