My Chromecast experience in Nigeria

KoliTech Nigeria

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Posted by on Thursday November 5, 2015 at 15:26:54:

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After I watched a YouTube video on Chromecast, I was so fascinated and so decided to get one for personal use. I've always wanted a way to connect to my TV wireless using my phone or tablet so as to have a bigger display. Sure, I've always connected to my TV using a HDMI to micro-HDMI cable as well as using USB flash drives but I wanted to connect my smaller tech gadgets to my TV so that I would be able to control it wirelessly. Since my TV didn't come with an inbuilt Wireless ability, I guess I needed a device that would make that possible and so Chromecast was the answer.

The first step was to buy it and since Amazon was my most preferred shopping website for US made tech gadgets, I tried checking it there but it was not listed except for accessories and Amazon's Fire TV stick which is probably a competition to Google's Chromecast. I later learnt that Amazon has stopped selling Chromecast and Apple TV gadgets because they are competing and the only place I could get it better would be Google. It seems Amazon Fire TV stick, Chromecast and Apple TV all have something in common and that's the fact that they are internet streaming devices which can work with your TV. I later decided to go local by buying it on Konga - One of Nigeria's top shopping websites.

The Chromecast I purchased appeared to be imported from the UK and was sold on Konga for N10,000 by a seller. I knew that the price was a bit high since the retail price in the USA was about $35 but when you consider other things such as shipping fees to Nigeria, it may get higher if you were buying just a single unit directly for yourself and so it makes sense to just buy it from a local store in Nigeria. To buy it from the USA, one can buy from Google Store, BestBuy, Walmart, Target and Staples.

I ordered for Chromecast online and chose to make payment on delivery since this is now a popular way we Nigerians buy things online and there was an additional fee of N500 as delivery charges. My Chromecast came a few days later and I was so excited to try it out. My main goal for purchasing Chromecast was to simply mirror my phone to my TV and not for streaming content from the internet since I didn't want any additional costs for using it.

The Chromecast package came with 3 things basically which were the HDMI device itself with Chromecast imprinted on it and then the charger plus a HDMI extension cable for connection your stick to the TV which was optional.

I first plugged in my Chromecast to the back of my LG TV and changed the source of the TV display to HDMI but nothing showed up. I later realized that I've not connected the charger or power cable. I plugged in the charger(which was a micro-USB plug) to one end of the Chromecast while I connected the other end to the socket for power. It worked and Chromecast booted up on my TV screen.

It was a bit confusing getting Chromecast to work on my TV since I didn't know the basic thigns I needed. I didn't know that I neded a separate Wifi hotspot that has internet connection apart from my Android phone which was to serve as the main controller. I had to later make useof my MTN Hynet modem for that.

The first thing I did was to go to Google's Playstore on my Android and installed the Chromecast app and afterwards, I proceeded to setup Chromecast from my app for the TV. However, there were problems since it kept telling me I needed a Wifi hotspot apart from the one Chromecast created or the one I could create with my phone. I intially tried using just my phone but it was not possible and again tried using a second phone separately which didn't have internet connection but could create a Wifi hotspot through tethering but it required a Wifi hotspot that also had internet connection. i had to wait the next day before getting my Hynet device for use during the installation and it worked seamlessly.

The TV installation for Chromecast use my internet connection to get updates or Chromecast while being setup on my TV although I'm not sure whether the downloaded files were saved on my TV or the Chromecast stick. After the installation, I was able to mirror my phone to my TV and stream content from YouTube. Watching YouTube on my LG led TV was like watching cable tv because it was so clear and not really buffering since I was using a fast internet connection. It displayed videos with the sound on my TV while the sound on my phone was mute except for the video which it displayed.

However, what really concerned me was that I wanted to mirror my entire Android display on my TV and not just limit it to the apps such as YouTube which Chromecast listed for me. Since I was using an Infinix Zero smartphone, I did a bit of Googling and learnt that it had a Cast Screen ability which you'd see when your slide down your screen. Since that feature works with Chromecast network or other streaming media network and without the need for an internet connection, I decided to try it out and it worked just the way I wanted.

I've downloaded quite a lot of content on my Infinix Zero phone and now I can use Chromecast for streaming internet content while I can also use it's Cast screen feature to display my phone's screen on the TV and I guess the latter saves me more data and can probably work without the need for an internet connection as long as there is a Wifi hotspot.

The cost of using internet TV in Nigeria is high and that's why people still prefer paying a flat fee for Premium cable TV monthly rather than spending hundreds of thousands of Naira just to stream live TV using devices like Chromecast. Besides, the fact that internet speed in Nigeria is not reliable and power supply is not always for 24 hrs, it makes some sense to pre-download all your content before using them and that's why I prefer using Chromecast for stuff I already have on my phone such as Videos, Music, pictures and the good thing is that it gives me a bigger picture which allows me to stop straining my eyes when using my phone.

I've tried watching IrokoTV movies on my Chromecast enabled TV since I'm a subscriber and have downloaded some Nigerians movies but it didn't work out well since Chromecast didn't list it as a supported app under "What's on". However, I've not tried using my Infinix Zero's Cast screen feature with the Iroko TV app and I believe that will work.

I'll also be using Google Chromecast for mirroring my browser when I'm browsing the web using my phone because it makes stuff look bigger but that may work better using a tablet like Kindle Fire rather than my Infinix Zero since the latter's screen shows a smaller picture unless you turn it the other way after enabling Auto Rotation.

I'm still a rookie in using Chromecast for my TV but I don't intend to keep using an internet connection all the time when I use it since I just want something that can let me easily mirror content from my handheld device to my TV such as from my phone and tablet wirelessly. I'm still trying to see if there is a way that will work but Chromecast is a great device worth having.

What a Chromecast connection requires
- A TV with a HDMI input port
- A third party WiFi network(not your phone or the TV)
- A compatible mobile device e.g. phone or tablet.
- A Chromecast device

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