What is Chromecast? To put it simply, Chromecast is Google’s media streaming device, which is one of 4 popular consumer streaming devices known worldwide, including Amazon’s Fire Stick, Roku and AppleTV. Google’s second streaming device, the competitor to the Chromecast, is the Nexus Player.
Chromecast is a thumb sized Media streaming device that streams content through a mutual Wi-Fi network, with the physical appearance of a USB Flash Drive that plugs in to the HDMI port of any TV that supports HDMI input, and is compatible with Android Phones, Tablets, Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPods. Yes, even Apple products are compatible with Chromecast and take advantage of Chromecast’s features, but the same cannot be said for AppleTV.
The device inserts into the HDMI Port from any high definition Television or Monitor. The device doesn’t use many resources, like the AppleTV requiring its own Wall adapter plug. Chromecast is powered by a USB powered setup. A cable entering the Device’s Micro USB Port, and into any USB 2.0 or 3.0 Power source.
Although Android Devices can in fact use and make itself compatible by third party apps like AllCast which uses its own algorithm to stream media to the device. Chromecast is perfect for streaming High Definition Movies from your device whose screen is way too small to enjoy. Unfortunately Blackberry and Windows phone users are out of luck when it comes to Google’s media streamer. Chromecast will automatically receive the latest firmware updates/software updates through OTA Updating Software.
Chromecast costs about $30.99 US, and comes with promotional offers from Google like free Google Play store Credit, and Free Unlimited Google Play Music for 90 Days.
Chromecast also provides support for a growing number of apps, like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and CTV Go. See the entire list of supported apps here.
When you stream media like movies, videos, music and other sorts of media from your Android device, you can beam it straight to Chromecast, but media isn’t the only thing that supports shared screens. You can also beam your laptop/computer’s display on Chromecast, whether you’re browsing the web or typing an important office document, Chromecast is always there to make the screen bigger. This also works with Android devices that support Chromecast. For best compatibility, add the Google Chrome Extension Here. Mobile apps that support Chromecast require Android 2.3 and up, and iOS 6.0 and above. Chromecast compatibility is best supported by Google’s line of Laptops, the Chromebook.
As oddly as this sounds, specifications aren’t usually bothered to be mentioned, unlike mobile phones whose specs actually matter, the Chromecast doesn’t sport too bad of hardware. Let’s briefly skim through the specifics. (Specifications Courtesy of Google’s Chromecast Specs Page.
- Output: HDMI, CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) compatible
- Max. Output Video Resolution: 1080p
- Dimensions: 72(L) x 35(W) x 12(H) mm
- Weight: 34g
- Wireless Standards: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
- Wireless Security: WEP, WPA/WPA2
- Power: USB (USB cable and power adapter included)
- Plugs into TV directly and powered from TVs USB port or wall outlet
- Android 2.3 and higher
- iOS 7.0 and higher
- Windows 7 and higher
- Mac OS 10.7 and higher
- Chrome OS (on a Chromebook running Chrome 28 & higher)
In conclusion, Chromecast is a relatively cheap alternative to AppleTV, which costs more than most people are willing to pay for Media streaming devices. Chromecast can be ordered online from online retailers, or can be purchased in store from your local electronics retailers. This has just been a short update to bring light to the Chromecast, something a lot of people aren’t aware of.
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