With the whole cutting-the-cord thing when it comes to cable, I’ve been wanting to try some streaming devices. However, I also wanted to read up on them first to see which one I should try first. I chose Google Chromecast because it was cheap. We’re all trying to pay less for mediocre entertainment these days. I’m betting the cable companies are getting stations and data for pennies on the dollar while we (a.k.a. their cattle) are being shepherded into paying the price of our first born to watch only 10% to 15% of the 150 channels being shoved down our throats.
Anyway, back to my review. Hooking the thing up is easy enough as long as you have an HDMI connection on your TV. So is downloading the app to run it. But here’s where I take issue. Make sure you have Android 4.4.2 or you’ll find your casting capabilities lacking when it comes to certain “Chromecast-specific” apps. For instance, we had no problem with casting YouTube to the screen–I’ll talk more about that in a minute. But when it came down to Just Dance Now 2015, that can be a painful son of a b****. It works on one phone but not the other. Or I should say, I can’t cast on one of my tablets (Android 4.4), but I can the other (Android 4.2.2). Go figure that one.
Now, let me get back to the YouTube thing. While you can cast all of the videos and shows you want, you had better have a seriously good internet connection or huge bandwidth or something. Otherwise, you’ll end up with starting and stopping, lagging, and grainy videos. Even having Elsa belt out “Let It Go” wasn’t enough to put a smile on my face because hers looked pitted like a peach seed. The jury is out on whether or not it could be my internet connection because I’m with Charter Spectrum, which sucks like a puppy on his momma’s tit. But that’s beside the point. I also have an internet extender, so I’m not sure if that’s helping or just sucking up energy out of the wall socket.
But back to Chromecast. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s worth keeping. It’s cheap, which is nice. I also want to see if getting a new router might do something, too, since mine is considered a little old (4+ years). The whole point is that I expected more of Chromecast, but the good news is I didn’t get my hopes up quite as high as I had with a Roku I had tried about two years ago. At $35, I think I would’ve found more pleasure in buying myself a new pair of jeans. Nonetheless, I’m on the fence about Chromecast. While you have some things (movies and TV shows, depending upon your source) that are free, not everything is. I found I still needed my Amazon Prime subscription, if I wanted to see some shows and movies. The same goes for those with Hulu and Netflix. And if you’re like me where you like to have the TV on regardless of the channel (so it doesn’t feel like you’re alone in your house), then your best bet is to queue up about 10 or 15 programs on YouTube to keep you company.
If you’re like me where you like to channel surf and have a few options based on the channels you know and love, streaming isn’t for you. When it comes to streaming with Chromecast, don’t cut your cable cord yet. You’re better off trying it out first, and then making a decision before you 30-day return policy runs out. I, for one, won’t be taking a pair of scissors to my cord just yet. But, at least, my five-year-old can watch some Nickelodeon and Disney in her room without my having to pay for an extra cable box. That alone is a plus.
Overall: It’s okay. I’ll have to update this once I’m sure my 4+ year old router wasn’t the issue.