Google Chromecast Broken in 2019

I wanted to like this thing….

Streaming Internet video is taking over the way many people consume their television and movies and there are more and more ways to accomplish this. The Google Chromecast seems to be a much loved tool for this and can be found for $30 or less nearly anywhere. I had gotten one expressly to be able to screen share from Android devices a while back and it had set in a drawer, lonely and unused. Then, just before cancelling the Chromecast Audio (which I continue to love) they announced that it was now possible to add a Chromecast (video) to a speaker group. Awesome! Except.. not.

I had my Chromecast setup via a TV that does it’s audio back to a receiver via HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC). This allows the TV to control the volume of the receiver directly, reducing the number or remotes from 2 to 1. Everyone who uses a separate speaker system from their TV knows how much more convenient this is and how much more family friendly this system can be.

Here’s the thing… everytime the Chromecast wakes up, it’s at 100%. Which means that it sets the receiver to *max* volume, distorting the crap out of the speakers, deafening all in the room and being extremely consumer unfriendly. This is a feature, according to Google support. On Reddit, it is suggested you be a “volume ninja.” This is despite the fact the discontinued Chromecast Audio does have a default volume setting *and* supposedly runs the same operating system.

Spend your $30 on basically anything else. Maybe a Roku Express? I am going to go that route as soon as I can dump this thing on Craigslist. I am very disappointed in this experience, despite having generally good experience with my Google Home mini, Sony Android TV and handful of Chromecast Audios in my home.

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