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21 April 2014 - 8:22am | posted by | 8 comments

Chromecast is great but Google really needs to get a move on providing more content

It was only about five or six years ago that I had the chance to first use a Smart TV, long enough ago that the concept of having the Internet on my telly without having to drill a hole through my upstairs floor to link it to my computer, which seemed at the time pretty amazing.

Jump forward a few years and the concept has never really gotten off the ground to the extent that I for one imagined it would. And with Google's Chromecast now on the market, there's a good chance that Smart TVs have already seen their day (although if Google releases a TV with Chromecast built in then perhaps not.)

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At a bargain price of £30 on release, the cost factor is not a major issue, although, like BSkyB, I wonder if the device might be handed out free to subscribers in order to hasten its take up rate and help overcome the initial problem that Google has - persuading media companies to share their content on yet another online device. They've been here before of course with Google TV and has the same challenge to face all over again.

The set up took me just a few minutes (10 in total and I consider myself slow) to glancé at the instructions, unplug my Sky box, plug in Chromecast to both my TV and the wall socket and download the app to my phone, then I was ready to go.

It does protude from the back of the TV by about five inches however - so my TV is a little further forward from the wall than it was before.

However, all in all, setting up the device was easy.

But then, upon using the app it dawned on me just he new this platform is when looking for content. Ok - BBC iPlayer is there - but it's everywhere else too, and it's great to have YouTube which is vast - although it's amazing that it still feels somehow limited in its content still. Netflix is on there too.

What I was hoping for was access to more movies and drama (in the UK, Netflix isn't half the content beast it is elsewhere so this may be a different experience outside of Britain.) What I got was Red Bull TV, which is great, but I know I'd have watched 80's 'classic' BMX Bandits with Nicole Kidman in her first role instead given the choice - although it is a brilliant app for extreme sports fans.

Chromecast has some real content population problems at the moment and desperately needs broadcasters to sign up and soon before the Chromecast hype dies down. I raved about the possibilities of Chromecast as a gaming and entertainment device for months - and I still wholeheartedly believe that this could achieve mass adoption and that Google is onto a winner. It just needs to solves this issue. So far the only gaming app I have played included a Tetris knock off - which worked for Gameboy 20 years ago but probably not today.

Recent announcements by Google that it plans to invest in content production with Machinima will in some way help develop YouTube, as will the deal last week to purchase the rights to stream all of British Pathe’s back catalogue of films - all a step in the right direction but there’s still a long way to go for it to boost Chromecast viewing.

So while the device and the user experience gets two wholehearted thumbs up from me - I have to tell Google to get a move on with adding to Chromecast, because it wasn't long before I had my Skybox plugged back into my TV again.

Comments

21 Apr 2014 - 09:33
Audiosilver20669

1. Google Play is where they are providing content

2. It's up to developers now - they have released the SDK

Maybe a review from someone a bit more informed next time, eh?

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21 Apr 2014 - 09:49
stephen_lepitak's picture

Thanks @Audiosilver20669 - I realise both of your points are correct - however I was looking at it from the viewpoint of an average consumer using Chromecast for the first time - they don't want to know what's coming down the line in a few months - they want to see things now. And Google has to capitalise on the potential of the device quickly - otherwise something similar offering more entertainment could hit the market and blow it out of the water.

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22 Apr 2014 - 02:40
taxan89402's picture

@stephen_lepitak I've been using Chromecast for about 5 months strong now, works flawlessly, pretty much using all the apps that the chromecast app puts in front of you plus a few more that are wondering around in the Google play store. Unless other companies start selling their devices for $35 bucks, I don't think the Chromecast will be in any immediate danger of getting blown out of the water, it's not like it's costing $100 or more. To me the gripe just doesn't balance out, it's only $35...."you get what you pay for right?" but in this case, from being a heavy user, your getting more for your measly $35 dollars. More content will continue to roll out like it's been doing since it's release, I'm not too worried about it, this is an awesome device for the price.

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21 Apr 2014 - 13:48
Jbgot11544's picture

Hi

Good points, Google has to find a way to promote Chromecast as an alternative to cable NOW. They should partner with sites such as AdVideoTISE.TV to gain distribution in the cable tv market space reaching current you tubers and cable want to cutters who want to leave cable but has not found a cable replacement. Sites like AdVideoTISE.TV is geared up to launch a mobile and tv everywhere attack on cable. Blogs can also play a role in spreading the news on sites like AdVideoTISE that offer curated streaming video channels in all categories.. This type of video curation will help Youtube and Chromecast.

Thanks for your article.

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21 Apr 2014 - 16:21
sfgla31173's picture

Forget what's coming down the pike. They'd sell a helluva lot more if the Chromecast was compatible with Windows XP. This would give them more deal making power.

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21 Apr 2014 - 17:54
Jbgot11544's picture

If they update the Chromecast to cast your screen from chrome mobile on apple and android device it's game over for cable.

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10 May 2014 - 10:19
miket15923's picture

@Jbgot11544

EZCast works great on my android phone and tablet. Even mirrors my phone's camera screen!

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22 Apr 2014 - 09:34
mikeluck1

NAS Cast is awesome for playing my ripped films over DLNA.

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