This compact media streamer puck slots into the back of your TV, straight into an HDMI port. It’s powered via micro-USB, and can be controlled with a smart device: just open up an app, hit the ‘Cast’ button, and you’ll be able to watch streamed content from your small (or big) screen. In other words, instead of struggling to navigate a keyboard on your TV screen, you can quickly and easily find content using your phone’s keyboard. This is NOT the Ultra 4K model.This is the official and real Cast streaming media player device. Plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port and streams video from your mobile phone, tablet or PC. This device will allow you to steam content from apps like Netflix, Sling TV, HBO Now and, in Amazon Fire TV’s case, Amazon Prime Video, and toss it onto your TV.
There are thousands of apps that come built in, from Netflix, HBO Now, Spotify, NFL Sunday Ticket, Tidal and Twitch here in the US to Sainsbury’s Movies and TV, Blinkbox, BT Sport, NowTV, Napster and, of course, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport in the UK. But this is just the tip of an ever-expanding iceberg.
“So,” you might ask, “is the device loading the video (or song) off my phone? Is my phone basically stuck serving as a music or movie player while using the streaming device?” The answer’s actually quite interesting. The streaming media player essentially works as a proxy device. It understands where the stream is coming from and then uses its own internal antenna to take over streaming duties, freeing up your phone or tablet’s bandwidth without causing the stream to putter out.
The device is pretty small, and the length of the cord is 4 inches. The body is mostly hard plastic, with the glossy cap that has a slight curve and a symbol etched on the center. Around the side, you’ll only find a microUSB port (for power input) and a power button.
Installation of the new streaming media player is simple. The plug goes into the TV’s HDMI port. It receives power from either a nearby USB port or with the supplied AC adapter. Setting up the software for the first time is brisk. It requests that you install our app on your mobile device. You verify a code that it displays to make sure you’re communicating correctly, and then enter the password into your WiFi network. After that, you’re all set and ready to start playing.