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chumawumba
Jul 24, 2013, 12:25 PM
In case you guys haven't heard yet, google unveiled something called the Chromecast today. It basically lets you mirror video from places like Youtube and Netflix to your Chromecast ( A USB shaped thing which plugs into an HDMI port.)
from any laptop, tablet or phone. (Yes it works with iOS too.)

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=chromecast



blanka
Jul 24, 2013, 01:52 PM
They forgot 2 important things:
The apple TV has built in power supply. This unit demands a simple but awkward looking generic USB power supply.
The apple TV still has a wired ethernet port. Wifi sucks in many situations.

Dan DRC
Jul 24, 2013, 02:16 PM
Ok I will play along
So why exactly is this an "Airplay Killer"

jdecosta
Jul 24, 2013, 02:32 PM
They forgot 2 important things:
The apple TV has built in power supply. This unit demands a simple but awkward looking generic USB power supply.
The apple TV still has a wired ethernet port. Wifi sucks in many situations.

Most TV's have a USB port on the back

rocknblogger
Jul 24, 2013, 02:41 PM
I'm not saying that it's an Airplay killer but, it's only $35 and has the capability to stream pretty much anything from your Chrome browser. As I understand it, it has a dedicated Netflix app and an open API meaning that developers will more than likely build apps for it. The demo was very compelling. For $35 it's really a no brainer. And it's the size of a USB sick.

BaldiMac
Jul 24, 2013, 02:46 PM
Can it display/mirror content from your device, or does it simply stream from the internet?

mic j
Jul 24, 2013, 03:46 PM
The proof of what it can/can't do will be hands-on use. Right now, it's all just marketing hype. We've seen that many times from Google before, only to have the products be less than promised.

Wait and see.

twintin
Jul 26, 2013, 04:22 AM
Can it display/mirror content from your device, or does it simply stream from the internet?

Only WEB page mirroring is supported by the chrome browser, no screen mirroring. However, when playing embedded videos a flinging session is started, which means the WEB link of the embedded video is handed over to the Chromecast device, which proceeds the streaming from the cloud without further involvement of your device (e.g. IPhone).

scottw324
Jul 26, 2013, 04:53 AM
In case you guys haven't heard yet, google unveiled something called the Chromecast today. It basically lets you mirror video from places like Youtube and Netflix to your Chromecast ( A USB shaped thing which plugs into an HDMI port.)
from any laptop, tablet or phone. (Yes it works with iOS too.)

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=chromecast

Yep, saw, and I am interested but........still want to stream content from my phone to it like I can do with AirPlay and show a video I just took in my iPhone or play video content from my media server like I do with iTunes and my ATVs. Not knocking it at all just want it to do more. $35 is a great price. Might wait until there are more options or version 2 comes out.

MonkeySee....
Jul 26, 2013, 05:04 AM
In case you guys haven't heard yet, google unveiled something called the Chromecast today. It basically lets you mirror video from places like Youtube and Netflix to your Chromecast ( A USB shaped thing which plugs into an HDMI port.)
from any laptop, tablet or phone. (Yes it works with iOS too.)

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=chromecast

Apparently it doesn't. Yet.

hipnetic
Jul 26, 2013, 08:43 AM
I was going to make an impulse buy on this, just because after the Netflix discount (even for existing customers like me) it was going to be like $13 after tax. Couldn't find one at my local Best Buy, though, and the Netflix discount seems to be gone now, so for $35 + tax, any appeal it had is pretty much gone for me. I'm not sure what I would have done with it, anyway, since I already have a few ATV2/ATV3's, and this doesn't do anything *more* than those.

I think it's great that the Android community finally has something inexpensive and officially sanctioned by Google which offers AirPlay-like functionality. As has been detailed by others, it's not really using the same methodology as AirPlay, but it does provide the same end-result for certain things.

I'll add that for some of those types of things, the methodology it uses is superior to Apple's AirPlay implementation. For example, if I want to find a TV show to watch using the Netflix app on my iPhone and decide to start it up and beam it to my Apple TV, I'd prefer for the Apple TV to take over all of the heavy lifting and fetch the show itself, and have my iPhone just become an [optional] remote control for pausing, etc. Instead, Apple's implementation results in my iPhone doing the heavy lifting of streaming the show and decoding it (and sucking down battery life) and then pushing it over my home network to my Apple TV (resulting in additional network hops that could result in playback interruptions). In fact, the Google Chromecast methodology is pretty much exactly what I recommended long ago should have been Apple's approach for these use cases.

Now, for other use cases (e.g., showing off the photos/videos stored on my iPhone, or doing a PowerPoint presentation from an iPad or laptop), the Apple AirPlay methodology is superior. Then there are use cases for a dual-screen approach (e.g., playing a game where the iPhone becomes a custom game controller and the game itself is displayed on the TV) which, again, the Apple TV is capable of doing, and this Chromecast device may never be capable of.

I should note on that last point, that the Chromecast, like an ATV/iPhone does contain a little computer of its own inside. I'm not knowledgeable about the CPU/GPU specs, RAM, onboard storage, etc., so I don't know to what extent it can/cannot be improved via firmware updates. I suspect that it's less capable than an ATV3, though. I base this opinion largely on the price they're offering it at.

Circling back to Apple's approach...even for some of the functionality that it's capable of (mirroring your screen), it's not without its limitations. Specifically, lagginess/delays. If I mirror my MacBook screen, there's an obvious lag between the mouse pointer moving on my laptop and seeing the mouse pointer move on my TV. Again, this is likely due primarily to the multiple network hops going on. This is why a lot of folks have expressed a desire for WiFi direct. I think that will require new iOS hardware, though (both a new ATV hardware revision and a new generation of iPhone).

The new support for Bluetooth gaming controllers in iOS7 may also, hopefully, address lag issues for gaming, but it would still seem to me that to fully address that, they also need to incorporate another recommendation I've made in the past: storing the app (or some portion of it) directly on the ATV itself. Unlike a lot of people clamoring for "apps on the ATV", though, my vision is a little different. I'm envisioning a platform where the iPhone or iPad is still your "hub" where all of your apps are stored. But if you want to play a game or use some other 3rd party video app, and stream it to your TV, what happens is the app (or some portion of it) gets transferred to the ATV, so that the ATV can do most of the heavy lifting. The iPhone/iPad then become the controller. When you're done using the app, the ATV may still cache the app code for some period of time. That way, if you go to use the same app again soon thereafter, it doesn't need to take the extra time to re-transfer the app code from your iPhone to the ATV again every time. Perhaps 1GB of storage gets dedicated to the app cache, so whenever it fills up, it starts deleting the oldest used apps/data.

Anyway, at this point, I'm still optimistic that Apple will continue to improve the ATV. The more than can improve using the current hardware platform, so as to maintain backward compatibility, the better. But at $99/box, I'm not opposed to ditching some/all of my current ATV's if there's some important improvements they want to make that require new hardware.

TallManNY
Jul 26, 2013, 10:53 AM
Apple TV is getting new channels and with that new functionality. So it will still be the leader over this device.

But this device is so cheap and it will attach so seamlessly. I've got a USB port on the back of my TV and a free HDMI input. So I can install this and have no new box on the table the TV sits on. Nice.

whooleytoo
Jul 26, 2013, 11:28 AM
So, from what I read the Chromecast isn't as good as the AppleTV (no system-wide screen sharing from iOS or OS X for example) but is probably good enough for most people that it will be significant competition. Particularly at that price point.

For lots of people, just being able to navigate to (whatever site they source their video streams) on their laptop and streaming that wirelessly to their HDTVs is enough of a killer feature.

mic j
Jul 26, 2013, 12:29 PM
I don't know. I was reading the MR headline and comments after it were acting as if we just had the second coming (I mean that in a religious way). Here it's been a couple days, stocks all sold out and no one posting about how wonderful it is in actual use. Makes me wonder. ;)

hipnetic
Jul 26, 2013, 02:45 PM
One thing I'm curious about...they talk about how it's great that you can leave the app and go do something else. Well, what if you start up a video, then start looking for a different video to play, then decide you want to pause the video that's currently playing on your TV via the Chromecast? Won't the pause/play/FF/RW controls no longer be up since you've started playing some other video locally on your phone/tablet?

yinz
Jul 27, 2013, 12:57 AM
I think the Chromecast would be great for travelling around to watch your own content at a friend's house or if possible at a hotel. The fact that pretty much any device that can go online can access it makes it a compelling buy.

If the Apple TV was more compatible with other devices (Safari maybe?), then it would be more compelling for non-Apple people to use it. I know this is not Apple's strategy, but if you want to include everyone, you have to open up a little.

Back to Chromecast, I think it would be a great complement to your Apple TV for your travelling, entertainment needs. I don't think it's an Apple TV killer, but maybe a companion. The Apple TV does have more functionality to it.

s15119
Jul 27, 2013, 02:37 AM
For $35 I ordered one. It's a gadget. I'll have fun with it. Whether it's better or worse than My Apple TV is likely subjective - but it's certainly priced low enough to pick it up and play with it.

priitv8
Jul 27, 2013, 03:41 AM
If I mirror my MacBook screen, there's an obvious lag between the mouse pointer moving on my laptop and seeing the mouse pointer move on my TV. Again, this is likely due primarily to the multiple network hops going on. This is why a lot of folks have expressed a desire for WiFi direct. I think that will require new iOS hardware, though (both a new ATV hardware revision and a new generation of iPhone).I'd bet on most of the lag being due to hardware H.264/AVC (only video stream supported by AirPlay) encoding of entire framebuffer required for AirPlay Mirroring.
In that sense, I don't see how Wi-Fi direct can ease this up?
PS Wi-Di hardware is already present in all Unibody MacBooks (called AirDrop in Apple's marketing), and as I reckon, iOS 7 will bring AirDrop also to users of iPhone 5 and newer devices.

Paulyboy
Jul 27, 2013, 11:37 AM
Reposting this from an iMore discussion because I think it might be relevant.

I picked up one of these yesterday at the Best Buy near my house and I got the Netflix promotional code. This was an unexpected surprise but I'll take it! They had two left. I live in a Apple house and simply wanted a way to inexpensively play Netflix on my large screen TV and it does that perfectly and I can continue using my devices for other things at the same time. I tried tab casting from my iMac and that worked pretty well too although any kind of video (like HBO GO) wasn't quite as good as the native applications but it is watchable. Dragging local files into the chrome browser on my iMac also worked well enough to watch.

The only real downside I've seen is that it doesn't always automatically switch inputs for me when I start casting like it seems to for others. It does turn my TV on all the time when I start casting but doesn't always switch the input. Maybe it's because my LG HDTV is too old? No biggie though.

One of the things I really like about this approach is that I'm not forced to use the "10 foot interfaces" of set top boxes like the Apple TV and Roku. I can simply use the iOS apps (for both an iPhone and iPad in my case) as I always do to browse, search for, and queue up videos to watch quickly and easily then send that programming off to my big-screen TV with two taps. It's certainly much quicker than what I could do with a clunky 10 foot interface. Personally I don't see having to depend on possessing a "larger, smarter, controller device" as being much of a problem. In all likelihood anybody who's going to be using something like this already has a smartphone, tablet, or both. If you don't, and really feel that you need something like this, go buy yourself an older, used iPod Touch or something. It's also nice that I can still use my iPhone or iPad for other things after casting something off to my HDTV.

I also should mention that I am severely disabled in a wheelchair with my iPhone mounted on my right arm rest. So not having to use a 10 foot interface (which is difficult and awkward for me) or reach for yet another remote, is awesome. The more my iPhone can be a remote for the better as far as I'm concerned, especially if it's done in a way that I'm already familiar and comfortable with (just as this is).

Whenever I go to visit my father, which should be soon, I plan on taking the Chromecast with me so we can watch Netflix there. So there again is another benefit.

So overall it's really hard to criticize this thing for $11 (if you've got the Netflix promotion like I did) or even $35. And I imagine it's only going to get better. Of course if Apple came out with something similar I'd jump all over that in a second but right now that's not the case. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens with this thing over the next few months.

-PN

mic j
Jul 27, 2013, 11:49 AM
Interesting that he terms anything other than Netflix as "watchable". That doesn't say much for quality. From reading reviews at Amazon, which are 4+ stars, it seems like it is mostly a Netflix dongle and if that's what you are looking for it is very good. Lots of "hopes" that it will do more in the future. From my experience with media streamers, if you are hoping it will do more in the future, you are going to be disappointed. Also, it appears they have dropped the 30 day Netflix promotion which eliminates the rational that that it only costs $11. Will see how that plays out.

Anyway, I am happy for Android users. It's nice they have something that is useful. :D

Paulyboy
Jul 27, 2013, 01:01 PM
Interesting that he terms anything other than Netflix as "watchable". That doesn't say much for quality. From reading reviews at Amazon, which are 4+ stars, it seems like it is mostly a Netflix dongle and if that's what you are looking for it is very good. Lots of "hopes" that it will do more in the future. From my experience with media streamers, if you are hoping it will do more in the future, you are going to be disappointed. Also, it appears they have dropped the 30 day Netflix promotion which eliminates the rational that that it only costs $11. Will see how that plays out.

Anyway, I am happy for Android users. It's nice they have something that is useful. :D

It's true that only Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play are supported natively at the moment but Pandora has already stated that native support is coming soon and there's already been proof discovered that numerous other apps are going to support this as well, like HBO GO. Google Play may not seem all that relevant to Mac and iOS users but you can actually purchase movies and television shows with your Google account from there and then access them from the "purchased" tab in the IOS YouTube app, which then can be casted to your TV natively with Chromecast. So you're not exactly stuck with just using Netflix right now (which isn't exactly a bad thing) and more is coming whether you want to believe it or not. The tab casting feature is labeled as a "beta" feature that is apparently going to be improved quite a bit with the next version of the Chrome browser. But even now video-based websites are "watchable", at least on my Internet connection. The handful of people that I showed it to thought video from tab casting was watchable anyways. It's not something I plan on doing, especially since native support for other applications that I use is coming, but I thought I'd mention it anyways.

And while I did get it for essentially $11 I did mention that I thought $35 was worth it as well. But you seem so eager to knock anything that isn't Apple down anyways so nothing I say will probably prevent you from doing so again. I didn't say it was Apple TV killer or anything so relax. :p

-PN

boomhower
Jul 27, 2013, 01:01 PM
Certainly not a killer but a great device for Android users. It's more limiting in general to me but does have some advantages. What I like about Airplay is that it's available on other devices. Namely my reciever. I can stream directly from my phone or ipad without needing to turn on the TV and AppleTV.

mic j
Jul 27, 2013, 01:31 PM
First of all, the only mention from your post was your comment about "watchable. The rest of my comments were directed from Amazon reviews. So you need to relax, not me.

I have tried many media streamers over the last few years that were not Apple products. Most were underperforming glitchy pieces of junk that kept promising improvements and new features with future updates, that never occurred. The aTV was the only one that delivered what they said and didn't rely on future feature promises to make their product attractive.

So excuse me if I am skeptical especially for $35 (or $11 however you want to look at it). For $15 more why not just buy a Roku? It's a decent piece of equipment with a proven track record?

----------

Certainly not a killer but a great device for Android users. It's more limiting in general to me but does have some advantages. What I like about Airplay is that it's available on other devices. Namely my reciever. I can stream directly from my phone or ipad without needing to turn on the TV and AppleTV.

Better watch what you say. Android users seem to be a sensitive bunch!!;)

Paulyboy
Jul 27, 2013, 01:54 PM
First of all, the only mention from your post was your comment about "watchable. The rest of my comments were directed from Amazon reviews. So you need to relax, not me.

I have tried many media streamers over the last few years that were not Apple products. Most were underperforming glitchy pieces of junk that kept promising improvements and new features with future updates, that never occurred. The aTV was the only one that delivered what they said and didn't rely on future feature promises to make their product attractive.

So excuse me if I am skeptical especially for $35 (or $11 however you want to look at it). For $15 more why not just buy a Roku? It's a decent piece of equipment with a proven track record?

----------



Better watch what you say. Android users seem to be a sensitive bunch!!;)

My apologies. I've seen so much hatred directed towards this thing over the last couple days by Apple users it's kind of made me not particularly proud of being one myself and I am one ("I live in a Apple house" from my original post). it's working really well for me and almost every negative comment I've read has come from people, mostly Apple people, who obviously haven't even used the device so I felt compelled to defend it. Your post isn't exactly dripping in negativity but I mistakenly got that impression from it.

Let's see what the future holds for it.

-PN

mic j
Jul 27, 2013, 02:19 PM
My apologies. I've seen so much hatred directed towards this thing over the last couple days by Apple users it's kind of made me not particularly proud of being one myself and I am one ("I live in a Apple house" from my original post). it's working really well for me and almost every negative comment I've read has come from people, mostly Apple people, who obviously haven't even used the device so I felt compelled to defend it. Your post isn't exactly dripping in negativity but I mistakenly got that impression from it.

Let's see what the future holds for it.

-PN
Apology accepted! You're a scholar and a gentleman and we can be friends again. :D

And I agree with you, only time will tell where this thing ends up. But I do have a fair degree of skepticism about it. Google has a history of releasing things they say will change world order...then the things disappear. GoogleTV, Nexus Q are two examples that come to mind.

nzalog
Jul 27, 2013, 02:32 PM
Airplay killer eh? OK............... :confused:

I guess playing Netflix, youtube and google cloud content is amazing, not to mention being forced to use your phone as a remote. Can't even stream video or audio from your phone.

mic j
Jul 27, 2013, 03:14 PM
Airplay killer eh? OK............... :confused:

I guess playing Netflix, youtube and google cloud content is amazing, not to mention being forced to use your phone as a remote. Can't even stream video or audio from your phone.

Oh...that capability will be there...someday. :rolleyes:

----------

Ok...lets give it a chance. It does fill a niche and give some people some capability they want to have and at a good price. That's a good thing. And if it gooses Apple into doing something more with the aTV...all the better!

The real prize goes to the company that can shift the entertainment industry (tv/cable) to a new paradigm, not to the company that makes a media streamer. There are bigger battles to be waged. Roku, aTV, Chromecast...all just little weapons in the war.

twintin
Jul 27, 2013, 03:31 PM
Can't even stream video or audio from your phone.

Actually you can, from Chrome browser with tab mirroring. Its beta however and has some glitches and limitations.

Paulyboy
Jul 27, 2013, 03:41 PM
Actually you can, from Chrome browser with tab mirroring. Its beta however and has some glitches and limitations.

Tab casting only works from the desktop/laptop Chrome browser not the mobile Chrome browser.

-PN

twintin
Jul 27, 2013, 04:24 PM
Tab casting only works from the desktop/laptop Chrome browser not the mobile Chrome browser.


Yes I know, but it is not unreasonable to assume in due time this feature will also come to phones. However, it seems to be limited to Chrome browser (no system wide setting, support for other applications etc.).

urkel
Jul 27, 2013, 05:00 PM
The proof of what it can/can't do will be hands-on use. Right now, it's all just marketing hype. We've seen that many times from Google before, only to have the products be less than promised.

Wait and see.
Products that are hyped at presentation time and end up being less than promised? We've actually seen that from Apple more. A LOT more.

I'm happily entrenched in Apple's ecosystem and have 3 AppleTV's that I'm very happy with. But lets be honest, considering that the AppleTv originally came out in Jan 2007 then this is a product that has used that fake "hobby" label as an excuse for it's incredibly slow development. Where are the apps? Why is airplay streaming so slow to load? Why can't I use the USB port for a USB drive? What the heck is with their jumbled YouTube subscription list? Why such a limited remote (no replay button, twenty clicks to get to home screen)?

I strongly prefer AppleTV over all my other streamers (Roku, PS3, Plex and now a Chromecast) because it does so much right, but that doesn't mean it still does a LOT of things wrong.

nzalog
Jul 27, 2013, 05:47 PM
Oh...that capability will be there...someday. :rolleyes:

----------

Ok...lets give it a chance. It does fill a niche and give some people some capability they want to have and at a good price. That's a good thing. And if it gooses Apple into doing something more with the aTV...all the better!

The real prize goes to the company that can shift the entertainment industry (tv/cable) to a new paradigm, not to the company that makes a media streamer. There are bigger battles to be waged. Roku, aTV, Chromecast...all just little weapons in the war.

Yeah for sure... But why call something a "blah blah blah killer" when it still doesn't do something that the thing it "killed" does. That's retarded... Reminds me of when the blackberry storm came out and everyone called it an iPhone killer because of its potential not and not what it actually did (spoiler alert: it failed miserably at being any type of "iPhone killer").

linds15
Jul 27, 2013, 05:55 PM
Products that are hyped at presentation time and end up being less than promised? We've actually seen that from Apple more. A LOT more.

I'm happily entrenched in Apple's ecosystem and have 3 AppleTV's that I'm very happy with. But lets be honest, considering that the AppleTv originally came out in Jan 2007 then this is a product that has used that fake "hobby" label as an excuse for it's incredibly slow development. Where are the apps? Why is airplay streaming so slow to load? Why can't I use the USB port for a USB drive? What the heck is with their jumbled YouTube subscription list? Why such a limited remote (no replay button, twenty clicks to get to home screen)?

I strongly prefer AppleTV over all my other streamers (Roku, PS3, Plex and now a Chromecast) because it does so much right, but that doesn't mean it still does a LOT of things wrong.
From any screen hold down menu and it'll go to the home screen, no need to click it multiple times

mic j
Jul 27, 2013, 05:57 PM
Yeah for sure... But why call something a "blah blah blah killer" when it still doesn't do something that the thing it "killed" does. That's retarded... Reminds me of when the blackberry storm came out and everyone called it an iPhone killer because of its potential not and not what it actually did (spoiler alert: it failed miserably at being any type of "iPhone killer").
To be fair, only the OP used "AirPlay Killer".

It's weird, if you look at the MR article on the device, there's over 200 posts of people wetting their pants over it (most having just ordered one) and a handful of posts from people that actually have used it. Yet it is sold out! I was that good, I would have thought this place would have been flooded with posts about how wonderful it is. Curious.

Irishman
Jul 27, 2013, 06:28 PM
They forgot 2 important things:
The apple TV has built in power supply. This unit demands a simple but awkward looking generic USB power supply.
The apple TV still has a wired ethernet port. Wifi sucks in many situations.

Is that true? That sucks, if so (about the USB power supply). I know this might sound silly, but that might keep it from being overwhelmingly successful.

nzalog
Jul 27, 2013, 07:11 PM
To be fair, only the OP used "AirPlay Killer".

It's weird, if you look at the MR article on the device, there's over 200 posts of people wetting their pants over it (most having just ordered one) and a handful of posts from people that actually have used it. Yet it is sold out! I was that good, I would have thought this place would have been flooded with posts about how wonderful it is. Curious.

Yeah my first reaction when I read about it was "omg so cool!" then I kind of thought about real world use and it really doesn't do much more than my xbmc setup. So I decided against it because I didn't want yet another device just sitting around. It's a good price for entry level media streaming IMO.

ZeRoLiMiT
Jul 27, 2013, 09:26 PM
no Airplay killer but very nice product especially for the price.

Youtube
Netflix
Chrome mirroring
Music

especially for the price $35.00 is a nice deal!

urkel
Jul 27, 2013, 09:53 PM
I own 3 AppleTV's so I didnt think I'd have a use for this. But after making an impulse purchase ($35 + 3mo Netflix!) then I'm loving it. While the Chromecast doesn't necessarily do anything "new" compared to the aTV, it does do a few things better.

1) YouTube:
Lets face it, if you subscribe to a lot of YouTube feeds then the aTV YouTube app is broken. The subscription list has no logical order and there is no "new videos" feed which means you have to go to your computer or phone to see whats new and then manually look for it on the aTV.

But with the Chromecast then I can look at the "New Videos" feed on my laptop and start queueing up files. Apple could have easily fixed this issue years ago but they don't seem to care.

2) Mirroring/Multitasking
Before anyone says "There's mirroring on the OSX and iOS" then let me point out a few problems.
- Mac - This is true mirroring which sometimes can be a bad thing. If you're trying to stream a video through your browser then you can't do other things on the laptop and your $2000 computer suddenly becomes a dedicated streaming device.
- iPhone - This also has mirroring but it is not widescreen so if your app isn't aTV optimized then your 60" widescreen TV is now 4:3 with black pillars.

With Chromecast then you're only having the device fetch a video address or you're streaming a single tab off the computer. And that means you can stream something and actually do work on your laptop SIMULTANEOUSLY.

3) File Diversity
With AppleTV you can stream anything you can put in iTunes. Unfortunately that list is pretty short. But with Chromecast then all I do is drop an MKV or AVI into my chrome browser and tell it to stream to the Chromecast.


Again, I have a preference toward the AppleTV's because I live in the Apple Ecosystem, BUT, the ChromeCast is doing stuff that the Apple TV can't. And that's easily worth $35.

(BTW. For those who think this is a war and are furiously typing "JAILBREAK" as the answer to everything then save your keystrokes. We get it. Jailbreak is awesome, but its not for everyone.)

priitv8
Jul 28, 2013, 06:37 AM
2) Mirroring/Multitasking
Before anyone says "There's mirroring on the OSX and iOS" then let me point out a few problems.
- Mac - This is true mirroring which sometimes can be a bad thing. If you're trying to stream a video through your browser then you can't do other things on the laptop and your $2000 computer suddenly becomes a dedicated streaming device.If you just want to stream a video through your browser to aTV, why on earth would you use AP Mirroring? Which means decompress video stream into RGB bitmap, render it in the framebuffer, grab it from framebuffer, compress it to AVC videostream and send it to aTV? Wouldn't it be much easier just to route the incoming stream to aTV? For Safari, you will just need the ClickToFlash plugin to do this.
http://www.macstories.net/reviews/clicktoplugin-brings-airplay-support-to-safari-for-mac/

ZeRoLiMiT
Jul 28, 2013, 08:45 AM
I own 3 AppleTV's so I didnt think I'd have a use for this. But after making an impulse purchase ($35 + 3mo Netflix!) then I'm loving it. While the Chromecast doesn't necessarily do anything "new" compared to the aTV, it does do a few things better.

1) YouTube:
Lets face it, if you subscribe to a lot of YouTube feeds then the aTV YouTube app is broken. The subscription list has no logical order and there is no "new videos" feed which means you have to go to your computer or phone to see whats new and then manually look for it on the aTV.

But with the Chromecast then I can look at the "New Videos" feed on my laptop and start queueing up files. Apple could have easily fixed this issue years ago but they don't seem to care.

2) Mirroring/Multitasking
Before anyone says "There's mirroring on the OSX and iOS" then let me point out a few problems.
- Mac - This is true mirroring which sometimes can be a bad thing. If you're trying to stream a video through your browser then you can't do other things on the laptop and your $2000 computer suddenly becomes a dedicated streaming device.
- iPhone - This also has mirroring but it is not widescreen so if your app isn't aTV optimized then your 60" widescreen TV is now 4:3 with black pillars.

With Chromecast then you're only having the device fetch a video address or you're streaming a single tab off the computer. And that means you can stream something and actually do work on your laptop SIMULTANEOUSLY.

3) File Diversity
With AppleTV you can stream anything you can put in iTunes. Unfortunately that list is pretty short. But with Chromecast then all I do is drop an MKV or AVI into my chrome browser and tell it to stream to the Chromecast.


Again, I have a preference toward the AppleTV's because I live in the Apple Ecosystem, BUT, the ChromeCast is doing stuff that the Apple TV can't. And that's easily worth $35.

(BTW. For those who think this is a war and are furiously typing "JAILBREAK" as the answer to everything then save your keystrokes. We get it. Jailbreak is awesome, but its not for everyone.)


I totally agree with you! I am a Apple maniac also! I have 2 AppleTv
this is deffenetly a nice way to share video/stream content over

If you just want to stream a video through your browser to aTV, why on earth would you use AP Mirroring? Which means decompress video stream into RGB bitmap, render it in the framebuffer, grab it from framebuffer, compress it to AVC videostream and send it to aTV? Wouldn't it be much easier just to route the incoming stream to aTV? For Safari, you will just need the ClickToFlash plugin to do this.
http://www.macstories.net/reviews/clicktoplugin-brings-airplay-support-to-safari-for-mac/

I installed this and its a nice feature but if its freezes. Or you want to pause it on your laptop you can't. You would have to start over. You can pause it with your remote from appletv but once you start playing the video there is no control of that video on your computer. Nice little tweak but thats all it is

rocknblogger
Jul 28, 2013, 09:04 AM
I don't know. I was reading the MR headline and comments after it were acting as if we just had the second coming (I mean that in a religious way). Here it's been a couple days, stocks all sold out and no one posting about how wonderful it is in actual use. Makes me wonder. ;)

I just got mine yesterday. Once I've had some time to play around with it I'll post my findings.

hipnetic
Jul 28, 2013, 12:00 PM
I live in a Apple house and simply wanted a way to inexpensively play Netflix on my large screen TV and it does that perfectly and I can continue using my devices for other things at the same time.Unless you're using AirPlay Mirroring, you can go off and do other things with your iPhone/iPad as well. Start up a song in Pandora, AirPlay it, then leave the app and use your iPhone for other things and the song keeps playing on your ATV. Same goes for any other app with built-in AirPlay support. OTOH, AirPlay Mirroring, by design, mirrors everything you see on your iPhone/iPad screen.

I tried tab casting from my iMac and that worked pretty well too although any kind of video (like HBO GO) wasn't quite as good as the native applications but it is watchable. Dragging local files into the chrome browser on my iMac also worked well enough to watch.Bold added by me. This is highly subjective. Tab casting is using the power of your laptop's CPU to do on-the-fly transcoding of your content to a format that can be playable on the Chromecast's hardware. If you have a powerful enough laptop/desktop, it's possible that the quality is quite good. If Google adds support for tab-casting (a la AirPlay Mirroring) to the Android OS, I wouldn't hold out much hope that the video quality is going to be great, just as AirPlay Mirroring from an iPhone produces less-than-smooth video playback.

YMMV, but for me, I'm a stickler about this sort of thing and can't be happy watching choppy video.

----------

3) File Diversity
With AppleTV you can stream anything you can put in iTunes. Unfortunately that list is pretty short. But with Chromecast then all I do is drop an MKV or AVI into my chrome browser and tell it to stream to the Chromecast.The easy solution to this is Plex. Install Plex Media Server on your desktop or laptop and you can then use the Plex app on your iPhone to watch a wide variety of video/audio filetypes. Chromecast's tab-casting is doing on-the-fly transcoding of the contents of your web tab, which is what Plex Media Server does, but I'd put my money on PMS doing a better job of transcoding and producing higher quality output compared to Google's plug-in.

Again, I have a preference toward the AppleTV's because I live in the Apple Ecosystem, BUT, the ChromeCast is doing stuff that the Apple TV can't. And that's easily worth $35.I like the method that the Chromecast uses to let you find a show you want in your smartphone's Netflix app, then direct the Chromecast dongle to do the "heavy lifting" of fetching the video from the web. The Apple TV doesn't do this today, but there's no reason why the existing hardware couldn't easily support that method if Apple so desired. So I'd use the word *doesn't* rather than *can't*. OTOH, a better case can be made that the Apple TV actually does do things that the Chromecast hardware simply *can't* do, based on its more limited hardware specs.

mic j
Jul 28, 2013, 01:26 PM
[/COLOR]The easy solution to this is Plex. Install Plex Media Server on your desktop or laptop and you can then use the Plex app on your iPhone to watch a wide variety of video/audio filetypes. Chromecast's tab-casting is doing on-the-fly transcoding of the contents of your web tab, which is what Plex Media Server does, but I'd put my money on PMS doing a better job of transcoding and producing higher quality output compared to Google's plug-in.

VLC is also an option to AirPlay various formats, if you don't want to commit to the entire PLEX system.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/20/vlc-media-player-for-ipad-now-available-your-video-codec-worrie/

ctyrider
Jul 28, 2013, 02:53 PM
3) File Diversity
With AppleTV you can stream anything you can put in iTunes. Unfortunately that list is pretty short. But with Chromecast then all I do is drop an MKV or AVI into my chrome browser and tell it to stream to the Chromecast.

Seriously? People still use "it does't play MKV/AVI/DiVX/XviD/whatever other obscure format" as an argument against Apple TV and Apple's ecosystem?

The world has standardized on H.264 video and AAC audio. Even "the scene" no longer uses AVI/XViD, all new releases are H.264. Do yourself a favor and convert your old AVI's to MP4/H.264, and make your life easier.

mic j
Jul 28, 2013, 03:06 PM
Seriously? People still use "it does't play MKV/AVI/DiVX/XviD/whatever other obscure format" as an argument against Apple TV and Apple's ecosystem?

The world has standardized on H.264 video and AAC audio. Even "the scene" no longer uses AVI/XViD, all new releases are H.264. Do yourself a favor and convert your old AVI's to MP4/H.264, and make your life easier.
A refreshing breath of fresh air!!! You are right on target. But you are going to take some grief for the "quality loss" doing the conversion. ;)

ctyrider
Jul 28, 2013, 03:18 PM
But you are going to take some grief for the "quality loss" doing the conversion. ;)

Oh yeah, I am sure "the quality" of that old 480p AVI bit-torrented 5 years ago is going to take a HUGE hit during the H.264 conversion! ;)

urkel
Jul 28, 2013, 03:27 PM
Seriously? People still use "it does't play MKV/AVI/DiVX/XviD/whatever other obscure format" as an argument against Apple TV and Apple's ecosystem?

The world has standardized on H.264 video and AAC audio. Even "the scene" no longer uses AVI/XViD, all new releases are H.264. Do yourself a favor and convert your old AVI's to MP4/H.264, and make your life easier.

And youre seriously going to say "convert every single file to an iTunes compatible format then tag and label them properly" actually "makes life easier"?

Dont live in a bubble and pretend that iTunes is a file friendly media client.

Rigby
Jul 28, 2013, 03:35 PM
With AppleTV you can stream anything you can put in iTunes. Unfortunately that list is pretty short. But with Chromecast then all I do is drop an MKV or AVI into my chrome browser and tell it to stream to the Chromecast. From what I understand I don't think that will work, since Chromecast does not support MKV or AVI containers (see here (https://developers.google.com/cast/supported_media_types)). So, basically the only way to do this would be to render the video on the computer, capture the framebuffer, re-compress it to H.264, and send that to the Chromecast. But that is exactly the same as Airplay mirroring to an Apple TV.

urkel
Jul 28, 2013, 03:42 PM
If you just want to stream a video through your browser to aTV, why on earth would you use AP Mirroring? Which means decompress video stream into RGB bitmap, render it in the framebuffer, grab it from framebuffer, compress it to AVC videostream and send it to aTV?
Not every video file is a movie that requires the absolute best video quality. For example, home movies. I've got hundreds of clips of my kids that I dont want to put in my iTunes Library. With Chromecast I just drag a file to my mirrored tab and now everyone sees it. I'm sure there's a hundred other methods to get this done, but now theres a hundred and one.

Edit:
I just moved my Chromecast from the Bedroom TV to the Living Room to stream some home video and it worked fine. Again, I know that Google didn't invent anything with the Chromecast, but they did make a simple and affordable solution that works. And with Apple's tendency to get lazy when they own marketshare then competition is good for everyone.

ctyrider
Jul 28, 2013, 04:02 PM
And youre seriously going to say "convert every single file to an iTunes compatible format then tag and label them properly" actually "makes life easier"?

Dont live in a bubble and pretend that iTunes is a file friendly media client.

Who said anything about "iTunes"? We were talking about media formats (H.264 etc), which doesn't have anything to with iTunes (which is just a media manager). If you don't like iTunes and don't want to tag your content - use something else, like Plex. But you will still be better off sticking with modern & industry standard formats like H.264/AAC, and throwing AVIs into trashbin where they belong.

urkel
Jul 28, 2013, 04:25 PM
Who said anything about "iTunes"? We were talking about media formats (H.264 etc), which doesn't have anything to with iTunes (which is just a media manager). If you don't like iTunes and don't want to tag your content - use something else, like Plex. But you will still be better off sticking with modern & industry standard formats like H.264/AAC, and throwing AVIs into trashbin where they belong.

Please explain this then.
Seriously? People still use "it does't play MKV/AVI/DiVX/XviD/whatever other obscure format" as an argument against Apple TV and Apple's ecosystem?

First off, calm down. I already gave my disclaimer that I own several aTV's and live happily within Apple's ecosystem in order to prevent people like you from overreacting over praise for a competing product.

Secondly, AppleTV doesnt natively connect to any other media managers so what Media Manager are you suggesting people use?

Third, I've already converted my old library of legacy file formats to an aTV compatible one but most people haven't. All I'm saying is that tab browsing worked as a way to shoot local video to the aTV.

Finally, Plex has never worked for me. I keep 2TB of unprotected movies/TV managed through iTunes but when Plex looks at those folders it sees less than 10% of them. So iTunes/aTV has been the best solution (in our house) for several years now.


Anyway, I really hate that this thread was labeled "Airplay Killer" because tags like that only incite people to defend rather than understand. I'm not attacking the aTV, I'm just saying that my Apple TV is going to have a new neighbor. It's not a big deal.

Paulyboy
Jul 28, 2013, 04:39 PM
Slightly off-topic but does anybody know what happens when you take one of these to a different Wi-Fi network? I'm assuming you have to set it up with that network just like you did before but do you have to reset it first or will it remember both networks?

I'm going to take this to my father's house to watch some Netflix there and it would kind of stink if I had to reset it first, go through this set up at his house, then when I get back home have to set it up again at my house, then go through the whole thing again next time I bring it to my father's house. Or is it like a smartphone or tablet where once you do it once it remembers in the future?

And by the way for those wondering you can now set it up with an iOS device via a web interface. Just go to google.com/chromecast/setup on your iPhone or iPad to do so.

-PN

hipnetic
Jul 28, 2013, 06:03 PM
urkel, I know that you said that you've tried Plex before and had trouble with it (don't know what to tell you there, other than to suggest that you look for help in the Plex forums). There's apparently a way to get Plex working on the ATV via the Trailers app. I haven't gotten around to trying this yet, simply because I don't have a need for it (I've got a full-blown HTPC running the Plex client app, which is also my Plex server, in my bedroom and an Atom/ION nettop box in my living room also running the Plex client app).

I just use my ATV for Netflix, Hulu+, AirPlaying Pandora, and an occasional iTunes movie rental. But I have successfully tested out playing TV shows/movies from Plex on my iPhone and then using AirPlay to push that to the ATV.

mic j
Jul 28, 2013, 08:17 PM
urkel, I know that you said that you've tried Plex before and had trouble with it (don't know what to tell you there, other than to suggest that you look for help in the Plex forums). There's apparently a way to get Plex working on the ATV via the Trailers app. I haven't gotten around to trying this yet, simply because I don't have a need for it (I've got a full-blown HTPC running the Plex client app, which is also my Plex server, in my bedroom and an Atom/ION nettop box in my living room also running the Plex client app).

I just use my ATV for Netflix, Hulu+, AirPlaying Pandora, and an occasional iTunes movie rental. But I have successfully tested out playing TV shows/movies from Plex on my iPhone and then using AirPlay to push that to the ATV.
I used to use Plex before I got sucked into the media streamer scene. It worked fine for me. Occasionally I had to manually direct it toward the correct metadata. But on the whole it worked and I thought it was a good system. iTunes also works for me. Guess I'm easy!;)

twintin
Jul 29, 2013, 07:45 AM
From what I understand I don't think that will work, since Chromecast does not support MKV or AVI containers (see here (https://developers.google.com/cast/supported_media_types)). So, basically the only way to do this would be to render the video on the computer, capture the framebuffer, re-compress it to H.264, and send that to the Chromecast. But that is exactly the same as Airplay mirroring to an Apple TV.

That's exactly how it works, except that the content is transcoded into VP8, packed in a WebM container and transmitted over WebRTC as I have understood it.

Make7UpYours728
Jul 29, 2013, 08:18 AM
I have a c2d macbook pro and the streaming of a chrome tab playing video is very laggy. I'm pretty disappointed.