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

Posted on Jul 31 2013 - 1:37am by Kevin Shen

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.

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Complexity

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.

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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.

Summary

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?

 

 

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About the Author

Kevin has been a technology author for more than 5 years, and has immense experience with both the iOS and Android community.