During today's "Press Breakfast", Google introduced a new living room device called Google Chromecast. After Google TV and the Nexus Q failed so badly, Google is trying something new by introducing a small HDMI stick which works similar to HTC's Media Link HD or Miracast but isn't mirroring the PC or device screen at all but receives the content by its own via WiFi. With Chromecast, users can enjoy their favorite online entertainment on their HDTV; incl. movies, TV shows, music and more from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome. Chromecast is said to work with devices users already own, including Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones and iPads, Chrome for Mac as well as Chrome for Windows.
Google Chromecast allows to browse, straight from the device, what to watch or listen, and the playback control and volume adjustment is done from the device as well. However, the content itself, doesn't matter if it's a audio or video, is then received by the Chromecast dongle itself. This means that Chromecast isn't mirroring the PC or smartphone display which also means that the use is limited to certain enabled apps and services which support Chromecast. However, Google Chrome for Mac and Windows is also able to project a browser tab with a special plugin, available from the Chrome Web Store. This allows you to enjoy web sites, photos or even videos from services which are yet not officially supporting Chromecast.
To get Google Chromecast working, it needs to be plugged into any HDTV, needs to be connected to the local WiFi and from then it's ready to receive videos and more from smartphones, tablets or laptops - with the press of a button.
Google Chromecast is immediately available in the U.S. and costs US$ 35 only. When purchased from Google Play, Amazon or Best Buy, new customers will even receive 3 months of free Netflix. Google has yet not unveiled if or when Chromecast will be available in other countries.
Cheers ~ Arne