Google Chromecast - Flashback To 2006

A couple of weeks back I received my Google Chromecast. I was excited to test out Google’s latest venture into the entertainment space. I already have Apple TV but was very interested in seeing what Chromecast had to offer. And since I travel a lot, I liked the idea of plugging Chromecast into the hotel room TV vs. watching movies on my iPad or laptop. I was very excited to get up and running with my new toy.

Google has done a great job with Google Glass and the boutique retail experience, when picking up Glass. The packaging is simple, elegant, well done. The boutique retail experience resembles the early days of Nike ID. The Chromecast box arrived, the packaging looked great and set my expectations for a great “Apple-like” experience.

I plugged Chromecast into my TV’s HDMI port. Sadly, that turned out to be the easiest part of the set up. The message displayed on the screen to connect to my WiFi network was not consistent with what I was told I would see. I know Google loves to “beta”, so I rolled with it and skipped to the next step and just put in my network password. It worked, on to the next set up step. I forget exactly what was asked but when I went to the specified URL, as directed, the screen that came up was Google’s company Intranet. (see picture) I knew that wasn’t right. I tried a few times and just could not resolve the issue. Eventually, I skipped another step and was able to complete the set up.



Consumer expectations are much different with physical products. We expect consumer electronics to work right out of the box, no matter if we paid $35 or $300. Device manufacturers have worked hard to deliver immediate gratification out of the box and Google somehow seemed to miss that important detail. I’m the sort of person that will keep on pushing and experimenting and going beyond the instructions to troubleshoot, while many consumers would have just threw it back in the box and called it a night, especially when there was no online help available at all. #FAIL.

Chromecast has Netflix, access to YouTube and the ability to stream from a tab in your browser. Eventually, they will have more video content from Google Play to stream. While I know Chromecast will get better over time, this isn’t 2006, when Apple TV debuted to a less sophisticated marketplace. Again, consumer expectations for great content are much higher. Chromecast also shows, in my opinion, that Google is a software company vs. a savvy media company like Apple. Google had better kick their entertainment deals into hyperdrive or else the Chromecast demand will dry up.

Are you using Chromecast? If so, let me know what your experience has been. 

Comment on the page or feel free to send me tweet at @dougchavez.
2 comments about "Google Chromecast - Flashback To 2006".
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  1. Jeffrey Hardy from FilmProfit, LLC, September 12, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.

    We have the Chromecast, and though we did not get it to open the wide world of content, really, but to give our android and Chrome devices (of which we have 8 in our family) a quick and easy way to manage certain content on the TV. It proved itself when I set my wife up to show Japanese song videos for her Summer Camp students, and they were able to watch, sing-along, and all, which she managed from the Nexus 7. That, alone, was worth the $35. If you are trying to make the world of content like a toaster, then that is the exact issue we have in front of us. It was only a couple of years ago that the cable guys, with their "stupid" boxes, were lamenting that they could not get "out of the grid." When you get out of the grid, you have a big curve, and you will not be delivering this device yet, for a little time. I love the Chromecast, but I was not looking for it to solve all my problems for me. I have to also let you know, we have pretty much cut the cord, otherwise. We live without that cable bill each month. Only the connectivity, which we work a lot of different ways, with Hulu, NetFlix, Amazon, and so on...

  2. Ramesh S. from Appestry, September 13, 2013 at 5:21 p.m.

    I'm an independent developer who is building apps for Chromecast.

    I have to disagree with the author's comparison of Chromecast with 2006. Google decided to put this device out early with only 3-4 apps to see what developers can build for it. Yes, the content is limited right now, but it's only a matter of time. The software that powers Chromecast is still not final yet. Once the official release is available you will see the floodgates open for content and apps that will empower Chromecast.

    Here’s a video preview of Chromecast support coming soon to one of our Android apps: Split Browser available in GooglePlay

    Unlike Apple where everything is kept under lock and key - like no finger print recognition for developers - I believe Chromecast is a step in the right direction in a more openly evolving world.

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