So many computer-to-TV devices!
Out of the list, I picked Chromecast. I took quite a while to decide, checking reviews from other websites, especially technology sites. When I decided to go with it, I felt that it was a good decision. But after I received it and put it to work, I believe I have made the best decision for the use I intended for it.
I wanted to be able to send videos from my iMac to my TV. Mainly, local videos (meaning, they are on my hard disk), and on occasion, YouTube videos.
DURING THE RESEARCH PHASE:
Chromecast (USD35) apparently could not do that well. But I found a website saying that you could cast a tab with the video in it. So it can be done. Grudgingly accepted Chromecast.
Apple TV (USD79) can definitely do that. And very well. Since I am on Yosemite and Apple TV would stream any video. I could get Beamer too and enjoy HD streaming.
For the additional ease of streaming videos with the Apple TV, I would need to fork out more than double the price. I was hesitant. Plus, Beamer would be additional dollars. It’s a setup that would work for sure, and I would go for it if the price difference wasn’t so great.
For the price and the functionality and the size of the dongle… I went for Chromecast. I knew that for the price, even if we only watched 2 videos a week, I would be satisfied with my purchase.
REALITY (AFTER RECEIVING AND USING CHROMECAST):
Since the advent of Chromecast, some really smart people have made plugins and apps available. You can cast local videos with Videostream or on-page videos with PlayTo for Chromecast. Some Chromecast-enabled sites like YouTube would play the videos full-screen without additional effort nor require external apps or plugins. It is wonderful!
With three mentions:
- Videostream has a premium version at USD35, which you will not need unless you want to queue a playlist of videos.
- PlayTo for Chromecast can get a bit hard to use on webpages with multiple videos on the webpage, since each video will earn a pop-up asking if you would like to broadcast the video to Chromecast.
- On some occasions, Chrome may not be able to detect Chromecast. To resolve this, you’ll need to type chrome://restart in the address bar and hit enter.
Other than the above two “catches”, Chromecast works beautifully!
Per the three mentions above, these are the positive side:
- If you are playing one video at a time and don’t mind walking to and from the desktop, Videostream will work for you for free.
- After getting a hang of the pop-ups, I know which ones to click “play” and which ones to “cancel”. Hint: It’s usually the first one. There is also the option to turn off and on the pop-ups on demand.
- It’s easy to restart Chrome with chrome://restart and probably not more than 5 seconds. Plus, Chrome remembers my tabs and reloads them nicely. No loss!
Well, I’ve got mine. And although I was a bit jittery when I clicked the buy button, after putting it to work I did not regret my decision. We ended up playing up to 5 videos a day. It’s convenient, it doesn’t take up space, streaming is smooth, the videos are clear and except for some LoFi YouTube videos, the quality is usually satisfactory. For that price… I love it!
My Man tells me that it’s worth every penny and would pay SGD65 (USD35) for an additional Chromecast if we needed another one.
Now it’s your turn to make your choice and decision.
Review Disclaimer: I paid for my Chromecast. All opinions are entirely mine. All research is done by me.