Why does Google like the word ‘Chrome’ for their devices? First they gave us Google Chrome, the browser, then they gave us a Chromebook, their version of a laptop, a Chromebox, their version of a desktop PC, and now they have released a Chromecast. Lets figure out what this Chromecast and if it is worth money.
Google Chromecast Facts
A Chromecast is a digital media player developed by Google. The device is a modern and crisp HDMI dongle that plays audio/video content on a high-definition display by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the Internet or a local network.
|Type||Digital media player|
|Release date||July 24, 2013; 18 months ago (United States)|
|Introductory price||US$35, £30|
|Units sold||~10 million (2014)|
|System-on-chip used||Marvell DE3005-A1|
|Memory||512 MB RAM DDR3L|
|Connectivity||HDMI (can use CEC), Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz)|
|Dimensions||72 × 35 × 12 mm (2.83 × 1.38 × 0.47 in)|
|Weight||34 g (1.2 oz)|
- The primary method of playing media on the device is through Google Cast–enabled mobile apps and web apps, which control program selection, playback, and volume. The Chromecast itself streams the media from the web within a local version of the Chrome browser, thus freeing the controlling device up for other tasks, such as answering a call or using another application, without disrupting playback. Mobile apps enabled for Chromecast are available for both Android 2.3+ and iOS 6.0+; web apps enabled for Chromecast are available on computers running Google Chrome (on Microsoft Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.7+, and Chrome OS for Chromebooks running Chrome 28+) through the installation of the “Cast Extension” in the browser. Streamed content can be Internet-based, as provided by specific apps, or reside on the controlling device’s local storage. Apps that provide access to the latter include Castbox, AllCast, Avia, and Plex.
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- Content can also be mirrored from a tab of the Chrome browser (with the Cast extension) on a personal computer or from the screen of some Android devices. In the case of “tab casting”, the quality of the image depends on the processing power of the device, and minimum system requirements apply to video streaming. Content that uses plug-ins, such as Silverlight and QuickTime, does not fully work, as the stream may lack sound or image. Google lists the feature as beta. Similarly, screen images mirrored from Android devices are typically degraded, reflecting the fact that video displayed on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones is usually downscaled.
When no content is streamed, Chromecast displays a user-personalized content feed called “Backdrop” that can include featured and personal photos, artwork, weather, satellite images, weather forecasts, and news.