Whelp, I finally bought a Chromecast! Ever since it was announced back in July of last year I wanted to get one. Meagan and I currently use our softmodded Wii to view Netflix and Amazon’s Instant Video however there are a few issues with doing it that way:
- Both Netflix and Instant Video apps on the Wii are pretty terrible, especially Instant Video.
- The Wii does not support HD video playback so all of our Blu-Ray and 1080p videos can’t be played on it.
- We have to hookup one of our computers using HDMI to the TV if we want to watch the HD videos.
- No good apps for music.
Thus the Chromecast comes in! It pretty much solves all of the problems listed above. We can now easily stream Netflix (and other apps) straight from our computers or smart phones. It is pretty handy since the interfaces are much better on the computer and Droid than on the Wii. Since it is coming in through HDMI instead of the Wii all HD Netflix videos are able to be watched at full quality. Pretty cool!
Unfortunately Amazon Instant Video is not currently available but Amazon developers have said that is it should be made available soon!
The Chromecast makes it easy to play Youtube videos and Pandora as well so listening to music is a lot easier now. We have a desktop set up in our office that has speakers but if we wanted to listen to stuff through our TV (much better sound) then it was hard. Now we can easily play everything using the Chromecast.
One of the coolest things that is available is the ability to use PLEX to play local files. The PLEX software sets up a media server that the Chromecast can then talk to. However, at the moment, only the pay version of PLEX offers this feature. However, their developers have said that this feature will most likely be available with the free version soon.
All in all, I think the Chromecast is a super cool device. I have been toying with the idea of doing some development of my own on it but don’t really have any good ideas for what I would do…