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#428461 - 01/28/18 10:46 AM Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1565
Loc: PEI, Canada
For anyone with an aging TV or AVR, but still having HDMI inputs, the Chromecast Ultra should get you by for another couple of years. It has great video and audio quality, very good response times from casting devices and is solid for wireless network connectivity. Netflix, Youtube and Spotify all work great.

I can vouch for it being very reliable with 2 in the house streaming Netflix on separate displays on separate floors at the same time. Solid.

I still prefer the Chromecast Audio for 2ch Spotify Streaming over the Chromecast Ultra, but this could be due to limitations imposed by Spotify or some other hidden setting that cannot be altered. The perceived differences are extremely slight however, if not imagined. Both are very good and it probably comes down to the quality of the DAC in your AVR vs the chromecast audio. Probably inaudible.

Even if you are not in the market for the "Ultra" capabilities of 4K and HDR streaming, the speed, stability and response of the Chromecast ultra makes it a worthy upgrade to the Chromecast v2 which I also own.

For anyone who bought an Anthem AVR or similar (like me with Arcam) with stellar audio but no "smart" features, the Chromecast Ultra is an excellent choice to bridge the gap for $90 -even without a 4K display.

We are up to 4 Chromecast devices in our home now. Happy with all of them.
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#428471 - 01/29/18 02:32 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1781
Loc: Canada
New dog chewwed the cable.
Chrome cast free at the moment.
I'd like to get the Ultra for my HT.
Love how simple it is to use.
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Thinking about co-locating my 4 powered Paradigm subs between my LRR and my LR.
A tower of power.

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#428473 - 01/29/18 02:42 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1165
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Thanks for the observations. I've been waffling on one for awhile, wasn't sure if it'd be worth it or not - you've moved me closer to the edge. Plus it's cheaper than wireless Axioms! grin
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Dan
On-Wall M5HP LCR, QS8 & EP500 in 7.1

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#428492 - 01/30/18 10:00 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 4700
The wireless Axioms are anywhere from 10 to 40 times less than the Model T Active. smile

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#428656 - 02/04/18 06:07 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: brwsaw]
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1565
Loc: PEI, Canada
Originally Posted By brwsaw
New dog chewwed the cable.
Chrome cast free at the moment.
I'd like to get the Ultra for my HT.
Love how simple it is to use.


Its great! Really cool to watch projector reviews on youtube on a projection setup. So meta! Lol.

Im pretty sure an android phone charging cord fits the chromecast power jack in a pinch.
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#428745 - 02/08/18 02:58 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5171
Loc: western canada
This is a topic of great interest.
Long have i been contemplating dumping the satellite and going with some different option. The spouse loves to channel surf though so Netflix doesn't provide quite the same experience. That and content we want to watch isn't always on Netflix.

That being said, i'm thinking about dumping the Movies option on satellite and setting up with Netflix but i would need a streaming device that does 4k (future proofing) and of course proper Dolby surround sound (variations but atm just DD 5.1 is fine).

If Chromecast does that, then the last thing to check out is difference in cost, cost savings.
How much is the Chromecast (would need 3)?
How much is Netflix monthly and can i stream on 3 devices, different shows simultaneously? (realistically only 2 at a time at most would be necessary)
Are there any issues with wireless dropouts? (been having some inconsistent dead zones in the house and have been thinking about a router upgrade or having to do something different such as mesh networking or adding a repeater)
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#428751 - 02/08/18 04:23 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
TDIPablo Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/04/17
Posts: 75
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
I have the original Chromecast and I also have an Android Box... Google puts too many restrictions on the Chromecast :-)

Still doesn't quite reproduce the "channel surfing" experience you get with cable boxes, but some of the content available on Kodi type platforms is mind boggling. 4k capable Android Boxes are also dirt cheap! I can't see myself ever going back to cable TV.

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#428770 - 02/09/18 06:24 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: TDIPablo]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5171
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By TDIPablo
I have the original Chromecast and I also have an Android Box... Google puts too many restrictions on the Chromecast :-)

Still doesn't quite reproduce the "channel surfing" experience you get with cable boxes, but some of the content available on Kodi type platforms is mind boggling. 4k capable Android Boxes are also dirt cheap! I can't see myself ever going back to cable TV.

Restrictions?

The problem is this; 3 TVs on 3 separate floors of the house all that get used regularly.
How to get the same content accessible by all 3, with 4k for at least 2 of them and DD 5.1 sound for just 1 of them?

Note that one is a bedroom and given the location of the home router, wifi may not work effectively enough for high resolution streaming, and i'm not running ethernet cable all through those floors.

Although streaming options have come a long way, such as Chromecast, i'm not sure that the wireless and streaming has come far enough yet for a solid all around solution in this case.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#428778 - 02/09/18 07:55 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
Gr8_White_North Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 2231
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Chess, just run the Cat6 on the side of the house. I ran regular Cat6 along the underside of the aluminum siding on my last house and it was like that for 5 plus years. If we dont have extreme weather then i dont know who does. A pair of cat6 pliers and some plastic ends and bobs your uncle. When my kid was living in the yard in his trailer i ran some over the garage roof across my camper and into his trailer ,never an issue.
_________________________
DOG is GOD spelled backwards.
What others think of me is none of my business.
M80 V3 MY GLOSS Cherry

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#428785 - 02/10/18 03:43 AM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1565
Loc: PEI, Canada
I think by restrictions he means you have to use streaming sources/apps and hardware that support googlecast. If you own a smartphone or tablet its all you need. It is HD or 4K, looks good blown up to 100+ inches and a lot of content is in DD 5.1. It is not a replacement for disc media quality wise. A bluray or CD will deliver better sound/video. But the differences are getting smaller and smaller.

The restriction part is the apps and content are not like android boxes. In my view this is a good thing. The OTT android boxes use streaming apps too, the most popular one being Kodi. The Kodi app is based around user created ripps of content (illegally) and streamed from overseas servers. It is being cracked down on hard and you have to constantly reconfigure your box to maintain streaming. Remember stealing satellite with the cards? This is the modern equivalent. The only difference is the streams are usually poor quality, or subtitled, or constantly stop to buffer. I wouldnt waste your time. Very buggy.

You dont need to buy a box to try it out. Kodi will run on a PC.

Chromecast/Roku/Amazon Fire etc are all legal, high quality streaming methods. Spotify premium is $10 a month. Netflix is around that too. Its a couple bucks more for 4K streaming.

Yeah chromecast!! I can be the program manager for my own network. smile We are 10+ years cable free in my house. You don't miss it after its gone. smile

Antenna (terrestrial UHF over the air HD broadcasts) and Netflix give me local news and sports with all the content I need. We still buy blurays too and will continue but don't buy CDs anymore. If you didn't know an antenna will get you free local HD content from CBC, Global, CTV etc you're welcome! smile

Plug your address in here and it will tell you what networks broadcasting in your area over traditional terrestrial antenna. FYI, this form of broadcasting signal is regulated by the CRTC and entirely legal.

http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#428787 - 02/10/18 10:21 AM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 4700
I agree with Serenity. I haven't had cable since I left home in 1988. I pay $70/mo for Internet, $11 for Netflix, $11 for Spotify and I'm good. I use my work-issued cellphone and Google Voice to communicate. If I want local news, I go to the Net.

I know folks who pay $280/month for legacy phone, internet and cable. They admit all they do with their cable is channel-surf. I don't know why they don't cancel. It's like it's become a habit or a security blanket.

I have the first generation of Chromecast Audio and Video. The Audio works well but me and others find the Video flaky. Perhaps that has been fixed in the newer generation.

I'm an Amazon Prime member and have Prime Video with that membership. I haven't bought a Fire stick because I don't want to manage yet another device. I cast my Prime Video to the Chromecast. That's not ideal BTW.

Regarding Netflix, I am happy with the video quality but the audio quality is hit and miss. All the Netflix shows are high quality audio - no complaints. But take WOTW for example; I don't know why the audio is so muted.

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#428789 - 02/10/18 11:57 AM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Gr8_White_North]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5171
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By Gr8_White_North
Chess, just run the Cat6 on the side of the house. I ran regular Cat6 along the underside of the aluminum siding on my last house and it was like that for 5 plus years. If we dont have extreme weather then i dont know who does. A pair of cat6 pliers and some plastic ends and bobs your uncle. When my kid was living in the yard in his trailer i ran some over the garage roof across my camper and into his trailer ,never an issue.

Don't think the wife would go for that option, but frankly, it would be easier to try and run it through the house. Just a phenomenal pain.
This house is already wired to blow. It has wires for things not even in use anymore and some that i don't know what they are for.
When the telephone guy came in, he had to call another tech with a higher training level because he couldn't figure out what was going on at the electrical panel. Over the years i've started to label things as i've come to know what they are so most cables have a label on them now.
'most'
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#428790 - 02/10/18 12:07 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5171
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By Serenity_now
I think by restrictions he means you have to use streaming sources/apps and hardware that support googlecast. If you own a smartphone or tablet its all you need. It is HD or 4K, looks good blown up to 100+ inches and a lot of content is in DD 5.1. It is not a replacement for disc media quality wise. A bluray or CD will deliver better sound/video. But the differences are getting smaller and smaller.

Ah well now, that's the rub.
Until we can get equivalent bluray quality, do i want to see the occasional artifact or have sound dropout to stereo from DD from time to time or perhaps even 'frequently'?
No, not really.

Quote:

The restriction part is the apps and content are not like android boxes. In my view this is a good thing. The OTT android boxes use streaming apps too, the most popular one being Kodi. The Kodi app is based around user created ripps of content (illegally) and streamed from overseas servers. It is being cracked down on hard and you have to constantly reconfigure your box to maintain streaming. Remember stealing satellite with the cards? This is the modern equivalent. The only difference is the streams are usually poor quality, or subtitled, or constantly stop to buffer. I wouldnt waste your time. Very buggy.

I know Kodi. I have a friend who's been running it for probably 10 years now. I checked it out at his place and for the reasons you state, i haven't gone down this road.
Besides, i don't want to put a Kodi box in every room on every floor either. That's more computer maintenance for me and i've already got 3 to keep alive, all ageing. I'm looking for easier maintenance reducing solutions, not adding more work to my already full annual schedule of crap.

Quote:

Chromecast/Roku/Amazon Fire etc are all legal, high quality streaming methods. Spotify premium is $10 a month. Netflix is around that too. Its a couple bucks more for 4K streaming.

Something to keep in mind, download speeds. It is probable i would have to increase my internet costs for a higher speed thus offsetting cost savings in other areas.

Quote:

We are 10+ years cable free in my house. You don't miss it after its gone. smile

Tell that to the wife.
Yes it is a different way of watching tv, but some people like to channel surf.

Quote:

Antenna (terrestrial UHF over the air HD broadcasts) and Netflix give me local news and sports with all the content I need. We still buy blurays too and will continue but don't buy CDs anymore. If you didn't know an antenna will get you free local HD content from CBC, Global, CTV etc you're welcome! smile

I'm aware of this and without an antenna i can get one channel OTA, but this again means putting up more external and internal infrastructure around the house and tapping that into three locations (five if you include the office computers which also have tuner cards and get used fairly often).

All good info, but these aren't the solutions for us. It is worth it to pay $100/mth for satellite than to have to add multiple lines of external and internal equipment to perhaps sometime down the line save a bit of money but in the meantime have to upkeep the new equipment and modify for changes as future changes (e.g. what if digital signals went encrypted thus rendering OTA signals useless).
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#428791 - 02/10/18 01:05 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1565
Loc: PEI, Canada
Lol. Its way easier than you think. smile

Feed the cable splitter in your basement with an antenna feed. All drops are now good to go. You can do this by turning an existing drop to a feed if it is in a 2nd floor upstairs location. The higher the better. Depending on your proximity the antenna can be indoors. Back in Calgary an upstairs closet was the antenna location in Beddington.

The transmitter isnt far from you Mojo. An indoor antenna would work fine.

If you have discrete drops from your dish to each box you would just land the antenna in its place and the splitter there. A great antenna is $150 or less. A splitter is $10 or less. No fees or maintenence ever.

I'm not concerned about the OTA signal becoming encrypted. The CRTC wouldnt allow it. Im more concerned with net neutrality erosion on and services like Netflix being punished to subsidize failing established economics, like cable TV..... But I digress. smile I know a guy that used to be high up at Shaw before he retired. They have you coming and going with cable and internet ownership. Not right.....
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#428802 - 02/10/18 05:27 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
Gr8_White_North Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 2231
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Cable tv keeps me busy, never had a chance to watch netflix. We get ZERO OTA up here, shanghaied in shanghai. I keep a server with all my stuff on it so wired is still the best solution. The kids game a lot so wired it is. Wireless if for a laptop or a phone , i refuse to upgrade everytime they change to a new wireless spec, when they get their schitt together and quit sharing the same bandwidth with my microwave i may reconsider. Wireless over 3 floors with 4k/hdr good luck.

Also in my area i pay 200 a month for 400gb and you cant stream much with that limit. All in i pay 300 a month for entertainment.

HOCKEY thats why we have cable tv.
_________________________
DOG is GOD spelled backwards.
What others think of me is none of my business.
M80 V3 MY GLOSS Cherry

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#428803 - 02/10/18 09:19 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Mojo]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5171
Loc: western canada
Before i get into my reply, thanks to everyone for giving me feedback here!

I've been on the fence a bit this past year, but hearing from those who've done some things that i've thought about (like Chromecast), has helped to confirm my intended path for the time being.


Originally Posted By Mojo
I agree with Serenity. I haven't had cable since I left home in 1988. I pay $70/mo for Internet, $11 for Netflix, $11 for Spotify and I'm good. I use my work-issued cellphone and Google Voice to communicate. If I want local news, I go to the Net.

I know folks who pay $280/month for legacy phone, internet and cable. They admit all they do with their cable is channel-surf. I don't know why they don't cancel. It's like it's become a habit or a security blanket.

Well we have a younger child in the house so for the sake of dialing 911 and them knowing the house location, we need to keep our landline in the very least. Additionally, until they get their own cell (many years yet into the future). they could be at home at some point without a phone to access. Getting rid of the landline is something for the future, but long away future.

We pay about $65/mth for internet and would need to up that cost by another $10/mth to get 25 MB/s download (Canadian internet costs are right stupid for what we get). The satellite is $100/mth but i get movies, all the sports i care to watch (some NHL, some NFL, TSN), local and US channels plus boutique channels in HD 1080 and DD quality with no loss. All sets are PVR so recording is easy and with their app, i can watch the satellite from anywhere and have done so sitting in airports waiting for delayed flights. Of course you can do that with Netflix as well, but i'm just throwing in the functionality of our package.
That aside, there's bunches of channels and/or programs not covered by Netflix (e.g The Game of Thrones debacle) which also includes channels the wife likes (Foodnetwork, Outdoor Life, Woman's Channel). They had a slew of bad B movies on all Christmas with some former A list actors/tresses that the wife watched endlessly just because they were on. Having to sit down to Netflix and go searching for something is almost like work for her.
Anyway, all this is presently covering the three main and two extra viewing sets in the home which is pretty good for 5 locations.

Thinking about all we get, that's not bad for the cost!
No extra computer box upkeep or links/patching to stay current.
No punching more holes in walls or running more cables.
No getting angry at said options after having done all that and not getting a consistent HD quality presentation.

BUT, if i can at least get rid of the movies option ($20 or $25/mth) and go to Netflix, it would be preferred for movie selection. I wouldn't have to PVR movies and keep them on the PVR. I could find what i wanted to watch for a movie rather than having to wait for it to hit the satellite.
That's convenience, but a lot to ask for setting up the whole thing compared to what i have presently especially without a guarantee of quality.

I need more incentive to do it and it sound like Chromecast and the Netflix downloading isn't there yet to fulfill my preferences for quality, content and experience....

e.g.
Reviews like this i hear a lot yet keep me from venturing it...yet.

Quote:

I have the first generation of Chromecast Audio and Video. The Audio works well but me and others find the Video flaky. Perhaps that has been fixed in the newer generation....

Regarding Netflix, I am happy with the video quality but the audio quality is hit and miss. All the Netflix shows are high quality audio - no complaints. But take WOTW for example; I don't know why the audio is so muted.

_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#428821 - 02/11/18 02:02 PM Re: Worthy Gadget- Chromecast Ultra [Re: Serenity_then]
brendo Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/14/14
Posts: 364
Loc: West coast Canada
Personally cant stand Netflix we've had it here for a couple years.
All the same crap as cable a little cheaper. My wife can watch Big Bang from the time she gets up to the time she goes to bed, even worse on demand. Think I've laughed twice over the entire series history.

In one day me and my kids watched all the movies we wanted to see. Even with my son being hooked on POKEMON it's limited to a few we've seen in multiples already.

Chromecast seems great though have friends that download everything, even from different countries. Its the perfect medium to broadcast the content for them

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