Print 68 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Jul 27 at 3:34 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. 

Source: Google Chrome Blog

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RE: I'm confused
By Flunk on 7/25/2013 9:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
Basically, this $35 device makes the extra money spent on a "smart" TV a complete waste by offering similar features with an easier to use interface for anyone with an HDMI port.

RE: I'm confused
By retrospooty on 7/25/2013 11:19:28 AM , Rating: 2
Well put... Also great for the millions and millions of non-wireless HDMI TV's already out there.

Even if its something as simple as a sharing photo's. Friends/Family come to visit and you you want to show them the latest photo's on your tablet. Instead of a bunch of people hovering around you on your tablet, just switch the input to the HDMI port with Chromecast and boom, its on the TV and everyone can see it. For only $35 you cant go wrong.

A great idea.

RE: I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2013 11:49:40 AM , Rating: 1
Yup. This is way better than AirPlay because it doesn't require a $100 piece of equipment and is universal, and it's WAY more portable.

For $35 I'm buying one just because. Never know when I'll need something like this on vacation, vising family, just whatever.

RE: I'm confused
By bug77 on 7/25/2013 11:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think browsing a few sites qualifies as "similar features". Granted, smart TVs have their share of useless applications, but they do cover a wider range of uses nonetheless. Some of the pricier models can do Skype video calls, which is rather sweet on a 40"+.

RE: I'm confused
By TakinYourPoints on 7/25/2013 10:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. This looks like Google's best hardware product so far, brain-dead simple and very useful. Chrome integration is awesome.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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