Sunday, 29 September 2013


So, about 2 months ago, Google released a TV dongle called Chromecast. Now this was a device that would make it easier for people to share things online to a TV. Either a video on Youtube, a Film or TV show on Netflix or even just a website.

Now it was a nice and simple device for a simple price, $35. BUT AND THE MAJOR PROBLEM SO FAR, it hasn't released in the UK, which is a major shame. But after checking eBay, there were some UK importers who knew they could make a quick ££ from buying some from the us and bringing it over to here.
Now i found one for £60 (£55+£5 P&P)  and i bought it on Friday, it arrived the next day after running home from work, as i usually do.

So here goes my review the video review is below:

The packaging. 

Now the packaging is simply, easy to understand and very neatly packaged. It gives the look of a google product straight away, with the font and everything. Pics of each of the sides of the packaging is below:
The front of the box. With the dongle itself and a simple summary of what it does.

The rear of the box, the summary of what it can do and a picture of it. It also shows the services it supports. Google Chrome, Youtube, Netflix and Google Play. Also the small print mentions the OS'es that are supported

The side of the box, to show how simple the device is meant to be to get going and use. The watch icon is exactly the ont you need to look for when wanting to stream to the chromecast.  

The front of the inside of the box, A very clear guide to get started. including the URL to go to

The rear of the dongle itself, this might be a bit blurry to see the text.

The top of the dongle and HDMI connector, also a indicator which lights up on the left of the dongle.

After taking the dongle cardboard piece out you have the following. A Micro USB cable a manual underneath, a HDMI extension cable, A US (Non CE Approved) USB Charger. Just a simple amount to see in the box.

As you saw, the packaging is nicely done, although i'm never a good cable tidier, it still fits nicely. Now after unboxing it, its a simple case to set it up as shown in the manual.

Using the Cast and Setting it up

Now the set-up is quite a simple process. Just plug the dongle into a hdmi port, plug a micro usb cable into the dongle and a standard usb 2 or 3 port, then switch the TV to use the HDMI input. Wait for it to boot and then go to the chromecast setup page or get the chromecast app. After installing it, the setup is simply check if the code shown matches, then name the dongle, set up the wifi and then its "ready to cast".

The "Ready to cast" screen which has a nice background every time, the time, the chromecast name as the Network Name. Simple but beautiful.

If you using chrome on OSX, Chrome OS or Windows, you will need the chrome extension, it will ask you to install it if you used the setup page. Otherwise your fully ready to go. 

But if you do want to change some settings, the options you can choose from is below:
The Chromecast app on PC, it will list any chromecasts that are on the network

The Settings for Chromecast, Changing the timezone, the name and if you want to reset the dongle.

With android, Google have NOT made the official Chromecast app, available on the UK Play Store. There is a link to get the APK itself, Which works fine and dandy :)
The Chromecast App, Exactly similar to the PC app, but suited to Android

The settings page on the Android app, this has a different option thats not listed on the PC app, but that can't be changed, since it is a US Play store App

Now if you want to cast, you can simply press the cast icon on the Youtube App on android, in Chrome or in the Youtube Player. Then wait 1 minute and its playing in 720p HD. Thats it. If you look at the triangle before you click the name of the dongle, you can decide whether you want just the web page or the entire Windows screen. So you can use this for Powerpoint presentations or make tutorials, but beware there is a slight delay, depending on the performance of your Wi-Fi router (N150, N300 or newer will handle it fine). An example of how it streams, using a instagram client is shown below. You can use 720p in a "high bitrate mode" but that is a risk you can take if needs be.

A basic concept of being able to show a webpage using chromecast. Ink361 in this case, the detail can be slightly off on bigger screens which can handle 1080p or higher, this is in standard 720p mode.


As you saw in the video review, the quality of the video is really as HD should be. Especially from the Beyond Two Souls Trailer or my recent upload of PAC-MAN CE DX+. I saw minimal quality issues. even on a broadband connection that is under 20mbps. 

One downside of the Chromecast is the fact you are unable to stream Local media easily, for example you want to show a home video off to your family on Christmas thats on your PC or Tablet. Officially, for now you are unable to do so easily. You can copy the location of the video into chrome as a url and play it but that can be a bit dire for the simplest of users.

omracer's Rating: 8/10

The good points:
  • Simple to setup
  • Streams any page on chrome and also any PC screen
  • Very good quality for a small dongle
The weak points
  • Only available in the US in the official stance (Like i mention, check eBay)
  • Not as easy to stream local media
  • The SDK is still in a preview stage so there are not many apps that can handle true Chromecast support just yet

Now this will be a nice temporary bit of fun until PS Vita TV has arrived, i probably will sell this and order it from Japan. But for now, hope you enjoy and if you find a chance to get one of these, i would recommend it

See you in the next review