Hasn’t Google Changed Your Life Enough? Apparently Not!
Take a look at this little tiny USB device from Google. It is about to change the way you watch television in a big way.
The device is called “Chromecast“, a nice little play on words given that Google’s internet browser is called “Chrome.” Plug Chromecast into any HDTV slot on your television, control it with your laptop, tablet (Apple iPad or Android) or even your smart phone. You can send videos from Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, and more to your TV. No more huddling around a 15″ laptop screen to watch a movie or viral video — now you can watch it in high def on your TV with surround sound if you have the capability!
The best bit of all? Chromecast costs $35.
Yep, I said $35!
You connect Chromecast to your local WiFi network. It will “find” other WiFi devices on your network that it can work with.
You do have to plug it into a power source as well — via a USB cord. Most HTML TVs have USB slots, so conceivably the best way to power Chromecast is via the TV itself. Here is an image showing the USB cord attached to Chromecast.
There are some folks grumbling because although Google offers an open Software Development Kit (SDK) some developers are finding that you can’t stream videos from your own source (e.g. your hard drive or an online storage area like “Dropbox” or “iCloud.” Local media streaming is, for now, unavailable. Some earlier developers had built ways to add this functionality, but the latest version of the SDK killed this ability. Google insists that they will allow this option eventually, but that for now the quality isn’t good enough for it to be available.
Google insists that they love open platforms and are not trying to close off other methods for developers. A new version of the SDK is expected soon, so for now try to be patient about local media streaming.
One last thing– at this price point Google Chromecast is very, very popular. As I write this it is sold out on Amazon. If you want one, good luck on finding it! There are a few for sale on eBay — but you’ll pay more than $35!