Yesterday Google announced their $35 Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player and it promptly sold out on the Google website and also at Amazon.com.
It was when I was looking for this product on Amazon to see if it was sold out there that I noticed it already had 41 product reviews for an average of 4 stars overall.
Those 41 reviews break down like this:
- 5 Star – 27
- 4 Star – 3
- 3 Star – 4
- 2 Star – 2
- 1 Star – 5
Pretty amazing since the product was just announced and made available for purchase less than 24 hours ago.
However, a closer look at the reviews reveals a disturbing trend that has become all too familiar when it comes to online reviews of products.
First lets start on the high end of the review scale:
- The Chromecast is only $35. I currently subscribe to Netflix, so with the three months free, I am basically only paying $11 for this device. This is a really neat product. It offers the features that make the Apple TV so desirable. While you can’t mirror your laptop or mobile device screen to the Chromecast, you can stream all of your cloud content.
- This Is an awesome looking dongle! This will absolutely change the TV world! I will post more information after mine arrives tommorow.
- I don’t think that I left my desk since I saw the live feed from the Google Conference. I can’t to be an to be owner of this amazing device! There will be an update once I’m able to play with the Chromecast!!!
- I think this can sweep off Apple TV. The design, price are amazing. Looking forward to plug and use it.
- I knew instantly why I needed two of these. One is for the tv. The other I will plug into a radio for wireless radio. A decent wireless radio cost min 300$, so this just might be worthwhile. I’ll update with my experience when I get it Tommorrow.
- Wow this makes my TV so much better and only costs 35 bucks!! I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to have it! I’m gonna but maybe 2 more after testing it!!
- So affordable. $35 for a nice device and 3 months of Netflix (~$24). I’m looking forward to try this device out on my TV.
As you drop further down the scale of reviews and take a look at the 2 star and lower ones you see an entirely different outlook on this device:
- This over hyped product spamming all news offers nothing new to consumers. Definitely something that Apple TV has been doing successfully for a loooong time. If it could stream local content from PCs/Macs it would have caught my attention. That is something we are waiting for a long time to stream downloaded local movies from a HDD to TV (1080p). Mac OS X with Airplay delivers it so looking forward for it. I have given this product 2 stars as it is dead cheap. $35 (with 3 months of netflix) makes it cheaper than a meal.
- If you are actually accessing Youtube through your hand held device than this device(Chromecast) is not worth it you can access Youtube through a 3rd party application now & play videos via Roku. The issue is alot of videos cannot be played this way due to the owner of the video wont allow it, copyright infringement.
- Unable to understand what does this product deliver that Roku does not today. For a price of $100/-, Roku delivers much more than this thingamajig at a price of $35/-. And this thingy keeps the device (Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone) engaged to stream content. All it is doing is picking up the selection from the device, and playing it from the Cloud to the thingy, and then sending it through HDMI to the TV. Meaning, if my device is out of battery, I can’t use this thing? And, yes, there’s software to download to control the Pause and Play, Reverse and Forward. Roku has that avaialble as a separate physical and practical Remote Control (and device based remote control software too) and has much more content than just what Google is offering here! And it still needs power through an adapter (yes, I know HDMI has no possibility of power yet, but) and we go through all that fuss and still get only YouTube/NetFlix/Pandora? All that Google is doing is to come up with a piece of hardware and sign up partnerships for content that are not Google. I don’t get it. Seems like a ‘me-too’ product from Google. Underwhelming!
Now Amazon does have a Amazon Verified Purchase link on the reviews of those individuals who purchased the device however, as you can read on many of those high end reviews, they do not have it in hand but are able to give whatever review they want on the device.
Of course those who do not like the device or the concept can also put up poor reviews of the products and there have also been large scale campaigns to discredit products in the past using the review system.
Chromecast and Amazon are not the only products or sites to suffer from this failure in the review systems – they are just the latest examples of it.
So this broken system is a two way street and really needs to be addressed so that the system can provide valuable and functional information for someone to make an informed purchasing decision.
Any ideas on how this can be sorted out?