Google Chromecast is a game-changer for the Cable TV/Direct-To-Home (DTH) industry in India. Google products are known to disrupt existing technologies and this is a shining example of how they have brought in convenience and free access to all kinds of entertainment on the internet.
I will briefly talk to you about my experiences with Google Chromecast. My wife and I moved to a flat where it was inconvenient to install an Airtel DTH connection. The terrace was owned by our neighbours (where we could not fix our dish) and the satellite signals were next to nothing on our floor. So despite having an Airtel DTH connection, we were forced to deal with the unprofessional local cablewallah (the DEN/SITI Cable variety). When we requested English News and Entertainment channels, we were charged a premium rental every month. To our utter disappointment, every now and then this local guy would black out our English channels and worse, not pick our phone calls setting superbad examples in customer service.
One day a colleague at work explained the benefits of Google Chromecast and we were hooked. After weeks of comparing Chromecast with Amazon Fire TV Stick, we ordered it during the Independence day sale. To set up the device, all you have to do is; (a) plug the device in the HDMI port of your tv (b) download the Google Home app and bingo you have access to Live TV, You Tube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, Sony Liv and tons of other apps with movies and television serials.
A couple of days ago, when the cable guy came knocking, we politely discontinued the service. We now use the Airtel TV app to cast Live TV on our television screen. Certain apps will not give you the option to cast the content. For such apps, you will have to mirror your smartphone/ laptop/tablet and whatever is playing on your smartphone/laptop/tablet will get displayed on your television screen. Having in-home wifi is recommended but not a necessity. You can conveniently use mobile data to cast/mirror content from the apps.
Mirroring content from your smartphone has two disadvantages; (1) Your content gets paused when you receive a phone call (for this it is recommended that you use a laptop/tablet to mirror content so the smartphone is free for calls and general browsing) (2) the picture quality on your tv screen dips a little in terms of sharpness but by no means it is compromised in quality. The voice quality is good and the picture good enough for your family to enjoy TV together.
If you are using wifi at home, both the smartphone and Chromecast should be on the same wifi network.
The diverse content that one can access through the apps cannot be found on the DTH platform. For example, Airtel DTH does not provide access to what is popular on Amazon Prime or Netflix. We watched “Comicstaan” on Amazon Prime and “Sairat” on Netflix (the popular maharashtrian movie) by simply mirroring our smartphones on the tv. Chromecast enabled us to do that. YouTube allows one free access to multiple seasons of “Friends”, the latest movie trailers and the best in the entertainment industry.
If there are 3-4 friends watching together, each one has the ability to connect to Chromecast via his or her smartphone and stream content from a range of apps.
Overall, Chromecast has brought unlimited entertainment to our lives and freed us from the monthly cable bill. We are truly delighted with such a technology and once again thank Google for staying true to its mission; “organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible.”
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