The super cheap (just £25) Google Cromecast is causing quite a stir and could be an ideal way to turn a non-smart TV into a media streamer.
It’s loads cheaper than rivals Apple TV, Roku and WD TV currently available.
However, TechRadar has given it a lukewarm review.
The good news for Google and everyone who buys into Chromecast right now is that while it still lacks a plethora of apps, it’s the same exact problem that Apple TV and similarly-styled streaming boxes have faced for years. Content providers have been slow to get on board. In a few months time, Chromecast’s lineup of apps is likely to be no better and no worse than its rivals.
Fundamentally, all the media streamers are being hit by a lack of unique content.
So apart from the Google-owned services, there isn’t a lot to get excited about on the Chromecast. In the UK we can probably expect Murdoch’s Now TV, Amazon’s LoveFilm, BBC iPlayer apps to be added – all very ‘yawn’ (they’ve been on the games consoles and many smart TVs for years). If they bring Hulu Plus or HBO to the UK then I may be interested.
So what have we got left? Chromecast is a dongle that allows you to project what you are doing on your Android phone / tab or laptop running the Chrome browser onto a big screen. So that’s essentially Apple TV airplay. Useful, but not great. As with Apple TV it also requires HDMI connection.
So I’ll be sticking with my YouView box and Wii console combo attached to my very old Philips non-HDMI CRT boob tube. This seems to cover all my on-demand /media streaming needs at the moment with no monthly cable / sat fees.
- YouView – gets me BBC iPlayer, itv player, 4od, Demand 5, Now TV and, recently added, Dave (Yesterday and Really catch-ups coming)
- Wii – YouTube and Internet browsing. Apps for NetFlix and LoveFilm.
- iPad attached to TV – I occassionally download the odd film from iTunes