Google Unveils Chromecast, New Video Device for TV’sby Asha
Google Unveils Chromecast, New Video Device for TVs
Introducing Chromecast. The easiest way to enjoy online video and music on your TV. For $35.
Internet giant takes new tack in trying to deliver YouTube content and other video to HDTVs
Digital Editor, New York@xpangler
Google has taken a new tack in trying to get Internet video to HDTVs with the launch of Chromcast, a $35 two-inch dongle that plugs into the back of a television and lets users pull up content from YouTube, Netflix and other sources using a mobile device as a remote control.
“One barrier to viewing online content on TV is getting your TV connected in the first place,” Google veep of product management Mario Queiroz said at the company’s launch event Wednesday. Chromecast is designed to “enable experiences across all platforms and devices — it should just work with your TV.”
Chromecast, available for purchase in the U.S. starting Wednesday, works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV and Google Play Music, with more apps including Pandora coming soon, according to Google. Through the end of 2013, Chromecast purchasers will be eligible to receive three months of Netflix service free.
With the launch of Chromecast, Google appears to be throwing in the towel on its three-year-old Google TV initiative, designed to meld traditional TV with Internet-delivered content through an integrated interface.
The company had lined up big-name partners including Sony, LG and Samsung, which embedded Google’s Android-based software into television sets and connected-TV devices. But the approach was costly for consumer-electronics makers and Google TV never gained traction with consumers.
Chromecast works not only with Android smartphones and tablets, but also Apple’s iPhones and iPads and Windows and Mac computers via Google’s Chrome browser. Using one of those devices, users can browse for something to watch, control playback, and adjust volume settings: “You won’t have to learn anything new,” Queiroz said.
In addition, Chromecast can sling a range of web content to the big-screen HDTV via a new feature in the Chrome browser that allows a user to “project” any browser tab to a connected TV. The feature is launching in beta.
Also at the event, Google introduced the next generation of the Nexus 7 tablet, with a 1080p HD-capable display. Netflix also is among the first partners with a full HD app for the new tablet.