chromecastathomeI know this has been on the market for a few months now, but I think I am finally ready to give it a review.  Why?  Well because I just got one and I have spent the last few weeks messing around with it and let me say that with an emphatic scream, I fricking love this thing!!!!

Look, I won’t go as far a saying that everyone should own this, not wait, I am going to go that far.  Not only is it a really cool, I can see this really being a game changer for a lot of people.  Set up is so easy that my dog could probably figure it out, so even the those that are not very tech savy should be able to get up and running in about ten minutes.

If you are like me, you have a fairly decent home entertainment system, you know the usual HDTV, 360, Blu-ray action.  My biggest challenge was being able to stream my music and movies that I had on my computer to the big screen.  And now, Google Chromecast has pretty much solved all of these minor entertainment problems in my life.  A quick look at some of the functions I have tried so far.

Netflix:  Now this is kind of a neat function, although for me I don’t use it much now since I am in the middle of my Xbox live annual subscription.  Pretty much the only reason I have live is for Netflix and to keep my games updated.  I am not, nor will I probably ever be a big online gamer.  So for now, I do a lot of my Netflix watching through my 360.  However, with Google Chromecast, I can now toss what I bring up on my tablet to the Chromecast and it instantly plays it.  My tablet becomes the remote and presto, everything is kosher.  Not a bad way for a guy like me to save 50 bucks a year on an Xbox live subscription.   The only issue here was the picture quality was a little degraded, but I think that had more to do with my Wifi then the Chromecast since I have my 360 hardwired into my router.

Google Play:  Being an android guy, I have backed up all my music to Google Play.  While this is great to access from my phone when out, I wanted to be able to throw some music up when I’m working around the house.  Now I can cast my playlists or a certain artist to the Chromecast and even queue up songs as I see fit.  Album artwork is instantly displayed on the TV screen as well.  Something that I like because I am anal about album artwork.

YouTube:  I used to search for the random YouTube stuff on my DirecTv DVR, but now I can actually use the app and cast it to the big screen so much faster.  Again here, the quality is good and I can even queue up videos to watch as I am going along.  It is a nice feature to catch the random cat videos and movie trailers.

Hulu Plus:  I have yet to use this app, but I can imagine it works much the same as the Netflix App.

Google Chrome:  I have only done a few little tests on this, but most of the stuff that you can bring up on your Chrome browser can be cast to the big screen.  There are some plug ins out there that help in this, but I have yet to fully research them.  I was able to open a video on my browser and then send it to the TV.  Seemed to work good and the quality was ok.   But I blame myself on that because I ripped the file to play on a tablet only and not on a big screen.  It was serviceable for sure, but I would only recommend it if you had really high quality stuff.

Overall I give the Chromecast a huge thumbs up!  For $35 dollars you can really not beat it, especially if you are an android user.  I am sure that functionality for Apple products is coming and it might already be there.  But I think the seemless nature of these Google products working together is simply amazing.