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Whether you are in a meeting and want to stream a promotional video onto a television screen or at a social gathering and wishing to show your favorite online video to your friends, Google has developed a simple, inexpensive, stream-lined solution.

"The television is missing in the (streaming-video) picture. It is really, really difficult to get your online videos on the television," said Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Chrome & Apps, at a press event this past week.

The company just introduced Chromecast, a small device that streams content to a television over a WI-Fi network, using a computer, phone or tablet as a remote control. Google said its goal is to create a device with zero setup time, no learning curve, and one that works with all platforms and devices.

The two-inch device looks like a thumb drive and pops into the HDMI port on an HDTV. Chromecast supports both Android and iOS devices. It also streams directly from a Wi-Fi connection, so a user can multi-task, check e-mail on a computer, tablet or phone while a custom YouTube playlist broadcasts on a TV. The device currently streams content from YouTube, Google Play and Netflix, though more apps, such as Pandora, are expected in the future. A beta feature lets you stream any tab directly from a Chrome browser running on one of your non-TV devices.

According to Google, only 15% of households have figured out how to watch online video on their TV sets and they are hoping to grow into the market and take on competitors, the Apple TV and Roku box. The Chromecast stick is on sale now in the Google Play store and at electronics retailers such as Best Buy, although it may not ship immediately. A purchase of Chromecast includes three months of free Netflix streaming.


Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 12:50 PM by Dean's Team
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