The new Google ChomeCast is a small device that plugs into the HDMI port on any HDTV to turn the TV into a connected Smart TV that can play YouTube, Netflix and other apps from any Android device and on any iPhone or iPad. This also supports the Chrome browser on any laptop.
In short, ChromeCast is Google’s super cheap attempt at getting into your living room and taking on Apple TV and AirPlay as well as connected Xbox One features at a rock bottom $35 price.
The new ChromeCast device is a small device that plugs directly into the HDMI port and can also control the HDTV from any device, even if that device doesn’t come with an IR port to control the TV.
Google boasted the ability to quickly play movies and TV shows from the iPhone and Android as well as playing music from a connected device just by pressing the cast button. This new setup is essentially Google’s version of AirPlay and Apple TV.
The ChromeCast is incredibly cheap at $35 and it goes on sale starting this afternoon at Best Buy, Amazon and Google Play and in Best Buy retail stores on July 28th. The price includes 3 months free of Netflix.
Google walked through a variety of demos where the company talked about putting your music, movies, photos and more on the best speakers and screens in the house.
To get up and running users need to plug in and connect to WiFi. The ChromeCast device gets power over the HDTV so there’s no need for more wires.
Once setup, devices that support the ChromeCast service will automatically detect the HDTV and be able to display the video and music on the TV. The device supports 1080P streaming and 5.1 surround sound.
During the demo the ChromeCast device was able to turn on the HDTV and switch to the right HDMI input with a tap on the phone screen. While connected users can also control the volume of the TV using the phone’s volume buttons. While Chrome Casting users can use the phone, tablet or laptop while it is in use.
Users can start to watch a YouTube or Netflix video on the ChromeCast device from an iOS or Android device, and if the user needs to leave, another device can take it over for an un-interrupted experience.
Google also announced the Google Cast SDK, which lets developers build in ChromeCast support to existing apps so iPhone, Android and Chrome apps can work with the new device.