My initial impressions / thoughts on the Chromecast:
- My two televisions HDMI ports aren’t powered, so that means I need to use the Chromecast’s USB power cord. I’m out of luck on my downstairs TV (I’m out of outlets). So far, this has been the case (needing external power) of many of the reviewers I’ve seen the past few days. Perhaps I should use this as an excuse to upgrade to a better (bigger) TV set.
- Setup was straightforward, once I got past the power issue.
- Upon startup, the Chromecast broadcasts a WiFi SID, where you pair up with a code on the screen. You basically give your Chromecast your WiFi router’s password, and go on from there. But beyond that, I don’t see a way that you explicitly set a password on the device itself (pretty much, once you’re connected on the same subnet, you can access the device). This has potentially bad consequences for anyone wishing to use it in a public setting, because if anyone can get on your local subnet (via password or if the device is on an open network), then they can access the device. I fully understand I may have just missed something – someone please correct me if I have missed where to password protect the Chromecast itself.
- WPA2 Enterprise / RADIUS is not currently supported.
- Netflix and YouTube “casting” worked great. I couldn’t get Chrome on my iPad to recognize the device. Casting from Chrome on my MacBook Pro worked fine, though it was very jerky. Also, I expected moving from tab to tab to be more fluid – you have to explicitly tell the device to cast the tab each time you navigate to it. Otherwise, this worked fine.
So on balance, my summary is this: for the price, it’s a no-brainer. But, if you already have Apple TV, it already has superior mirroring options from what Chromecast offers (which is basically, just from a Chrome tab). If you have to support iOS, PC, OSX, and Android, then Chromecast is worth a look. Security-wise, I would be reticent about sticking these in an enterprise setting. I suspect these little bad boys might even be an exploitable security hole, if someone can root it, and thus gain access to your local subnet.
Anyway, that’s my initial take. I apologize in advance for any blatant overlooking of capabilities – corrections and “gentle” chiding is actually much appreciated.
And as always, I would love to hear feedback on your experience and findings with the Chromecast.