FRI, 2:30PM ET
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NAN
FRI, 2:30PM ET
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ELC
FRI, 2:30PM ET
FRE
STU
SAT, 7:45AM ET
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HULL
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Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

google chromecast 600x442 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.

Packaging

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.

Chromecast Packaging 400x214 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

Setup

There are really two parts to the setup – hardware and software.

Hardware

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??).

Chromecast Setup Hardware 376x300 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

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).

Hardware installed.

Software

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…

Chromecast Setup Software 01 400x243 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

 

Chromecast Setup Software 02 400x237 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

 

Chromecast Setup Software 03 400x121 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

 

Chromecast Setup Software 04 400x200 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

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…

Chromecast Setup Software 05 400x159 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

Erm, yeah. So, I’ll keep looking.

But, speaking of using Chromecast…

Usability

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.

Chromecast Setup Usability 01 400x300 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

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.

Chromecast Setup Usability 02 576x1024 Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

Maybe there’s a YouTube channel for soccer I can subscribe to?

Summary

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.

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17 Responses to Google Chromecast Product Review: How Useful Is It For Soccer Fans?

  1. Simon Burke says:

    Good review, one thing to add.
    You have to have the match open in a Chrome browser for this to work. Also not all streaming works; it depends on the audio codec in the stream. You’ll get picture and no sound in the rare case your audio codec isnt compatible.

    On mobile this doesn’t apply as Chromecast cannot stream the necessary mobile apps (outside of youtube/netflix/Pandora/Google Play Videos. No NBC/ no Watch ESPN. This means Ipads/Android etc cannot stream to a TV currently.

    I use it with my windows laptop and thusfar it works fine . Not a bad tool.

    For those on Android 4.2 up you can experiment with Miracast (which is basically screencasting) This works great for me currently. A nexus 4 and new Nexus 7 has this feature built in and most LGTVs also. You can buy a dongle that lets your older TV become Miracast-compatible. Then similar to Chromecast you can send ANYTHING on your mobile/tablet straight to the TV.

    As football goes more online there is definitely more need for devices (and reviews) like this one to get the average fan’s web stream onto the TV.

  2. bennett311 says:

    You’d probably need the apps supported (LiveExtra, FoxSoccer2Go) by chromecast to “fling” to the Chromecast HDMI plug. Maybe this will come in the future (at least I hope so).

    Trying to play back foxsoccer2go.com (or live extra) via the Chrome browser on a tablet, probably won’t work, but I haven’t tried it yet on my Galaxy Tab 2.

    Interested in other creative uses of the Chromecast for soccer viewing.

    • Velija says:

      That option should come, Google is on the verge of releasing the SDK for Chromecast pretty soon allowing anyone to use it to build around it.

      • Tony Butterworth says:

        I read that Google is not going to publicly release the SDK, they are making it available to partners. This was done at the request of the large content providers.

  3. Faithless says:

    This is another great streaming option, and a cheap option at that. Especially since Gus Johnson has confirmed he will do the Champions League quarters/Final and FA Cup final… We can’t be bound to amateur decisions at Fox

    • Cantona says:

      With Fox keeping the Champions League Streaming will be mandatory to avoid that idiot ruining matches. I have been using Itv player, but with games going to BT Sport I will have to return to regular streaming sites, good to know this gem will be able to transfer a picture to my big screen.

      Cantona—

  4. ruffneckc says:

    I use it and love it (we have 2). We’re a Google/Android home so makes sense. However, for others the ability to stream NBC Sports Live Extra games, that don’t show on NBCSN or NBC, to the chromecast works really well.

    I have DISH and Arsenal vs Hull was only one LIve Extra the other day. I could just push it to the TV easily using chromecast by doing the chrome browser cast button.

  5. John says:

    Few weeks away from losing Directv. Been debating on picking this up. Seriously trying to keep it so I dont lose EPL.

  6. Tony Butterworth says:

    I have had no trouble casting NBC Live Extra from the PC. One thing to watch out for is that if the PC resolution is too high you don’t even get the option to cast the tab.

  7. Chris says:

    Ive used it multiple times to mirror games to my TV which is in a seperate room from my desktop so I can’t connect it via hdmi. It’s worked great for NBC Live Extra. The one problem that I have is that(and i’ve expressed this before) is that NBC has an ad a top their video which prevents it from filling the full screen which in turn makes it a bit awkward on the tv: http://i.imgur.com/ETpvX1i.jpg

    But otherwise it works really well and is good also when you can run the web version of acestream also.

    The one thing I have noticed is that if you cast the video for a while it will eat up ram so make sure you have at least 4+gigs(recommend 8 imo)

  8. Jeff says:

    Think it’s worth mentioning if you have an Apple TV, a piece of software called Airparrot (http://www.airsquirrels.com/airparrot/) does a similar function sending content from a Mac/PC to the Apple TV through Airplay

  9. Rick Smith says:

    I’ve owned one since they first became available. Haven’t used it to stream fixtures from NBC yet because all matches are available on TV or so I thought. The last match on NBC was not shown in my area and was instead replaced with paid programming. So when it happens again, I’ll definitely cast the tab on the big screen.

  10. YoYo says:

    I might be incorrect but, dont you have to have a subscription to a cable/satellite company that has NBC sports to have access to NBC Sports Live Extra? Which would sort of defeat the purpose of “saving” the money by getting a Cromecast? I know that when i go to watch a game on my PC on the NBC Sports website, i have to choose my provider and enter in my subscriber user email and password.

    • yespage says:

      Chromecast feeds the signal to the TV. That is the money saver (over a laptop or computer stuck to a TV) or convenience maker (wireless!). Personally, I have a laptop permanently docked to the HT for ripped music, tv, movies, and it also works for streaming over the web, as long as I can save the email and password to the site.

      But a $35 USB doggle is a tad bit cheaper than a $600 laptop.

  11. Frill Artist says:

    Two things that discredited your review immediately:

    We are an Apple household
    I am a Liverpool supporter

  12. redders says:

    two things that validated your review immediately:

    We are an Apple household
    I am a Liverpool supporter

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