Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Google Chromecast - crap!

11 January 2019

The wife wanted Netflix but our "generic" brand TV isn't smart enough on its own.

Sadly, Kodi doesn't support Netflix and although the BluRay player does, it isn't WiFi enabled so I'd have had to run a cable the length of the house in order to hook that up. I might also mention that the "brand-name" Panasonic player is somewhat prone to crashing, requiring semi-regular power-cycling in order to restore it to a working state.

I figured therefore that I'd just buy a Chromecast (hideously expensive in NZ when compared to the US price) and bung that in the back of the set.

Zip, zap, open, insert, power-on and away we go... right?

Well not quite.

On powering up the TV and Chromecast I was told I'd need to install Google Home on my smart device in order to configure things.

Aha... I got out the smartphone I'd bought about six months earlier and proceeded to install Google Home.

Tap... wait... WTF?

Okay, so now I need to update another Google service on my smartphone, or so I was told. No worries, I tape on "update".

Things tick along, the update is downloaded and starts to install...

Error 910


The "help center" link was useless so I went to Google and searched.

A raft of "maybe" solutions were offered. Remove any SD card you might have in the phone, clear the app's cache, close one eye and poke your tongue out the right side of your mouth... you know the kind of thing.

I farted around with the default destination for downloads and that seemed to fix the 910 error code -- but then I was told that things couldn't proceed until I'd deleted some apps to make space.

WTF? I have *plenty* of space, according to the storage status information in "settings".

Never the less, I deleted a couple of apps (ones I use a lot too -- bugger!) and the update went ahead.

"Installing updates" was the message that stayed on my phone's screen... for HOURs!

In the end I gave up and aborted the process -- only to find that it worked. I guess the upgrade had completed but the phone forgot to tell itself.

To cut a long story short... I got around to configuring the Chromecast using the phone and then all I had to do was in stall the Netflix app on the phone.

Bingo... done!

Now to enjoy the Netflix via Chromecast experience.


Perhaps I'm doing it wrong but there seems no way to "cast" the menus and navigation screens of the app to the TV screen. Someone please explain how to do this if you know.

As a result, all the navigating, selecting and reading about stuff has to be done on this crappy little 5-inch LCD... while the 44-inch LCD sitting in front of me just displays the word "Netflix" in large, friendly red letters.

What's more, if you want to pause, rewind or change your viewing material, you have to have the phone on the entire time. After a few minutes, the phone turns off its LCD and goes into standby mode which means that if you want to do something as simple as pause the video you've got to hit the button on the phone and swipe to activate the screen and app again.

What an ergonomic nightmare!

Compared to Kodi, this thing is a piece of crap -- as a way of getting video to a big screen and controlling it.

My Kodi setup uses a low-cost Raspberry Pi with a full-size wireless keyboard. I can type stuff for searches at 120 WPM, jump around the screen with the arrow keys in the blink of an eye and everything is super-legible because all the navigation and synopsis data is easy to see on the big screen.

By comparison, using Chromecast with a phone is a super-kludge and, in my honest opinion, a total waste of money.

Where to from here?

Should I waste good money after bad buy simply going out and buying a cheap 7" Lenovo tablet to replace the small smartphone I've presently dedicated to the role of remote control and navigation for the Chromecast?

Or should I configure a cheap Raspberry Pi to act as a Wifi to ethernet device, effectively enabling me to hook up the flaky BluRay player without a hardwired cable to the router?

I'd love your input on this one -- partly because now the wife has my bloody phone and won't give it back because it has become the Netflix remote.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

Social media kills
Before I get on to the main topic of today's column, a word about silly press releases...

RP4 and security
Everyone loves the Raspberry Pi, especially hackers...

Cyberspace, the new battle-front
There is a war being fought between the USA and its enemies; a silent war...

Is this the new YouTube?
As I've mentioned in the past, many YouTube content creators are getting pretty hacked off with the company's attitudes, restrictions and seemingly inconsistent application of its policies regarding monetization and even the total deletion of some channels...

Government IT, it's a joke, right?
Regular readers will recall th at I wrote a column a month or two ago in which I commented on the seemingly outrageous cost for the proposed UK drone registration database...

Is this big or what?
There was a time when only the government of a country could mint money that was legal tender...

Is the internet now shill-city?
There was a time when the Net was just about the best place to go if you were looking to see whether a product or service was worth spending money on...

It is not about safety
In a tragic accident, two people have died on the weekend after a mid-air collision between two aircraft near Hood aerodrome in New Zealand...

One dollar, one vote
Being somewhat of a masochist at heart (or at least so it appears), I subjected myself to almost two and a half hours of political discussion and debate yesterday...

Robomaster has arrived
I'm a great fan of STEM, STEAM and other programs to get kids interested and involved in technology and so I was thrilled to see the latest product from DJI (the drone people)...

Assange, another vendetta?
The US government has filed an extradition request for Julian Assange...