Chromecast

New today from Google is the Chromecast: a $35 HDMI stick that allows you to beam video directly to your TV.

With Chromecast, you can easily enjoy your favorite online entertainment on your HDTV—movies, TV shows, music, and more from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Chrome. No more huddling around small screens and tiny speakers. Chromecast automatically updates to work with a growing number of apps.

chromecast

Image via Ars Technica

Pretty cool idea; a very cheap alternative to an AppleTV & AirPlay. I have a few superficial thoughts just looking at the hardware pics:

1) The power cord is not attached in the photo; the Chromecast doesn’t draw power over HDMI. In other images, there appears to be a micro-USB lead that attaches via the other side of the stick (it can run to TV’s USB port, or to an AC adapter). So in reality, not quite as simple & seamless as these pics would have you believe.

2) Remember back in the day when USB sticks were really physically chunky, & plugging one in meant blocking off other ports? Welcome to the HDMI version of that.

I’m keen to see how it performs versus AirPlay. Obviously it won’t be as seamless as AirPlay+iOS, but will definitely work better across an environment with multiple OS platforms. The Verge has done a quick comparison of AirPlay vs. Chromecast that is worth checking out.

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