Google’s latest gadget – Chromecast, the device that allows viewers to stream internet content straight onto their televisions, has already come under fire from social media sites, as people do not see the point of it.
The Chromecast is a small stick, about the size of a USB flash-storage drive that you plug into an HDMI port on flat-panel TV, and allows people to stream content from their smartphones, tablets and personal computers. It enables viewers to bring Netflix, YouTube and other Internet content into the living room and onto the TV screens.
It is thought that Google want to capitalise on easy access to people’s living rooms, as they could potentially open up a lucrative new channel, and with this new channel they would be able to show adverts.
With this in mind, Google are selling the Chromecast at only $35 (£22.85), which is vastly cheaper than similar devices currently on offer from by Apple and Roku.
Problems with Chromecast
The problem with Chromecast however is twofold, in that users have to install Google’s Chrome Web Browser, which many users do not like, and a huge amount of people have questioned the fact that many smart televisions will be able to stream content from the internet already.
Other people have asked the question that if their television does not stream content from the internet, a simple HDMI cable will do the trick for about £1, whilst others profess that their computer screens are actually larger than their TV ones and they are more used to watching content this way, and not via the television.
Other people do not want to watch adverts, and would prefer to watch films and TV shows without the distraction of streaming ads, with one person suggesting that Google should pay them if they want to include adverts in amongst their content.
What Google do not appear to have taken into consideration, is that people are becoming much more media and computer savvy, and are finding ways to outsmart the major players by using the cheapest ways possible to view what they want, when they want to.
Therefore, buying an extra device, when they have been used to streaming content, a lot of it for free, for the last few years, is never going to be a viable option, especially when people don’t mind hooking up a simple cable in order to save money.
And although industry experts are extolling the virtues of the Chromecast device, it has to be pretty special for ordinary and everyday users to want to buy it. In other words, does it offer real benefits, is it value for money and does it give the consumer something extra special and different for the money? In the case of Chromecast, not really.
Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps likes it still: “Chromecast looks like a smart and disruptive device. Maybe it took the other failures for Google to get it right.”
And perhaps Google are beginning to worry about future sales as they are offering three months of free Netflix service with a purchase of the Internet-streaming stick. For those who like a bargain, this works out at $24 off the cost of the device, for those who would have signed up to Netflix.
Find out more at Google.com