Google Chromecast is a cost effective way of projecting your small screen on line media from your Smartphone to your big screen TV.
Developed by Google, there is a natural assumption that Chromecast has a better affinity to Android devices then with other mobile OS’s. However, the device is iOS compatible and significantly cheaper than an Apple TV. So, whilst on holiday and with a need to improve my viewing options, I decided to check out how well the Chromecast experience adapts to my beloved iPhone.
The Chromecast comes with all the hardware you need to get the device up and running, including the actual device, an optional HDMI extender and a USB Power connector (with plug).
Simply plug the device into a free HDMI port on your TV, connect it to a power source and you are good to go, turn everything on, tune your TV to HDMI and you’ll see a welcome screen.
Before you can configure your Chromecast on your iPhone you will need to download the free Chromecast App from the Apple App Store, which when you run for the first time reminds you to connect to the Chromecast over WiFi.
For some this process may be complicated and not intuitive, but after you work through it you will see your Chromecast listed in the app allowing you to configure its WiFi settings.
Success – Although not the easiest process
Unlike the Android experience, the iOS experience is solely based on app compatibility where the functionality has been specifically coded in – so no desktop mirroring here.
Fortunately there are some big names here including: iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube, BT Sport and Google Play
After you have installed & configured the Chromecast app, a small extra icon appears on compatible apps which when pressed will allow you to direct the media to be displayed on your big screen, and in my YouTube focused testing it’s fair to say that as long as the source video is reasonable, the video quality was much better then I was expecting & sometimes stunning
Whilst you can play your own iPhone recorded movies with the appropriate App, at the moment there is no way to play iTunes media, this of course may make you consider where you purchase videos from in the future, but is a pain in the neck if you have already invested heavily in the Apple ecosystem.
Ultimately if you want to watch Apple purchased content on your TV then the Apple TV is the right way to go for you, however if you want a cost effective way to access online media on your big screen then the iOS Chromecast provides a practical if not eloquent solution.