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Google Chromecast sees 'overwhelming demand;' Netflix offer killed

updated 05:47 pm EDT, Thu July 25, 2013

Three-month free membership to streamer available for only 28 hours

Citing "overwhelming demand" for the newly-introduced Chromecast network video receiver, the search engine has ceased the promotion offering a three-month free Netflix subscription to buyers of the new device. The device's first allocations at Amazon.com and BestBuy.com's online store are completely sold out, with a current pre-order wait time of three to four weeks.

"Due to overwhelming demand for Chromecast devices since launch, the three-month Netflix promotion (which was available in limited quantities) is no longer available," Google told the LA Times in a statement. The offer lasted for only 28 hours before Google called it depleted, and no longer available.

The move may anger early buyers who saw the promotion as a hedge against any possible teething issues with the new (and not yet reviewed) device. The small USB drive-like device is seen as an economy option compared to similar set-top boxes from Roku and Apple, though both of the latter companies offer more features, easier management and richer content libraries than the fledgling Chromecast, albeit at a higher price.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-13-04

    Great. Now my boring old toilet is the only device in my house without Netflix. :(

  1. shifuimam

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 08-15-06

    This thing is freaking AWESOME.

    And at $35 really blows the pants off the crappy Apple TV.

    Also worth mentioning that it supports Android 2.3 and higher (supposed "fragmentation" in the Android world is, again, a nonissue here) and it supports iOS.

    And you don't need a bloated horrific piece of media software on your computer to use it. Hell, you don't need a computer at all.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Am I the only one who doesn't give a crap about this thing?

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 03-24-09

    @shifuimam It doesn't support iOS, it uses an iOS app to support Chromecast. Nothing else about iOS is supported, just the one app. As for media software on your computer, the only media software AppleTV requires is iTunes IF you want to stream iTunes movies and music from a local computer, otherwise, it uses iCloud and lots of internet-based services (a whole lot more than Chromecast initially supports). You can be excited all you want but please make valid comparisons to other products.

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 03-24-09

    As for dropping the Netflix promo, that's a bit unfair for potential buyers. It's a lot like a loss leader special that ends before many people can even buy the product. It also looks a lot like Microsoft's tactics of giving away concert tickets just to get people into their stores (where I bet most people didn't buy anything).

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    The Chromecast thing looks interesting (I don't care one little bit that it runs Android, might as well be Linux or Symbian) and its certainly cheap, but I'm not seeing how it directly competes with Apple TV. Two very different methodologies of working with content (TL;DR -- Chromecast requires more effort), not nearly as many services, not plugged into as large a library of content, not enough storage for additional apps which will limit its growth (but then Google doesn't roll that way anyway), and some other disadvantages if we are comparing "apples to apples," so to speak.

    But on its own, as a poor man's Apple TV, it could certainly do well and give people an idea of what all the fuss around Apple TV is about. Competition being a good thing, glad to see this sort of stuff in the market.

  1. EstaNightshift

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 07-19-12

    As of right now, the iOS isn't supported directly. You have to use Chrome to configure it. There's no way to send video from an iOS device as shipped.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    If it runs Android, I WANT IT!!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by shifuimamView Post

    This thing is freaking AWESOME.

    And at $35 really blows the pants off the crappy Apple TV.



    In terms of price, sure.

    In terms of functionality: there's a couple of rather vital points missing.

    — It doesn't do screen sharing from either a computer or a mobile device (which basically means that, on an Apple TV, you can stream any app, and any content, regardless of whether it's "supported" or not — even Flash or virtual machines),

    — It says that "Chromecast automatically updates to work with a growing number of apps", but that's it. Even on Android, it's not a system architecture that's "just there", the way Airplay mirroring is on iOS.

    — Whether that means it can be used for things like handheld gameplay on Android the way Airplay is used on iOS (e.g. gameplay on the TV, maps and extra information on the iOS device) remains to be seen.

    — It doesn't have any sort of "stand-alone" mode or interface, so it's of no use without a device to control it.

    So it's basically a limited wireless alternative to an HDMI cable.

    Even if you're not after the mirroring options, why would you buy this instead of a Roku (at $50)?
    As long as $25 of Netflix membership was included, it's a no-brainer. But now that they've run out of Netflix promotional codes, what's the deal?


    PS: "crappy" Apple TV. Nice. Nothing like good old substantiated Shifopinion. It's like seeing an anti-Apple teenager trolling in the 90s. :rolleyes:

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by wrenchyView Post

    If it runs Android, I WANT IT!!



    Because "Android!", or because you'd want to hack it?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by joecabView Post

    Great. Now my boring old toilet is the only device in my house without Netflix. :(



    An iPad or iPhone with the Netflix app will cover that deficiency. :)

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Because "troll" methinks.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by chas_mView Post

    Because "troll" methinks.



    I was giving him a chance.

    I could understand the desire to get one for the hacking potential alone. At $35, why not?

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    So it's basically a limited wireless alternative to an HDMI cable.



    That pretty much sums it up!

  1. shifuimam

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 08-15-06

    I'm pretty psyched about it as a way to access Netflix wherever we are.

    I go with my partner when he travels for work. Having to hook up my laptop to the hotel room's TV just to watch a movie is a pain, especially if I want to do stuff with my computer at the same time. I could hook up one of my multiple tablets with HDMI out, but then you have to get up to change shows, etc.

    This is a lot more compelling - plug it into a TV, connect to the network, and get going immediately with no cables.

    I'm amused at how many people hate it without seeing it in person or actually, you know, using it. Internet Experts(tm) are funny that way.

    Originally Posted by prl99View Post

    @shifuimam It doesn't support iOS, it uses an iOS app to support Chromecast. Nothing else about iOS is supported, just the one app.



    This is misleading. According to this article, both Netflix and YouTube in iOS can stream directly to Chromecast. It is not a separate app; you stream from the Netflix app or the YouTube app.

    It isn't remotely surprising that they are not yet supporting media streaming from the iOS native music and movie players. These compete directly (due to iTunes) with Google's Play store. That being said, as much as people around here seem to think that Google is the evil tech beast from Hell, I wouldn't be remotely surprised if they added AirPlay-compatible streaming support down the line.

    As for media software on your computer, the only media software AppleTV requires is iTunes IF you want to stream iTunes movies and music from a local computer...

    This isn't like saying "the only thing that's required is a little service running on your computer". The Windows version of iTunes is a bloated piece of shit. It takes up an enormous amount of space, it's slow, and it requires installing no less than six different programs to work correctly. The best part is that if you uninstall iTunes, those other programs don't uninstall. You have to manually remove each of them.

    My favorite "feature" of iTunes is that it hijacks browser plugins and file associations without asking. If you install iTunes, it automatically forces Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome to use QuickTime in-browser to play every media file under the sun - even files you don't want to play in your browser. It doesn't ask. It forces you. If you are a dumb user who doesn't know how to fix this, it's incredibly frustrating.

    So no, the iTunes requirement with AppleTV is enough to put a lot of non-Mac users off entirely.

    The only desktop app Chromecast requires is the Chrome browser.

    ...otherwise, it uses iCloud and lots of internet-based services (a whole lot more than Chromecast initially supports).

    And for users who don't want to put their stuff on iCloud, then what? AppleTV is still very much for people who want to buy into the entire Apple products-and-services universe. It's not geared toward anyone outside of that little clique.

    You're also comparing the current, mature, been-around-for-awhile AppleTV with the Chromecast as it stands today, less than week after it's been publicly released.

    That doesn't mean that Chromecast isn't going to end up having the exact same services AppleTV offers, along with others not on AppleTV.

    It's unwise to make a definitive conclusion on this bit until it's been out for at least a little while. Google's not exactly known for treating their customers like shit in this regard.

    Originally Posted by EstaNightshiftView Post

    As of right now, the iOS isn't supported directly. You have to use Chrome to configure it. There's no way to send video from an iOS device as shipped.



    Yes - you have to use a computer to configure its wireless connection. That's it. Beyond that, you can use an iOS device. It's not like you are required to have a computer on at all times just to use it.

    And, if Apple weren't such about refusing to approve alternative web browsers on the app store, Google could release Chrome for iOS, and you could use your iOS device to configure the thing.

    Just sayin'.

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    — It doesn't do screen sharing from either a computer or a mobile device (which basically means that, on an Apple TV, you can stream any app, and any content, regardless of whether it's "supported" or not — even Flash or virtual machines),



    I just did a cursory Google search - what Windows apps support streaming of anything other than multimedia (music, photo, video) via AirPlay? From what I can see, AirPlay's screen sharing features only work if you buy into the Apple universe.

    — It says that "Chromecast automatically updates to work with a growing number of apps", but that's it. Even on Android, it's not a system architecture that's "just there", the way Airplay mirroring is on iOS.

    I don't even know what your point is here. What is a "system architecture that's 'just there'"? How does it differ from a device whose functionality is constantly and transparently improved upon via automatic updates?

    — Whether that means it can be used for things like handheld gameplay on Android the way Airplay is used on iOS (e.g. gameplay on the TV, maps and extra information on the iOS device) remains to be seen.

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this were added sooner than later - and perhaps even with iOS support as well as Android. You say this as though it's a ridiculous thought and is unlikely to happen. That's not Google's MO, and you know it. They're more likely to add a feature that only some people use than refuse to add a feature people want.

    — It doesn't have any sort of "stand-alone" mode or interface, so it's of no use without a device to control it.

    So it's basically a limited wireless alternative to an HDMI cable.


    Even if its functionality ends up stopping there, how is this a bad thing? It's one less cable to worry about your dog chewing through. It's one less cable to bring with you when you travel. It's one less bulky box, power adapter, and cable to take with you to a friend's house. It's a goddamn thumb-drive sized HDMI device that you can stick in your pocket.

    What a horrid idea!

    Even if you're not after the mirroring options, why would you buy this instead of a Roku (at $50)?

    You are REALLY missing the convenience factor of this device. I hope you're being willfully ignorant and aren't just a complete moron.

    No cables. No bulky power brick. No heavy box to pack when you travel.

    It. Is. A. Thumb. Drive.

    See, for sane people who don't just want to fap all over Apple products as the end all, be all solution for all needs everywhere, something this portable is actually interesting.

    As long as $25 of Netflix membership was included, it's a no-brainer. But now that they've run out of Netflix promotional codes, what's the deal?

    Yeah, how dare Netflix decide that they've given out so many free accounts in the past 48 hours that they can't afford to continue doing so! Those BASTARDS!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by shifuimamView Post

    I'm pretty psyched about it as a way to access Netflix wherever we are.

    I go with my partner when he travels for work. Having to hook up my laptop to the hotel room's TV just to watch a movie is a pain, especially if I want to do stuff with my computer at the same time. I could hook up one of my multiple tablets with HDMI out, but then you have to get up to change shows, etc.

    This is a lot more compelling - plug it into a TV, connect to the network, and get going immediately with no cables.

    I'm amused at how many people hate it without seeing it in person or actually, you know, using it. Internet Experts(tm) are funny that way.



    Especially when they make claims about things "beating the pants off crappy" other products without taking into account anything those other products actually, well, do.

    Funny indeed.

    Also amusing how you see "many people hate it", when, as far as I can tell, the single most negative thing anybody has said about it in this particular thread is "Am I the only one who doesn't give a crap about this thing?"

    If you consider my assessment that it's a glorified but starkly limited wireless HDMI cable with a Netflix sub thrown in (initially) "hating", then I suggest you take a deep breath and get off the internet for a day.

    So:

    Why get this over a Roku?

    Do you disagree with my assessment of the Apple TV's functionality, that this device appears to be lacking?

  1. shifuimam

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 08-15-06

    Wahh wahh wahh wahh.

    Did you cry when Steve Jobs died? I bet you did.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by shifuimamView Post

    Wahh wahh wahh wahh.

    Did you cry when Steve Jobs died? I bet you did.



    You really hate it when people respond to your trolling by taking it apart and demanding actual substance, don't you.

    When it turns out that you have nothing to say, and all you have is to try and turn it gnarly and personal, the whites of your knuckles showing as you clench your pretty little hands in frustrated realization that all you have remaining is to try and be the biggest little asshole you can.

    And the bitter, sad emptiness that washes through you when you realize that you are just an empty shell, the resounding backfire of your pathetic attack booming through the hollowness that is your existence…

    I actually wanted to like you.

    Ah well.




    Aaanyway, I've got work to do. You have fun, now.


    Edit: It's worth noting that when I made the post in response to which you did your best -impersonation above, the post I was responding to had no substance whatsoever. That was ALL added after I'd already replied. I quoted the entire post in my reply.

    Edit 2: the part was a slur containing sexual context. Esta edited it after I'd posted this.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by shifuimamView Post

    And, if Apple weren't such dicks about refusing to approve alternative web browsers on the app store, Google could release Chrome for iOS, and you could use your iOS device to configure the thing.



    You were wrong the last time you claimed this.

    OPERA AND CHROME ARE AVAILABLE ON iOS AND HAVE BEEN FOR SOME TIME.

  1. EstaNightshift

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Keep my news page clean, gang.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    shifiumam, you really need to study up on Apple products before making these assertions.

    Apple TV in no way requires you to connect to a computer to get content from iTunes or any other service such as Netflix, YouTube, ESPN, HBO, etc. The only thing it requires of another computer is if you'd like to share media found on that computer (and even that may be redundant if that Mac uses iTunes Match).

    iOS has had alternative browsers to Safari for quite some time: Chrome and Opera.

    Sorry if you think iTunes is bloated and buggy on Windows, but that can be stated about a great many Windows apps including Microsoft's own Office suite.

    I do like some of the features that Chromecast offers like being able to turn off your mobile device or change apps without interfering with the broadcast. In addition, the thumb drive is great for "get it & go" usage. But making assumptions about what Google may or may not do in the future with Chromecast is also worthless and should not weigh in purchasing the product as is...get the features, then I'll consider those benefits.

    Finally, the Steve Jobs vitriol is uncalled for...it just allows for any other thing you've stated here to be disregarded because of it. Stay classy if you want your opinions to be respected.

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