Introduction

3 Jun 2014

So, if you're into watching YouTube and some other stuff on your regular TV, this little device is supposed to be it. Sure is cheap, I'll give Google that. :-)

First impressions

It came in a little white box, with a short HDMI extension cord and its own power supply (using micro USB cable). To install it, one has to download an app (I used my Windows laptop to do it).

The device sets up its own access point initially, because there is otherwise no way to enter the password for the final network. In the end, it does join the WiFi network and it obtains an IP address through DHCP. There is, however, no web interface to control the device - everything is done through the app.

OK, after all that, it did successfully play some YouTube clips for me. Success, right? Not so fast...

And now for the fun bit...

By next morning, the cast rectangle in YouTube app was gone from some of my devices and was there on others. Then this changed again and all devices lost it for a while. After trying to figure out what was going on for some time, it turns out that the fact that I temporarily had a second access point on my network confused Chromecast. Looks like a TP-Link powerline device bug was preventing SSDP packets from making it, which made Chromcast "disappear". Ah, well... This can be worked around by enabling IGMP on the router.

Updates

8 Mar 2016: Google released the second version of Chromecast in Australia now. After reading a few reviews of it, I got myself one and I'm glad I did. The device works significantly better than the previous version. There are no lags at the beginnings of YouTube videos any more, Netflix shows load faster etc. Well worth the upgrade.

Conclusion

Although the setup is easy, should you have anything even slightly unusual on your network, it may not work. For simple home networks looks OK.

Copyright © 2014 Bojan Smojver, Rexursive.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the licence is here
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