Review: Google Chromecast

After using the Apple TV (ATV2) for many years, now is the time to try out a new gadget to connect to my TV. Google Chromecast was released on 24th July 2013. It is like a USB flashdrive (except that the port is a HDMI), measuring 7.2cm, which allows you to stream audio/video content via WIFI from the Internet or your local browser. You will then control the device either via your computer or your mobile devices be it  Android, iOS, Chrome for Mac, or Chrome for Windows.

Google Chromecast     Google Chromecast Back

Google Chromecast Inside     Chromecast Stick

The Chromecast is meant to be very simple. Plug-in, configure your WIFI, and off you go with your audio/video on your TV. Some of the online content that it supports are NetFlix, Hulu, Pandora and Google Play.

Setting Up

 

The package includes the Chromecast, a HDMI extender, a USB power cable, and a USB power adapter which works in Singapore (100V to 240V) too.

The content

 

The Chromecast is using Marvell 88DE3005 system on a chip and has 512MB DDR3 memory which supports hardware decoding of VP8 and H.264 codecs. This will allow you to play AVI, MP4 and most commonly available video files. Most importantly, it is able to stream Flash videos. It supports 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) using  AzureWave NH–387. A little pity that it cannot handle the 5GHz spectrum. 2GB of flash storage is also available. It is mainly used for storing the OS and caching of content while streaming.

I shall be writing on the rooting methods in my upcoming posts. This is then extend the hidden potential in the Chromecast. Do note that if you wish to root the Chromecast, please do not connect it to the Internet. However, the root guide will only work for those whose Chromecast is still running firmware v1.0.

 

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