Last week I got my Chromecast delivered and could do some additional testing. As told before, I already got my VPN heated up, hoping to deploy the US edition of Netflix working in Europe. My hope on Chromecast was especially high, after I discovered in my second installment that AppleTV had unceremoniously kicked Netflix out of their current service after the latest upgrade.
Setting up Chromecast was as promised a piece of cake, and after the first installation, all goes automatic. But if these new devices are going the revolutionize the way I’m watching TV (which I was hardly doing anyway), that day has not yet arrived.
What made Chromecast exciting was an extension to the Chrome browser, that allows you to stream virtual everything from my laptop to the TV screen. And it did to a large degree, but because it uses my laptop as an interface, quality was limited. AppleTV mainly offers iTunes, but at least the quality if excellent.
What limited my choice even more was Chromecast’s block of VPN’s; it says so in its official manuals and advises to switch them off. Which is not helpful, is you want to watch the US edition of Netflix in Europe. Chromecast fails to find my device when it is running on a VPN. Now, I discovered I could run Netflix (US edition) by circumventing the VPN. When I started a movie over VPN, I could switch the VPN off, and then the movie kept running. But when I started Chromecast, it found my device, but my Netflix screen turned out black on my TV screen. The rest worked nicely from my laptop.
I hoped to solve the Chromecast problem by streaming from my Ipad, but unfortunately there was not yet the handy extension I could use at my laptop, so the offer there was limited to YouTube. The quality was excellent, I must say.
So, it looks like I will have to wait a while until I’m going to use my TV screen again.
Update: I just got again friendly advice from the patient people at HMA, my current server. They suggest I can only use Chromecast when I configure my router to lead all traffic over my VPN. Now, even if that is possible (I have never done so), it might be a challenge when traveling, including using the internet services of a variation of hotels. Guess I will need to find a solid solution after I return from China.