On July 24th Google spent a couple hours meeting with the press in a streamed broadcast to 72k viewers on YouTube. Lots of big announcements but all were eclipsed by the introduction of a two-inch “device-to-TV” dongle called ‘Chromecast’. Plug it into the HDMI port of any modern flat-screen and it immediately connects the TV to your wireless network. At this point, FROM ANY DEVICE (IOS, Win, Android, OS X, any chrome browser) you can control what goes to the TV:
- Cause it to play YouTube videos, queuing them up from ‘your whatever’ to play in order of your picks
- have it play Netflix or Google Video, not low-res from your device but pulling it down in a stream across your network from the cloud
- plays Pandora (more vendors are lining up around the block)
- your device can control playback AND VOLUME of the TV, even automatically turns the TV on for you when it senses you’re sending content to it
- you can go about your business doing other things with your device while the content continues to play. someone else can even pick up the control of the content you’ve started FROM ANY DEVICE
- there is absolutely no learning curve
- comes with three months free of Netflix (credit to existing customers)
Chromecast sold out in the Google Play store in about an hour. Little less time spent available at Amazon. As of this writing Best Buy online still has stock but may not by the time your read this.
Oh… I forgot one detail — it costs $35.