Google’s $35 Chromecast Streaming Device Bridges Gap Between Devices And TV

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News Posted: Wed, Jul 24 2013 2:39 PM
The TV is the holy grail for companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple; all three have unified desktop, tablet, and smartphone screens with their respective operating systems (and to a lesser extent, with their own devices), but the last screen that none have been able to take over is the television.

While it’s not the silver bullet needed to bridge the gap to the TV once and for all, Google’s new Chromecast device does offer a new way to get content from your devices onto the TV. The little dongle plugs into your TV, and once you connect it to your WiFi network and open a supported app, it streams content to the television via the Internet. You can control it with a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Google Chromecast

Note that although you use your device to pull up content, the hardware doing the actual streaming is the Chromecast itself; when you pull up a video you want to see on the TV, you press the “Cast” button (again, you need a supported app for this), and the device tells Chromecast to stream it. It’s actually quite a bit like how a smart TV works, but you don’t need a remote, you don’t have to fiddle with a TV interface, and it works on any TV with the appropriate ports.

Google Chromecast

Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play all work with Chromecast, and Google says that you can “cast” anything from the web via the Chrome web browser. To use Chromecast, you’ll need an Android (2.3 or higher) or iOS (6 or higher) phone or tablet, a Mac (OS X 10.7 or higher), a PC (Windows 7 or higher), or a Chromebook Pixel.

Google Chromecast

Chromecast runs Android 2.3 and features HDMI out, CEC compatibility, 1080p HD output video resolution, and 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz) WiFi. You can buy one today, and the units will start shipping in early August.
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Jaybk26 replied on Wed, Jul 24 2013 3:03 PM

This is an exciting new entry in the technology field. I'm a little shocked none of the big names in tech haven't done something like this already though. But I'm definitely loving what I'm hearing. Good luck, Google!

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I'm not gonna lie, that's pretty cool.  And I'm betting is much cheaper than just buying a TV with a few apps installed.

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KOwen replied on Wed, Jul 24 2013 4:16 PM

Benefit of having a TV in my room along with my computer is that I only need an hdmi cable to "stream". Interesting tech primarily because it works with phones and tablets, but wireless streaming dongle devices like this already exist for PC and Mac.

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Clixxer replied on Wed, Jul 24 2013 4:48 PM

I may be wrong on this and please someone correct me if I am.

I know Apple has their "Apple TV", Chrome has this device and "Google TV". Between all the money and relationships Apple, Google, and Microsoft have with TV companies that make the screens for their products I would think one of them would have just had a TV manufacturer make a model for them with all of this built in. 

Like Samsung Smart TVs have their apps and wireless built in, why don't they figure out a way to have a Samsung Galaxy S TV or something that is basically a tablet without a touchscreen but on a TV, only difference is you can plug in other devices and switch to regular inputs as normal. 

I am with you KOwen, I have my 46" Samsung sitting about 15 ft from me and a HDMI cable running to it so if I want something on the TV its as simple as moving it over. 

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This is actually perfect for my house. As my TV is a distance away from my PC but there have been plenty of times I would have streamed something to it. For 35$ Im sold! I will get one day one!

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Right on Google. I would love to play with this tech.

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sevags replied on Wed, Jul 24 2013 9:01 PM

I'm really missing something here.... What's the point of this? Really don't see a need for it with googleTV and appleTV out there not to mention other choices. This thing only streams content from the Internet... What if somehow that content isn't compatible with chrome? So this device is doing what googles own googleTV does but this device can't stream content that is actually on your phone or other devices. It is a googleTV that has most of it's features neutered and allows you to use your phone as the remote instead of a special remote/keyboard (one of the reasons why the price is half that of better competing devices).

For $79 (double) I would rather get a googleTV device with more functionality and a remote. For $99 I can get an appleTV.

The price is right, if the average person can figure out the difference between chromecast and googleTV.

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realneil replied on Wed, Jul 24 2013 9:13 PM

Just got an Apple-TV device as a gift but have not connected it yet. This looks pretty cool, but I don't think I'll need it now.

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ajm531 replied on Wed, Jul 24 2013 11:45 PM

Yes your mostly correct but here is what you are missing. Its an extremely affordable method to stream this kind of content and media. i think a lot of people in this comment section are forgetting that not everybody has a smart tv or google tv. in fact im betting majority of people have just regular ole' hd tv's as opposed to smart tvs.y. Also it has great compatibility since its not just for android. Also less physical cables than hdmi to from pc to tv. And to your point you have to spend almost 180 to get support for google and apple devices or services when this device as mentioned will support both OS'es for just 35 dollars.

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Clixxer replied on Thu, Jul 25 2013 12:25 AM

ajm531:

Yes your mostly correct but here is what you are missing. Its an extremely affordable method to stream this kind of content and media. i think a lot of people in this comment section are forgetting that not everybody has a smart tv or google tv. in fact im betting majority of people have just regular ole' hd tv's as opposed to smart tvs.y. Also it has great compatibility since its not just for android. Also less physical cables than hdmi to from pc to tv. And to your point you have to spend almost 180 to get support for google and apple devices or services when this device as mentioned will support both OS'es for just 35 dollars.

Where is the $180 coming from for GoogleTv or AppleTV to get them working? Just Curious

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ajm531 replied on Thu, Jul 25 2013 12:31 AM

your right it probably sounded smarter in my head. i guess i was just referring to the fact that if you wanted to use apple and google products that you would have to buy both equaling about 180 dollars where as the dongle supports both android and ios. I know it not as robust but clearly and a much cheaper alternative for those that dont need all the extra services. hopefully i explained that better.

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ajm531 replied on Thu, Jul 25 2013 12:39 AM

also it will be updated im sure to include more features and google has opened the api to developers so the possibilities will be endless

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sevags replied on Thu, Jul 25 2013 10:11 AM

ajm; $180?? Like I said in my post above it's only $79 for googleTV and $99 for appleTV for retail pricing. Also you clearly do not know how googleTV works it is exactly like this chromecast device where you can connect the devices to ANY TV and turn it into a smart TV it does not mean you need to buy a TV with the googleTV software built in. Also no there most likely won't be too much functionality coming to chromecast because again the missing functionality can be found in googleTV already. No you do not need to buy both competing products. Also with a googleTV device with dedicated controller you can multi-task on your phone while using the device instead of having to keep an app opn to control it.

Do your research and you will googleTV is the far better choice unless of course you just need Netflix to work on a child's TV so they can watch cartoons..... But then again will a child have a smartphone/device to control their chromecast?....

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But mirrorcast is so much cooler :/

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No more paying for cable or satellite TV for me.

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digitaldd replied on Fri, Jul 26 2013 11:29 AM

You know I wanted exactly this a couple years ago only with an ethernet port on it and no google sign in involved. Now i actually own a smart TV that has built-in WiDi support, and my Android phone & tablet both have jellybean and support wireless display as well so getting the mobile device display on the TV isn't hard at all. Still might spend $35 just to add the tech to an older non-smart TV

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Clixxer replied on Fri, Jul 26 2013 4:53 PM

digitaldd:

You know I wanted exactly this a couple years ago only with an ethernet port on it and no google sign in involved. Now i actually own a smart TV that has built-in WiDi support, and my Android phone & tablet both have jellybean and support wireless display as well so getting the mobile device display on the TV isn't hard at all. Still might spend $35 just to add the tech to an older non-smart TV

That is about the only thing I could think it would be useless for. Google TV and Apple TV are better options but maybe for a guest bedroom or something that doesn't get used alot. I wouldn't mind on after thinking about it just to mess around with. 

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taylor123 replied on Sun, Jul 28 2013 5:33 PM

UNreal! How much does this Chromecast cost? And when it's casting does it use the wifi of your house or your phone?

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Clixxer replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 9:31 AM

taylor123:

UNreal! How much does this Chromecast cost? And when it's casting does it use the wifi of your house or your phone?

$35 and uses your home wifi or any wifi for that matter. Just have to set it up.

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nfs3freak replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 8:31 PM

This looks great...at that pricepoint, it even beats out the Android sticks I see floating around on eBay.

 

Is this worth it though? I probably won't ever get one as I don't need one (having a ps3 and an extra pc lying around that I could just use as a media center). For convenience, it's pretty sweet though.

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