I’ll get right into it. The Chromecast by Google is the best tech product I’ve bought in 2014. It’s been out for a year and a half, but I feel 2014 is when it really came into it’s own.
For those of you that don’t know, the Chromecast is a dongle you plug into the HDMI port of your TV. It requires USB power, so whether it’s the USB port built into your TV, or plugged into the wall, it’s a really easy setup. Once it’s setup, you can “cast” things from your Android phone or iPhone.
Let’s dive in. Here’s the main reasons I use the Chromecast.
Watch Netflix, Hulu+, HBO, Google Play Movies, YouTube.
This is the main reason we use it. Before the Chromecast, we had to hook up a laptop to our projector to watch shows. Now, we just have the Chromecast in, we turn on the projector and we’re ready to go. Although it seems like a little thing, not having to make room for your laptop, plug in the charger, and plug in the speakers is a great thing. Just open up your favorite Chromecast-enabled app, click the cast button, and it shows up on your TV.
While the supported games are a little sparse right now, there’s actually some really great games out there for the Chromecast. Our favorite game for it is Just Dance. Just Dance actually uses your smartphone as the controller, while the moves are broadcast on your tv. Best part, it’s free.
I’ve also used it to broadcast emulated games onto the TV. This doesn’t work great with action games, because of the lag, but it works great for strategy and turn-based RPG’s. Hook a bluetooth controller up to your phone, and you’ve got a great little portable retro console.
Listen to Music
For a lot of us, the best speakers we have in our living room are connected to our TV. The Chromecast works great for our music app of choice, Google Play Music. I can just throw a playlist on while I’m doing the dishes, or I have people over for a party. The great thing is, you can control the tracks and volume from your phone. If you don’t have Google Play Music, you can try it out with a free 90 day trial that’s included with your Chromecast.
We love our Chromecast so much, we actually have three in our house. You can buy the Chromecast through Amazon here, it’s on sale for 29.99!
For transparency, I do get money if you buy it through this link, but I would recommend it to anyone anyway. There’s a reason it’s been on the Amazon bestselling product charts multiple times.
Right now, there’s actually a deal running where if you get your Chromecast setup by January 31st, 2015, you can get 20$ Google Play credit! That means you’re basically paying 10$ for the Chromecast, which makes it a no-brainer.