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Why the Chromecast isn’t for everyone, and why I returned mine

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 10.18.13 PM

When Google announced the Chromecast a few days ago, everyone was on it. The $35 price tag was pretty much a no-brainer, and every tech junkie pulled the trigger to purchase one as soon as it was available on sites such as Amazon and Google Play. I did so myself, and received it two days later thanks to Amazon Prime shipping.

But now it’s gone. On its way back to Amazon, as I’ve returned the $35 dongle. Why? Here’s my opinion on the device and why it didn’t work for me, and why it might not work for you.



This was the biggest issue for me with the Chromecast. In order to play video or music, you need to be using a secondary device to ‘cast’ the content onto your television. Personally, I hate that. I wish Google had a singular Netflix or YouTube app installed in the Chromecast, but that would require an App Store with the dongle as well-something that I don’t think can fit into such a small device. It’s not a big deal to always pull out your phone or computer when you need to watch something on your TV, but at the same time it isn’t ideal if you have something that can already play Netflix and YouTube by itself, such as an Apple TV, PS3, or Xbox 360.


However, casting Chrome onto your Chromecast is ideal, and could be worth the price tag itself. Apple already does this with Airplay, but it costs $99-more than twice the cost of the Chromecast. I can see casting your Chrome browser being extremely useful in presentations at work, or for school. You can easily show your peers what you’ve been working on, without the need of plugging in a projector, or using extra cables to plug into your laptop.


Most of my Twitter followers have been saying: “Why not just keep the dongle? The 3-month Netflix code pretty much pays for itself.” That’s a good point, but really, I’d like to have my $35 back since I’m not going to be using it at all. I don’t need to cast Chrome onto my TV-I barely even touch my TV unless I’m gaming. I don’t need another device to playback Netflix or YouTube, and I certainly don’t see the point of playing music through my TV.

Google did create an awesome device in the Chromecast, but it’s not for everyone, so think twice before you purchase it. I would recommend it to those that don’t have a streaming device at all for their TV-no cable, no gaming consoles, no Roku, no Apple TV, nothing. At $35, this is an extremely good deal to give your TV instant streaming abilities.

But, if you possess any kind of streaming device that can do what the Chromecast can already do minus casting your Chrome browser, than this is an impulse purchase. And you should save your money, as $35 can get you 35 dollar-menu items from McDonalds. Who doesn’t want more McChickens?



  • Billy Knight

    What do you play music on when people are over? Because I heard there is already a way to have the audio go to a dedicated sound system – So being able to play music from your phone to a sound system and still use said phone is worth $35

  • cabbieBot

    Are you a netflix subscriber? If so, you saved yourself 11 bucks, not 35. Weird post. Why did you buy it in the first place, it was clearly explained what the device did: it doesn’t have a UI, it’s controlled wirelessly from your computer or phone/tablet that acts as the remote. This seems to be a lesson in why you shouldn’t make impulsive purchasing decisions of things you didn’t take the time to understand than an article on tech.

  • eeenok

    sounds to me like a lot of people getting this device just need a HDMI cable

  • deborah

    I’m not sold either until a device solves sending the movie on the DVD on my laptop to the TV monitor. Apple TV can do it, but is purposely made to block the content.

  • Dean Batson

    Did you have an idea for this weak post before you purchased Chromecast? You bash the entire point of the device as if it was a surprise to you when you “found out” what it did. It serves a solid purpose. It sells itself as serving that purpose. And you bash it because you wanted to create baited content…so lame.

  • Arezzo

    Yes. Just run an audio cable to your stereo, an HDMI cable to your large display or TV, a wireless mouse and Bob’s your uncle.

  • Billy Knight

    I totally agree – This article will look really silly in 6 months when everyone from HBO GO to ESPN to Spotify have a Chromecast app.

  • Oneeyedjack54

    If your wireless router is upstairs
    and your TV is downstairs, that can be a problem. (been there…done
    that)…and don’t even get me started on a so called “bridge” (junk)

  • Oneeyedjack54

    Most gaming devices do not allow you to watch Netflix in HD, which you can do with the chromecast. If that’s not an issue for you, then enjoy your $35 in some other manner.

  • Billy Knight

    But then the laptop your streaming from cant do anything else. One of the best things about Cc is that once you start streaming you can go on and do other things with your phone/laptop

  • Billy Knight

    So when your in your living room you can’t access wifi on your phone? — I think most people have wifi in their living rooms – that’s where most people play with their phones –

  • Oneeyedjack54

    I can get wifi through a phone, tablet or laptop all over the house.
    My comment was regarding running a HDMI cable from the wireless router
    directly to the TV set.

    Router is upstairs in the home office, TV
    is downstairs in Living room. For the record, I plan to get a
    chromecast as soon as they are readily available

  • Billy Knight

    Maybe I missed something (I do that alot) – But why do you have to run a HDMI from your router to your TV – Chromecst works on wifi.

  • Billy Knight

    A developer just made an app that flings pics and video from your phone to your TV – Like magic!

  • Barry Chignell

    Did you not realise that you needed a secondary device, that’s the point of the Chromecast.

    May be best to understand the product before purchasing?

  • Desertwhale

    Sorry but you’re wrong. I have 3 different types ways to stream Netflix, YouTube, and music, but NONE of them happen with such ease as the chrome cast. The other UI’s are clunky, take more time to load into, and are harder to type/navigate. Is pulling your phone out really that complicated? It’s ALWAYS with you! Cant say that about any other remotes.

  • David P

    I can kind of understand what you’re getting at, but I think Google is up to something different and a bit more broad thinking with the Chromecast.

    I think with this they are setting the groundwork to disrupt television service as we know it. If they strike the right deals with content providers and you can pay for subscriptions to your favorite channels via YouTube (e.g., a Food Network Channel, a MSNBC channel, an ESPN Channel) that would give you both live and recorded content, then the cable model as we know is done.

    Chromecast will be the set top box for all that. And $35 is a steal.

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