Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?
Editor’s note: Chromecast is a new technology from Google that allows you to plug it into a HDMI port on your television, and then you can literally “fling” programs from your mobile, tablet or laptop device to your TV screen, so you can watch it on your TV instead of the device that’s sitting on or next to your lap. World Soccer Talk writer William Anderson recently took Google Chromecast for a test drive.
After leaving the Google Chromecast box on my desk for a few weeks, I set it up on a recent weekend. Here are my thoughts.
A few things to start us off with:
- We are an Apple household
- We don’t subscribe to cable or satellite television
- I am a Liverpool supporter
All three of these points will come into play. Let’s get started.
The adapter, wires and instructions all came in a simple box. The instructions were dead simple and they all made sense. The less you talk about packaging and instructions, the better.
Delivery from Amazon.com was straight-forward. I did miss out on the initial shipment but that was me being lazy.
There are really two parts to the setup – hardware and software.
The hardware piece was easy to setup. Since we had an extra power outlet (how did we have an open outlet??), I plugged the power adapter into the backend of the Chromecast, then plugged in the power cord. The Chromecast device plugged into an open HDMI port on the back of our TV (again, how did that happen??).
You can use the AC adapter (what I used) or there’s a separate connector that plugs into a USB port on your TV. The former is recommended by Google.
I had to remove our Apple TV HDMI cable to take the picture above but, even though they are stacked ports, both cables fit without any interference from one another.
There is a light on the Chromecast device that blinks initially then stays on once configured. I don’t know if this would interrupt any potential naps but the light seems pretty dim (and it’s on the back of our TV – phew).
Installing software took a few more steps but was still hassle free. On the computers (Macbook Pro, Mac Mini), I opened Chrome and went to google.com/chromecast/setup. There are a handful of steps to walk through – nothing out of the ordinary or complex.
A few highlights…
Yeah, that last message. I tried installing the Chromecast extension on a second machine / Chrome browser (Mac Mini) and that’s the response I received. I’m not sure what happened there.
I poked around a bit and found this…
Erm, yeah. So, I’ll keep looking.
But, speaking of using Chromecast…
To use Chromecast, I popped open a Chrome browser and navigated to a streamed match. Perfect timing as I was able to catch the final whistle.
It worked really nice. I was able to cast / fling / stream the video to the TV and continue working on other items. Even if I opened a second tab, it stayed with the original tab and continued showing the match. I really like this feature – checking mail, working, etc. while watching a match at home is nice.
All good. I still need to figure out what’s happening on the Mac Mini but if I needed to work while watching a match, I’d use the laptop.
On the mobile side, I don’t really have an answer. While it appears I can use YouTube or Netflix to cast / fling / stream video to the TV, I’m not sure how this will help me keep up with soccer.
Maybe there’s a YouTube channel for soccer I can subscribe to?
All in all, Google Chromecast is an inexpensive and really simple way to cast / fling / stream video to your TV. As someone who does not subscribe to the monthly torture of a cable / satellite bill, I can see this being incredibly useful.
At the same time, I’ve been way too spoiled by Apple and AirPlay, especially since it’s a system-level feature. I can mirror / extend (Yay, Mavericks!) any application from the mobile / computer device to the TV.
As noted earlier
- We are an Apple household – With AirPlay heavily used from all of our devices, Chromecast doesn’t make sense for us – Perhaps it makes more sense for Android homes?
- We don’t subscribe to cable or satellite television – This has little relevance after all since Chromecast casts / flings / streams video only from specific applications.
I’ll keep the Chromecast device plugged in, mainly because we have an extra slot for the HDMI and power. If we didn’t, I don’t think I’d keep this around.
Ps – If you’re thinking of purchasing Chromecast through Amazon, you can find it here (affiliate link).
Editor’s note: If you own Google Chromecast, have you tried flinging games from NBC Sports Live Extra to your TV set? Does it work or not? Have you tried to do the same with FOX Soccer 2GO or other soccer streaming products? Share your experiences and feedback in the comments section below.