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Google introduces Chromecast media streamer for $35, ships today

updated 01:53 pm EDT, Wed July 24, 2013

USB-powered media player remotely controlled by mobile devices, computers

After revealing the latest version of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google today introduced an HDMI dongle that will stream videos and show other content from smartphones, tablets, or computers to a HDTV or other large displays. Hinted at by an FCC filing in May, the Chromecast plugs straight into a TV, and can be controlled remotely via mobile devices or the Chrome browser over a local Wi-Fi connection.

Powered by USB, the Chromecast accepts controls from apps running on other local devices. Examples shown on stage included using the YouTube app on a smartphone to start playing a video -- and add more clips to the queue while the current video was playing -- as well as Google Play Music support, and displaying the contents of a tab in Chrome.

Rather than directly mirroring content from a remote screen, such as with Miracast, Chromecast fetches online content on its own for playback. This allows a smartphone or tablet user to change to different apps or turn the device off entirely without disturbing what is currently being played. Onstage it was shown to work on Android mobile devices and a "$500 Windows 8 laptop," and it's said to work with iOS and OS X as well. Windows Phone is not currently supported.

Aside from YouTube, Google Play, and remote Chrome tab projection, apps for Netflix and Pandora are also touted as working on the Chromecast. Software development kits are being offered for Android, Chrome, and iOS.

The Chromecast, complete with three months of Netflix, will be available through Google Play for $35 later today in the United States, with Amazon and Best Buy to stock it on July 28th. Google hopes to make it available in other countries as "quickly as possible."

By Electronista Staff


  1. OldMacGeek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-04-10

    And people will conveniently forget about AirPlay and gush about how *innovative* Google is in 3 . . . . 2 . . . .

  1. Mike Wuerthele

    Managing Editor

    Joined: 07-19-12

    To be fair, it's a decent device at a good price. It's not as flexible as an Apple TV just yet, but I do have to admit that I'm curious to see what developers do with the API for it.

  1. AppleTechSpot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-27-13

    My guess is they won't do anything with it unless they plaster ads all over the content. Everything Google touches becomes a billboard ad... even your own content. Let me spend the extra $60 and be free of ads and data mining and get an AppleTV!!!

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    It would be nice if AppleTV shrinks its footprint to this size. I didn't know HDMI is capable of self-powering.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Or Apple could just make a second one and call it AppleTV Express and price it at $39.99. A bit more than Google because AppleTV Express can do Keynote/PowerPoint presentation on TV screen directly from iPhone or any Apple devices. There's a market for this but there's nothing out there or any easy way around out there yet.

  1. czobes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-06-10

    It's not self-powering - the device has to be plugged in to a/c power in addition to being plugged in to the TV. A dongle in name only.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by czobesView Post

    It's not self-powering - the device has to be plugged in to a/c power in addition to being plugged in to the TV. A dongle in name only.

    Power can also be from USB. And Google nowhere calls it a dongle.

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