So, I read about the Chromecast, wondered how it could possibly work, and thought it might be too good to be true.
But, since it costs $35, I thought I’d take a chance on it. I’m glad I did. Think of it like this: You can use a smartphone or a tablet like a remote. Pull up what you want to watch on Youtube or Hulu Plus or Netflix, tap an icon, and boom, it moves over to your TV screen. You can rewind or fast-forward with the mobile device. Or look for more videos and queue them up.
And it’s not at all hard to set up, which was what I wondered about.
The device guides you through the whole thing, once you get it plugged in to your TV. The easiest way to do it is to download an app on a tablet or smartphone, then the two interact and guide you through the setup. The mobile device connects to the Chromecast, helps it get on your local wifi network, and a few minutes later, it’s ready. Pull up videos, tap the icon to cast them to the screen, and enjoy.
For me, the hardest part about setting it up was figuring out how to re-enable the HDMI ports on the TV that I inadvertently disabled when I set it up a few years ago. Depending on your TV, you may not have that problem. I’m guessing you won’t.
It’s limited, but it’s simple and well thought-out. I’m impressed. Building a living-room PC is something I’ve been meaning to do forever, but the Chromecast does most of what I would want that PC to do, and it’s a tiny device that just plugs into the back.
For someone looking at the monthly cable bill and wanting to eliminate it, here’s a device that lets you do just that.