Google Chromecast made its debut in late July, 2013, and sold out almost instantly because of a $35 price tag. Since then some really great, but more expensive competition has hit the market from Apple, Roku, and Amazon. Amazon Fire TV just released and supports 12 video, music and sports apps and 100+ games out of the box. You won’t find games on the Chromecast. So why should you want the Chromecast? Because it only costs 35$ and it supports casting from the Plex Media Server.
What is Plex?
For our purposes, Plex comes in two flavors: media server or mobile app. The media server organizes all your personal media, presents it nicely with cover art and flings it to all of your devices. It’s easy to use, it’s available for just about anything, and it’s free!
The mobile app isn’t free and will cost you $4.99 for each device you want to install it on. It’s available for almost any device you could have. Pony up the cash, you won’t be disappointed.
The Need for Speed
Here’s the kicker, you are going to need a decent upload speed to experience the best of Plex. I have 2 Mbps through my provider and haven’t run into issues streaming one video at a time but others report quality issues once you go below 2 Mbps or have multiple streams open.
If you don’t have 2 Mbps to spare you can try Cloud Sync. For $3.99 a month you can get a Plex Pass. Having a Plex Pass gives you premium features and exclusive access to new ones, Cloud Sync being one of them. Cloud Sync will let you view and listen to your media from the cloud.
It’s Time to Cast
The first time I used my Google Chromecast with Plex I giggled a little. I hope you do the same. Take the device that you installed Plex on and start playing your favorite movie, music or photo. Click the Chromecast icon to start streaming your media to your TV. Go ahead and giggle a little. I won’t tell anyone.
Chromecast just keeps getting better and better. Sure there are other ways to do everything that Chromecast does with a dedicated HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer). But at $35 dollars, you simply can’t beat the price for a very capable dongle that doesn’t take up space.