Chromecast for Christmas

Chromecast stocking

There may be no better excuse to buy gadgets en masse than the holiday shopping season, and this year Google has nailed the stocking-stuffer price point at $35 for its Chromecast streaming video stick. It’s not just Christmas either, of course. I’m a sucker for alliteration, but in reality, Chromecast is going to be the gift of choice for many a holiday celebration this winter.

Chromecast has a lot more going for it than just price. Google added HBO support last week and is reportedly getting ready to release an SDK to developers in the near future. The more apps that integrate with the hardware, the more valuable Chromecast becomes. As someone with a Roku box, I was initially uninterested in using Chromecast for to watch Netflix. However, I installed the Chromecast plug-in on my first-gen iPad, and when the tablet prompted me to choose between my mobile device and my Chromecast-connected TV to continue watching a show on Netflix, I decided to test Chromecast viewing.

The result? It works scary well.

When you click on Chromecast as your Netflix viewing choice, the device automatically turns on your TV, switches inputs for you, and starts playing your video stream. If the experience is that easy with every other app, Chromecast will get a lot of play.

And after next month’s shopping extravaganza, there should be a lot more new customers ready to try it out.

17 thoughts on “Chromecast for Christmas”

  1. Just a note, the new Netflix channel on the Roku appears just like the Chromecast does in the mobile apps. When I watch a netflix show on my android I’m able to pick either my chromecast or my Roku to watch on.

    I don’t know about turning on the TV and switching inputs (that doesn’t work on my tv with chromecast, likely b/c my TV is too old). But the integration to the mobile app is similar.

  2. I have seen a lot of Chromecast reviews that talk about connecting it to a TV, however like a lot of folks my TV is connected to an AV receiver. How well does a Chromecast work (if at all) when it’s connected to a receiver?

  3. I would LOVE to be able to stream Netflix through my old tv. My Dell computer is old too. With chromecast would this be possible or do I need to upgrade my computer first? Sorry..I’m so computer/Netflix streaming “illiterate”. I only have antenna for my tv..not cable. And my computer is through Fairpoint through the slowest speed they have(not a phone line though. Can someone help me out? Thank you.

  4. Nancy B, you don’t have to upgrade your laptop. It only has to be good enough to run an app that “talks” to the chromecast through your home wireless connection, telling it where to find the video you are trying to play.
    The Chromecast then uses your WiFi to stream the requested video. You only need a fast computer to “`cast” a browser tab (like if you wanted to stream a video from a network TV website).
    This means that you can only watch supported videos like Youtube or Netflix. You just don’t have a work around to “sneak in” non-supported videos. More support should be coming later.

    Your internet connection speed/datacap could be a problem though.
    If you can play HD videos on Youtube without an issue you should have no problem with the Chromecast. Keep an eye on your data usage though. You don’t want to be caught with a big net bill at the end of the month!

  5. By using Chromecast, could I watch streamed local news video from their website on my television? Like if they added a video onto their website, and I can watch it on my computer, could I then watch it on my tv using my chromecast?

  6. rach, yes, the Chromecast also lets you mirror a Chome tab from your computer. Anything you’re streaming in that browser is basically Chromecastable. It’s not as crisp and clear as native streaming, as the whole display needs to be transcoded, but it works. Probably better on newer/faster computers than it would be on an older, slower one. Works fine on my 2013 MacBook Air, naturally.

  7. We just brought home Chromecast and would like to cast some home videos over Thanksgiving…which video player should we use while using our computer?

  8. If the video plays in Chrome, you can cast the tab, right from there. If not, use the experimental “full screen” casting option, and play it from whatever video player app on your computer that you like best.

  9. Please forgive my ignorance, this is all quite new to me.
    I understand that you can stream videos and music from netfix and youtube (and so on) to your TV.
    However I would like to know whether or not you can stream a video that is simply being played on the PC and not through any site. In other words, if I watch a video on my PC that has already been downloaded, can I stream that to my TV? (I’m not interested in streaming it from netfix or youtube).

  10. Hello,

    Sorry if this is a simple/obvious question, but can I send any content (dvd, website, etc.) from my pc to tv via chromecast?


  11. @ Adrian..Hi Adrian, and thank you for your response:) I don’t have a laptop(I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear) just a regular desk top Dell computer..about 12 years old now. Does that change anything? I can get a faster computer speed if that would help..but someone from my internet co (Fairpoint)told me that unless/until I get a part inside my computer changed I won’t be able to get Netflix(even with a faster computer speed.. All I am interested in getting is Netflix..that’s it. Would you go with the Roku or Chromecast? Data usage? A big net bill at the end of the month? Would you please enlighten this old gal? :) Thanks again.

  12. im curious if i can stream anything from the browser on my ipad to the chromecast like aereo, xfinity’s tv site maybe twit/tv

  13. Nancy B – a Roku or AppleTV will let you stream netflix without having to use a computer or tablet. If you have an older PC – I would think the dedicated device will work better

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  15. Can I use chromecast with my iphone 5s in a house that does not have an internet connection? I know what house is that? It’s a remote house in the Caribbean, I get international data on my phone.


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