Skip to comments.How Chromecast fundamentally changed how my family watches TV
Posted on 09/14/2013 6:21:29 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
As soon as Google unveiled Chromecast, I was lucky enough to scoop up a couple of the $35 devices to connect the two TVs in our home. After a few weeks, its fundamentally changed how my family watches TV. Its also changed some of my perceptions about the evolution of the second screen.
Most of the TV viewing in our house is dominated by our kids. Ages 3 and 5, they immediately grasped how to cast their Netflix shows from our phones (iPhone and Nexus 4) and iPads to either TV. After all, they were already watching Netflix on their devices, and simply tapping an icon to play it on TV turned out to be an extremely natural act. For them, devices are the starting point to watch video, not the TV.
For me, the remote control has been my historical starting point, but Chromecast is liberating because its invisibly tied to my omnipresent devices. I can leave both TVs on Chromecast (why should we have to turn TVs on and off?), then pick up any phone or tablet in my home, find a show and cast it instantly. I always have my phone in my pocket but not remote controls and our tablets are always sitting on the couch or next to the bed. Finding a show on a tablet is much easier than tapping up/down/left/right on a remote, and the multitasking wizardry of Chromecast makes it a snap to play something and do something else at the same time.
I picked one up a few weeks back. Very cool device.
Google is known to be facilitating the NSA and their ever more intrusive spying on us. Why would you bring a Google device into your home?
WiFi requirements not clear in description; does not work with all routers, September 5, 2013
I plugged in my Chromecast and was going through the setup. When I got to connecting to my network, Chromecast was able to find the network, but could not connect to it.
I called the helpful 24x7 support number and got a very quick answer to my problem: the device controlling the Chromecast must itself be connected to the wireless network to which you are attaching the Chromecast. This network requirement should be made clear in the technical requirements for the device. Perhaps it might be obvious to others, but it wasn't to me.
After connecting my PC to my wireless network, I attempted the setup again. Although my PC and the Chromecast were both able to see the network, they could not interact. Google has workarounds for some router brands and models, but not all. Apparently, there is not yet a workaround for the Netgear N150.
Ultimately, I returned the product as being unusable with my other hardware.
For starters I just don't worry much about NSA spying on me. They have way bigger fish to fry.
Take a look at some of the Chromecast videos on YouTube and you may change your mind. What I noticed is that once I installed my Chromcast we spend less time on Fox News and more time on YouTube. A big advantage of that is instead of spending 1/3 of your time watching commercials you get to watch whatever you want that 99.5% commercial free.
Another point about YouTube: Much of the newer content is true HDTV - 720P or 1080P so it looks great on your HDTV. And there is plenty of political content.
If you are getting tired of O'Reilly and Hannity you should give it a try.
Kill Your TV. Go outside and play! :)
I have a Netgear router as well. Not sure of the model. And I had a lot of problems getting my Chromecast working due to the complexity of my setup which has a Netgear router and and an Amped Access Point.
My problem was that my Amped unit was set up as a Router instead of a Access Point. Another problem that you may have had is the your router has to have UNpN enabled. Many routers come with UNpN disabled. You have to fix that to get your Chromecast working.
Along the way I found that the 24/7 Google support for Chromecast is very, very good. They know most of the issues and are very patient. Ditto the Amped router folks. They got mine working on my pretty screwed up network.
In the 60's, I turned on the TV, selected a channel (add 9, 11, and a couple of UHF .. or was it VHF .. I forget) and watched
In the 60's I turned off, tuned in and dropped out
In the eighties I turned on the TV, selected a channel and watched
Ditto the 90's and the 2000's
So now, in 2013, you turn on a phone, switch to TV, select a channel and watch
Yeah, so ?
This review was helpful.
Because, I want the NSA to see how truly boring I am. :)
Cable disconnected 2 years ago. Netflix gets less than an hour of my time a week.
My only addiction is the website you are on right now.
NOT LOOKING BACK !!!
Google? I use my SonyBlu ray player to access Amazon Prime on my TV. No google in my home.
We have a Roku, which does the same thing. But Roku doesn't offer YouTube. I'd love to watch YouTube concert footage on the telly. And for $35, what do you have to lose?
In that vein, I recommend any YouTube video with John Taylor Gatto. A very wise man.
Well I'm certainly with you on that. But think for the moment what the reach of FR would be if Jim Robinson or his designee were to start up a Free Republic on YouTube channel.
Right now we are a non-player on YouTube. Do a search for Free Republic on YT and here what you get:
Can Roku do that?
This is the best advice yet on how to deal with Chromecast. It is also therapeutic and prevents zombieism. I have been playing outside for 12 years now and every time I briefly connect to see what I might be missing, I congratulate myself for making the right decision long ago.
I think you should have ditched that Netgear N150 router and get a truly top-flight home networking router like the Asus RT-N66U (I just got one recently and love it for its very long range at both 2.4 and 5 GHz; I can now surf the ‘Net on my iPad 2 even from my late mom’s bedroom a fairly long way from the router).
I don’t have a smartphone. We just connected my computer to my TV with a cable. Turned the TV into a giant monitor. We watch our NetFlix shows and movies like this.
Heck, I don’t even use my DVD player any more. Just put the DVD’s in the computer and it pops right up.
There is truth in that. On the other hand, I have yet to hear anyone say, "Kill Your Library," since libraries are also filled with garbage.
Chromecast and public libraries are tools. How we use them is what is most important. Chromecast and cable are filled with jewels and garbage. But Chromecast also offers greater control, and greater jewels.
There's no need to throw the jewels out with the garbage, unless a person cannot restrain himself from watching garbage.
I’m not much of a TV person. I DO like movies, and will watch series on DVD (Jesse Stone - YUM!) but I prefer being engaged with the world around me, versus being force-fed.
“Buy the soap, and the car, and the hamburgers - we’ll take care of the rest...”
You can do the same thing wirelessly with Chromecast.
So far I've only used an iPhone and an iPad to connect up using Chromecast. But I've ordered a second unit that I'm going to use in my upstairs office where I have my computer and another HDTV.
In order to see your Computer Desktop on your TV you need to use Chromecast and the Chrome browser with an extension installed. I'm going to try it out. Here is a link that explains how it works:
get a roku box.
Cable tv not installed when I moved one year ago- never miss it
I have learned so much from YouTube videos on landscaping, concrete repair, fence building, floor refinishing, refreshed my quantum physics college learning, there is SO MUCH TO Learn and so many videos it is amazing- I just wish I could ‘save’ them to a library for reference when the SHTF
If I didn’t have a smart TV and a smart bluray I’d think about it. But I can already do everything chromecast can do. On the rare stuff that neither device does directly I can network share from the PC to them. It is a slick device but I’m thinking it’s a few years too late, it’s almost impossible to buy a new TV or TV accessory that isn’t smart anymore. I suppose for $35 it’s a good stop gap for people who aren’t yet ready to replace the TV but want the smart features.
I must admit I like movies as well, the older classics in particular instead of the hyper-drive, PC stuff that predominates today. For example, I'll take the 1940 "Mask of Zorro", the original "Manchurian Candidate" or "Flight of the Phoenix" over the politicized crap Hollyweird felt compelled to substitute. I'm not anti-tech either and watch those on an HDTV connected to the PC/DVD player on my home network.
Once upon a time, watching a movie at home meant ordering a DVD online, waiting for it to arrive, then having it sit on your coffee table for weeks until you were in the mood to watch it.
Then we invented Rokuthe original streaming player. Now, millions of people use Roku to choose what they want to watch instantly. Whether youre exploring over 750 channels and hundreds of thousands of movies and shows, delving into what really interests you, or just stumbling across something new, Roku makes it happen easily, instantly and affordably. Movie nightor any nightwill never be the same.
This is true.
I just bought my mother a new Samsung HDTV and it has a YouTube app that is very nice. But, and this is a big but, she still has to access it with her remote. No keyboard. No mouse.
That is the killer app reason for getting a Chromecast. You can use your iPhone or your iPad or similar device to replace your clunky HDTV remote. No more UP-UP-LEFT-LEFT-LEFT-CLICK to just get one letter. Instead you just type and go.
I’m not familiar with the Roku but it seems unlikely that it has a keyboard-like function.
So, assuming you are on YouTube via the Roku, how do you do a search for “Sarah Brightman Time to Say Goodbye”? On a chromecast that would take a few seconds. How about on a Roku?
TV time, anytime
When you need to keep the volume down but still get your TV fix, Roku 3 features an enhanced remote with built-in headphone jack. Just plug in the included in-ear headphones to enter your own private listening world. Its perfect for cranking up that late-night action movie without waking the spouse. Or kids. Or dog.
If the TV has USB ports then you could attach a wireless keyboard and mouse to the TV. That’s what I did, picked up a little logitech unit that’s about the size of a laptop keyboard for $30 and now most (sadly not all the apps on my TV like it) searched I can do by keyboard. Of course I hardly use it, because once you get the hang of it the remote navigating through that letter field is easy, yeah it’s not as fast but you’re never doing more than a dozen characters anyway. Surely not difficult enough to make solving it the “killer app”, especially since I already solved it for cheaper.
Ours just came in the mail! I’m so excited to see this post!
Regarding John Taylor Gatto, i love his written works... however, the one time i heard him speak in person, he was not good... very disappointing for me and my good friend... we had been so excited and came away shaking our heads... now perhaps he was simply having an off day... i will check him out on youtube... thank you for suggesting it...
I doubt if Roku is cheaper but the wireless keyboard is a nice add-on. Don’t forget, almost everyone has an iPhone or equivalent these days.
BTW, I expect a Roku version of the Chromecast to emerge if it hasn’t already. Roku and perhaps Apple TV are the big players in this market and they are not going to rollover and let Google walk away with their business.
Ours just came in the mail! Im so excited to see this post!
You will love it. Let me know if you have any installion problems. I might be able to help.
Roku isn’t but Roku also gives a lot more. But I was just talking adding a keyboard to your existing smart TV so youtube searches are easy. A $30 keyboard is way cheaper than chromecast and a smartphone which actually many people don’t have. AppleTV is a non-starter, also too late to the field. Roku is in trouble for the same reason I think chromecast will fail, most TVs and bluray players do 90% of Roku, it was great when nothing else was smart but now everything is smart.
I don’t think Chromecast will fail from Googles point of view. They want to drive people to YouTube and Chromecat does that.
But look at today’s Smart TVs. That can do what Chromecast can do but most if not all require the use of a wireless keyboard to really be efficient. Not too many folks are going to do that.
So what will happen to Chromecast as we go forward? My prediction:
Short run: a huge success. At least 10s of millions sold.
Long run: Smart TVs wiil start working with your iPad or IPhone and do exactly want the Chromecast does now. That should be no more than a tear or two away.
If you have a smartphone, you can play Youtube videos on TV via Roku using a free app called "Twonky Beam."
Any chance of starting a Free Republic channel on YouTube?
I hope Jim answers this. FR needs a YouTube channel.
I’m still using the original Roku box and love it. One of these days I’m going to bite the bullet and upgrade to the Roku 3.
Is there an app for that?
I have been with Directv since 1998. There were several shows my wife liked to watch and we would DVR them then FF through the commercials. Most of the shows she liked, didn’t really appeal to me but I watched them with her. She passed away May 30 and there are only a couple of shows I like to watch now. I would like to drop Directv but I would still like to watch Blue Bloods and Longmire and college football. I know I can get old movies from Netflix or Amazon so I don’t worry about that, but how do I get the two shows and college football?
I checked this out. Not quite as slick as Chromecast and the setup is a little more complicated but functionally there is little difference. One would think that Roku would provide their own app and be pushing this given the hit they are likely to take from their new competition.
I had DirecTV for about 15 years. This past February 17, I turned it off as part of a 40 day fast (DirecTV allows customers to suspend service up to 6 months a year).
After 40 days, I found I didn’t miss it a bit, and suspended my service until August 17. When my suspension time ended, I called them and cancelled my service permanently.
Do not miss TV a bit.
Now, I still have Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming. But, I never watch them unless my daughter is here and we watch something together (streamed Tangled last night).
Life’s too short and there is too much else to do.