Google Offers $35 Media Streaming Stick "Chromecast"
July 24, 2013 9:23 PM
It's available in the U.S. starting today, with other countries to follow
Google introduced a media streaming stick today that allows users to watch videos from services like YouTube and Netflix on their TVs.
The streaming stick is called Chromecast, and it connects to a TV's HDMI input to wirelessly sync with mobile devices or
the Chrome browser
allowing users to view videos, photos and more right on their TVs.
In other words, if you choose a movie from your smartphone's Netflix app, you can use Chromecast to play it on your TV.
The Google stick performs the duties of a media streaming box and a remote control. Chromecast is compatible with Android and iOS-powered smartphones and tablets, allowing users to not only use these devices to choose the videos they want to watch on their TVs, but also wirelessly control the videos with them (play, pause, stop, rewind, etc.).
Chromecast is also compatible with the Chrome browser on any PC or Mac.
A couple of other cool features include screen-mirroring, which will show the user's activity on their Chrome browser including videos and photos, and use of multiple devices to control Chromecast (for instance, if you play a movie from your smartphone's Netflix app, you can use your tablet as a remote control).
Chromecast will even automatically switch your TV to the correct input upon choosing to watch videos, photos, etc. via Chromecast.
Chromecast's hardware measures a mere 2 inches, and it supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 802.11. It can play back 1080p video with 5.1 surround sound, and comes with a USB power cable and a power adapter.
At launch, Chromecast can only support four apps: Netflix, YouTube, Google Music and Google Movies. However, an upside to this is that Google is offering both new and existing Netflix users three free months of the service if they buy Chromecast.
Despite its limited app selection, Google said more options will be coming soon. But for now, the tech giant is hoping to use the device's convenient features and low price of only $35 to draw customers in.
Yes, I said $35. So it doesn't have the options that competitors like Apple TV and Roku's Streaming Stick have, but the attractive price should set sales in motion.
Chromecast is available starting today in the U.S., and will come to other countries later.
Google has had a busy week of launches so far. It also unveiled the
new Nexus 7 tablet
, which features a a quad-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 1920x1200 pixel resolution, a 7-inch 1080p HD screen, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, dual stereo speakers, and prices of $229 for 16GB and $269 for 32GB.
Additionally, Google introduced
Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean
-- which will power the new Nexus 7 tablet.
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