Google Chromecast Streams Content to HDTVs for $35
Well now, the search engine wants to make Google TV a lot easier, smaller and cheaper. Google just introduced Chromecast, a $35 dongle that puts the web right on your clients’ HDTV. Instead of packing those features into a set-top box with a remote or some type of keyboard, this small solution can be controlled via an existing smartphone, tablet or laptop.
According to Google, Chromecast works with Android and iOS devices, as well as Chrome for Windows, Chrome for Mac, and Chromebook Pixel. Support for Chromebooks is expected to follow at some point soon.
At about 2 inches, Chromecast looks a lot like a USB thumb drive, but it plugs into an available HDMI port on a TV or receiver. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have any love for USB. However, the Chromecast’s USB port is strictly for use with the included USB power cable. Yes, it needs power to work, which means that even though this thing is small, it’s not that easy to hide.
Once it’s plugged in, Chromecast connects to the home’s wireless network to put YouTube, Netflix, and Chrome on the HDTV. Even better, it also delivers Google Play movies and music selections, making the entertainment options pretty much endless. It should also deliver all of those things with a pretty decent picture, since it can deliver up to a 1080p video resolution.
Also important to note is that Chromecast won’t tie up or drain portable devices. The dongle actually streams from the cloud and allows the device to go into sleep mode or be available for other tasks while watching TV.
Both Google Play and Best Buy are currently taking orders for Chromecast, which also comes with three months of free Netflix service for both new and existing subscribers.