Chromecast: (Almost) One year later

It’s been almost a year since the Google Chromecast was announced on July 24, 2013. I purchased mine as soon as it was announced. If I had been smart, I would have purchased a few extra and sold them on eBay because this media streaming stick soon sold out and wasn’t available unless you found it on eBay or went to that Best Buy that nobody goes to.

Prior to purchasing a Chromecast, I had another media streaming device. I do not have cable. This was a choice we made to cut costs, but it made watching any televised event very difficult. No, “Big Game” unless we went over to a friend’s house. My “other media streaming device” was used occasionally. It wasn’t used as often as I originally had planned. The User Interface was very difficult to use. It could only be controlled via a remote. There later was an Android app for controlling the device, but it wasn’t any better than using the remote. Finding a channel or media content was very difficult. It made using the “other media device” extremely painful. I sold the “other media device” the day I unwrapped the Chromecast.

At first, the Chromecast was limited in content. You could only watch Netflix, YouTube, or Google Play content. You could also listen to music via Google Play. Those with a powerful enough computer or Chromebook could also “cast” a webpage to the Chromecast (open a webpage and “mirror” the page to the Chromecast so it shows up on your TV). This opened up so many more possibilities for us as a non-cable household. My wife and I enjoy watching “The Amazing Race,” “Revolution,” and I’m hooked on “The Blacklist.”

The user interface and the user experience on the Chromecast is so much better than my experience on the “other media device.” I can just pull up the content I desire (such as a YouTube video) and tap the Chromecast icon on my Nexus 7 and BAM (apologies to Emeril) it’s on the TV!

There are now many apps that are Chromecast compatible. Just the other day, I used Songza to listen to some tunes that were not in my regular music collection.

As the one year anniversary of the release of the Chromecast draws near, the Chromecast in our home is used almost every week. I’m curious how it is used in your home, especially if you have other media options available. Do you still use the Chromecast or is it just “decoration” on your TV? Please comment and let me know.