In July, 2013 Google released the Chromecast.
This past September, Google released an upgrade to the popular video/audio streaming stick.
The original Chromecast was, in my humble opinion, quite the revolutionary product. You might disagree with me. You might point out that there were already devices on the market that allowed you to stream the small handful of apps available to the Chromecast at the time, plus many more. And you would be correct.
But I stand by my statement.
It’s true the Chromecast wasn’t the first device to allow you to stream Netflix, or YouTube to your T.V. But it wasthe first device to allow you to stream Netflix to your T.V. for $35, without adding another remote for you to lose in your couch cushions, all while being about the size of a fun-size Snickers bar.
Apple T.V. and the Roku are pretty cool devices that stream a LOT of apps, but for me the price is rather inhibiting for what they do. Sure, they let you stream like a hundred different things. But I only use like 2 of them so how much value am I really getting? I can’t justify paying $100+ so I can stream a couple apps.
The Chromecast was perfect for me, I am a heavy Netflix, YouTube and Google Music user and the Chromecast supported all three of those from day 1. Plus I can cast a tab in Chrome, so really I can cast anything that will run in the Chrome browser. At $35 a piece, I could afford to put one on every T.V. in my home (and I did).
I also really like the fact that there isn’t a dedicated remote for the Chromecast. I can’t find the remote to the T.V. half the time, I don’t need to double the amount of time I spend looking for remotes. With the Chromecast, your phone/tablet/computer is the remote. But the Chromecast is still doing all the work, which means streaming Netflix to your T.V. isn’t draining your phone’s battery. The phone merely tells the Chromecast what to do.
So how does the upgraded model compare to the OG model?
Honestly, for me it’s about the same. I feel like it sends things a little faster to the Chromecast about half the time. The other half it takes just as long as it used to. The streaming quality seems better as well, which is likely due to the fact that the second model supports the 5GHz band. I think it buffers less often as well.
As far as how it operates, it’s the same. The user interfaces are the same, since they’re dictated by the app (ex. Netflix, Hulu, Google Music) not the Chromecast, and I still experience the same occasional errors and nuances. I’m happy with upgrading for the slight improvement in streaming/less buffering. I’ll probably give the old one away to a friend/family for Christmas.
Overall I’m still very happy with the Chromecast. The new model sells for the same price as the original when it was released, $35, but now many many more apps support Google Cast so it’s safe to say, you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck this time around than early adopters did. Which is great because I think the early adopters got a great deal.