I love the concept behind the Chromecast. Plug a dongle into your TV and stream your media to it without cables. The reality though is not as awesome as the concept yet, unfortunately.
While I am currently using the Xbox 360 as the media hub in the living room, and getting the rest of the family used to using something other than a cable box, I did go ahead and purchase the Chromecast, and hooked it up to the second HDMI port on the TV.
Setup was painless. I installed the Chromecast app on my iPad, un-boxed the device, plugged it into HDMI port 2, and plugged the USB cable into the TV’s USB port, and walked through what little setup was required. Total time for everything was less than 10 minutes.
My initial impression was “wow, this is neat”. The device itself has worked flawlessly. I was able to stream Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora Radio without issue. I haven’t tried “casting” from a browser on a PC yet to the Chromecast. That’s not what I’m looking to do. If I wanted to use a laptop to watch video with, I’d just bite the bullet, and build a PC to use as a dedicated media server, run it into the HDMI port, and get a wireless keyboard with an integrated touchpad.
But as I continued to sit and play with the Chromecast, and added videos from You Tube to the TV playlist, the Chromecast continued to grow on me. And then my 16 year old linked to the Chromecast from his Samsung Galaxy III, and was using it within 30 seconds, so my impression now, has risen to “Wow, this is really cool!” And with the recent announcement of the release of the SDK, I am anxious to see what other apps integrate Chromecast in the near future.