“The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed” famously quipped cyber-punk authorWilliam Gibson in 1993. And in a very small way that is evident when little gadgets come out. Recently our Reactive brethren in the US were able to purchase a Google Chromecast, ahead of us here Down Under. But collaborative folks as they are, Carl Panczak and his NYC crew sent a device our way. So that we could experience the future!
Chromecast is a small extension to your TV or boardroom display, essentially giving you the ability to display what’s happening in your browser (be it on the phone, tablet or desktop). In a nutshell: Send video or anything on the Web to your TV from your smartphone, tablet or laptop (as it says on the box). The fact that it uses your local Wifi to receive the content makes the performance quite appealing.
We waited for a proper software update from Google (the original version wasn’t that smooth) plus Google only recently made the Chromecast manager app available for Australia. This meant we could finally set it up via our Android phone. Install the Chrome extension from here. And the Chrome browser has a new functionality currently in experimental stage that will cast your whole screen to the TV, which definitely makes this a promising (and cheaper) alternative to Apple TV.
Here are a few resources on how to use it. Sadly, some of the apps (like Netflix or Hulu) are still only available if you are of the American persuasion: Google Chromecast Home
So next time you come visit us at Reactive Sydney, you can expect to enter the future.