Videos we sent via the Chromecast were of the same high quality we saw from other streaming devices, including streaming-media players and smart TVs. We streamed videos from Netflix in its Super HD format using a Macbook Pro, Apple iPad, iPhone, HTC One phone, and Lenovo IdeaPad tablet, and there was no loss of video quality once the video was loaded and buffered.
The exception was some out-of-sync audio issues when we streamed movies from the Web browser of a PC located farther away from the TV, but these typically disappeared once we paused and restarted the video. Also, video from the Web browser appeared less detailed then from the supported apps (only about 720p).
The Chromecast is also able to provide multichannel digital audio when available as long as your TV can pass through the digital audio. You can also connect the Chromecast directly to an audio receiver with an HDMI port.
Based on this initial review, we think the Chromecast is a compelling, innovative option for those who’d like to add online content to their TV. It lacks the breadth of content we've seen on many dedicated streaming media players, but it's inexpensive, easy to set up and use, and virtually invisible behind your TV set.
We especially liked being able to browse the Web on a much bigger TV screen using the familiar controls on a laptop, smart phone, or tablet, a far better experience than we've had using a TV remote control. And while content support is currently limited to just a handful of sites and services, we expect more content partners to be announced in the near future.
—Chris Andrade and James K. Willcox