Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chromecast: Perplexed

No sooner than I wrote my previous article on Chromecast, my Chromecast seemed to go completely sideways. The cast icon began disappearing and reappearing; I wasn't able to cast; I was able to initiate but not control casts; error messages; lost casts and apps crashing.

And there's really no good support for any of this. You can actually call Google, they have a 24/7 line set up for Chromecast - (855) 836-3987 - but they're not much help. They just basically tell you to unplug the unit, restart your router, reset the device, and reinstall the apps, including the Chromecast app. All things I thought of and tried before I called them. There is a tiny reset button on the device, and on one call they told me to press and hold it for 25 seconds, then go through the initial set up process again. I tried this and then was unable to set it up at all, kept getting some kind of fail message.

So, I thought I'd take the device back to the store and exchange it for a new one. Set it up without incident. Same problem. So far I've called Google and my ISP, Frontier. After going through all the steps I mentioned previously, they said I must have some kind of network problem; the device and the network aren't communicating properly. Frontier seemed to have no idea what a Chromecast was and provided absolutely no support. I haven't called Apple yet because I'm pretty certain they'll just tell me they don't support third-party apps.

When I did my initial research, I read the reviews of the Chromecast app. It had 2.5 stars. I was pretty surprised considering the glowing reviews I had read online. There were more 1 star reviews than any other, and I read through them. Seemed like a lot of frustration people had with setting up the device and casting. Well, I went back and read through some of them again. Almost all of them said the same thing I said:  the device worked perfectly for a short time, then seemed to just go haywire.
I'm still able to cast from my desktop, and since I don't know anyone else who has a Chromecast, let alone anyone who uses it with and Android device so I have no way to know if it's just an iOS issue. 

At this time, I'm going to suspend my recommendation of this device until I can further research the problem and find a solution.