Yep the Chromecast has just been announced and let's you (sort of) "mirror" content from a range of devices with Chrome to your TV with just this HDMI stick! Yes there are also some cheap chinese Android sticks around but for this price (35USD) this is seriously a no brainer; but not currently available in NZ..
So I guess it's time to get out my "lightning-speed mouse" and try to score one off Amazon later today. May also be my first time to try out Youshop as well as it will probably not ship to NZ yet.. :(
Approximate total cost of package would be 62NZD with Youshop.
sonyxperiageek: Oh and not sure if I'll be able to redeem more than one free 3-months of Netflix if I buy more Chromecasts..?
And if post #15 from this Canadian thread is anything to go by you are not going to be able to cast Netflix to it anyway as we have to use UnoTelly on Unblock US or a VPN here in NZ and this post from Canada is suggesting that ChromeCast did not like that.
Good FAQ posted up by an Amazon reviewer (in the US). He says he can play his own NAS content by putting the file path in the browser address bar.
Here you have it, a quick FAQ reflecting our experience with the product so far. I am updating it as we go and as we learn or discover more.
Q: What can I do with Chromecast? A: I was able to stream Netflix, Pandora, Google Music, Google Play movies or YouTube, stream off my own HDD and off my Chrome browser.
Q: Could a Chromecast replace an already installed Roku or PS3, Xbox, Blu-ray player, media hub or whatever streaming solution? A: Not fully. There's a lot more content available through the more mature 'streamers'. Roku has hundreds of channels including Netflix (but YouTube can only be streamed in a roundabout way and it doesn't have a browser), the PS3 and Xbox have both YouTube and Netflix and lots more including Amazon Prime and some basic browsers. I expect that Chromecast will quickly add many more services soon so time will tell.
Q: Should a Chromecast ever fully replace a larger or more expensive streaming device? A: Not immediately, but it's a good, inexpensive, entry-level streaming solution and it's likely to get better fast.
Q: Is it equally easy to use it off a Mac/iOS as it is off an Android/PC? A: I did not have time to test it on the Mac before leaving for a long vacation but please leave comments on your Mac/iOS experience and I will be happy to update this section.
Q: What are the best uses of Chromecast? A: Anyone who doesn't already have some streaming device attached to their TV could use the Chromecast if the TV has an HDMI port. It could also be used on 'bedroom' TVs if they don't already have access to a streamer. It proved itself most valuable while on the road for as long as Wi-Fi was available and we could actually access the TV's features and HDMI ports (good luck with most hotel TVs).
Q: Is content truly limited to the few services currently supported through apps such as Netflix or Youtube? A: Not exactly. You can also stream whatever content you have stored locally and (in Beta now) just about anything you can get playing on your Chrome.
Q: Will Chromecast suck up all the data off my phone's data plan if I use my phone to control streaming? A: Probably not if your are using an app. Once I told my Netflix app running on my phone that I wanted to watch on the TV, it started to stream Netflix directly to the Chromecast/TV off our Wi-Fi router, treating the phone basically as a remote control.
Q: How do I setup my Chromecast? A: You go to a provided URL with your browser and the Chromecast will be added to your Wi-Fi network.
Q: Does the Netflix app on my phone need an update to work with Chromecast? A: Yes. I was prompted for it.
Q: Does the Chromecast power itself off the HDMI? A: With HDMI 1.3 I had to power it off the TV's USB port. If your TV doesn't have a USB port you can use the provided charger powered off an AC outlet. I wasn't able to test with HDMI 1.4 yet but comments to this review seem to indicate that the HDMI alone can't power the Chromecast.
Q: Are all needed wires and a power adapter included with the Chromecast? A: Yes.
Q: Does my TV need to support Wi-Fi? A: No, it's the Chromecast that talks to your Wi-Fi router. The TV simply gets the stream through the HDMI port.
Q: Can I use my phone to turn my TV on/off once the Chromecast is attached? A: I couldn't find that option yet.
Q: Can I use my phone to control my TVs volume? A: Yes, to some extent. You can lower it but if you want it louder than your TV is set for you still have to use your TV remote to turn it up higher. In other words, if your TV was initially set to 'very low' you will need your TV remote to make it louder.
Q: Can I stream whatever is in my Chrome browser to the TV? A: I tried and it works but not very well at this time - lags, freezes. This feature appears to be in Beta but I suspect it will be made to work well soon.
Q: Can I stream from sources other than the Web, such as another computer or a NAS on my home network? A: I just made it work on Chrome running on a Windows 7 PC by placing a file's path into the browser's address and it worked with a video file that was on a NAS (HDD on my home network).
Q: Do I absolutely need a phone or tablet to set up and run Chromecast? A: No, you can do it off your PC as well.
Q: Can I return the Chromecast if it doesn't work for me? A: Amazon will let you return anything that's defective for free but you may have to pay for shipping if you return something because you don't like it.
Q: What are Chromecast's best features? A: Low price, easy installation, easy to move it from one TV to another, working with both Android and iOS devices.
Q: What are Chromecast's main shortcomings? A: Not as many optimized (apps) streaming sources as Roku or a Google-enabled TV but that is likely to change.
Q: Does the H2G2-42 model number mean anything? A: According to Gizmodo, H2G2 stands for 'HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy' (HHGG). And 42 is, of course, the answer to that big question about life, the Universe and everything. Clever.
Q: How likely is it that the author of this FAQ/review is/will be/was involved in the events chronicled by the HHGG? A: It's improbable.
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