I didn’t know what to get my partner for Christmas because he doesn’t seem to show any interest to anything. Everyone has a hobby of some sorts, but not him, so buying presents is difficult. Last month he bought a new tablet from Verizon and I remember seeing the ads for Chromecast, so I figured this would make the perfect gift for him so he could watch Netflix and YouTube on his HDTV.
Of course when it came, I couldn’t get it working. I thought the setup would be easy, but it was anything but. His tablet recognized it, but wouldn’t connect with it. I decided that he could use my CR-48 (Chromebook) to watch Netflix, so I installed the extension and it recognized the Chromecast and connected instantly. I went back to his tablet to the Chromecast app and it was already connected there too. Despite the fact that I never even installed the Chromecast app on my Nook HD+, I see the Chromecast connect icon on Netflix and YouTube.
When I bought the Chromecast through the Google Play Store, I read the reviews and saw a couple of people bitching about the fact that you cannot watch home videos or pictures you have taken with your phone or tablet, but I found that to be false. If you own a Chromecast, when you go to the Google Play Store on your device you will see a category with apps made specifically for Chromecast. There is an app called avia which says you can share your personal photos, videos and music on the big screen. The app is free, but it might be limited because it says “In-app purchase of $2.99 gives you Chromecast support, casting to DLNA enabled devices, access to Dropbox, support for themes and removes all ads.” As with everything in life, read the reviews and decide for yourself. There is only one app that will allow you to share your personal photos and videos… for now.
Loading the Chromecast is simple. When you want to watch something, just click the Chromecast icon so it streams to your TV, then hit the play button and it will automatically switch to the Chromecast. When you are done, you will have to get the remote control that came with your TV to switch the input back to the cable. It’s actually very easy.
It’s a great device for those who don’t have an internet streaming device like the Apple TV, Roku or a Blu-ray player, it’s also cheaper at only $35.
Here are a couple of screenshots of YouTube and Netflix with the Chromecast icon.