The Google Chromecast is part of the streaming media player & service
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, streaming media players
models like the Chromecast are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Picture quality includes image clarity, color accuracy, and contrast of streaming video. It's based mainly on the judgments of a panel who compare each device's output to a reference. However, the quality of the video that you'll get is largely dependent on the speed of your wired or wireless network. We tested all the players using a wired Ethernet connection, if available.
This score reflects the presence or absence of features, including the number of streaming video services, other internet services, and the ability to play media files
How easy it is to use on a normal basis.
Features & Specs - Google Chromecast
App or channel store Provider for adding addition apps or content.
App or channel store
Streaming video services What premium services are available to watch TV shows and movies.
Streaming video services
Netflix, Hulu Plus, Play Movies & TV
Web browsing Has a web browser for accessing web sites.
Supports dual-band Wi-Fi Will supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks.
Supports dual-band Wi-Fi
HDMI input Used to pass through a video signal from your cable or satellite box. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) HDMI has become the preferred connection method instead of component, etc., as it carries audio and video signals on the same cable. HDMI supports a range of standard- and high-definition video formats, although it can vary for each product. HDMI supports up to eight channels of uncompressed, 24-bit/192kHz audio. HDMI version 1.3, doubled the bandwidth of its predecessor (HDMI 1.2), and added support for 30-, 36- and 48-bit color depth and a new "xvYCC" color standard, as well as the new Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master lossless audio formats (See "Dolby True HD" and "DTS-HD Master Audio") used in Blu-ray discs. HDMI version 1.4 added full support for 3D television, an audio return path, and ethernet network connection. Some Blu-ray discs, in order to be viewed in high-definition, will require that the Blu-ray player and the HDTV/display be connected using an HDMI cable as a copy-protection measure. HDMI allows content providers to limit the quality of the component video outputs, and your ability to record the content.
USB ports Allows a USB memory device ("thumb drive"), external hard drive, or card reader to be plugged in. This allows you to display the still images and video clips, and play audio files stored on the memory device.
When I bought the Google Chromecast, I had already installed a Roku video streaming device and a Wii without any problems. The Roku and Wii functioned flawlessly. But the Chromecast was downright exasperating. After struggling for over two hours to get it to work, I gave up. The instructions were absolutely minimal, and confusing. Example: Google uses the term casting, but doesn't bother to define the term.<br /><br />The Chromecast might be easier to install with a smart phone or a tablet. I was attempting to use it with a laptop computer running Windows 7.<br /><br />In any event, I gave the device the lowest score (1) because I could not get it to work at all. Fortunately, it cost only $35, but the Roku video streaming device cost only a little more, was easy to install, and works very well.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
By D. Witham
from Alexandria, VA
Good for home use - Not for hotel
Ease of Use
Netflix Video Quality
Not Compatible Whotel
Not Compatible W Hotel
Chromecast works as advertised with a home network and video quality is really sharp. But if you purchase it for use on the road, be advised that it will not work with hotel Wi-Fi. Essentially, Chromecast can't get past the hotel webpage/login requirement for network access, so it won't be able to link to your connected laptop.
How long have you owned it:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Ashby, MN
Sound Out of Sync - Not for Chromebook
Doesn't Like My Chromeboo
The Chromecast worked decently at best with my Dell laptop. Netflix picture was acceptable (720), but not great. Had to stop and restart the Netflix movie all the time. Bought a Chromebook specifically for the Chromecast and have NEVER got the sound to sync with the video. I have read about this sync problem elsewhere with no fix.<br /><br />Purchased a Roku 3 last weekend. Great 1080 picture. Sound always in sync. Never have to stop the movie to let it catch up. Does all the things I expected the Chromecast to do.<br /><br />Anyone want to purchase a Chromecast?