Unbelievably, I’ve had my Chromecast for a couple of years now. Despite my TV and a set-top box having the ability to show stuff from my phone, I still default to the Chromecast. It sits wedged into a random HDMI port on the back of my TV and charges from a USB port on there too.
Being the rich webmaster of a global website that I am, I decided to splash out on two big purchases recently. One was a 5-pack of chewing gum and the second was a second Chromecast (they’re only £30 right now) for the TV in the kitchen. The fact is, I end up sitting in there when the wife has “the big TV”.
That first generation Chromecast was released on 2014, and was made available for purchase the same day. Continued support and appreciation led to the shaping of the second version whose design is way more robust and tech savvy. I’ve not gone dived straight in because, well… it sits behind a TV and I can’t see it anyway.
If you were thinking of getting a Chromecast too, but you’ve put it off, here’s some of my reasons for getting one. Or getting another one..
1 – Watching on a big screen
I don’t know about you, but I write about and use smartphones all day long. I’ve tested tablets too, but I still like to sit down and watch something on an actual “big screen” without having to hold a device and watch the battery go flat. The speed and ease of “beaming” a BBC iPlayer show, or a YouTube video, or a Netflix programme to my TV from my phone is now second nature and I still use this method over any Sky TV or Smart TV interface, which sometimes lags behind the internet listings or is just plain slow by comparison.
2 – I can play games!
At Christmas I tried out a few of the “quiz apps” that exist on the Google Play store and display questions and games on the screen. It’s still a little rough around the edges with some apps, but it helped make a few boozy afternoons pass with a lot of great laughs – especially when everyone could join in without being huddled around a smartphone screen. Plus, I could be “quiz master”, which was a great buzz :)
3 – It’s highly portable
Even if you don’t buy another one – you just need to unplug the thing from your HDMI port and put it into another TV with a USB and HDMI port or you can take it on holiday with you. Even the odd hotel TV will have a HDMI input, so you don’t need to put up with rubbish TV content.
4 – It’s cheap!
Well, it is. It’s easy to use too. You can get a stack of TV apps that’ll work with it, and last week I even found that a movie was cheaper through Google Play than it was through the Sky Box Office, so I had the choice of paying less and watching it on the same screen. That’ll do.
5 – It’s not just your smartphone
Whilst we’re all comfortable with using our smartphone for most things, you can also beam content from a Chromebook or a Windows laptop or PC. In recent weeks I’ve totally lost my rag with Windows as my “backup” PC has stopped doing this thanks to a “lapse” in my firewall protection (my fault). Bitdefender has been my preference for a while and I luckily stumbled across a to get it back working again. For the most part I’ll be using my smartphone and Chromebook though, especially in the kitchen where the new one will reside.