It’s no surprise that the average living room has four remote control devices managing media and entertainment. That clutter is a mess and it also makes watching TV complicated. Anything to simplify that process is worth my attention and Google has done that with a very easy-to-use product called Chromecast. It’s the best TV app in my house right now and will only get better over time as new applications get developed for it. It gets two thumbs up from me for a number of reasons including price, it only cost $35. Here are five reasons why I think Chromecast is worth every penny.
- Chromecast is small and unobtrusive. This little hardware device is the size of a thumbnail drive that plugs into the USB port on the computer. Instead, Chromecast plugs into the HDMI port on any smart TV. Unlike a bulky set-top box, it’s practically hidden from view. Set up is a bit challenging at first connecting to Wi-Fi and entering a passcode to activate the software, but it didn’t take me more than 15 minutes.
- You can use your TV as a big computer monitor. Using my Chrome web browser, “casting” allows me to share photos, videos or whatever I have visible on the screen viewable on my TV. It’s almost like magic and I can’t believe it’s taken this long for a company to develop an easy way to connect your computer and TV.
- Chromecast turns my phone and iPad into TV remote controls. This is my favorite way to use Chromecast because it’s built into video apps such as HBO Go, Netflix and YouTube. It’s my go-to TV remote these days because I can essentially perform on-demand TV viewing from my mobile devices and bypass the entire cable system interface, which is archaic and slow. TV remotes are on their way out and becoming extinct thanks to Chromecast.
- Instant viewing without having to change the source on my TV. When I press the “play” button in an app or click the “cast” icon in my browser, content is sent to and displayed instantly on my TV. The HDMI source is activated within seconds even if I’m in a different TV source – it switches over immediately for viewing.
- Vibrant HD wallpaper on my TV screen. The Chromecast desktop cycles through various images of gorgeous art and beautiful nature photography before and after playback. It’s a nice reminder that it’s “ready to cast.
If Chromecast continues to add new apps to more media channels and networks, I feel like cutting the (cable) cord would be much more possible for me. Until then, Chromecast definitely gives me better control of the TV interface and my viewing pleasure.