I purchased this along with a few other streaming players to do some comparisons. My experience with the ChromeCast has been pretty bad, but I don't want to dis it too much.
First, you're required to have a smartphone to use this. There is no remote or manual method of managing the device. It can only be done from an app on your phone. Not necessary a show stopper, since most young adults never leave their phone out of reach. But the interface is clunky, doesn't work half the time, has some nifty ideas like "casting" your phone screen to your TV, but for all these neat gimmicks, if you just want to watch TV, you'll spend way more time trying to fight the thing than use it.
Even though Google has a plethora of programmers to work on this product, it still feels like it is a year or more behind the Roku world. Its also what I would call slightly behind the Amazon Fire world as well, however, that's not too fair as both the ChromeCast and Fire are at the end of the pack by far. Part of the reason for this is that the two companies are battling one another and denying services between the two. As a consumer, I have little patience for corporate battles when something as cheap, and definitely a lot more polished is readily available.
P.S. Good luck trying to return a device to Google. They are nowhere near as good as Amazon is in customer service.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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