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'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

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  #1  
Old 11th October 2013, 04:15 PM
 
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'Chromecast'ing In India: My review


Chromecast - A new device form Google for enabling your TV screens for online streaming. At 35$ a piece it was too hard to resist , so I ordered one through Amazon and friend of mine brought it over from US. Now its available for shipping to India on eBay, but it costs almost twice.

So after playing around with it for few days, here is my review.

Short Summary: The best YouTube experience on your TV.

Detailed review: The installation is breeze. You just hook it up to any available HDMI port and start the configuration. You can configure it using any Smartphone(Android and iPhone), tablet or simply via browser. Make sure the device is on the same wifi network. It detects the device and lets you name it. There is a chromecast app that is sort of a catalog to all the apps that support c-cast like – YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. You can also stream or cast(as google calls it) your chrome browser window also, which means anything that can play in Chrome can be sent to the TV. Here is my experience with each of these.

YouTube: Its Google’s baby and they know how to play it best. I have played YouTube through various devices like Xtreamer, WD and XBMC based HTPC but this was the best experience playing YouTube so far. Casting videos is a breeze. Good thing is that it doesn’t stream from you device, C-Cast talks to the YouTube server directly freeing up your device. So you can use any other application like checking mails or making calls without disrupting the video on TV. Your device acts as a remote only. You can also queue various videos for ‘playing-on-TV’ in case you want to create a playlist of sorts. There is no way to specify the video quality but it switches to best resolution based on available bandwidth. I also tried in on my 60″ projector (via AVR) and I could see 1080p level of quality(since there was no sure way to check) on my 8 mbps connection. Using the latest YouTube app, browsing videos and queuing is very easy and seamless, even on a mobile device.

Netflix/HULU: Yes, you can use these services in India using DNS services like un-Block etc. I was not able to cast Netflix on TV using C-cast. Netflix played fine on my phone and computer which confirm that DNS is working fine but when I send it to TV/Projcetor it is stuck with the loading sign. Same with Hulu- I could play it on any device but when I send it to TV/C-cast it says ‘its not available outside US which is weird. This means when C-cast is contacting Netflix/Hulu directly its not passing the location test. Which means it cannot be used in India for these services using DNS solutions.

Casting via Chrome browser: You need to install a browser plugin to enable this. Once its installed, you can easily cast/send the browser tab to TV. It worked fine with text and images but casting video was not stable, it kept crashing. No wonder they have marked it Beta as of now.

Google Music/Video: You need to buy music/movies to cast them. It did not let me cast my local media(music/video).

My final take: You cannot do much other than watch YouTube. Though Google has said it expects more apps soon but seems like as of now only YouTube is usable in India. With 35$ (around 2100 Rs) price tag and given its smooth YouTube experience its worth buying for YouTube alone.
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Old 11th October 2013, 05:41 PM
 
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

Is there any way to add DNS entries in Chromecast? or Have you tried applying the DNS at router level?
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Old 11th October 2013, 05:48 PM
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

Quote:
Originally Posted by avink View Post

Netflix/HULU: Yes, you can use these services in India using DNS services like un-Block etc. I was not able to cast Netflix on TV using C-cast. Netflix played fine on my phone and computer which confirm that DNS is working fine but when I send it to TV/Projcetor it is stuck with the loading sign. Same with Hulu- I could play it on any device but when I send it to TV/C-cast it says ‘its not available outside US which is weird. This means when C-cast is contacting Netflix/Hulu directly its not passing the location test. Which means it cannot be used in India for these services using DNS solutions.
Just clarifying here, for your phone and PC, where have you entered the DNS settings? In the router itself or on the phone and PC instead? If it's not working even when the settings are stored in the router, then looks like c-cast is checking for your location using IP address before it allows netflix/Hulu to stream to it. One way to circumvent it will be to use a VPN instead of a DNS server. But that will seriously downgrade your bandwidth and won't be anywhere close to neat experience which the DNS servers provide.

Edit: Oops. Looks like Hopi already asked the same question I did.
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Old 11th October 2013, 06:32 PM
 
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

Google has hardwired its dns

Avink, only workaround is editing your router iptables(needs DD-WRT/OpenWRT compatible routers) to bypass it.

more info here Setting Up UnoDNS for Chromecast (Requires DD-WRT Router) : UnoTelly Customer Service

edit: even if you don't have compatiable routers, DNS spoofing is possible by rooting/Flashcast mods, all depends on how desperate you are to get netflix

more info here Google Chromecast - Media Players - Home theatre - Whirlpool Forums
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Old 11th October 2013, 08:03 PM
 
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

Thanks for the review avink.
One of my friend also brought Chromecast device for me and it is really the easiest and efficient way to stream Youtube. I didn't try Netflix, but I'm certain it will work the same way.

However, I have a little query if you have tried it.
I couldn't see 5.1 sound working via Chromecast. Is there a workaround to get 5.1 sound using Chromecast for the videos which have default 5.1 sound?? I have read some internet reviews of Chromecast and they claim that Chromecast supports 5.1 sound as well. Any suggestion?
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Old 11th October 2013, 08:33 PM
 
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

I am a happy Chromecast user for almost two months now.
I like the Youtube and Netflix feature too much.
The option to create a YouTube cast list in realtime using your android device is very useful. Netflix surfing is also a breeze if you are using your android tablet/phone. I would have loved it if they could have incorporated a kind of global playlist for all the services, like adding videos to watch from Youtube and Netflix in one single playlist.
This tiny device has now replaced my XBox 360 and the universal remote.
I am waiting for more apps to be supported for this device.
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Old 12th October 2013, 11:05 AM
 
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

The DNS settings were applied at the router level.

Thanks for the links Mr_grump5 , seems like google has hard coded the DNS . So unless you root it or make those setting on router, its you cannot use US based services.

@technobhatt : As much as I know, YouTube doesn't support 5.1 yet and since browser/chorome doesn't support it either, you cannot use it via browser. Since I couldn't use netflix/hulu I cannot confirm but if you search around folks in US have confirmed it supports 5.1 for Netflix/Hulu.
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Old 12th October 2013, 05:15 PM
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

Can we connect chromecast to AVR or it is compulsory to connect directly to TV it self..coz I have wall mounted TV with two HDMI inputs and both are occupied..one is connected to my HD settop box and other one with AVR out..It's not possible to disonnect HDMI cable now n then as the TV is wall mounted..I have received my chromecast before few days but yet to be tried out..
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Old 13th October 2013, 09:23 AM
 
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

Quote:
Originally Posted by umapati View Post
Can we connect chromecast to AVR or it is compulsory to connect directly to TV it self..
Yes, you can connect it to AVR. I used it with my Denon +PJ and it worked fine.
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Old 13th October 2013, 10:41 AM
 
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Re: 'Chromecast'ing In India: My review

We'll considering that most high end tv's from sony natively support wifi and YouTube why would one need the chrome cast just for you tube. Till such time chrome cast can allow the access to personal content on TVS it's not useful.


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