Hey guys…. Time for a little more Tech Talk w/TK!!!
Alright, so you’ve cut the cord like me. Now what? If you’re like me, you were probably a little annoyed with having to search each service to find the movie or show you’re looking for. It was cumbersome and had me second-guessing my decision a bit. Then it happened. The folks over at Google figured it out.
Google created an interface that allows you to seamlessly search (most) services and find the content you are looking for, even using your voice. Sure others (like Roku) have done something similar, but where Google really set itself apart was the integration with Live TV. As Google owns YouTube, they built out the Chromecast w/Google TV interface with YouTube TV users in mind. Just say what you’re looking for, and up pops your DVR content and channels when relevant. Like browsing through the channels to see what’s on? Simply slide over to the Live tab on the home screen, and you’ll see the standard guide type interface you likely have become accustomed to from your cable service. For me, Chromecast w/Google TV brought all the stuff I loved from my cable service to a more flexible and portable interface. Simply buy the device once for $49.99 and you’re good. No more outrageous box fees every month.
- Control all your services on one screen. Download the apps from the Google Play Store, log in once, and you’re good. Once set up, content from all your services is brought forward to the home screen.
- Voice control. Enable voice search for the streaming service app, and you’ll be able to easily search your streaming services using your voice with the included remote or Google Assistant-enabled devices like Google Home & Home Mini.
- Customized suggestions. Like all things Google, the more you use it, the more it learns. As you browse and watch content on the device, it learns you’re preferences and begins to suggest content for you. Allows you to discover things you may never have thought of on your own.
- Great integration with YouTube TV. If you’re a YouTube TV fan like me, this is the device for you. It brings the YouTube TV Live TV guide right to the home screen, enabling you to browse like you would on cable. Unlike other platforms and streaming devices I’ve tried, it really feels like Google prioritized the Live TV option for users
- Great picture quality. For such a small device, it packs a punch. With 4K HDR, at 60 FPS and supporting Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, you will not be disappointed. As I noted in my YouTube TV post, I feel like the streaming devices and services allow access to more 4K content than my cable box did. Things just seem crisper and more vibrant vs the cable experience.
- Share your device content quickly. As this is a Chromecast after all, it does a great job mirroring the content from your mobile device. It’s a great way to share photos with family and friends without huddling around a device.
- Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity. The included remote pairs well with the device tucked away behind your TV. No need to worry about pointing it at the device. Also, as it supports multiple accessories, I am sure you could connect things like a Bluetooth keyboard or maybe headphones if you were so inclined (I’ll have to test that 🙂 ). Allows room for more accessories to come.
- Simple remote that pairs with TV & Soundbar. The remote design is very minimalist. With just 8 buttons and a navigation pad on the front, and volume control on the side. The remote allows you to power on your TV and control the volume all from one small remote. It’s so basic, even my 5-year-old has it figured out.
The Not So Good:
- Not the fastest Wi-Fi connection out there. Similar to others on the market, The Chromecast w/Google TV supports a Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band signal. While this is fast enough to have the streaming bandwidth you need, I would have loved to see it supporting WiFi6 to help future-proof it.
- Still a bit new. As you can likely tell, I am the definition of an early adopter. As such, I got this right when it came out and I quickly fell in love, and now I use it everywhere. That said, it is relatively new to the market and has had some growing pains. It has stabilized in recent months in my opinion.
- Remote seems to allow for power control of one device. While the remote can be used to control power and volume on your TV and Soundbar, for power, in particular, it does not seem to be able to support simultaneous control. This means, when you hit the power button, it will turn one device on & off. While you can toggle the control in remote settings, that is a bit cumbersome. While it also supports HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), I have yet to get it to control power for both devices when enabled.
- The remote seems to burn through batteries. The remote runs on 2 AAA batteries and seems to burn through them pretty quickly compared to others. In particular, the included non-descript batteries lasted under a month with regular daily use.
- A tiny remote can be easily misplaced. As the remote is very basic, it is also small in size. While great in some ways, we have found it easy to misplace. In a bed with white sheets, in particular, the white version of the remote easily disappears. I added a silicone sleeve to mine to help prevent that 😊.
Want to some more pics of the interface? Check out the slideshow below :
Interested in checking it out for yourself? Included below are a couple quick links.