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Chromecast...what's the advantage?

Distinguished Professor I

Chromecast...what's the advantage?

@BirdDog @monicakm

 

What exactly is it that Chromecast does?  It says "Stream entertainment from your device to your TV".  What does this mean, exactly?  Does this mean like streaming HBO Go, DirecTV, Netflix, etc, onto your laptop, but being able to watch it on your TV instead of your laptop?  

 

I have a long HDMI cable with which I can connect my laptop to my TV and watch whatever I stream to my laptop on my TV.  Is this essentially what Chromecast does, only Chromecast does it wirelessly?  

 

If not wirelessly, how does Chromecast connect to your laptop.  I know the doohickey plugs into your TV's HDMI port and that the doohickey has its own power source, but how does said doohickey connect to your laptop, or vice versa, I should say?

 

Thanks.  I tried looking this stuff up on the Chromecast site, but it doesn't give a whole lot of info.  


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
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Accepted Solutions
Senior Instructor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

Yea, the advantage is it is wireless so if someone's only other option is running a cable accross the floor or ceiling it is handy. It casts local content to the TV using Chrome and can also cast/stream online content. There's differents feeds that can be subscribed to, some free and others with a fee. Basically it can make a relatively dumb TV smart. My one older Roku TV is kind of clunky when it comes to casting so I purchased the Chromecast for it.

 

The newest edition of VLC video player can cast to it pretty well if not wanting to use Chrome all the time, with a few minor bugs yet. It should get better with future releases.

 

In the end, just another tech gadget to play with that can be useful at times.

Senior Instructor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

Also Gabe there is this. A simple casting device that doesn't require Internet. It is available on a popular auction site and also the site that has the jungle name. Less bells and whistles but costs more it appears. Go figure.

 

UPDATE: Just found it on Newegg refurbished for $19 + free shipping. That's a deal.

 

belkinmiracast.PNG

 

 

 

56 REPLIES
Senior Instructor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

Yea, the advantage is it is wireless so if someone's only other option is running a cable accross the floor or ceiling it is handy. It casts local content to the TV using Chrome and can also cast/stream online content. There's differents feeds that can be subscribed to, some free and others with a fee. Basically it can make a relatively dumb TV smart. My one older Roku TV is kind of clunky when it comes to casting so I purchased the Chromecast for it.

 

The newest edition of VLC video player can cast to it pretty well if not wanting to use Chrome all the time, with a few minor bugs yet. It should get better with future releases.

 

In the end, just another tech gadget to play with that can be useful at times.

Associate Professor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

"What exactly is it that Chromecast does?  It says "Stream entertainment from your device to your TV".  What does this mean, exactly?  Does this mean like streaming HBO Go, DirecTV, Netflix, etc, onto your laptop, but being able to watch it on your TV instead of your laptop? "

 

It projects stuff from your computer or a service such as Netflix onto your television, wirelessly.  I have two Chromecasts and love them. 

Distinguished Professor I

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

@BirdDog

 

Thanks!!!  While I can pretty much do that kind of thing with the long HDMI cable and I have Netflix on my TV already, I can see how it could come in handy, and maybe even be something I'd like so I wouldn't have to use the cable.  The cable works, but it does get in the way, and the thing is HUGE, as in the thickness of an orange extension cord.  That could just be the brand of cable, but I probably wouldn't have bought it from Amazon had I known that it was so huge.  

 

So the Chromecast device is a one time purchase, and I wouldn't have to subscribe to some monthly plan or anything, right?  I already get the HBO, Cinemax, and DirecTV on the go apps which I can use on my laptop.  The only other thing would be Netflix if I decide to do that.  But, again, to do what I already do, but wirelessly, I would just need the device and no monthly Chromecast subscription or something like that, right?  If so, it might be worth the $35 bucks.  Heck, the cable cost me $20, and I have to avoid tripping over it.  LOL.  

 

And I'd be one to just unplug it when not in use.  I don't mind doing that, and would rather do so.  I don't trust some things when it comes to my data usage.  Smiley Tongue 


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Associate Professor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

"So the Chromecast device is a one time purchase, and I wouldn't have to subscribe to some monthly plan or anything, right? "

 

Right. There's no subscription.  I don't unplug mine -- I have them set up in such a way that they get their power from the TV, so when the TV is off, they are off.  

Distinguished Professor I

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?


@maratsadewrote:

"So the Chromecast device is a one time purchase, and I wouldn't have to subscribe to some monthly plan or anything, right? "

 

Right. There's no subscription.  I don't unplug mine -- I have them set up in such a way that they get their power from the TV, so when the TV is off, they are off.  


Ah.  Well, I'll definitely have too look into that, then.  

 

I don't stream much, but when I do and do so from my laptop it looks great on my TV.  I tried "casting" it from my WiFi directly to my TV, and it worked, but the sound was quite out of sync and the picture didn't look that great.  With the Chromecast it sounds like that would be fixed.  

 

Thanks for the info!  


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Senior Instructor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

No charge to use it, just for subscription services like you already mentioned. You just sign in through Chrome like normal.

 

Just be sure to tame the Backdrop thing as described in the other threads and turn off the free feeds using an Android phone. That is another negative, need a smart phone with the Home app to get to some of the settings.

Distinguished Professor I

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?


@BirdDogwrote:

No charge to use it, just for subscription services like you already mentioned. You just sign in through Chrome like normal.

 

Just be sure to tame the Backdrop thing as described in the other threads and turn off the free feeds using an Android phone. That is another negative, need a smart phone with the Home app to get to some of the settings.


Coincidentally, I finally got a smart phone a couple of months ago.  It's a Tracfone, but it's still an Android based smart phone, so I can add apps through the app store.  So I got that covered.  Smiley Happy  


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Associate Professor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?

Yes, you need a smartphone with the Home app for the settings.  

I haven't noticed a big data drain from the backdrops. 

@GabeU, if the broaband speed is low, Chromecast will be slow and pixelate a bit -- when that happens to me, I revert to the HDMI cable and using a wireless mouse to control the laptop. (I use a short HDMI cable)

Senior Instructor

Re: Chromecast...what's the advantage?


@maratsadewrote:

Yes, you need a smartphone with the Home app for the settings.  

I haven't noticed a big data drain from the backdrops. 

@GabeU, if the broaband speed is low, Chromecast will be slow and pixelate a bit -- when that happens to me, I revert to the HDMI cable and using a wireless mouse to control the laptop. (I use a short HDMI cable)


That is very strange as it can use GB's per month depending how long it is left on with the default Backdrop settings. I noticed the heavy use right off with my Asus router that monitors use per device. I didn't use the Chromecast for several weeks until I found the fixes in the article I linked to in the other threads.

 

You must be turning it off when not used and possibly not noticing the 10's or 100's of MB consumed in the background, especially if not on for hours at a time. Trust me though, Backdrop is eating data.