What the Chromecast is - and isn't

There is a bit of an uproar today, centered on the Chromecast and Koush's experimental AllCast application. A little background for those who haven't been following along. 

Developer and noted Android hacker Koushik Dutta hacked a method to play local content, as well as content from Google Drive or Dropbox from your Android on the Chromecast. The supplied APIs from the developer preview of the Google Cast SDK don't offer this functionality, so he had to do some magic and work around it. He did, and it looked pretty interesting to a lot of people who wanted a way to connect their Android to their TV. Today Koush announced that the latest update broke this functionality, and that he suspects Google is blocking this sort of behavior on purpose.

That's a bit of a sticky mess, and no answer is going to satisfy everyone. Maybe Google should just sell a Miracast dongle through Google Play, make it cheap, and be done with it. I don't have an answer, but I do have some food for thought, and there's two very important things that need remembered in any discussion about Chromecast abilities and use cases.

The Chromecast is not open

The Chromecast is not Android. It's also not Chromium. It was never offered as an "open" product. What it is is a $35 device that lets you play content from YouTube, Netflix and the Chrome browser with very little setup or difficulty. Google has said that other cool stuff will be coming to the Chromecast, but they never once said it would be open and hackable.

In fact, making a device like this open and hackable will hurt its future. Content providers are afraid of Android. When people can take a few hours and do things like crack open an app so it works in ways it wasn't intended, the people who control the flow of entertainment get scared. They aren't afraid of the Xbox, or the Apple TV, because people aren't modifying the software on these right and left. They care about revenue, and things that can take away any of it get them jumpy. Google has to try and appease these folks, and whether we like it or not that means clamping things down.

The SDK is not final

Apps like Koush's AllCast/AnyCast worked outside the scope of the SDK, and nobody should be surprised if they get broken. But the Google Cast SDK itself is still very much a work-in-progress. 

Related to this discussion, developer Leon Nicholls has found code ready for casting local content from Android buried in the developer preview of the SDK. Google hasn't released an app that will cast from your gallery, but they have everything in place to do so. It's possible they will, but it's just as possible that it will never happen.

This points directly back to the fact that the Chromecast isn't open. Google is holding things tight here, and we assume it's to satisfy folks at TV networks and movie studios, and those lovable people who control the music industry. In any case, people using the SDK and testing their own apps that use the supplied APIs aren't saying that any updates broke their apps.

Now what?

The Chromecast does everything today that it did when Sundar and friends showed it to us last month. Back then, people were excited and it quickly sold out. Nothing has changed.

If you want something to stream content from your Android to your TV, invest in a Miracast dongle, or if your device uses a proprietary format like HTC or Samsung, use one of their devices. Or just use an HDMI cable and any adapter you need for your Android. Don't buy a Chromecast expecting it to cover all the bases, because they may never do so.

On the other hand, if you want a cheap and easy way to play YouTube and Netflix (and other content as it becomes available) on your TV, grab a Chromecast. It's easy, it works well, and we think Google has deep pockets and big plans for further development and improvement.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • the Chromecast is NOT a bottle opener for your Heineken!!! it is also not a mini particle accelerator that Google produced for the masses However, the most useful thing I've found so far for
    my Chromecast is streaming YouTube porn to my TV. :)
  • Youtube doesn't allow porn. You mean redtube
  • Or maybe youporn, LOL
  • you're kidding right? you just have to use the right "keywords" and you will get porn on YouTube. However, it's softcore only.
  • get an HDMI cable and do that the right way
  • I have an hdmi cable hooked up to an HMI/HDMI adapter and plugged it into my Galaxy Nexus. Problem is the hmi adapters only last a few months before they stop working, I have gone through 2 different ones, a third party one for $40, and Samsung's HMI for $80. They lasted 3 and 4 months so it was a waste of $120. And my Galaxy Nexus does not support Miricast But when they did work it was awesome, it completely mirrored My Gnex on my HDTV, games, apps, widgets, browser for watching movies and videos all on my tv. I wish Google would just release an Android HD stick to plug into my TV to make my TV an android Tablet that could use a wireless keyboard and game controller, would solve all my problems.
  • https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2Fcli... Seriously? Say Thank you Robb.
  • You're f*cking kidding, right? Wow...
  • http://www.amazon.com/G-Box-Midnight-MX2-Android-Streaming/dp/B00CH643A8... Get the G-Box MX2. It is a tablet on your TV and it is really well done.
  • Geez you're trying too hard if that's what you gotta do.
  • What you meant is that YouTube doesn't allow porn to be public and flagged as inappropriate, etc etc..
  • So you call random cat videos porn?
  • Heeeeere kitty kitty! Ok... now I've grossed MYSELF out!
  • and if I can use a flash drive as a bottle opener, I am sure I can use this.
  • That's why I buy Heineken in cans.
  • Very interesting never even thought about that, LOL, there are a ton of things that might be very useful but your right I think they will be a few that do what jailbreaking did for a lot of iphones. Still the idea that youtube does not have porn is seriously funny. . .
  • Well.. I WAS going to buy one of these when they released here in the UK. Now I'll hold off for a bit. I was hoping that at some point I'd be able to stream to XBMC on a Chromecast, from my PC. I'm not sure if that will ever happen, but it sure would be cool for the price. Most Android HDMI dongles that I've seen go for upwards of £60.
  • You can pick mk808b up for £30 the same price the chromecast will probably cost and XBMC works flawless along with browsing etc and you get an awesome remote Posted via Android Central App
  • Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check it out! :)
  • This. I have owned and loved my mk808b for many months. Coupled with a slick deal on a 37" 1080p tube I have sweet Android smart TV bedroom setup for $165 shipped : )Yeah, it's a Coby but looks great for the price.
  • Wow, I think I remember mention of these and wrote them off as something I wouldn't use. But reading the reviews, this sounds pretty awesome. Thanks for the heads up!
  • Mine came a day before I left for 5+ weeks so I only had that afternoon to play with it. It's pretty handy. It won't be of any use to me where I'm going so no point in bringing it.
  • Prison?
  • LoL!
  • Is that where you get Mad Crabs?
  • Initially, I thought it would mirror whatever device you were using on a television screen so I'm slightly disappointed. It's still a good buy.
  • >"and that he suspects Google is blocking this sort of behavior on purpose." But of course. Same thing as crippling the Nexus devices with low storage and no SD slots. Google wants complete control over all your "stuff."
  • No, Google wants to control THEIR stuff. You're free to use your stuff however you want, just not necessarily using Google products. There's a big difference here.
  • And I think his point is that google trying to force you to use your stuff on thier services.i.e. you buy music from google music but cant put it on your device because there's no storage. Cant put it on sd card so you have to use thier cloud service and stream it which in turn makes you pay (through data costs) just to listen to music you already own. I think thats his beef. Edit: but I know what you mean as well. Android is open and chromecast is not. Its so google can form partnerships and make a littlesome' some' on the side.
  • You can store Google play all access music on your SD card. Just gotta do a little research. Posted via Android Central App
  • You dont have to pay to stream your own music. Posted via Android Central App
  • Sure you do. It's called Data. Most of us are limited to 2-4GB monthly. If we were allowed a 64GB SD card we would have plenty of space to store songs and movies we bought bought via Play Store, or anywhere else, over Wi-Fi. Then we could enjoy locally stored media without streaming. Google doesn't include SD slots on its devices because it WANTS people to depend on and use its cloud. Until Google spreads its Wi-Fi across the globe, we're at the mercy of service providers. Where I live cable internet Wi-Fi data is capped. There's one cable tv company which doubles as the only cable internet provider, and they're one of only 4 wireless providers. The only way for me to stream anything from the cloud without worrying about caps or paying is to sit somewhere in public with free Wi-Fi. Or I could get DSL internet at home, which has no data cap, but tops out at 4MB download speed.
  • Meh, I have TONS of music and movies that I stream all of the time, sometimes to listen or watch directly and sometimes to ensure I have it on my phone if I'm going into the unknown and must have "it". I have never even remotely threatened my 5GB of 4G/LTE on my 16GB N4. If you need it ALL on your device ALL of the time, well get a device with a sd card. Just realize it's not even remotely the kind of hassle or issue many of you "must have a sd card or 64GB"/"evil Google is in colaboration with evil carriers to force you to use the cloud and hit data limits" folks make it out to be. NTM free wifi is abundant in the civilized world these days. I could easily have more content than I could steam in a given week on my N4 without even using my data plan. YMMV of course. I am in the majority, though, no doubt.
  • Lol, Google wants complete control? Yeah, that's why they made Android open-source and allowed you to use it on a variety of devices. Really, if you want 256GB of storage, don't complain about it; buy a phone that has that much.
  • Or a 7" tablet... assuming anyone besides Google actually made a 7" Android tablet that was worth a damn.
  • They went open source to get other people to do a lot of free work for them. Now that it's a moderately well developed OS, the walls are starting to go up. At the consumer level anyway. They still want it on a variety of devices to maximize advertising opportunities.
  • That makes absolutely no sense and you should stop using the internet for all of our sakes. Posted via Android Central App
  • Can you point out that phone to me please? I'd consider buying it.
  • Good thing for you there are companies that make phones with SD card slots. If you need one then the Nexus line is clearly not for you. Many people don't have an issue with the lack of an SD slot. Posted via Android Central App
  • you can use your stuff however you want except if you are using your stuff to steal other "stuff" google signs agreements and contracts for use and all that stuff with netflix to allow chromecast. so if you are mirroring your phone with the device and they allow it they are breaching contracts
  • The best way to play local files is probably using an USB Android stick like the MK808B.
  • can the Chrome be used in a prison? (federal or state)
  • I have not used one personally, but it does appear to be sized to fit into small crevices...
  • https://plus.google.com/110558071969009568835/posts/ZeHgRXS6AZs Koush states the latest update intentionally breaks AllCast. I use Fling and its broken since the latest update as well. Really sucks.
  • How does it suck? If these capabilities we officially built into chromecast I would undemanding, but they're not.
  • So a grown men crying in this discussion. Sorry your Chromecast does exactly what it's advertised to do.
  • my devices are barely able to connect to the chromecast. it's one of the biggest let downs ever. though when it does connect ( every once in a blue moon ) it works flawless, though im still limited on youtube/googleplay stuff ._.
  • ↑ Your unit is either defective or there is something wrong with your network. Mine works great.
  • That's how I feel. Just bought it yesterday and have trouble connecting. For $35 it should only get better.
  • When I first got the device I tried to set it up with my Nexus 7 and it wouldn't work so I used my laptop and that did the trick. I can connect with all of my devices now.
  • Can you please go into further detail on what you did with the laptop that resolved the connection issues
  • Seriously put away your G1 and buy a new phone Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm all for Google locking down the Chromecast if it means content providers will be more willing to support it.
  • This is a self defeating strategy. History has shown repeatedly that locking something down leads to more theft from content providers. This is yet another policy from Google to wall the garden. I'm becoming concerned at these recent trends. Posted via Android Central App
  • History hasn't shown any such thing.
  • Actually just recently when CBS was blocked from Time Warner subscribers downloads of CBS shows rose considerably. Not saying it was justified or that he's right just that in this instance yes, blocking people from content caused a direct rise in downloads. Posted via Android Central App
  • I can't use any other music app to use Google Music cloud library. I can't stream local files using chromecast. I can't use Google play movies to watch local videos. Looking at the Apple "walled" garden, it's the complete opposite. Google is not as open as some people think it is.
  • Ironically in this case, Apple is actually more 'open' than Google (via Airplay).
  • Just cancelled my Chromecast order. Going to wait and see a bit more. Right now, with a blueray player that has wireless capability, I can stream Netflix and Youtube and many other sources. Don't buy content from Google Play, so that's not relevant.
    I do understand Google's philosophy, as so well explained by Jerry. But for me, the nearly $40 (w/shipping)can be better spent on an HDMI dongle for my phone, maybe with a loooong extension cable, and have cash left over.
    At any rate, thanks for letting us know what's going on Jerry!
  • I cancelled my chromecast the moment I found out that I had missed the netflix promotion, despite the fact the promotion was still being advertised when I bought it.
  • You can still get the Netflix promotion if you order from Best Buy as of 1 week ago. (Nowinstock.net) You literally have about 3 minutes to order before it goes out of stock though.
  • No doubt someone will eventually release an app that will do what Google doesn't want it to do, and the app will include code to prevent Google from overwriting it. Posted via Android Central App
  • Getting pretty sick and tired of all this bull shit. Doesn't matter what shit Google or the Nexus phone pulls Jerry will find an excuse. I no longer buy Nexus phones due to lack of storage, now the Chromecast is throwing blocks at great apps made by developers. Almost makes you want to go buy an iPhone.
  • We don't know if Google did anything to block the AllCast app. Posted via Android Central App
  • More like 'developers reverse engineering the device and then are surprised when google blocks them'. Chromecast has never been open and it may never be. It has never been advertised as such, so you shouldn't be surprised by google plugging the holes.
  • You might not like what I told you, but please tell me where I apologized for anything.  The Chromecast is not what you want it to be. So buy something else. Doesn't change the fact that it never was supposed to be what you want it to be. I know that being responsible for how you spend your own money is a subject that gets a lot of people angry, I'm just not sure why. You ought to buy a Raspberry PI and create your own free and open media streamer instead of complaining that someone else's solution doesn't suit you. And I still want a 4GB Nexus phone. Why pay for storage that I won't ever use? The 3TB I have connected to it is more than adequate.
  • We should be up in arms about the lack of a 4GB option! Let me start the petition.. :)
  • Google puts together a quality phone with descent specs and then castrates the damn phone with shit for int memory. That is just real intelligent. Check the # of sales for the latest Nexus phone, hardly a big seller even at a very affordable price. Ask the Nexus fans of past why they refuse to purchase the latest and so called greatest Nexus, they will tell you no room to put todays very large apps and games. If you want to suport that phone, great, maybe carry around a memory stick, that is even better. It wouldn't matter what the Nexus phone came out with next you would swear by it and say it's the way they are going. That is just total bull shit. They should aim to keep their customers happy, maybe that is why companies like Samsung and others are selling all the phones. Even the iphone 5 has 16 to 64gb of int memory for choices. The new iPhone 5 is suppose to come with 128gb of int memory. Android could learn allot from the way Apple makes and sells their phones, all versions to all Carriers at once. No kissing ass with AT&T. I heard the new Nexus is coming out with a new phone with 2gb of int memory, there you go Jerry right up your alley, jump on it, don't worry there won't be any line, just you. Just My Opinion.
  • Jerry keeps an additional 256GB of storage in his beard.
  • So much fail in your post. Quit projecting your sigular opinions as if it's one the masses. If you think it's internal storage or removable storage that's selling the iPhones or Galaxy devices you are seriously misinformed. Take a guess which level of storage options for either of those devices are the ones that sell like hotcakes to the masses. Not saying it's not good to have more storage options, but the cheapest and least storage is what actually sells. The Nexus 4 sold many millions with next to ZERO advertising. That's impressive and that's what sells the iPhones and Galaxy's. Period.
  • Didn't realize internal storage was so expensive??? Todays apps and games are huge, for the Nexus user who doesn't want to hack it they are forced to keep their storage on the phone. That alone should tell the makers of the Nexus phone that storage is a must and a hell of allot more than 16gb. Nexus is only ruining their brand and stifling sales of their phones. I am far from being alone on this subject. It costs the manufacturer pennies during the building of this phone to add memory to their phones. Why would they not want to give todays customers what they are asking for if it costs them almost nothing during the construction process of their phone?? They will sell truck loads more if they do. Maybe forcing people to use their cloud storage and buy their rented movies. I don't know and really don't care but they are ruining an otherwise great piece of hardware by leaving out int memory. Penny wise and POUND Foolish. Just My Opinion.
  • Yes it is your opinion, the Nexus was never meant to be a big seller and plenty of people are fine with the internal storage provided. Just stop. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yes, it's extremely evident this dude has no clue of what the Nexus line is meant to be in Google's vision. I know many more Nexus fans that have had nothing but Nexus, or at least a Nexus and whatever, than I do people who left the line kicking and screaming about storage. To Google, it's a developer phone to showcase the latest and greatest of Android. That's what is always has been and even with much more mainstream attention since the Nexus 7 I don't see their vision changing. Google does not need or want to make money off of hardware.
  • If Google doesn't suit your needs, there are other platforms that you can open your wallet to.
  • Well this is Android Central. If you want a site that doesn't make lame excuses for everything Google and Android you better look elsewhere. Try Android Police.
  • Chromecast is just as amazing today as it was yesterday. Don't let this scare you off from buying a Chromecast. Soon everything on your Android will cast to the Chromecast. Android has apps, Chromecast will play them, eventually. Posted via Android Central App
  • The magical gods of text alignment have positioned your paragraph so that the word "Chromecast" appears three times in the same column. :O
  • lol!
  • Four! On the app at "small" text size on a Nexus 4, anyhow. Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 4
  • Agreed. Google will most likely release an app to Android that will stream from the gallery and I would prefer it this way rather than the "hack" the Kousch is crying and butthurt about being disabled....
  • I'm hoping this news makes many people cancel their orders to I get bumped up in line at Amazon and get mine faster.
  • I got a Chromecast on day one and just ordered another for my mom's TV. For $35 show me something that plays YouTube or Netflix as easily. I use mine everyday and I wish more gadgets were as simple and pleasant to use Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah, that's what I use mine for too. Only I like to play videos that I have on my phone for people too illegally. It takes away from all the other Netflix I could be watching instead. Now I just watch Netflix instead of thinking about playing any videos of family and friends for people. Netflix.........NETFLIX! ...actually it's probably just cuz nothings final yet with Chromecast, so things are bound to be broken with updates.
  • I ordered one and it works exactly how I want it too. The only option I have right now to watch YouTube and Netflix on my TV is on my XBOX 360, and it's just a time saver being able to instantly switch from a YT vid to a Netflix video, where as on the 360 you have to keep switching between apps.
  • I don't think we should continue giving chromecast a pass based on what it might or might not be able to do in the future. As it stands now, this is just an over-glorified netflix stick. It has very little functionality. Granted it's only $35, but when you consider than you can get a roku for around double that has 10x more functionality, it's really kind of hard to justify the chromecast, even at $35. Instead of writing editorials about how we the consumer have unrealistic expectations for the chromecast, I would like to see someone take google to task on trying to sell us a product based on vague promises of future capabilities.
  • But the Chromecast is not competing directly with a roku. 2 different products, for 2 different use cases. I I have a ton of other ways to access YouTube but the Chromecast is the only way I do that now Posted via Android Central App
  • Vague promises and marketing gimmicks are all you're going to get from now on. It has been increasingly obvious for the past two years that Google no longer cares what consumers want.
  • Just because they don't care about what you want doesn't mean they are ignoring consumers. If you're reading this site then you're probably not the type of customer that makes up the bulk of Google's business. Posted via Android Central App
  • Show me anywhere Google promoted the Chromecast based on vague promises. They were very clear on what it is and what it can do. Consumers who expect everything under the sun for 35 bucks who ranted and whined fueled the fire not Google.
  • I love ny chromecast but there is no reason Google should block developers the way they did koush. They are being a lot like Apple and controlling every detail of a supposed open system. Hopefully they will allow developers to do what koush did in the future. Posted via Android Central App
  • 1. Yes, there are reasons why Google is blocking these apps.
    2. Chromecast isn't open and was never said to be.
  • You didn't read the article, did you? Google never advertised the Chromecast as an "open" product, much like Google's Android apps; therefore, in the best interest of the Chromecast's future, Google must not allow functionality that is not advertised, and that can bypass restrictions that will shoo investors away, to be developed for it; they want to appeal to the TV networks, as well as other streaming services in order for the Chromecast to get offical apps, hence have a future. Allowing apps like Koush's will only diminish (if not kill) this device's chances of achieving this. This is not Google controlling your stuff, it's Google controlling THEIR stuff.
  • Koush build an app which hacked/reverse engineered chromecast.
    they fixed that bug. simple as that
  • ...or something just changed slightly in the chromecast update that makes it not work, and it's not illegal to begin with and everyone is just blowing this out of proportion. Occam's razor anyone?
  • Yes, this. He could use a shave. Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 4
  • My Chromecast hasnt update to the new build yet. Posted via Android Central App
  • What a bunch of whiners. People hate it when you tell them how it is. The title of to article says it all. Posted via Android Central App
  • The real reason the recent update broke casting local contents (video_playback) to Chromecast is still unknown. The belief that Google did this to prevent users from casting pirated contents to Chromecast is way wrong. People can already stream contents to TV via DLNA including pirated contents. Apps such as iMediaShare allows streaming local contents via DLNA and I use it more often. Chromecast makes streaming even more convenient and easier for TV without DLNA/internet connectability. We'll see El Goog's response soon with today's uproar and more to come. Posted via Android Central App
  • Considering the Dev of the app is claiming that Google's update specifically broke his app I'm going to go with you're probably "way wrong." Posted via Android Central App
  • He said "the real reason the recent update broke casting local contents...is unknown". This is right and not "way wrong". We don't know the real reason.
  • Dammit, my Chromecast works perfectly with my mid-level Moto X. I'm so angry.
  • Dammit Phil, why do you and your cronies have to explain why a cheap piece of hardware has the same limitations and abilities as when it was announced? Posted via Android Central App
  • Awesome. Posted via Android Central App
  • LMAO!! Sent from the future and the past using a back feed relay loop.
  • For what it is worth, I use the chromecast to show HBOgo on a tv that doesn't have a set top box. It works great! I bought a second one for our main tv because it is just easier to use than the apps on my Sony Blu-ray. It is a great product as is and has to potential to get even better. Posted via Android Central App
  • How did you get HBO Go to work on it? Their app hasn't been updated in a while. Or did you stream through the Chrome browser? And was the quality good (if you did do it that way)?
  • People want to pay 35$ for a device have it do the same as a 100$ device... And complain when not allowed to, who's robbing who?
  • Add that they gave a ton of people 3 months of Netflix free. This thing could have been free and people would still complain Posted via Android Central App
  • Gotta love the internet.
  • Thanks for the article Jerry! All I wanted to do is use it for netflix but also have the option to stream videos or photo slideshows from my device to a tv.....guess this isn't the way to go.
  • Looks like Google has angered the entitled masses
  • That is the first thing you have said in these comments sections that I can agree with
  • Slow clap... Truth! Posted via Android Central App
  • Buy a PlayStation 3. You can play YouTube, Netflix, awesome videogame, Blu-ray and DVD. A Roku can play YouTube, Netflix and more. Some Blu-ray players can play YouTube and Netflix. As it it stands right now Chromecast offers no compelling reason to buy it. Posted via Android Central App
  • Of the options you listed, Chromecast (when available) is cheaper than most of them (not sure if Blu-ray players with streaming capabilities have dipped low enough). Even still though, those are all dedicated options. If you have an Android device (or iOS/iPhone/iPad), Chromecast is compelling at $35.
  • I am about the last guy in the universe that doesnt have blu ray or a HDTV. My damn TVs won't die and I promised the wife I wouldn't touch the entertainment systems until they died. Intentional sabotage is impossible and not allowed. Cheap crap is lasting way too long.
  • Get a Nintendo Wii and flagrantly disregard the warnings to affix the safety strap to your wrist. That should cure you of a working TV.
  • Kids tried that a few times...
  • No one uses blu-ray anymore unless you get fooled into it by a brick and mortar associate. A lot more people are starting to realize there's a lot of unnecessary technology out there, and moving to convenient tech. I have a 1080p TV and would never even consider blu-ray, because I know I'm never going to be able to tell the difference unless I stand up to get closer to the TV. I prefer to sit. Posted via Android Central App
  • I envy you. The only streaming service I've seen that comes anywhere near Blu-ray quality (audio and video) is Vudu HDX, which at $6 movie can get expensive fast. Netflix and the like is fine for most content but I'll stick to Blu-ray for my feature films.
  • I agree. I get Blu-Rays for content that is best going to take advantage of the additional quality; namely action, fantasy and sci-fi etc. If it's the latest rom-com then DVD or streaming will certainly do.
  • I have 4 TVs in my house. By your logic I should spend upwards of $1200 just so I can watch Netflix on any of my TVs. I don't think so. Posted via Android Central App
  • One thing I noticed about the Chromecast when talking about it with people that aren't as "tech-savvy" as people that would read and post on sites like Android Central is that they all assumed that it did some sort of mirroring. They did not understand that it was app specific when it came to mobile devices and couldn't grasp the idea of how it would work on a desktop computer.
  • Same here. Roku you plug into your TV and are done along with Apple TV. When another device is inputted into the situation I've found it confuses people to the point they won't buy it.
    It's unfortunate and I'm sure one day we'll get to the point when it's not confusing but that day isn't today. Posted via Android Central App
  • You've either never used a Chromecast or you should'nt be trusted to assemble a two piece broom. My dear mother could never figure out how to watch a dvd due to the "confusing" entertainment center/receiver options. She had no problem setting up and using a Chromecast with her iPhone or iPad.
  • In want one Posted via Android Central App
  • Has everyone forgotten that they can cast Google Play Movies too? Maybe it's not a big deal to others but it is to me. I no longer have to go to my basement to watch a movie on my Google TV when I can watch it on another floor with no Google TV. As Jerry and others have said, don't buy a device for what it's "supposed" to do tomorrow. That argument was really about updates but the same applies here. Posted via Android Central App
  • I've rarely used Play Movies in the past other than for kids to watch on a road trip, but have a couple times since getting the Chromecast. It's just way easier to search for content on my phone/tablet than to use the clunky interface on my old Roku with a remote. Not to mention you can search anywhere, not just on the TV. That's a bonus, I think. We'll see how much I wind up buying content from Google. Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 4
  • How did google not see this coming though? Not choosing sides just playing Devils advocate. They preach open source and think someone is not going to crack it open? They enabled and nurtured koushs' talent and then became victimized. Who's going to play koush in th movie? ;)
  • This is NOT Android. How are you missing that?
  • It's still a good device for the money. I already have Netflix, Amazon, You Tube, Hulu and a couple other streaming apps on my main TV and also on my Tivo box that's connected to it. I bought a Chromecast to play Google Music through my entertainment system which is something I could not do before. Posted via Android Central App
  • Do No Evil my ass, Google will allow to play local content once they figure out how to shove up some Ad's on the users.
  • And? How do you think Google earns its revenue?
  • That is an idiotic question.
  • Not as idiotic as your original comment. Posted via Android Central App
  • You Google fanboys will defend anything from Google, really pathetic, enjoy being the PRODUCT of the Google while Google and their consumers(Advertisers) rejoice.
  • Company produces product, anticipates revenue from product. Don't like method to obtain revenue, don't use product. Pretty simple really.
  • You think we're all unaware of Google's revenue sources? Google doesn't even remotely attempt to hide its intentions. We are all aware of our use to Google Inc (Android is just ONE vehicle). At least Google is honest and open about its practices AND actually gives its customers something valuable for (not) "FREE" in return. Do you realize how many other companies are gaining/using data obtained unbeknownst to Jane Doe on a daily basis? Do you understand how hard it is to get a job for Google? Do you realize that's because of how great they treat their employees? Do you know of other companies giving entire towns free wifi and fiber optic cable? Do you realize how many other people have Google and/or it's services to thank for their millions? Its overall business practices is what makes many of us huge fans of Google Inc, and Android specifically here. I find your it's your logic that's pathetic...
  • Given that I don't have a internet connected TV and the blu-ray player that I have while it works is not cutting edge given it's age and the need for a wired connection to the internet the Chromecast has proven to be a good deal. For what I paid for it the thing has paid itself off in spades. I don't need to invest in a PS3 or Xbox which would collect dust and take up space.
  • you could have also gotten a roku which does quite a bit more, though.
  • A roku costs more and I couldn't justify the cost of one with my other obligations looming.
  • It depends on which Roku model you get, the $50 model is only 15 bucks more than a Chromecast.
  • And that Roku is a piece of junk compared to a MK808B at similar price point. So, what's your point? We know there are other options, just not exactly like a Chromecast and its measly pricetag. Especially if you happen to be one of the many folks with other OS in your household. That is one huge thing that separates this from any Android stick or box.
  • The thing that REALLY disappointed me with the chromecast is its chrome ....well sort of..... and when you try to cast from a chrome tab it doesnt pass it to the chromecast to play the content the way it does with your phone and tablet. It mirrors your pc and plays on both. We have alot of older pc's and even on the lowest setting its miserable to watch. Also if its so easy to add the extensions to your android app to allow casting why didnt google volunteer some devs to do it for some of these companies. We want pandora crunchyroll and amazon instant at a minimum come on google!
  • Maybe Google will cast your library Through Google+ photos. There is a new stand alone app.
  • I think gallery integration with Chromecast would make it complete but display mirroring is kind of a sloppy way to get content on you TV. There seems to be a cheap $10 Miracast dongle on the way though for those interested.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrTpWlkupUs&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  • That miracast dongle looks sweet, under $10?? Where can I buy?
  • Ahh the crap you people go through. I'll never cut cable.
  • I just don't understand. If I have a contract with DirecTV for $68/month, but every month my bill is the top side of $120, they deserve to be hacked
  • That is foolish logic. Either you failed to read the fine print, or you are playing into their hands by paying it. Posted via Android Central App
  • Between the new YouTube app and Chromecast, watching videos has never been so great. It's also the best way I've found to get Play Movies on TV (it even has subtitles, unlike HDMI and leanback), though Netflix doesn't get used as much as it could due to the lack of profile support, but that'll be here within the next few months. It's a fantastic device for what it is and it'll only get better with time.
  • Wait!!! So this isn't the Nexuscast? I'm soon disappointed.
  • I just built a HTPC for my TV. I've never had to look for anything else. Sure it cost me about $600 total, but hey I have the entire interwebtube on my television. I can't use my phone as a remote but I'm OK with that.
  • I'm not sweating the functionality of Chromecast just yet. Google has something up their sleeves and I'm willing to wait a short while for them to show their cards.
    I'm hoping that whatever they're planning on doing will be groundbreaking. If it isn't then I'm only out of the equivalent of lunch for 3 days. I know what I would like for it to do. Which is basically what the aircast did along with the ability to take it on trips to play whatever is on my phone or tablet to the device without the need of a router or a way to authenticate through the hotel's router.
    We will have to see what happens.
  • You used to be able to cast local video and pictures inside a browser by putting in the full address. I saw someone do it the day it came out.
  • sounds like the same rationale used by the Carriers to dissuade us from rooting our phones and using custom roms. Or, in Apple's case -to jailbreak the phone. But since it's google doing it, this is not so bad. . . kind of a disappointing advocacy piece from AC.
  • I bought the Samsung AllshareCast thingi and can't use it because it doesn't work on rooted S4 and Triangle isn't helping! And a normal Miracast device is also NOT working with a rooted S4! So? What now? Posted via Android Central App
  • I love the idea of chromecast. But right now I own a Roku3 and a Netgear PTV3000. Presently the Chromecast only provides horizontal (different) value, but not vertical (better or more). I also own a Seagate Wireless Plus. Maybe in two years the device will mature enough to offer more than other alternatives (something important for those who have already purchased devices that do what Chromecast does)
  • Well, maybe I won't be picking one of these up afterall, and I'll go with one of those Android TV Sticks
  • If you don't like Google securing the Chromecast, there are alternatives: https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2Fcli... Just Sayin'.
  • I'm buying one no matter what. Everything is always figured or when it comes to android.
  • Slimport hdmi works great on my nexus 7 2013 mirroring all my video, and with a bt gamepad gaming is even better. It stinks that it needs to be tethered by a wire, but that is the price you pay. Posted via Android Central App
  • Chromecast has been castrated. When/if the additional functionality returns I'll consider purchasing them again. Fortunately,I had a hard time finding them or they would be collecting dust now. I'd like them for local content mostly, and streaming apps other than those my PS3 and Wii already permit.
  • So if watching something out of your gallery(that you shot yourself) is so risky...How can the Apple TV do it? Am I the only one on the planet that needs this explained? Posted via Android Central App
  • Jerry / Phil. I think it is time for an updated article on Miracast now that 4.3 has "unlocked" it for more devices. It is clear that people think Chromecast = miracast so might as well tell them what Miracast products [at what prices] will do the job for them [along with any drawbacks] . It might make help them see the value they are getting in Chromecast.
  • Don't underestimate Google and Chromecast. This thing is just starting. For sure Google and app developers will come up with new features for chromecast. We only don't know exactly when...
  • "Don't buy a Chromecast expecting it to cover all the bases, because they may never do so." Ok, I just cancelled my order until the dust settles on what Chromecast will be.
  • While I can't deny that I am disappointed that Google is blocking this functionality, I understand the reasoning. If it truly does bring more third party apps to the device I won't complain. It would be different if I was not satisfied with the chromecast as is. There is no easier way to watch YouTube videos on a TV and the Netflix app works just as well. I don't have to worry about my xbox cooking itself anymore while I watch Netflix. The one thing I am truly concerned with is Google making this a trend with everything they put out. They are after all an ad company. If they start really locking their products down tight I will find other things to spend my money on. Posted via Android Central App
  • Update from the Verge: Google has responded to our request for comment, and any fears that the company may bar playback of local media appear to be unfounded. "We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content," a spokesperson tells The Verge. Google notes that its Google Cast SDK is still in "early days" and may change significantly before an official release reaches developers. Can we all go back to arguing about the Moto X now?
  • Like a press release from Google settles anything. Their ratio of lies to truth isn't looking too good these days.
  • How about a review from Android Central of some of those Miaracast boxes? There seems to be a lot of issues with many of them and no one's really bothering to review them. I bought the Netgear one when it went on sale at Newegg but honestly haven't had the time to test it (and I'd only be able to test it with the Nexus 7 anyway), at 'least Netgear does seem to issue frequent firmware updates.
  • One chromecast alternative that has been mentioned in some of the AC fora is Twonky Beam, which is a free app that will work if you have any Roku or maybe Xbox and broadcast YouTube on any TV hooked up to these devices (or, to smart tvs). It would be great if AC could do an article on Twonky Beam!