Chromecast: The cheap and easy future of TV

Google reveals a $35 gadget that will transform your phone into a streaming media remote control

By Andrew Leonard
Published July 24, 2013 5:50PM (EDT)
Google Chromecast dongle             (Reuters/Beck Diefenbach)
Google Chromecast dongle (Reuters/Beck Diefenbach)

Look out, AppleTV! Moments ago, Google sent a shockwave through the technology trade press with its announcement of Chromecast, a device that supposedly allows us to stream Web content from our phone/laptop/tablet directly to our TVs.

Google calls Chromecast "the easiest way to enjoy online video and music on your TV." In contrast to AppleTV, which comes with its own set-top box, cord and dedicated remote and costs at least $100, the two-inch-long $35 Chromecast "dongle" plugs directly into a HDMI port on your TV. Then, any Chrome-enabled device with WiFi capability -- laptop, tablet, even iPhone -- turns into a streaming media remote control.

Just two days ago, I connected my new MacBook Air to my TV using a 13-foot cable. The video quality is great, but the laptop interface is still cumbersome. The notion of using the phone I already have as a remote control to watch the Web on my big-screen HDTV is instantly appealing.

Can it really be this simple? Thirty-five bucks to merge the Web and TV? I've ordered one from the Google Play store already. I'll let you know how it works out.

More details from Gizmodo.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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