Google has unveiled its newest product, named “Chromecast”. What is it? And how exactly does it work?
It is a relatively small $35 device that connects your TV to your mobile devices so that you can view, watch and listen to web content right there on your TV. What that means is that it enables you to stream YouTube, Netflix and Google Play videos, share tabs from the Google Chrome browser, or play music from your smartphone or tablet, all on the big screen of a TV.
However, it does lack the content offerings of its competitors Roku and Apple TV, such as Hulu Plus, HBO GO, and MLB. Although, Google says that it will bring more content offerings soon. They’re lining up already, for the obvious reasons. First of them is going to be Pandora, according to Google.
How it works
Chromecast is a two-inch device that looks like a thumb drive. The way it works is you plug it into the HDMI port of a TV and then you can control it with your mobile device or laptop using a WiFi (they have to use the same WiFi connection).
One of the big selling points is that you can still do other tasks on your mobile device even while it streams or shares content to your TV.
Similar products, like Apple TV and, to a lesser extent, the Xbox also allow users to share some content from mobile devices to TV, except the difference is, those mobile devices can’t use many of their apps at the same time while streaming videos to TV. Google claims that its Chromecast will enable multitasking on your device while still not interrupting the content that is being streamed on the TV at that moment.
The video stream quality of Chromecast can be up to 1080p, which is a standard.
Which devices does it support?
It supports PCs and Macs using Google Chrome browser. Since it’s made by Google, of course it supports the Android smartphones and tablets as well, but additionally, it supports Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
Here’s Google’s official video featuring Chromecast:
The device went on sale Wednesday at BestBuy.com, Amazon.com and the Google Play online store.
This is Google’s attempt at conquering your living room, and we’ll see how successfull it will actually be when competing with Apple TV and Roku among others.