March 12, 2016 at 9:17 pm #1771
I’ve owned a Google Chromecast 2 for a few months now, so it’s time for a review. Hopefully this review of Google’s 2nd version of Chromecast will help potential buyers make an informed decision.
I initially bought my Chromecast 2 because my first Chromecast was a little laggy and I wanted to take advantage of the new features in version 2. Specifically these are the ability to connect to 5Ghz networks. At the same time, I treated myself to a new network card and wireless router (both dual band supporting the latest Wi-Fi modes).
Well actually, initially I only upgraded my router, the network card I bought was because I was having issues getting the Chromecast to work. Which brings me to the first part of my Google Chromecast review: setting up the Chromecast.
Setting Up Google Chromecast 2
Setting up Google Chromecast 2 was not simple. There was a lot of faffing around changing router settings and switching between wireless networks (2.4Ghz – 5Ghz) to try to get it to work. Setting up the Chromecast 2 did not go as smoothly as the Chromecast 1, but this may have just been my experience (although there were others with the same issue on the net, but I couldn’t comment on how prolific the issue was). One benefit to the Chromecast 2 was that as it supports more type of wireless, there were more troubleshooting options available to me. Buying the new Wi-Fi adapter did enable me to fix the issue in the end, which brings me to the next aspect of my review: Price.
The Google Chromecast is a bargain, there’s no doubt there. The benefit you get for the financial outlay is great. Turning your TV into an internet capable (via a PC) machine is awesome for just a few extra dollars. I’d much rather have this type of setup than a TV that’s internet capable out of the box. Why? Because with an internet TV I have no control over the operating system and therefore consider it prone to viruses and difficult for me to fix. However, the price you pay to buy the Chromecast 2 is not the true price of the device. You must consider that you may need to buy a new router and / or a new network card to get it working (though this shouldn’t be the case!).
Using The Chromecast 2
Using the Chromecast is easyish. When it works, it works well (perhaps a little better than Chromecast 1, marginally). When it doesn’t work (which is often), it’s a pain in the butt. It will frequently have issues of lagging video, lagging audio, dropping the connection and every now and then it will need to be reset. In this respect it’s no better than the Chromecast 1, though depending on your Wi-Fi environment, you may see an improvement due to the extra option of using 5Ghz if the 2.4Ghz range is congested.
I like my Google Chromecast 2, but I like it no more than my Chromecast 1 (though the additional options for Wi-Fi connectivity are nice to have).
I guess my big take away with this review is that it’s cheap and needs a lot of techie attention due to audio / video lag issues and difficulty setting up.
Would I recommend Google Chromecast 2 to people? I think the answer to that is that it depends who you are. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who’s not tech savvy or just wants an appliance that works without any hassle – for them I’d recommend just buying an internet enabled TV. I would recommend Google Chromecast to someone techie who doesn’t mind troubleshooting issues with their connection every now and then. I certainly wouldn’t recommend that someone should upgrade from Google Chromecast 1 to version 2 if their current Chromecast is working fine. In fact I would strongly recommend not upgrading in that instance. I might recommend exploring the idea of upgrading to Chromecast 2 if you were having issues with Chromecast 1, but I would advise you that it probably wouldn’t be a magic fix to all your issues.
Hopefully this review helps you. Please share in FaceBook or other social media if you liked it and think it would help others.
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