Update Free Chromecast Giveaway: We will be giving away a free unopened Chromecast once we get to the 500th confirmed subscriber from this post(US Only)! We will pick a subscriber at random. Contest ends once we get to 500.
Enter To Win Free Chromecast by Google
1) Subscribe here.
2) Go check your email and click to confirm your subscription.
3) The confirmation page will tell you the last step.
Disclaimer: This give away is in no way related to or promoted by Google or anyone else. I myself just bought an extra one to give to our readers.
If we select a winner and you do not respond within 48 hours you forfeit your winnings and we reserve the right to select a new winner at random.
What Is Chromecast?
Chromecast is the new Tech Toy Utility Gadget Thingie from Google. It allows you to stream media to any High-Def TV with an HDMI port. So basically you can turn any old HDTV into sort of a “Smart TV”.
What Can I Watch With Chromcast?
Currently with the Chromecast you can watch Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Youtube, Pandora and much more from any device in your home that can download and install Chromecast. Such as your tablet, Android Phone and yes, even iPhone. For some reason it does not work with the Kindle Fire which runs the Android OS with it’s own skin over it. Oh and most importantly it does not cast Amazon Prime yet. I really hope Amazon and Google sort out whatever beef they have because Amazon Prime is the superior streaming service.
ChromeCast Your Desktop!
From your computer you can cast a Google Chrome tab to your television which is great for presenting and sharing photos or anything on the internet. There is even a “beta” version that cast your entire desktop to the television flat screen LCD over your network! Now hold on, don’t get too excited. There is one major drawback that may have just smashed all of your dreams and we’ll cover that later on in the article.
One really neat feature is being able to use the Youtube App on your phone, press the cast button and suddenly have that video playing on your TV. You can do this from an Android or iPhone.
If you have several people over, you can all control it and take turns playing videos or music. Trust me, people LOVE this.
Could ChromeCast Replace The XBOX Media Center?
As you probably know I use my XBOX as a home media center. I mean sure I play games on it like Battlefield 4, GTA V and Borderlands 2 but that’s it.
I really use the huge beastly gaming machine next to my TV for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and streaming movies from my computer to my XBOX.
But now that I have this amazing tiny little Chromecast device tucked away and plugged into the back my TV I rarely ever turn on the XBOX. Really only for Amazon Prime or when I need to watch a file from my computer over the network. Chromecast can still improve on this.
So for most heavy use in my home the Chromecast dongle has replaced the XBOX 360 and I have no need to upgrade to an XBOX One because I already have an awesome gaming computer.
Power Plug or USB?
The device comes with a standard AC adapter plug and an USB power adapter. Why the two options?
Well, if you want to turn your TV on with your handheld device via Chromecast it has to already be powered on. When you use the AC adapter provided it is always on awaiting your command to wake the TV.
If you use the provided USB power adapter, when you turn the TV off, the power to the unit goes off. With this option you are unable to power the TV on with your Chromecast.
Many people have complained that if it is always powered on, the white LED on the dongle is too bright at night and have gone as far as to put tape over the LED to reduce the light pollution. My light is hardly bright so maybe the hardware has changed since then?
1) Honestly mostly the fact that it won’t stream Amazon Prime.
2) Another huge one is the device never powers off so if you turn on your Tv to watch something and it ends the device goes into an infinite loop of displaying beautiful random background images. It would be really great if it would shut down after 15 minutes of inactivity allowing for the HDTV to shut down from the natural power saving causes. Otherwise you have to set a sleep timer each time or face waking up in the wee hours of the morning with it all still powered on. This can be bad for your TV and your sleep habits.
3 ) If you use the power adapter it is always always on, getting hot but that is the only way to wake your TV up with the Chromecast. I personally think the best setup for Chromecast is the USB power so that it is not powered on 24 hours a day.
4) While casting your desktop there is no mouse cursor on the television. This is a huge drawback because you pretty much have to be tied to your computer monitor look at your desktop screen to navigate. Making the best feature, desktop cast, inadequate.
1) It’s only $35!
2) Turn any TV with an HDMI port into a “Smart TV”.
3) View webpages from your computer on your TV.
4) View photos and videos from your computer on your TV.
5) Easily control it all from your phone or tablet.
So in conclusion, get it. However until they get Prime on there, it will not replace the XBOX as a home entertainment system.
For only $35 you really can’t complain. It is so worth it.