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Thread: Chromecast

  1. #1

    Google Chromecast

    So who is getting one?

    For those who missed the announcement:
    http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome...ecast/#netflix

    It's a device that plugs into ANY HDMI port (TV, Monitor, etc.) and streams video. It's basically a device similar to AirCast from Apple but without some of the restrictions. For example, you don't have to have the video displaying on your phone/ipad, it doesn't have to be an android device any device with YouTube, Netflix, etc. can connect to it. It can stream tabs in chrome (such as Hulu, ESPN3*) and seems to work quite well. Oh yeah I forgot the most important part it is $35.

    *Browser streaming is in Beta at this poitn so it might be a bit buggy. That being said Darryl this could be a super cheap answer for how to get ESPN3 on various TV's.
    Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 07-29-2013 at 01:40 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Chromecast

    In my case I won't get one b/c I have an Alienware computer running as my media server but it's flummoxed me for some time that there aren't better connectivity options for all the media out there. No doubt a result of the various industries fighting about how to limit consumer choices so as to be able to charge them for what they watch, when they watch it and what they watch it on.

    That's why I finally got the media server and a PVR that can record and strip the encoding restrictions, so I can store stuff like UK games and watch them on a laptop at the office now and then.


    No doubt the RIAA or MPAA will find fault with this device since it lets people use the stuff they own to watch the shows they are paying to watch. Can't have that.
    Saigon. .... I'm still only in Saigon

  3. #3

    Re: Chromecast

    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenBBN View Post
    In my case I won't get one b/c I have an Alienware computer running as my media server but it's flummoxed me for some time that there aren't better connectivity options for all the media out there. No doubt a result of the various industries fighting about how to limit consumer choices so as to be able to charge them for what they watch, when they watch it and what they watch it on.

    That's why I finally got the media server and a PVR that can record and strip the encoding restrictions, so I can store stuff like UK games and watch them on a laptop at the office now and then.


    No doubt the RIAA or MPAA will find fault with this device since it lets people use the stuff they own to watch the shows they are paying to watch. Can't have that.
    If they could they would have with Aircast. There is nothing they can do because the content is either streamed from a provider (Netflix, Pandora, etc.) or from YOUR browser.

  4. #4

    Re: Chromecast

    Already ordered mine. Will be selling my Roku 2 XD once I get it. After the three free months of Netflix, I'm only paying about $12 for the thing, lol.

  5. #5
    Fiddlin' Five Catfan73's Avatar
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    Re: Chromecast

    Nice!
    Don't panic

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueBrock View Post
    Already ordered mine. Will be selling my Roku 2 XD once I get it. After the three free months of Netflix, I'm only paying about $12 for the thing, lol.
    I had a roku once, but antibiotics cleared it right up.

    Seriously, I have one, too and this thing sounds pretty cool.

    Sent using Forum Runner

  7. #7

    Re: Chromecast

    I ordered mine as well from Amazon prime. When I get it in, first thing I plan on doing is trying to stream ESPN3 on it. I will let you know how it goes. Oh yeah also the three months free Netflix applies even if you already have Netflix.

  8. #8

    Wink Re: Chromecast

    OK I received my Chromecast on Friday and have had a few days to really play with it and put it through its paces.


    Setup:

    Setup to be honest was quite frankly so easy that even the most tech-neanderthal could pull it off. Heck, I used my cell phone to set it up which should be a recipe for disaster but honestly when it was done I was left thinking "That's it? That was too easy. Surely I messed something up" The only requirement is that whatever device you are using to set it up is connected to your wifi network. So that it can get the name of the network it should connect to. Much ado was made about the Chromecast requiring a USB power plug adapter. Many said that this meant it wasn't a dongle. The fact is the current HDMI spec doesn't support power over HDMI, so the USB plug for power was necessary. In my case though, I didn't even have to use the power adapter. On my TV I just plugged the USB cable into the TV's own USB port. This port provides enough power to power the Chromecast.


    After that it was easy. I powered up the television and switched inputs to the proper HDMI port. Then just following the simple on screen instructions: visited the listed website on my phone where I installed the chromecast app. My phone then found the device (the chromecast lets you know it's name on the TV screen). Connected to it and confirmed I was connected to the right one by comparing the passcode shown on the TV to the passcode in the app. Entered the password for my wifi and changed the devices name to one I would remember. Done. It sounds like a lot but it really isn't. Quite frankly, it is about as idiot proof a setup as I think they could make it.

    (I blacked out my network name)


    Using the device:


    It doesn't get much easier than this. With the chromecast and powered up. I went into youtube and searched for a Calipari video. Opened the first one in HD that I came to. When it opened I pressed the new button that appears:


    Boom! We have Calipari in HD on the TV (the delay is under 1 second):


    Similarly, in the Chrome Browser, installing the Chrome Extension adds this button:

    You can use this button to stream a tab in chrome to any chromecast device. This feature is clearly needs some work as it is network limited. I had trouble restreaming ESPN3 to my television. These problems though were mostly network related because it it complained of slow wifi network speeds. This is likely because like Apple AirPlay the video goes to my PC then to my TV doubling the network traffic. WiFi bandwidth here isn't great either because I only have a Wireless G router and live in an area where there are 30-70 other network visible at any one time (can you say heavy network congestion). I think if I had a wireless N network, this feature would have worked more or less flawlessly. As for setting up streaming, it is just as easy as YouTube. Have the media opened in a tab, click the button above and it will display that tab on the TV. If you Full Screen any video on the page, the video is streamed full screen to the TV as well.

    About The Device:

    The device is a dramatic departure from anything else on the market because it uses an app-centered framework instead of being device-centered. What I mean by this is the following: with AppleTV(or GoogleTV), you are interacting with the device. You selected movies on the device, streamed media to the device, browsed files on the device, etc. Your interaction centers around the device(i.e. AppleTV) The device centered framework allows a degree of independence because app support isn't as essential. The downside is that you are interacting with a separate device so it's function is not transparent. You have to learn that devices interface, in some other cases apps have to be written for that device, etc. With an app-centered framework you basically add a function on top of the apps you already use. When done properly the device becomes 100% transparent and you don't notice it. There is no learning new interfaces, no separate apps dedicated to the device, etc. The downside is that the function has to be added into the normal apps which means tighter third part support. Google elected to go the second route for a few reasons. The first and foremost was the abject failure that was GoogleTV and the NexusQ. AppleTV does better than GoogleTV because of its closed ecosystem environment, which removes some of the hurdles present in an open ecosystem. That being said even AppleTV isn't exactly talked about in glowing terms. It isn't doing horrible but when you own company calls it a "hobby" you aren't doing great. Google read the writing on the wall and, I think time will show, wisely went the harder route. This put them in a chicken-and-the-egg situation. To get content providers on board you need a sizable user base, to get a user base you need content providers. What Google had to work with was YouTube and the PlayStore, so they logically leveraged those. At the time of writing, Netflix is the only third party so far and lets be honest netflix is the most polyamorous third-party out there. They would put Netflix on your dog if you coded it properly. That being said, at launch Pandora was confirmed. Since launch, RDIO and Hulu have said they have plans to release. More inportnatly, some hackers have opened up the Chromecast config file and have shown that HBOGo, PostTV (Washington Post), AOL On, Qello, Revision3 and Songza are all in the final testing phases of integrating chromecast into their apps. Note that neither Hulu nor Pandora are in this file, so likely these others are farther along but just chose not to announce. So expect many more content providers soon.
    Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 07-28-2013 at 10:43 PM.

  9. #9

    Re: Chromecast

    Cool Pedro. Thanks for the great post.

    You and I both know how to fix that bandwidth issue. Just bend those nasty FAA regs on db output for non-licensed civilian use, get your gain up above 4 watts and you'll be fine. Your neighbors will be reduced to tin cans and a string, but unless they're UK fans who cares?
    Saigon. .... I'm still only in Saigon

  10. #10

    Re: Chromecast

    Oh I have already done that (the residential limit is 1W, i'm at around 2W) I love my old Buffalo High Powered router with built in amplifiers. I have to do that just to get any reasonable coverage with this many devices around me. The fact is, streaming HD Video to my PC then streaming a high def stream back to the television all at once is very bandwidth intensive. Add to that any other devices that are using and you bump up against the bandwidth limit of WIreless G pretty easily. I'm already pricing out a new wireless N router, may go Asus or may get another Buffalo HP model. Either way it WILL run DD-WRT.

    I was just thinking this evening, microsoft should have invented this technology decades ago. Anyone who has connected a computer to a projector or second monitor for powerpoint knows how frustratingly difficult it could be. With this, could you imagine how much easier it would have just a simple button 'cast' integrated into powerpoint. Click the button and BOOM! presentation is displayed on the screen.
    Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 07-29-2013 at 12:06 AM.

  11. #11

    Re: Chromecast

    Just a note, Chromecast doesn't stream through your device (PC or smartphone). It streams directly from the internet. I should get mine tomorrow, but very nice write-up, Pedro!

  12. #12

    Re: Chromecast

    Quote Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
    I was just thinking this evening, microsoft should have invented this technology decades ago. Anyone who has connected a computer to a projector or second monitor for powerpoint knows how frustratingly difficult it could be. With this, could you imagine how much easier it would have just a simple button 'cast' integrated into powerpoint. Click the button and BOOM! presentation is displayed on the screen.
    Microsoft is good at many things. This kind of creativity isn't one of them.

  13. #13

    Re: Chromecast

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueBrock View Post
    Just a note, Chromecast doesn't stream through your device (PC or smartphone). It streams directly from the internet. I should get mine tomorrow, but very nice write-up, Pedro!
    Youtube and Netflix do not, chrome tab projection (as i was doing with ESPN3) does.

  14. #14

    Re: Chromecast

    Quote Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
    Youtube and Netflix do not, chrome tab projection (as i was doing with ESPN3) does.
    Right right, I hadn't considered that. Excited to get mine tomorrow. I would have just gone to Best Buy and grabbed one, but any money I can spend somewhere other than Best Buy is money better spent, IMO.

  15. #15
    Very interested in this, but concerned about the difficulty with espn3

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  16. #16

    Re: Chromecast

    Mine came a day early. Set up was a breeze and Netflix streaming from my phone and tab and screen sharing from my desktop all work really well.

  17. #17
    You guys still liking it? Any ESPN3 updates?

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  18. #18

    Re: Chromecast

    i love mine. its nice to be able to easily and quickly toss a youtube video to my TV from my PC with just a click of the button (Chromecast can change inputs if your TV has HDMI 1.3 ports) and I haven't had a single issue watching Netflix.

    No WatchESPN updates yet, but I'm sure it's in the works. I know someone cracked theirs and found experimental code for things like HBOGo.

  19. #19
    Fiddlin' Five badrose's Avatar
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    Re: Chromecast

    What if your IP doesn't provide ESPN 3 ?
    Cool as a rule, but sometimes bad is bad.

  20. #20

    Re: Chromecast

    Quote Originally Posted by badrose View Post
    What if your IP doesn't provide ESPN 3 ?
    Device support for the app and having access to the service are two separate things.

  21. #21
    Yeah, it's the one good thing about my dsl service. They do permit espn 3 access.

    I guess I should just go ahead and get this device.

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  22. #22

    Re: Chromecast

    it's too late now, but if you had Netflix already and bought it within the first 24 hours, you basically paid just $12 for the thing thanks to three free months of Netflix.

  23. #23

    Re: Chromecast

    Yeah, that was a great deal, and I probably would've done it. (I think it applied not only if you had Netflix already, but if you wanted to be a new subscriber.) I had Netflix for a couple of years, and didn't watch 2 movies a month probably, so I'm still not sure I want to renew.

  24. #24

    Re: Chromecast

    i burn Netflix up in the summer when there's nothing on TV, it's when i go through and watch old TV shows again. i wish they'd add some classics like M*A*S*H*

  25. #25

    Re: Chromecast

    Yeah, it's a great thing. The concept is terrific.

    I probably have 100 movies at home I haven't seen. I know at least 50.

    I also have a Roku 3 and it's barely used, even with the plethora of channels it has.

    My situation is just the peculiar time in my life. There is almost no day during the week when my evening is "free." I'm at some rehearsal for a play, some practice for volleyball, soccer or basketball, or teaching a class, which I do twice a week during some semesters.

    Weekend is for ballgames, plays, etc. Daughter works at the movie theatre that is 4 miles from my house, so I get in free to see movies--a grand total of 2 movies this summer, despite that "cost."

    Won't always be that way, though, and these items are great to have, considering the extremely low cost.

  26. #26

    Re: Chromecast

    By the way, I forgot to update this.

    Now that the Chromecast SDK went final; WatchESPN is now available natively on the chromecast

    So this is a quick and easy way to get games that aren't on TV to your screen. I haven't gotten a chance to try it out yet but when I do I will post back here with an update to let you know how it went.

    Did I mention that the SecNetwork will be available on the WatchESPN app.
    Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 07-25-2014 at 11:06 AM.

  27. #27

    Re: Chromecast

    Quote Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
    Did I mention that the SecNetwork will be available on the WatchESPN app.
    Excellent. It may not be ideal, but I have at least one more, and probably 4 more years of child sports/activities/conflicts with UK games. That WatchESPN app has been handy, even though it's not always the greatest pic, and it's small (on a phone). Very convenient.

  28. #28

    Re: Chromecast

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    Excellent. It may not be ideal, but I have at least one more, and probably 4 more years of child sports/activities/conflicts with UK games. That WatchESPN app has been handy, even though it's not always the greatest pic, and it's small (on a phone). Very convenient.
    Glad to share that with you as well. The chromecast is great for people with that TV they don't want to run a line to our install a cable box or for people like me that may not live in the broadcast area but want to watch a game on TV. So far my chromecast has been flawless I love use it for watching stuff from YouTube, etc.

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