back to article Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?

OK, so we all know what Google’s Chromecast is, yes? Someone at the back – why are they always at the back – seems unsure. In a sentence, then, Chromecast is a small Wi-Fi-connected slug that you slip into a spare HDMI port on your TV, and which plays video and audio under the direction of a remote control app. Google …

  1. DrXym Silver badge

    Wifi reception

    The wifi reception of the old device was the worst thing about it. There were occasions where my phone and tablet had absolutely no trouble seeing a wifi network and the chromecast was completely unable to. So if they've improved that then that's good I guess.

    The thing that would make me happiest is if chromecast were able to work around dumb public / hotel hotspots that were protected by confirmation / registration screens. Even if that means shipping a stripped down browser that could let me sign onto the network. Getting it to work at the moment is a dark art and usually requires running through another device as a hotspot / bridge.

    It'd be nice too if it natively supported MKV too. I don't see why this is a big deal to withhold - it's just a container that has to be demuxed - the audio / video / subs would still have to be the correct format.

    1. CoffeePoweredRobot

      Re: Wifi reception

      Check for a plugin called RawrAnime to use with Plex if you're having trouble running mkv with Chromecast, decodes ASS subs perfectly with all the embedded fonts/positioning done properly as if you were watching through MPC/VLC etc on your PC.

    2. DaLo

      Re: Wifi reception

      "There were occasions where my phone and tablet had absolutely no trouble seeing a wifi network and the chromecast was completely unable to"

      Any chance that is because the Chromecast is sitting behind a big bit of metal and electronics?

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Wifi reception

        "Any chance that is because the Chromecast is sitting behind a big bit of metal and electronics?"

        The thing was designed to plug into a TV and only works over wifi. If it can't do that then it is entirely valid to comment about its poor wifi reception.

        The fact that Google have changed the design to increase the antenna size demonstrates the point that it was inadequate to start with.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Wifi reception

          >The fact that Google have changed the design to increase the antenna size demonstrates the point that it was inadequate to start with.

          Yes but it is still inadequate. On many TV's the Google 'dongle' will still be hanging down behind the TV... What it needs is a longer cable and a means to mount the antenna so that it isn't being blocked by the screen etc.; something my years old infrared control gismo achieves...

  2. Yugguy

    Supertramp

    Article upvote for the Supertramp reference.

    1. My Opinion
      Facepalm

      Re: Supertramp

      I re-read the article twice, thinking "How did I miss that?", and still couldn't find it.

      But then of course, it wasn't actually in the article!

  3. Jim 59

    The following things suck:

    Watching video over wireless

    Phone apps masquerading as remote controls

    Streaming devices need to be wired and come with a proper remote IMO.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Streaming devices need to be wired and come with a proper remote IMO

      So buy one that does, and let other people make their own choice.

      Some people don't like having 7 remote controls... if a phone could replace ALL of them that'd be kind of neat really.

      1. Jim 59

        Re: Streaming devices need to be wired and come with a proper remote IMO

        Some people don't like having 7 remote controls.

        Harmony remote FTW. And if people don't like having 7 remotes, they will like having 6 remotes and a smartphone app even less, especially when they notice universal remotes can't emulate smart phones.

      2. Mutton Jeff

        Re: Streaming devices need to be wired and come with a proper remote IMO

        Yeah, but with smartphone remote, if the phone owner phux of to the pub and no other capable phones, it becomes a bit of a paind in the derrière

    2. john.w

      Wireless is about mobility not connectivity

      Totally agree with you on the wireless bit having spent over ten years going to Wi-Fi Alliance meetings discussing how to make wi-fi more useful. Would always tell Mobile, STB and TV manufacturers that there were now guarantees with wireless, tended to get surprised looks as our competitors were always promising things they could never deliver.

      May I also be the first to recommend a Raspberry Pi and Kodi aka XMBC, ethernet and CEC remote control interface, so no new remotes needed.

      1. Steve Crook

        Re: Wireless is about mobility not connectivity

        Raspi2 if you're going to buy one.

        I have one, working with a Harmony remote via the Flirc R/C receiver and they all co-operate together with Kodi. The Harmony config program has a built in for the Flirc. Only thing that doesn't work out of the box is page up/page down, but you can fix those with a bit of reconfig of the Harmony and Kodi.

    3. juice Bronze badge

      "Phone apps masquerading as remote controls"

      Eh? The remote app for my old WD TV Live worked pretty well (much better than the WD TV Live's SMB mounting, but that's a different story) even on my old Samsung S3.

      Meanwhile, my LG G4 (and the G3 before it) works fairly well as a basic TV remote, and does a good job with both the HTPC (as a KVM), Kodi/Xbmc - and potentially also the Xbox 360, though I've never actually tried using it for that!

      I can also use it to VNC into my desktop machine upstairs, and it also does a good job of acting as a remote control for the iTunes install sat on the same machine; Retune even lets me tell iTunes to stream from the desktop down to Kodi so I can have good tunes and psychedelic visuals running whenever I'm downstairs.

      Overall, both my original TV remote and the Logitech Harmony have been gathering dust for a wee bit now...

      1. Shane McCarrick

        My HTC One- has an IR sender and works as a traditional remote- you just choose the device type (it can save up to 10) and off you go. Its not even an App- its a function- and a selling point of the phone. Not sure if the M9 has an IR sender- or indeed, if I was the only one in the country who used it on an older model- but hey- not everything had to be done by Apps and Wifi.

        The big selling point for this to me- is access to the 5Ghz band (even if I am still on 'N'). When I bought my current router- I made damn sure it was dual band (even if it pre-dates AC)- purely on the basis of the wireless pollution where I live (from this computer I can see 27 networks- 3 of which appear to be completely without any security whatsoever, and a further 4 on WEP- but thats not my problem).

        I can already effectively Chromecast from network connected devices (on a 10 year old Sony)- with minimal intervention- though it murders my network- however, simplifying things- and unlocking 5Ghz usage- would freeup my 2.4Ghz network for other devices (I like multitasking in bed :-) )

    4. Irongut

      Having watched almost no broadcast TV this year (exception for the TT and Irish road races) and almost exclusively watched content streamed by Chromecast instead...

      Watching video over wireless works perfectly.

      Well written smartphone apps work much better than remote controls.

      Streaming devices do not need to be wired or come with a terrible remote control.

      Who needs a remote control when one app controls video playback and another controls the TV? I can always find my phone but never the remote and there's more than one phone in the house.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The following things suck:

      Watching video over wireless"

      That's surely the main way of watching TV? Been doing it since the sixties, and even with Sky. Now cabled with Virgin but no better than my upstairs wireless Freeview Connection.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Phone apps masquerading as remote controls"

      Does your remote control allow you to see extra information synched to the currently playing content - say game stats, leaderboards etc? Does it allows you to completely change the interface based on the playing content? Does it allow you to queue up and re-arrange media to add to the playlist? Does it allow multiple people to add items to the playlist, even items which you haven't paid for but they have? Does your remote have a scroll wheel which can fast forward/rewind at any speed (not stepped) that you wish? Does you remote interface get updated along with the application that it is controlling?

      etc etc

    7. Yugguy
      WTF?

      "The following things suck:

      Watching video over wireless"

      Ah, that'd be why Netflix and Amazon Prime have been such disasters.

      1. Jim 59

        Let the data flow

        "The following things suck:

        Watching video over wireless"

        Ah, that'd be why Netflix and Amazon Prime have been such disasters.

        The protocol you choose to connect your devices has nothing to do with the service provider. I have WD TV Live, Raspi2 Kodi, Sony Bluray all offering these services and all wired. When I change the WD TV Live (say) to wireless instead, it is less reliable and clunky to use. For example, rewinding generally isn't possible. And if any other family member is doing wireless stuff, get ready for disappointment.

        Wireless is good but not if you have the choice of wired. Switches are 10 a penny these days. Let the data flow.

        Okay the Raspi2 doesn't do Netflix at the mo.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let the data flow

          Been using the Amazon Fire stick (impulse buy) for about 3 weeks now completely wirelessly.

          It's been flawless. Even the remote is great. It doesn't use infra red so works no matter where I am in the room. We've been using it for Amazon music, BBC Iplayer, and Netflix.

          So far so good!

          1. Uncle Timbo

            Re: Let the data flow

            Ditto Roku 3 - that comes with a choice of WIFI and wired ethernet, but so far as been near flawless on wireless. I really like the radio proper remote (no aiming) and the fact you can get a proper remote app for smartphones too (not using the media app as a "remote").

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              Re: Let the data flow

              Problem is, due to WiFe (mk2) we have to use WiFi (300Mb) around the house; I'd have to do the cabling properly and I have no idea what is wrong with white ducting but apparently i'm not allowed to "bring that ugly fucking stuff home from work".

              I have no issues streaming to my RasPi 2 (openelec) and use a small IR dongle with a Logitech harmony for the tv and xbmc (I suppose Kodi now). The was hidden inside the tv (glue gunned to the interior of the back panel) but after changing the media card I never got round to putting it back in the TV and the WiFe (mk2) hasn't noticed it dangling naked down the back of the TV cabinet (muahahahaha, what a rebel I am). WiFi is courtesy of a cheap and nasty USB module, IR module is a Chinese noname "windows media center" flavour. I have no idea the last time I rebooted it. Probably when I accidentally switched the wrong socket off after ironing.

              It hasn't been the first time ive used my phone XBMC remote rather than bother looking for the real remote.

          2. therebel

            Re: Let the data flow

            Yes I'm a fan of the Firestick too.

            In the article....

            "Apple and Amazon naturally irritate by insisting you play with their toys and no one else’s"

            Not true, the Firestick has Netflix, iPlayer and any number of other streaming apps so not locked to just their content. I also have Kodi installed too. I'm tempted to ditch my TV licence soon.

    8. Big Ed

      Real Men Use RJ-45 Connections

      @Jim 59

      WOW, what a bunch of haters out there.

      In my place of refuge, I'm a hard-wired CAT-5 guy. I got too tired of wireless router placement, boosters, extenders and fighting with my neighbors and gamer kids for wireless bandwidth. Sure my iPhone and Pad are on wireless because the have too, but for the media entertainment center I've built in a decent CAT-5 switch, and all the kids games, and SONY TV fit nicely in with manufacturer provided RJ-45 ports.

      Google would be wise to consider a CAT-5/6 connector.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Real Men Use RJ-45 Connections

        Big Ed I got too tired of wireless router placement, boosters, extenders and fighting with my neighbors and gamer kids for wireless bandwidth.

        I'm fortunate enough to live on a large-ish plot of land with no neighbours within about 200 yards. After months of futzing with extenders and powerline networking, I gave in and found a no-name Chinese AP; it supports 5GHz 802.11n, and the configuration page for Wireless Transmit Power includes the lovely, lovely option "Ignore Regulatory Limits"... allowing power levels that give me strong & fast wireless coverage across the whole house.

        No, I don't get many visitors with pacemakers or dental fillings. Why do you ask?

        1. DaLo

          Re: Real Men Use RJ-45 Connections

          'Wireless Transmit Power includes the lovely, lovely option "Ignore Regulatory Limits"'

          Regardless of the Regulatory limits (if everyone starts ignoring them, it won't make things better), boosting the power of the one side of the equation is not always a good thing. There are some Long Range APs that can be used in certain localities, legally, which increase the transmission power. However, if your device has standard range transmission power (most do) it can make things worse. You can end up in a situation where your device sees a nice, healthy signal from the AP. However, the AP doesn't get a nice, strong signal back from the device. So you get drop outs, the 'can't connect massage', 'can't get IP address' issue etc.

          In the end you struggle to ever know whether you are actually in range or not. This has been a problem with some higher power APs that generally leads to a substandard experience.

      2. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Real Men Use RJ-45 Connections

        I don't see any "haters". People are responding with their opinions of wireless vs. wired networking, doesn't mean anyone is hating anyone!

    9. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Flame

      Remote apps...

      It might not be as feasible for 4K, but 1080p video works just fine on wireless with my Fire TV unit. Also, I can't speak for Apple, but there are several very good freeware remote apps for my Samsung phone (which has an IR emitter) and the WIFI-connected app for my receiver works very nicely as well and even passes Pandora album info back to the phone to view album covers, etc. The native Samsung app for remote control is an ad-driven POS with very limited functionality and device support by comparison with the freeware apps. Mostly it's all about showing you a program guide and not controlling things and wants to always be running in the background.

      The Fire TV (not the stick) has an Ethernet port if I want to do a wired connection, but my 100 year-old house makes that more difficult. I do have a powerline-based network extender, but so far have not had to use it with the unit.

      I will say that I had a Chromecast device and ended up giving it away to friends because I found it to be too flaky and a pain to use. With the Amazon device it just instantly works and it's fast. There are a few things that Amazon does that irritate me, but they did a nice job with this unit, though again I can't speak for their new 'stick' device.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Ugly

    It looks neat enough on its own but as soon as you plug it in it just dangles like a limp phallus. Add a power cable and you have a weird loop arrangement.

    1. Andy Nugent

      Re: Ugly

      How cables look hanging behind my TV is a real concern for me as well.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Ugly

        how heavy are they? might put some strain on the HDMI port I suppose. Probably no heavier than those silly cables you see in PC world though (look, I had to go in for an impromptu external HDD, don't judge)

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Re: How cables look hanging behind my TV is a real concern for me as well.

        Good job nobody has TVs with HDMI sockets on the side then

    2. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Ugly

      A phallus is erect, it can't be limp.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Ugly

        Now you're just boasting. Or should visit the doctor.

  5. Jim 59

    The real point is that, at £30, Chromecast is a true impulse purchase, so why not avail yourself of one?

    Er, becuase competitors are the same price? Roku is £34 at Tesco complete with Netflix, iplayer and bundled remote handset.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      raspi 2 with box, cables, psu, remote is £60 on ebay. This will even come with openelec configured. Being a mini computer you can use it for a lot more if you require. Surely the tech geek inside you will want to SSH to your media box out of principle?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Data collection

    I don't supposed you could be arsed to wireshark and see what data these things send to Google as part of the review, or is security/privacy not a concern?

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Data collection

      Indeed. Receivers are hosted by Google? Explain!

      Meh, can't be bothered with wireshark, due to VLC, MythTV, an NFS server and the lack of a "real" TV anywhere in the house.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data collection

      As it's Google, no need to wireshark it as you know it will be beaming back marketing data.

      Now they have made it round, you can stick a picture of the Eye of Sauron on it.

      Newsflash - Microsoft to follow suit with an anti-privacy device of their own to capitalise on the success of W10's anti-privacy features.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data collection

      "see what data these things send to Google"

      EVERYTHING...

    4. fuzzie

      Re: Data collection

      I've been lead to understand that the Chromecast, and possible other Chromy devices tend to have the Google name servers hard coded or at the very least prefer them over whatever your local DHCP server or ISP might be advertising. How's that for collecting meta-data about every single thing you're doing?

  7. gort

    Playing MKV files

    You can play MKV files on Chromecast with Videostream for Chromecast (Windows or Android). It doesn't need to do on-the-fly video conversion, it just streams from the MKV container. It does do conversion of AC3 audio though. Plex also supports MKV.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Playing MKV files

      Thank you for that info.

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Videostream

      Upvoted for mentioning Videostream which is excellent for casting local content. That's now what I use my Chromecast for more often than not.

  8. CoffeePoweredRobot

    Anything else updated for 2015?

    What's different about this model other than the form factor? Any reason to switch from the previous edition or have the internals not changed at all?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anything else updated for 2015?

      RTFA - (Hint: Wireless).

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Anything else updated for 2015?

      Faster chips (better decode)

      Higher res (up to 4K instead of 720p?)

      5GHz wireless (ac instead of g/n?)

      Bought one the other day. It arrived the day after. Stuck it on 5GHz. No glitches, buffering, etc. as was occasionally hit on it's 2.4GHz brethren.

  9. Alan Potter 1

    DLNA?

    Would the Chromecast support DLNA from a local NAS?

    1. Teddy the Bear

      Re: DLNA?

      I've got a first-generation ChromeCast, and the answer is yes, possibly. If an app on the mobile device is cast-enabled then it can pull DNLA stuff off a NAS box, then push it to the ChromeCast.

      I tried it - it wasn't pretty (very slow, and hammered the mobile's battery) but it did work for music. Couldn't face it with video though...

    2. Two Posts

      Re: DLNA?

      I've used the Chromecast V1 since it was released in the UK in conjunction with a DLNA server.

      I use the android app - BubbleUPnP

      The app is free and almost fully functional when initiating mkv / mp3 streams from an external DLNA server but requires a license to stream content from the phone.

      The DLNA servers I have experience with are the built in one on my Asus router and a Raspberry PI both running flavours of miniDLNA/ReadyMedia.

    3. Alan Potter 1
      Thumb Up

      Re: DLNA?

      Thank you for the answers :-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    Prime Minister Corbyn will sort them out...

    v.g.

    I vote BT OpenReach be first against the wall come the revolution.

    He could do *so* much good ... the country needs a purgative ... give him the rubber gloves for a year, on the understanding we then get a year of whalesong and incense and no surprises from a MOTR coalition of the bland-but-competent.

    <shimmer-shimmer>

    <sigh> back in the real world ... :(

  11. BigAndos

    This still doesn't address the relative lack of content

    I use my mark 1 Chromecast extensively for iPlayer, renting films via Play and netflix and it works like a dream. It has the best user experience of any streaming box I've tried. My Samsung "smart" Bluray is slow, clunky and apps like Netflix keep getting pulled.

    However, the irritation with Chromecast is the lack of people making native apps for it. As the article mentions, outside of Google properties, iPlayer, Netflix and Now TV there are just a load of no name apps. I also want ITV player, All 4, Demand 5 and Amazon Instant Video. It is annoying having to stream these from my PC via casting from Chrome.

    I can't find a single streaming box that can handle all of the content providers I want to watch. If Google could find a way to let you start streaming video from any source via your mobile/tablet only then Chromecast would be the best thing since sliced bread. I suppose that will wait until all content providers are using HTML 5.

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: a single streaming box that can handle all of the content providers

      And you never will. The content providers don't want to make it easier for you to use a competitor's service hence Amazon not supporting Chromecast for Amazon Prime Video, Google Play etc...

      They want you to pick a side, their side, so they get your subscription and market purchases long term. We want diversity of content without needing an Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, three mobile devices, four tellies and a laptop running Chrome.

      I'll join your open content crusade, though.

      1. BigAndos

        Re: a single streaming box that can handle all of the content providers

        Amazon are being especially rubbish at supporting a range of devices. Maybe I'll just vote with my feet and stop using them! Roku 3 is so nearly there, it is only missing Amazon which funnily enough is present in the UK. Rumours are Sky paid them a bung to not support their service in the UK as part of the contract to make the Now TV box for them!

        This is also pretty hilarious. Isn't it up to Amazon to add Chromecast or Apple TV support to those devices?

        http://venturebeat.com/2015/10/01/amazon-bans-sale-of-apple-tv-and-chromecast-because-they-dont-offer-prime-video/

    2. Yugguy

      Re: This still doesn't address the relative lack of content

      My Xperia Z3 has inbuilt Chromecast support. And inbuilt general DNLA for that matter.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still stuck at 60Hz?

    Or can it do 24 and 50Hz now to make it useful?

  13. Alan Denman

    re Prime Minister Corbyn sorting em out

    You have to be kidding, right?

    He promised to sort out Google, Amazon ...and 'others'.

    The only real sign of that fruity one is Corbyn himself.

  14. PghMike

    Love my chrome cast (V1)

    I use it with Plex for ripped DVDs, Netflix, Hulu (Plus), HBO Go, Amazon Prime videos (via Chrome tab casting, which works quite well, even with a 2011 Macbook Pro doing the casting), CBS.COM (for Colbert, also via tab casting), FXX and Vudu purchased videos.

    It's cheap, it fits into a TV that has no other reasonable connections, and it works well for everything but Apple media. So, I don't buy Apple media.

    Of course, those losers at Amazon don't provide a native iOS casting app, but tab casting works well enough that I really don't mind.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't dangle. It just comes with Blu Tack not included.

  16. pogul

    I love REAL remote controls!

    Please don't stop make remotes!

    - My phone is code-locked... (1) I sit down to watch a good programme, (2) 5 mins in, a child starts screaming as they've just puked everywhere, (3) Before I can run upstairs, I have to unlock my phone, find the netflix app, let it re-sync with the programme being played, press pause. It all takes a few seconds and is annoying and fiddly. With my FireTV I just reach for the remote and press pause (and I don't have to look at it as I can feel the buttons!)

    - Visitors: e.g. babysitters - what do I do then? Ask them to install a set of apps on their phone to use the TV? Or, I have to give them my Netflix credentials for them to use their phone to cast programmes to the TV?

    - Kids: similar problems as for visitors really. I'm not leaving them with my phone to use, no thanks.

    1. MattPi

      Re: I love REAL remote controls!

      "Please don't stop make remotes!"

      I feel your pain, a lot of solutiosn seem to ignore the idea that you'd have more than one person that uses these devices; insert comment about single male techies here. The solution I've come up with is to use an old phone or tablet to be the interface for whatever, leaving my phone free. It's actually nice from the standpoint that I can walk away with my phone and the tablet keeps streaming music so the other people in the house don't get interrupted.

    2. thesykes

      Re: I love REAL remote controls!

      " I have to unlock my phone, find the netflix app, let it re-sync with the programme being played, press pause. It all takes a few seconds and is annoying and fiddly."

      I'd say that's a fault with the app then, as all the apps I use kindly put the controls on the lock screen, no need to unlock.

    3. Jess

      Re: I love REAL remote controls!

      My phone has a pause button. (But doesn't work with chromecast). I use a similar arrangement with bluetooth for music though.

      Works fine for visitors.

      It is the lack of support for anything other than their own systems and iOS that bugs me. Would be nice if the thing did bluetooth audio in too.

    4. gort

      Re: I love REAL remote controls!

      Chromecast works with HDMI-CEC remote controls so if your TV has this feature (most modern ones, even cheapies, should do) then you can just press Pause on the TV remote and the Chromecast will pause whatever it's streaming.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We used the old version on a projector

    It worked fine for a while but it was too close to the projector fan and would overheat after 30-40 minutes.

    I hope with the extension cable that would be solved, but what USB port nowadays delivers 1A? I thought that the max for USB2 was 0.5A and USB3 max 0.9A - or has this just been rounded up?

    1. Annihilator

      Re: We used the old version on a projector

      "but what USB port nowadays delivers 1A?"

      USB3.1 (5A). There are also "charging ports" which have been available for years now.

  18. Big Ed

    Google Can't Even Google - Google Content Providers

    So I go to Google to find out what content I can get with Google Chrome, and all Google comes back with is bunches of entries for Apps.

    Definitely not ready for Prime Time.

  19. knelmes

    Casting entire screen from Windows

    "This makes for a decent means to mirror, say, a Google Docs presentation from your laptop screen to a big TV or projector, but you’re limited to browser-viewed content."

    Not really true, unless it's been removed - http://www.alphr.com/network-media-streamers/1000135/how-to-use-chromecast-to-stream-anything-from-your-laptop-or-pc

  20. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "... a spare HDMI port on your TV..."

    HA HA HA HA HA HA...

    A 'spare HDMI port', HA HA HA HA...

    You crack me up. There's not even a spare port on the extra external HDMI Switch.

  21. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    What is this mythical beast?

    "a spare HDMI port on your TV"

  22. Jess

    Works great on the few things that support it, BUT

    I got given one free (old type). But since it only has HDMI audio, it would be problematic to install in my home cinema system (SP/DIF only). So it was left in the box.

    Recently I tried ultraviolet, (which seems like a brilliant idea), only to find that nothing I own will actually work with it in a way that is beneficial. (PS3 could use it in supposed SD, but it looks and sounds more like VHS to me).

    It was easy to install the chromecast with sound just coming from the projector for testing.

    Iplayer and youtube worked fine from an android tablet, android x86 laptop and chromium (after installing pepper flash).

    So I tried the UV apps (blinkbox and flixster video, both of which play the movies locally, but I'm not going to seriously view movies on a £60 tablet). Neither would work with the Chromecast. Blinkbox didn't offer the buttons on the tablet, and on the Android x86 device the buttons were there, but nothing worked. Flixster just errored that none of the movies were available for streaming. On chromium they failed too.

    The device is now unplugged and sitting on the shelf. Like UV is is a great idea, killed/hobbled by lack of interoperability.

    HDMI only (which if that were the only issue, I would get around). No support for BlackBerry (which via bluetooth is my main audio player). No support for Firefox. App support so poor, it offers nothing over a PS3.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Works great on the few things that support it, BUT

      Ultraviolet is a mess.

      According to the UV website, I have 21 UV titles. Flixster says 20 and Blinkbox 18

      Of those, two or three can be cast from Flixster. I can plug a HDMI cable into my laptop and watch the film on my TV, but, I can't send it from my laptop to my TV over wifi.

      Two of the missing Blinkbox titles are available to buy or rent from them, but, they can't let me watch them via my UV account.

      The studios obviously want me to pay in order to watch films I have already paid for, in order to watch how I want. What happens in reality is that I rip the DVD to my NAS and watch it on my TV via Chromecast, or on any PC, my phone or tablet, anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Strange how NAS manufacturers can provide a service that is far better than UV can.

      As for PS3 v Chromecast, I use iPlayer a lot, and the app on my phone is far better than the PS3 version.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ultraviolet is a mess.

        I understand that since Disney took over Marvel, some movies have been removed from UV. (A poor situation.)

        But not as poor as the situation with respect to trying to play the damn things. (Apparently the PS3 is lucky to have even poor quality playback, the Wii and PS4 have none.)

        I mentioned the situation to a friend with even more obscure kit than me, who uses bittorrent for movies. He just laughed. He can watch his movies on anything, and they were cheaper than mine.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use Apple and B&O kit exclusively.

    No particular point to make, I just want to be a temporary trigger point for any microaggressions you all have. Vent your spleen by downvoting accordingly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I use Apple and B&O kit exclusively.

      Bless

  24. Andrew Jones 2

    First of all it's possible to get an Ethernet adaptor for the Chromecast if you really need to go down that route. Second everyone always misses my absolute favourite feature of the Chromecast which is that it it doesn't have apps that require you to login (by the way El Reg, Google doesn't host the receiver apps - the app developers host them on their own servers). The benefit of not having apps that need to be logged in to - means for example - a friend might rent a movie on Google Play (or in fact they might have bought the movie) and can come to your house, hit cast (they don't even need to be connected to your WiFi if you have enabled guest mode on the Chromecast) and you can be watching a movie that you don't own. The same goes for things like Netflix you personally don't have to subscribe but someone can come to your house who does subscribe and send Netflix straight to the Chromecast, no-one ever has to bother logging in and therefore don't have to remember to log out when they leave.

  25. Hellcat

    I bought a chromecast despite having a windows phone (so no native support) and amazon prime (which might be getting binned as they won't play nicely) simply because it does not have a remote.

    Watching my father in law trying to find a youtube video via his apply tv remote (right x 4, click, down, left x 2, click, down x 2, right x 2, click - and that's 3 letters entered) I realised being able to type words using that omni-present smart phone was the better way to control a TV box.

    For £30 it was my little geeky treat/toy and it's been fine casting youtube videos from the honestly brilliant Tubecast app. It's been worth the £30 for the few hours peace and quiet from the Kids I've got courtesy of stampylongnose and friends. More recently we've added a Tesco Hudl2 to the house and obviously the number of apps we can cast from has increased. Still use tubecast for youtube - the native android one is awful! Can't imagine going back to left, click, down, right, click.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon isn't selling them...

    And Amazon have decided not to sell the new 'puck' version as it does not support Prime Video

    Citing that their customised "might be confused" - as obviously every video-playing device supports Prime Video? Right?

    Oh, and according to "Alphr" the same reason is being touted for the non-selling of the new AppleTV (does not support Prime Video either)...

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