Jack Barber Design & Technology

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Google Chromecast - Early Days But Looking Good

It was my birthday last week, I turned 28, so I treated myself to a Google Chromecast to see what it was like.  And I have to say, my first impression is that, for our needs, it'll be really good.

We don't have a smart TV, ours is about 5 years old, but it still works really well and has a good picture (it's a 32" Toshiba Regza).  However, we watch a *lot* of iPlayer, generally on my Macbook Pro, on the coffee table, in the same room as the big TV.  Sometimes I'll plug my laptop into the TV to watch a film from iTunes, but it's a bit of hassle.

The Chromecast gives us the ability to easily show iPlayer programmes on the big(ger) screen.  It's remoteless (which is always great when you have small children) - it's controlled via an Android phone or tablet.  And, I can use it to share websites on a bigger screen, something I quite often wish I could do with clients.

Currently the number of apps which work with the Chromecast are quite limited - certainly for us as we don't use any subscription TV or music services (we have Sonos for music anyway).  However, I'm looking forward to it working with 4oD, ITV Player, perhaps it'll become useful for simple Android games, and... probably loads of stuff I can't imagine doing via our TV at the moment.  Or maybe not.

Maybe Chromecast is just the start of a plan at Google to provide all kinds of internet services through our TVs and in 12 months time the master plan will be revealed. Certainly with Amazon announcing its new Fire TV box this week, Apples Apple TV still popular and a host of other new set-top boxes arriving this seems to the beginning of a new tech war, to be fought in the corner of our living rooms.