Google Chomecast Device Rating
Google Chomecast Review
Google Chromecast is a streaming media player. This is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to stream your favorite TV shows and movies. Google first introduced a USB style stick in 2013 which allowed users to cast from their smartphone or tablet to the TV. Google updated Chromecast in 2015 to a small dongle but not much has changed. They introduced Chromecast Ultra in 2016.
Google currently offers two models:
- Google Chromecast
- Google Chromecast Ultra
Google Chromecast is in the second generation. Google Chromecast Ultra is in the first generation. We would consider these to be in the low to middle end of the streaming device market.
What Can I Access With Google Chromecast And Chromecast Ultra?
Chromecast gives you access to more than 200,000 TV shows and movies and 30 million songs. There is a variety of cast enabled apps, streaming services, and you can even cast the Chrome browser. Here is a partial list of some of the most popular services available through Chromecast:
All of the audio and video media available on Google Play can be streamed through the Chromecast; however, iTunes and Amazon are missing.
Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra
Google’s devices are probably some of the most basic and generally disappointing of all the different streaming players on the market. Since its release in 2013, very little has been done to upgrade features or functionality. The device is unlike Roku or Amazon Fire TV because it does not have an interface or even a remote, you must cast from a separate device.
The Chromecast dongle plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and needs to be connected to a USB power supply. You must use a separate device and your TV to stream TV shows, movies, and games. Chromecast works with iPhone®, iPad®, Android phone and tablet, Mac® and Windows® laptop and Chromebook.
When you pull up what you want to stream on your device, you simply hit the cast button and it relays the stream through the player to your TV. One of the main advantages of this is that it will not drain the battery of your device as quickly vs streaming on the device itself.
Chromecast can be connected to any Google Home products. This gives users the ability to use voice commands to play videos and music. Another cool Chromecast feature is that you can cast the Chrome browser basically allowing you to turn your TV into a monitor. This also allows you to turn your TV into a picture frame to display photos and screensavers.
This device supports dual-band 802.11ac for faster and more reliable WiFi and streams in 1080p. The second generation is slightly faster than the original, which from our experience was pretty slow compared to competitors.
At this point, you might be asking, “What about Chromecast Ultra?” Well, there isn’t much to say about it. It has all of the same exact features as the regular Chromecast, except the Ultra has 4K and HDR streaming functionality and is slightly faster. This model also has an Ethernet port, which is generally pretty important for 4K.
Google Chromecast MSRP is $35 and Google Chromecast Ultra MSRP is $59.99.
The Verdict: Chromecast is an affordable streaming player. It is good for people who primarily stream through a smartphone or tablet and occasionally want to stream to a TV. It is also a great device for people who want to turn their TV into a monitor.
It is easy to set up and is incredibly portable. The device is slow vs newer devices from other manufacturers but is still very usable. Google really hasn’t put as much love into the product as we would like to see. We do not recommend this product for moderate to heavy streamers. The Ultra is the cheapest 4K device but we also would recommend heavily considering an alternative 4K device first.
Compare Chromecast Model Specifications
|System on a chip|