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Google Chromecast Streams Content to HDTVs for $35

Google has introduced Chromecast, a $35 HDMI solution that mirrors content being played nearby on a tablet, smartphone or computer. Think Apple TV, but rather Google TV.

Google Chromecast
Google really wants to be a part of the TV experience. Back in 2010, the company introduced Google TV, which went where exactly?

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.

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News · Product News · Videos · Video · Digital Media · Google · All topics

4 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Bjørn Jensen  on  07/25  at  03:39 PM

Elegant.  If only it could be powered over HDMI.

Posted by Lorenzo Martinez  on  07/25  at  06:41 PM

I laughed so hard at it not being able to support Chromebooks yet! You would think a Google product would support a google product from the get go.

Posted by shassi mudoo  on  08/16  at  05:03 AM

Am ready to pay double price for chromecast.  If only i get it in my country.

Posted by John Nemesh  on  08/19  at  08:17 AM

I was lucky enough to order one right after the press release…and I have been using it for a couple weeks now.  It works GREAT!  It is flat out the EASIEST way to get audio and video on your TV.

My only complaint is that the Chrome “Tab Casting” is VERY processor intensive and my Core i3 laptop can’t really get good performance as of yet.  I am told this will improve as new versions of Chrome are made available.

On the plus side, it streams Netflix flawlessly, giving me a full 1080p picture.  It is VERY close to the performance I get from my PS3 (the lead development platform for USUALLY has the best quality).  YouTube was also a seamless experience, as was Google Play Music.  I didn’t try Google Play movies.

I would like to see the Chrome browser act as a client in the future, as I use my computer hooked to a DAC to play music, with no TV attached.  Or a hardware version that has a standard Toslink output would work for me as well.

Other than those two minor gripes, I have nothing really to complain about.  As more services add Chromecast support (Vimeo, Redbox Instant and others have already announced that they will be supporting it), this will be a “no brainer” upgrade to any system.  At $35…you don’t even need to think about buying it…just get it!

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