Tech Talk ... by Pat Hoover
Streaming Media vs. "Casting" Content, or, "Can I do that too"?!?!
Google's $35 Chromecast vs. Apple TV
Until now, wirelessly displaying content on a large screen to clients, colleagues or to any viewer not situated directly behind your computer monitor, has been a trial (pun intended) to all but Apple users. If you have a windows environment at work like so many attorneys who refuse to consider switching to Apple from Microsoft after years of PC use, Windows software purchases and often highly specialized MS configurations installed (at significant expense) within your law office, take a look at Google's new $35 Chromecast device: www.google.com/chromecast.
While Chromecast has only a handful of compatible apps as of this writing, (Netflix, YouTube and the awesome Chrome Browser most notably) more apps are on the fast track approaching release. Before long, you will be able to do just about anything with Chromecast you can now do with Apple TV, in terms of streaming or casting content. But, therein lies the real difference in these two industry giants.
For a few years now, for the current price of $99, an Apple TV device (not an actual monitor or TV) has provided the ready ability to actually stream photos, documents, videos and sound to a large screen monitor or projector for display to a large audience. The beauty of this is simply that the stream can originate from your laptop, tablet, cell phone or computer... so long as the streaming device is one that was made by Apple.
Well now, Google's new Chromecast USB dongle device (it looks like little more than a fancy thumb drive) has positioned itself to fully challenge Apple's preeminence in the consumer industry of media streaming or casting.
What's the difference between streaming and casting media for large format viewing? Big diff! And for you cut to the chase readers, here's your takeaway: for the most part Google casts and Apple streams. Only yesterday I was online with Chromecast, and I can say without reservation, it's a far cry from the user friendly, multifunction Apple TV www.apple.com/appletv. But, stay tuned for updates as this exciting new product evolves, taking big bites out of Apple as it matures over the next couple of months...