Gadget review: Cast the web to your TV with Google Chromecast
Turn your TV into a super-sized browser with the Google Chromecast, available for Rs 2,999
For a while now, there’s been a buzz about the Google Chromecast: it’s a small device that allows you to cast everything from your smartphone, tablet, laptop and PC to a smart television.
But there was a sense of uneasiness about its usefulness. Many questions were at the back of our mind. Is it necessary? How will it enhance our entertainment needs?
What we liked
Simply stated, all the device does is cast whatever is there on the screen of your smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC on your smart TV set (it needs to have an HDMI port) — be it a movie, a presentation, a video stream or simply pictures. Simply install the Chromecast app on your device, and plug the Chromecast device to the HDMI port on your TV set; pair the two and you are good to go.
Now, why is this useful? For those of you who have tried browsing on their TV set would know how painful that experience could be. With Chromecast, you can browse freely, like you would on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Just open the browser on your device (let’s say Chrome on your Android smartphone), select the cast screen button, and start typing what you wish to search. The results will appear on your TV set.
You can also install any of the Google Cast-ready apps like Netflix, HBO Go, Watch ESPN, YouTube, and watch your favourite videos and movies on your TV. Now, the best thing is everything that comes via the Chromecast is 1080p, which means you don’t have to compromise on the video quality either. Besides, you can also watch your favourite podcasts, read news as well as browse and listen to music all on the big screen.
What we didn’t like
Firstly, the Wi-Fi support is restricted to relatively slower Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n bands and not the a/c bands. Secondly, most premium smartphones already have wireless display, thus making Chrome Cast a tad outdated. However, for those who rely a lot more on laptops or PCs, and their smartphones, still doesn’t support wireless display, the Chromecast could well be an ideal investment.
Price: Rs 2,999
Available on: Snapdeal.com and Amazon.in
Rating: 7 / 10
Stream quality: 1080p
OS supported: Android 2.3 and higher, iOS 6 and higher, Mac OS 10.7 and higher, Windows 7 and higher and Chrome OS laptops
Wireless: 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Price: Rs 2,999