Google’s Chromecast is sold out everywhere, but I was lucky enough to snag one at my local Best Buy a couple days after it was announced. Best Buy must have just gotten them in, because I couldn’t find them anywhere on the floor, and the blue-shirt had to look in the back. Once home, I unplugged the AppleTV and replaced it with the Chromecast. While cool, I was immediately unimpressed with it’s functionality compared to the AppleTV.
But a couple weeks later I gave it a try in a hotel room, and it was perfect. I couldn’t take the AppleTV with me because my family uses it at home, but the Chromecast was suitably unused and portable. So I threw it in my bag as a substitute. In my hotel room, I connected a travel router to the room’s ethernet jack. I’ve found in the past that this gives me better speed and a more consistent connection than a hotel’s wi-fi, but this time it also had the added benefit of putting my Chromecast and iPhone (which is used to control the Chromcast) on the same network. While it wasn’t necessary on this particular hotel’s network, a travel router also gets around the login page hoop that some hotel networks require*. This setup worked out really well, and I was successfully able to cast Netflix and YouTube videos wirelessly from my phone to the room’s TV.
* These networks often remember your device by it’s MAC address. First connect your laptop to the network, log in with that, then spoof your laptop’s MAC address with the router, making sure it’s in router mode and not AP mode.