My Google Chromecast arrived today. I was excited to get my hands on it, since my daughter commandeered our Roku box to her room about a year ago, so Netflix for me has been limited to the 9.7" ipad screen since then.
I'm usually quick to bash Best Buy, but I want to give them kudos here. While the Google Play Store and Amazon were out of stock, BestBuy.com processed my order and delivered it right away.
The great thing about Chromecast is its simplicity. When you unbox it, you get a dongle, a USB power cord and a flexible HDMI adapter, without which I would not have been able to plug mine into the TV, which sits against the wall.
It took about 5 minutes to setup the Chromecast, and 3 of those were spent trying to locate the HDMI port by feel without removing the big screen TV from the wall. Once I had it plugged in, the website instructions had be connected in about a minute or two.
And the results...
It's great. So far, I've watched a 1982 Clash concert from Tokyo, on YouTube and am about to watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Don't Joe Strummer, Mick Jones and the gang look much better on the big screen?
So, is it as good as a Roku or Apple TV?
Well, today both of those have more content than the Chromecast. But that gap will soon close. GigaOm is reporting that Chromecast has struck deals with Vimeo and Redbox Instant, with HBO Go and Plex to follow soon after. And you have to expect that every website doing video will add the Chromecast button soon (with the possible exception of direct competitors like iTunes and Amazon).
What's great about the Chromecast is its portability. I can definitely see buying a second one to use for travel. Since it takes only a minute to set up, why not use a Chromecast in your hotel room? It's a great chance to catch up on those episodes of Bob's Burgers you've been meaning to watch.