We all have TVs, and we all have smartphones and computers, but wouldn’t it be nice if all of these would just play along nicely? Google looks to be delivering just that with a gadget coming to stores for a buck less than a fifty.
Built for an easy setup and use, Google’s Chromecast looks to lure people away from other streaming media solutions for their TVs with the promise of inexpensive wireless streaming for most of the devices we own.
We say “most” because as of the time this was published, Google supports Apple’s iOS (iPhone, iPad), Windows, Mac OS X, and of course it’s own Android and Chrome operating systems, though there is currently no Windows Phone or BlackBerry support.
In any case, the idea for Chromecast is simple, with the Chromecast dongle providing a wireless TV streaming device that plugs into a spare HDMI port of your TV, is powered by a microUSB cable (the same sort used to charge most mobile phones), and receives transmissions from your mobile phone, tablet, and computer by way of WiFi.
Chromecast’s power plug can be plugged straight into a wall using the wall adaptor, or conversely it can use a USB port on the TV, making the setup even easier for those with unused USB ports on their tellies.
Regardless of the supported platform, there’s an app you need to install, with that app allowing you to link up your device with the Chromecast dongle, sending any information to your television at 1080p Full HD.
That could be movies or TV shows from Google Play, or a tab inside Google’s Chrome web browser, or even other services, such as the Pandora internet streaming music service, which has updated its iOS and Android apps to support direct streaming to the TV.
“Our partnership with Google Chromecast now means users have another easy access point to a better listening experience direct from their TV,” said Rick Gleave, Director of Business Development at Pandora in Australia and New Zealand.
“Our mission is to provide the best personalised radio experience to our listeners, anytime, anywhere. Australians are listening to more than 12 hours of radio a week and we are continually innovating and investing in new platforms that help us seamlessly deliver access to Pandora across a broad range of connected devices.”
Outside of Pandora, Chromecast currently supports YouTube, and Google’s Play Music and Movies service, with Chrome browser’s stream to Chromecast technology technically in beta, but more apps are coming, with an openly available software development kit available for devs to get in and start making apps.
It’s likely we won’t see support for other locally available apps for a few weeks, at best, but hopefully we’ll see app support from the likes of ABC’s iView and other catch-up services soon.
Until then, you’ll find Google’s Chromecast dongle in Dick Smith and JB HiFi stores across the country, as well as Google’s online Play Store for $49.