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Friday | December 9, 2016
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Google New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2)

Google New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2)

We’ve been using the original Chromecast since launch and throughout that time it has worked very well. Now with a new version just released we have upgraded and today we talk about how the experience has been in our New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2).

New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2) – Packaging and Bundle

google-new-chromecast-review-v2-box google-new-chromecast-review-v2-bundle

The Chromecast arrives in a compact box, giving a clear image of the product design and noting a few key apps which are compatible with Chromecast. Bundled with the device is a USB cable and optional mains adapter. No product documentation is provided, just a few notes on the inside of the box pointing us at the setup website.

New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2) – The New Chromecast

google-new-chromecast-review-v2-product

The previous version of the Chromecast was a long, quite thin USB stick style device. The new version has an HDMI connector at the end of a flexible cable with the main body of the device being round, roughly 4cm across and 1cm thick. The body is slightly magnetic so that it can be folded back and stuck to the HDMI block for a compact install and both 2.4ghz and 5ghz wireless-ac networks are supported along with surround sound.

google-new-chromecast-review-v2-base

On the edge of the New Chromecast we find a status LED, button and the USB connector for powering the device. The button on the right in the image above allows us to factory reset the device by holding it for around 20 seconds.

New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2) – Setup

setupscreen

To get started we plug our Chromecast into any free HDMI slot on our display. Next we plug in the USB cable to a free USB port. If we have none, or if the power provided by our port is low, we can use the optional mains adapter instead. Once powered on the Chromecast informs us to visit a webpage on our device.

Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-35-11 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-35-23 chromecastdesktop1 chromecastdesktop2 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-35-30 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-35-50 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-36-23

Setup can be performed on Android, Apple, Windows and Chromebook OS with the process being pretty much the same on all. Connect to the Chromecast and then enter the code to Sync…

Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-37-01 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-37-15 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-41-36 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-41-51 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-42-00 Screenshot_2015-10-08-11-43-48

…next we configure our settings so that the Chromecast can join our network before being walked through the various apps which support the device. This includes the ability to control playback and volume on (for example) our phone.

setup2  setup3

The Chromecast also checks for any firmware updates and installs them while showing a preview video and after a reboot is ready to be used.

New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2) – User Experience/Conclusion

Starting with the design of the New Chromecast we have a device which is a definite improvement over the older version. It does look nicer overall however from a functional point of view the thin cable ensures that the device can be installed in an HDMI port where space is limited, either by the cables/connectors around it or the casing of the display. For those who have “roomy” HDMI ports, we can also fold up the cable and attach the device to the plug for a compact install which is a nice bonus. Build quality is decent, the main body feels solid and the cable isn’t too flimsy.

Setup is very simple. Just follow the on screen/device instructions and within 5 minutes (including the firmware update) the New Chromecast is ready to use. In each app on our phone/tablet which supports Chromecast we get a small icon which, when tapped, throws the video/audio output to our screen.

cast

On the desktop we can share browser tabs (including those playing video),  or mirror our entire screen/window via the Chromecast. An alternate “optimise for audio” option is available which disables sound on the source end. only playing it on the destination.

Other than the external redesign the main reason for existing users to consider New Chromecast as an upgrade is the enhanced performance offered by Wireless-ac along with the ability to use the (usually) less crowded 5GHz mode. For those new to Chromecast, this model is the one to go for without doubt. At £30/$40 it’s a no brainer for the second group and for the former, move then old model to a 2nd screen somewhere else in the house and go with the new model on the main display.

Summary: For those who want to display the contents of their PC or smart device on a TV, without the need for wires, the New Chromecast is an ideal solution. Very competitively priced, easy to set up and streams without issue on multiple platforms and key apps.

Recommended Award

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
New Chromecast Review (Chromecast v2)
Author Rating
4

About Author

Stuart Davidson

1 Comment

  1. The new Chromecast also has much better Wifi signal on the older 2.4 GHz networks, due to a much better wifi antenna array.

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