The Google Chromecast is a godsend, simply put. At only £30, it presents value for money almost unheard of in the tech community. For your hard earned dosh you get a fully-fledged streaming device, competing with the likes of the Roku Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire Stick, whilst taking up virtually no space.
I can’t count how many times it’s proved useful for me, whether there was nothing on TV, I needed to blast some music to liven up the house, or someone wanted to throw something on the tele. It’s saved my arse dozens of times.
Being able to cast something simply by joining the Wi-Fi (which most people in the house already are) is possibly the most useful feature of the Chromecast. Some argue that the lack of a dedicated remote control detracts somewhat from the experience, due to the added hassle of having to unlock your phone and open an app. However, the fact that anyone, Android or iOS, Mac or Windows, can open a YouTube or Netlflix video, among many other services, and cast straight to the TV is impressive, to say the least.
I can’t think of a better way to spend £30
To stream something, all it takes is loading any compatible app, pressing the cast button and selecting your video. Once ready, you can easily scrub through the video, pause, play and adjust the volume without leaving the app. That isn’t to say that you can’t leave the app while casting, quite the contrary, actually. As the Chromecast fetches data straight from the servers, rather than from your phone, you can close the app on your phone, open other apps, or shut your phone down altogether. Useful for looking up the name of that actor from that one film (you know the one).
In addition to the myriad of streaming services, if you have an Android phone, you have the ability to cast your devices screen. Alternatively, if you use the Chrome browser, you can cast your entire desktop, or just select the tab you have open, especially useful when you’re trying to organise the squad holiday.
I can’t count how many times it’s proved useful for me… it’s saved my arse dozens of times
One possible downside to the Chromecast, is that the output is capped at 1080p, however, given that most people today don’t have 4K displays just yet, this shouldn’t affect too many people. However, if you are one of the fortunate few with a 4K TV, the Chromecast Ultra offers 4K output with all of the same features of the regular Chromecast for about £50.
Overall, the Chromecast is an affordable, easy-to-use, feature rich essential for any modern household. So the question you should be asking yourself is “why haven’t I got one yet?”