It works with any app that works with Chromecast like YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, Plex, etc. It doesn’t work with Apple Music and you can’t output system audio to it from iOS. I wrote about the original Chromecast when it was released years ago, but maybe we should do a quick rundown article.
I have an old AirPort Express that I’m only using as an Airplay receiver (I’m not using the WiFi capabilities, it’s connected to an AirPort Extreme by Ethernet), if it dies I’d probably go for one of those options. I also have a 3rd gen. Apple TV, an optical audio (m) to 3.5mm (f) adapter might also work.
I got the xFi Pods because they were easy to install, don’t interfere with the second plug on the outlet, and most importantly kept the same WiFi network name as our Comcast Gateway. My question is, do any of these other mesh systems do the same? Can they take on the name of the gateway and combine their network with the gateway’s WiFi, or do they create their own second network?
The issue I have is that the xFi Pods, while just 3 gave us great coverage, are significantly slower than the gateway. If I’m closer to the gateway, I’m at 200-250 meg/sec easily, but that can drop down to 40-50 if I bounce to a pod.
The absence of at least one USB 3 port makes this system a non-starter for me.
I’m looking at the Synology RT-2600ac router for when my multiple AirPorts (for expanded coverage on three levels) start dying. Synology routers integrate with AirPorts. And Synology has a great software setup package plus responsive customer support and a robust product support forum.
I’m thinking Apple hasn’t done more to continue this option because so many receivers nowadays, even reasonably priced ones, have built-in support for Airplay (as do many standalone audio units, of course, like the Homepod or the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin).
The xFi pods appear to be 1st generation Plume devices, which have been given praise for their design and pricing, but were found to be only middle-of-the-road performance ratings in comparative tests.
The second generation models currently being sold require a pricy subscription which makes them far less cost-effective. Will be interesting to see what Xfinity will carry in the future.
Not to my knowledge, non-Xfinity mesh systems set up Wi-Fi networks separate from the gateway.
Great, thanks Julio. I vaguely remember reading one of the mesh systems did use the gateway’s network name, but I have no recollection as to which one it may have been.
If you remember what that was, I’m very interested to find out.
That just requires custom firmware to recognize the Xfinity gateway.