Thursday, June 23, 2016

My new gadget

So, I got myself a Google Chromecast.

And my life has been changed forever.

OK, not really.  But it definitely made my Netflix experience much more smooth when I finally got it hooked up and working last night!!

As I mentioned in a post last week, I was in a conundrum as to what to do about my TV viewing experience.  Netflix wasn't streaming properly through my Wii - constant freezing and error messages, after I'd tried everything in the book to get it to work - so I was watching my favourite shows on my laptop.  I've never been a big fan of watching TV or movies on a computer screen, so while it was getting me by, I didn't feel like it was a permanent solution.  Seemed such a shame to be hunching over a laptop to watch my episodes of The Office when I had a nice big relatively new flat screen just sitting there in my living room...

Thus, I started doing some research.  I needed to figure out a way to get Netflix onto my TV screen, and I was looking for the cheapest and easiest solution.  My brother-in-law had got a Chromecast for his birthday, but truly, I couldn't wrap my head around how it worked.  My friend Lindsay had recommended the Apple TV, but it sounded an awful lot like the Chromecast, and at a higher price tag, so again...seemed too difficult for my non-techie-brain to figure out.  On my post last week, an HDMI chord from my laptop to TV had been suggested, which did sound like the easiest and cheapest option, but of course, my laptop is old and doesn't have an HDMI port.  I thought perhaps it would work just hooking it up via the USB ports on the laptop and TV, but apparently that doesn't work.  I also looked into the suggestion of getting one of these extra-smart Bluray players with Netflix already loaded onto it, but that was looking like it would be at least $100 more than the Chromecast.

So it seemed that was the fix:  the Chromecast.  Despite worrying that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to get it to work, I ordered one from the Google store on-line, and crossed my fingers.

It arrived yesterday, and seriously, no idea what I was worried about.  I had it hooked up and running in about 10 minutes, and I think it would have been faster except there was an update that had to be loaded first, and that took the longest.  Then I just had to download the Google Cast app to my phone, and I was in business.  So easy!!  And so nice to be watching The Office on my TV again!!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Jim from The Office?  I wish my office had a Jim.  I'm kind of addicted.  I had been watching episodes of both The Office and Bloodline, but I've dropped Bloodline - not because I don't like it, just because it was taking away from my time with Jim.

It's like Danny Castellano vs. Suits all over again.

I also played around with some of the other Cast-ready apps.  I watched a few of the James Corden Carpool Karaoke vids on Youtube that I hadn't seen yet (LOVED the one with the Red Hot Chili Peppers!), and I also went ahead and downloaded Crackle.  I had never heard of Crackle until the weekend.  It's a free streaming app for TV and movies.  Not as much selection as Netflix or some of the others, and the movies and TV shows are generally older, but there's some gems on there for sure.  And really, how can you go wrong...if you find only one or two things you want to watch... it's FREE!!!

In any case, I know it's still very early in the game, but I'm going to go ahead and say that I love my new gadget.  So happy with my new Chromecast!!


Stacy said...

hmmm I have been looking at these too - maybe I should invest. We stream Netflix on the playstation and the tablets but I want the kids to be able to watch it on other TV's.

Leigh said...

Glad you were able to figure out a solution :)

Nicole said...

I've never heard of this. Mark got some Amazon Fire Stick thing to make ours work in our bedroom. In our livingroom we're using our Apple TV.

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