Shopperazzi: Is Chromecast for you?
Google’s Chromecast came to India recently. Should you buy one? We tell you.
You are an online addict. You get your kicks from videos. You do wish you had a bigger screen to watch them on. You do have a large screen TV but you were loath to invest in a smart TV (upwards of 42 inches will set you back by a lakh).
Then, Chromecast is your baby.
Simply put, Chromecast is a device which will let you “cast” the content on your laptop, tablet or your phone to a bigger screen. In other words, it turns your television into a smart TV without costing you the earth.
This does three things for you. One, you don’t have to splurge on a smart TV.
Two, you are saved the hassle of connection to TV through a wired connection such as a HDMI cable.
Three, you have the option not just of casting content on to you TV but the additional option of ‘mirroring’ the page of your device on to the larger TV screen.
However, there are some strings attached.
One, you need a TV with at least one HDMI port and preferably at least one USB port.
If you have bought your TV in the last five years you are likely to have both (and even multiple connections). But do check if you are not sure. The USB, somewhere close to the HDMI slot, is important as the Chromecast device needs a power source.
Two, you need a high-speed broadband WiFi connection of at least 5 mbps or more (higher the better) to get a seamless experience. This is as it communicates with your handheld through the WiFi network.
Three, your casting experience is largely limited to the apps available for India, which are not many. But then you do have the YouTube Chromecast app which supports both iOS and the Android. And, that should be good enough to get you started and going.
A word of caution though. The mirroring function is a bit clunky though because a huge amount of bandwidth used. This is simply because there is a three way streaming of the video or content involved, before getting it on to your chosen large screen. First to your device from the internet via the router, then back to your router to be streamed on to your TV.
So if your WiFi network is unstable and choppy, then the mirroring experience is a bit underwhelming.
However, it is all video you want to watch, and the YouTube is your final destination, the Chromecast is an extremely tempting proposition.
And, if you consider that you get the device plus the HDMI extender, the USB power cable, and the power adapter (all built to last) for Rs 2,999, you will do well to yield to the temptation.
Available at most online stores including Flipkart, Snapdeal and Aamzon. On Flipkart, it costs a hundred rupees less than the others at the time of reporting.
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