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Google Reveals Chromecast Video/Audio Streamer

By - Source: Google | B 11 comments

This gadget plugs into an HDTV and turns it into a receiver for video and audio initiated by phones, tablets, and the Chrome browser.

During Google's press event on Wednesday, the company confirmed next week's release of the next-generation Nexus 7 tablet, and Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean" which is rolling out to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 starting today. News of both wasn't unexpected. However the big surprise during Sundar Pichai's breakfast with the press was Chromecast, a two-inch long device that plugs into an HDTV.

Essentially what Google has done is turn your living room or bedroom HDTV into a receiver and any mobile device -- whether it's Android, iOS, Windows, Mac or Chrome OS -- into a remote control. The major components to make this work is not only the Chromecast gadget, but the Chrome browser and supporting mobile apps like YouTube, Netflix, Google Music and Google Movies. Pandora and a few others are expected to be updated with Chromecast support soon.

So, here's how it works. A Google consumer heads to Best Buy and purchases two $35 Chromecast devices next week, one for the bedroom and one for the den. After plugging the Wi-Fi devices into their respective HDTVs, the consumer labels them as such when registering with a Google account online. Then, with a YouTube app or via YouTube in Chrome, the Google customer loads up his/her favorite video, clicks the TV-shaped Chromecast icon, and then chooses the Bedroom or Den device. That's it.

The deal here is that laptops, phones and tablets aren't wirelessly pushing video across the room. Instead, the media is streamed directly to the Chromecast device from the Internet. All other devices essentially become remote controls, allowing the user to pause, play and adjust the sound using the volume buttons on their device. If the user wants the video to resume on their phone, they merely tap on the Chromecast icon in the app again, and choose the proper device.

This method of content transportation also frees up the device that originally began playback. For instance, an Android smartphone owner can start a Netflix movie (1080p at that thanks to Google's new DRM for streaming media) on the phone, then exit out of the app altogether once it's been pushed to the Chromecast device. The user can then load up the same app on another device and resume control of playback. This is handy when the user who initiated the Netflix playback on his/her phone leaves the house with the device.

"You can use Chromecast to bring a broad range of content available on the web to your big screen, thanks to a new feature in the Chrome browser that allows you to project any browser tab to your TV. From sharing your family photos to enjoying a video clip from your favorite news site, it’s as simple as pressing a button," the company said. "This feature is launching in beta, but we’re excited for people to try it out and give us their feedback."

Google is already offering the Google Cast API so that developers can slip this technology into their current apps with just a few lines of code – no app overhauls needed. More information about the new API can be accessed on the Google Developers Blog here. As previously stated, a number of app developers are already jumping on the Chromecast bandwagon, and it works in apps developed for Android, iOS, Chrome for Windows, Chrome for Mac, and Chrome OS on the Chromebook Pixel laptop.

The device can be ordered online for $35 now from Amazon, Best Buy and Google Play. It will be made available in Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores around July 28. And for a limited time only, those who buy the gadget will get three months of Netflix for free. We like free.

Chromecast: For bigger Fun

Display 11 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    slomo4sho , July 24, 2013 3:44 PM
    This is already available for order on Amazon for $35 and includes a 3 month subscription to Netflix.
  • 0 Hide
    Daniel Krause , July 24, 2013 4:31 PM
    It's USB... I can plug it into my Roku box!
  • 0 Hide
    zcat , July 24, 2013 4:38 PM
    I bought one, but I sure hope there's an easy way to stream stuff the LAN instead just the cloud.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , July 24, 2013 5:41 PM
    I've watched the demo during the presentation and I have to admit it works pretty nice!
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 24, 2013 9:23 PM
    ahh yes! i thought it streams it from the device, but since it streams from the internet, it makes it a WHOLE lot better!
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 24, 2013 9:24 PM
    however, if you do want to connect from your pc and have like a dual display, this makes it impossible =[
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , July 24, 2013 9:31 PM
    As far as I can tell, if you have a smart TV then you don't need this device; you can just use your mobile device to tell your TV to play a video from the Internet without it going via the mobile device.
  • 2 Hide
    house70 , July 25, 2013 4:28 AM
    @ IndignantSkeptic,
    @otacon

    You guys need to watch the presentation. The difference is not only that you don't need to stream the content through the external mobile device, you can also sync and switch streaming control between different devices using different platforms, on-the-fly.
  • 3 Hide
    house70 , July 25, 2013 4:30 AM
    Quote:

    Or just run an HDMI cable from your PC to your HDTV.. this device his useless. .

    Of course. It's useless because it's made by Google. If it were made by your favorite fruit it would have been magical and revolutionary.
  • 1 Hide
    hi8darthjobs , July 25, 2013 10:27 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    As far as I can tell, if you have a smart TV then you don't need this device; you can just use your mobile device to tell your TV to play a video from the Internet without it going via the mobile device.


    Or just run an HDMI cable from your PC to your HDTV.. this device his useless. We run the Roku Streaming Stick on our LED which does 100x more than that thing.


    yeah, lemme just run that HDMI cable through 6 walls and a floor /s
  • 1 Hide
    quotas47 , July 25, 2013 11:20 AM
    So can I do this with HBOGo or ShowtimeAnytime if I launch these in my browser and throw it at my television?

    My Samsung "SMART" TV doesn't have all the television apps.