Review: Google Chromecast
This cheap little wonder finally lands in Oz
This unassuming dongle has been busy turning any telly in the US into an internetenabled smart set since last year. Now it’s finally ready to do the same in Australia.
Plugging directly into your TV’s HDMI port, Chromecast gifts it instant connected capabilities and access to YouTube, ABC iView and the like using a phone, tablet or laptop as the remote. Pick what you want to watch and press the app’s Cast button (a screen outline with a Wi-Fi symbol).
Setup is simple, although you need to power the dongle either via a USB port or your TV using the supplied adapter. Casting works well, too, delivering HD-quality content (unlike Apple TV) and there’s generally less buffering. But that’s mainly because Chromecast isn’t actually streaming your content wirelessly, it accepts a web address from your device and pulls the content down itself. That means it can cast Chrome web pages on to your big screen, too, once you’ve downloaded a plug-in. It’s easy to watch catch-up TV and streams from, ahem, unsupported channels this way, although the content won’t be in HD or full-screen.
This is by no means a foolproof way to get smart features on your telly, but as a cheap, cheerful add-on for those not yet on the internet TV bandwagon it’s a pretty great option.