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Google Chromecast for £30?

Is Google Chromecast a good buy for £30? Seems like a good idea, and well priced!

Most Useful Answer spruceyb  Mar. 27, 2014 at 10:23

For £30 I'm going to say no.

Closer to £20 and I'd say yes but for £35 you can get a Quad Core, 2G RAM TV Stick with Bluetooth which you can then install XBMC, Showbox, iPlayer, Netflix etc etc
Most have Miracast too for Wireless Display

Someone has also made an app that emulates Chromecast, so you can install CheapCast https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=at.maui.cheapcast and have most of the same features as a Chromecast (although this app does need a lot of work, I', sure it'll improve since Chromecast SDK was released)

Dedicated Android TV Stick can also do much more, pair it up with a Bluetooth controller and you've got a gaming device that will run NES/SNES/MEGADRIVE/N64/PSX and many more games.

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spruceyb  Mar. 27, 2014 at 10:23

For £30 I'm going to say no.

Closer to £20 and I'd say yes but for £35 you can get a Quad Core, 2G RAM TV Stick with Bluetooth which you can then install XBMC, Showbox, iPlayer, Netflix etc etc
Most have Miracast too for Wireless Display

Someone has also made an app that emulates Chromecast, so you can install CheapCast https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=at.maui.cheapcast and have most of the same features as a Chromecast (although this app does need a lot of work, I', sure it'll improve since Chromecast SDK was released)

Dedicated Android TV Stick can also do much more, pair it up with a Bluetooth controller and you've got a gaming device that will run NES/SNES/MEGADRIVE/N64/PSX and many more games.

CTPAHHIK  Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:26

Chromecast seems to be a waste of time. It's just as locked down as Apple TV. You have a very limited functionality as to what you can watch. Check what is officially supported, since anything outside of that will not work.

I've read that Android and XBMC can only do 720p resolution, pretty much making all XBMC TV sticks pretty useless. Is that true?

spruceyb  Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:47

Chromecast seems to be a waste of time. It's just as locked down as Apple TV. You have a very limited functionality as to what you can watch. Check what is officially supported, since anything outside of that will not work.

I've read that Android and XBMC can only do 720p resolution, pretty much making all XBMC TV sticks pretty useless. Is that true?


Nope, it's good to go for 1080p

Years ago, only Amlogic based boxes could do 1080p but development has come a long way and pretty as long as you've got Amlogic or RK3188 you're fine for 1080p.

I'm using a SIngle core Amlogic box , video playback is nice but menus are a little slow but the newer Quad core chips are fast.

The latest Amlogic S802 based boxes look epic, pulling in benchmarks similar to Snapdragon 800 but they're around £52-60 where as a RK3188 Stick is £31-£35
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gugDNfFSf4c

CTPAHHIK  Mar. 27, 2014 at 12:11

Thank you, will research.
Only found Tronsmart Vega S89 Amlogic S802 for $90 + shipping.

spruceyb  Mar. 27, 2014 at 13:25

Thank you, will research.
Only found Tronsmart Vega S89 Amlogic S802 for $90 + shipping.


M8 Amlogic box $85 Shipped for today only £52.03 (No Remote)
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/M8-Amlogic-S802-Quad-Core-Android-TV-Box-2G-8G-Mali450-GPU-4K-HDMI-XBMC-Bluetooth/1682670910.html

or $99.99 Shipped including Remote here £60.60
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Quad-Core-XBMC-Android-TV-Box-M8-Amlogic-S802-2G-8G2-4G-5G-Dual-WiFi-Mali450/1723744404.html#

RK3188 based Stick for >£32
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Quad-core-RK3188-Google-TV-Box-MK809III-Android-4-2-2-2GB-RAM-8GB-ROM-1/907227860.html

You can also get $5 off an order if you place it through the AliExpress app.

tomharris26  Mar. 27, 2014 at 13:29

To me, £30 is a good deal. It's great for my older dad who wants to use Netflix on his TV but struggles to get it all set up and doesn't like the hassle, so to be able to set it all up on his iPhone, which he is used to, is great for him. Simplicity is the key here.

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 27, 2014 at 13:44

To me, £30 is a good deal. It's great for my older dad who wants to use Netflix on his TV but struggles to get it all set up and doesn't like the hassle, so to be able to set it all up on his iPhone, which he is used to, is great for him. Simplicity is the key here.
^^^ This

CTPAHHIK  Mar. 27, 2014 at 15:55

To me, £30 is a good deal. It's great for my older dad who wants to use Netflix on his TV but struggles to get it all set up and doesn't like the hassle, so to be able to set it all up on his iPhone, which he is used to, is great for him. Simplicity is the key here.

Completely agree - simplicity is king. However, at £499 price tag I can get brand new TV with Netflix build in. No everyone has an iPhone.

I've tried XBMC on Windows PC. With working remote it's much better than Chromecast.
Android stick with working XBMC would be just as good. Why not spend £60 instead of £30 for a full media center, if you can spare half a grand for a phone?

universe1992  Mar. 27, 2014 at 20:44

I got one today very easy to set up few apps supported for now but this will grow, I use it for iPlayer and YouTube which for me is brilliant.

satchef1  Mar. 27, 2014 at 22:55

I just use my Xbox 360. Looked at streaming boxes a couple of months ago and was amazed to see that all of them had something - some service - missing. The Xbox probably has the best selection, even if it is missing Spotify.

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 27, 2014 at 23:02

Honestly, I like the look of the Chomecast's ability to mirror Chrome tabs most out of all of its features, especially since Chrome can play local video as well as stream it from the internet. It's much easier than dragging the HDMI cable out from behind the TV when you want to watch a film from your laptop.

Stelph  Mar. 28, 2014 at 16:27

To me, £30 is a good deal. It's great for my older dad who wants to use Netflix on his TV but struggles to get it all set up and doesn't like the hassle, so to be able to set it all up on his iPhone, which he is used to, is great for him. Simplicity is the key here.

Perosnally I agree with this thinking, yes for £30 (or slightly more) there are other options but they are never quite as simple, for example its mentioned theres an app that replicates chromecast which is great, but you still have to load the app using a remote, theres potential for Android to crash etc etc, for a lot of people the easier/more reliable option is better.

Also smart TV's have been mentioned, again this is a good option, but I find that people find it more intuitive to find what they want on a tablet and then send it to the TV than fiddling with a remote

Personally for example I find I use Airplay a lot, for a good while now ive been using a raspberry Pi and its "kind of" worked, but there have been enough situations were the Pi has crashed or iOS has been updated so it doesnt support XBMC that ive had enough and gone for an apple tv.

Sometimes simplicity is key, even if it is restricting what you may be capable of doing with a more open system

spruceyb  Mar. 29, 2014 at 02:01


Perosnally I agree with this thinking, yes for £30 (or slightly more) there are other options but they are never quite as simple, for example its mentioned theres an app that replicates chromecast which is great, but you still have to load the app using a remote, theres potential for Android to crash etc etc, for a lot of people the easier/more reliable option is better.


Just to clarify, you don't have to 'load the app using a remote'.
It can be set to run at boot, and then from there it's pretty much identical to Chromecast. Just sitting there waiting for your video/music etc

As for Android crashing, think it wouldn't really be that common with some decent hardware like RK3188 & 2GB RAM.

Just FYI

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