Google Chromecast

Chromecast

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.

Chromecast Icon CircledOf 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.

Chromecast YouTube Chromecast Netflix

No More Monitor, No More EverQuest :(

I recently decided that I wanted to make my return to EverQuest after 5 long years, but then my monitor decided it doesn’t want to turn on anymore.  My video card has an HDMI so I can plug my HDTV in so I can still use my computer, but now my issue is that EverQuest crashes before it can begin to load the game.  So much for that idea.

My monitor is a 20.1-inch Sylvania SK2000w-b Widescreen LCD.  What it is doing is when you turn the computer on, the screen doesn’t turn on and the power light turns green and starts blinking over and over.  The screen never actually turns on, it used to turn on after a few minutes, but now it isn’t turning on at all.

I googled the model number and found out that it is fixable.  I found out on the Fixya website that the problem could be that the capacitors have gone bad.  My first thought was, what the heck is a capacitor and how do I fix it?  So I looked at YouTube and they have a video that shows a guy who bought a monitor from a thrift store for only $2.98.  It’s not a Sylvania, but he is showing what a capacitor is and shows you how to identify a bad one and how to remove the old and replace it with new.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02uLSu1Jj5M)
It looks really complicated, but I’m sure that once you figure out how to remove the solder from the capacitor and are able to replace the first one, the rest are a cake walk.  Hey, if it works then I get my monitor back and I can play EverQuest again, but if it doesn’t then I still have a 20.1-inch paperweight, so really, what is the worst that could happen?  I mean sure I could buy a new monitor, but who has that kind of cash?  I could pay someone to fix it for me but they would end up charging me half of what a new monitor would end up costing me.  I can pick the parts up at Radio Shack and fix it myself.
I think that if I can build a computer, I can replace a capacitor, right?  Yeah… easier said that done, but we’ll see how it works out.
My concern about EverQuest is that I will have to cancel it before they charge me for another month, but I haven’t really had that much time to play with it anyway and I don’t want to keep paying for something I’m probably not going to be able to play very often.  I may as well cancel my account and go back to it when my monitor has been fixed.  I waited 5 years, I’m sure I could wait a little bit longer until I can fix it.  Who knows, I may be back in the game by the weekend.  I think I can afford to spend up to $10 on capacitors rather than $200 for a new monitor.