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Old 07-24-2013, 12:16 PM  
SuperChief SuperChief is offline
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Google introduces Chromecast - 35 bucks?!?

This looks like it will really test Roku/Apple TV. For that price point, I'm not sure how it couldn't. From what I'm hearing, you can stream anything from your desktop to the connected device, but not from mobile. Only supported apps from mobile will stream. More to come, I'm sure.

http://cnet.co/1c2ZBTm

Google's taking yet another stab at the living room.

Today Google introduced Chromecast, a stick-like device that connects to one of your TV's HDMI inputs and accepts video pushed from smartphones, tablets and the Chrome browser. It's available for just $35 starting today from the Google Play store in the US, with availability in other countries to follow.

The compact 2-inch device will work with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and TV, and Google Play Music at launch, with support for future services, including Pandora, coming soon. It's a cross-platform device, with support for both Android and iOS devices, as well as the Chrome browser on both Windows and Mac computers. More details are currently available on the Google's Chrome blog.

Chromecast's approach is different than most devices on the market: it's half-remote, half-streaming media box. The idea is instead of designing a TV-optimized user interface, you'll be able to select and control content from your smartphone or tablet. Browse the Netflix app, find your content, then tell it to play in your living room. Chromecast even goes one step further, by automatically switching your TV to the correct input and giving you the ability to adjust the volume using your mobile devices built-in volume controls. The ability for Android devices to pause content without unlocking the phone first seemed particularly well-implemented.

You'll also be able to juggle control between multiple mobile devices, with Chromecast syncing between connected devices. You can start playing Netflix from your tablet, then later use a smartphone to fast-forward. Using the YouTube app, you can also create a shared queue of content, stringing together several short web videos for an extended viewing session. All-in-all, Google's demos looked particularly slick.

As sleek as the Chromecast device looks, Google's initial presentation skimmed over some of the rougher edges. The specs in the Google Play store list both a USB power cable and a power adapter, which indicate that the Chromecast will have some wires hanging off it -- it's not truly "just a stick". It's the same method PLAiR used to power its similar HDMI-based streaming stick.

The hardware itself supports 2.4 GHz WiFi 802.11, which isn't quite as nice as the dual-band Wi-Fi offered on Roku's Streaming Stick. The internal processor is capable of playing back full 1080p video with 5.1 surround sound.

I haven't had any hands-on time with the Chromecast yet, but from the initial announcement, the biggest limitation appears to be app support. Supporting only four services out-of-the-gate puts Chromecast well behind established players like Roku and Apple TV, and limited functionality was also one of the major knocks against the ill-fated Nexus Q.

However, the big difference with Chromecast ultralow $35 price. It's a lot easier to accept those limitations when you haven't paid much upfront and the low price should also help spread adoption, which should encourage services to include Chromecast at a faster rate.

This is a developing story so stay tuned for further details as we get them.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:12 PM   #16
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I just ordered one solely for my bedroom tv to watch Netflix on. That tv is an older one with a basic DVD player, so having the netflix stream PLUS the 3 free months (that's $24 right there), is a pretty cheap investment.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:13 PM   #17
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Oh, and they're throwing in 3 months of Netflix for free, both for new and existing customers. As an existing customer, net cost of this is $11. Yeah, I'm in. I ordered a few minutes ago, but they're already out of stock. We'll see how long before I get it.
This is basically pre order. They are going to start shipping the first batch in 3-4 weeks
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #18
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:22 PM   #19
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This is basically pre order. They are going to start shipping the first batch in 3-4 weeks
When I pulled it up on Amazon earlier in the day, it implied it was available and would ship within a few days. Now I'm reading that there's inconsistency on when they'll ship. Oh well, I can wait.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:33 PM   #20
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When I pulled it up on Amazon earlier in the day, it implied it was available and would ship within a few days. Now I'm reading that there's inconsistency on when they'll ship. Oh well, I can wait.
Amazon had them on Prime, which implies that they were set to go as quick as overnight on them. Guess we'll see if that actually happens.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:06 PM   #21
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Amazon had them on Prime, which implies that they were set to go as quick as overnight on them. Guess we'll see if that actually happens.
I wish I'd pulled the trigger, just had too much going at work. Would be fun to be one of the first to get one.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:10 PM   #22
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I'd get it if I didn't already have an AppleTV.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:19 PM   #23
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Amazon had them on Prime, which implies that they were set to go as quick as overnight on them. Guess we'll see if that actually happens.
Yeah, they should ship quick. Some ppl have already picked them up at brick&mortar stores. Best Buy says shipped or delivered(I can't recall) around Aug 1st. I ordered from amazon while OOS so I may have to wait.

3 free months of Netflix is sweet, devs writing a way to stream from an HDD would be sweeter!
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:30 PM   #24
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Picked one up for the bedroom. Have Google TV in the living room and have been looking for a cheap way to stream Netflix and YouTube from my Nexus 7 on bed.
They're also supposed to be building out HBOgo support which will allow me to drift off nightly to The Wire.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:35 PM   #25
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Picked one up for the bedroom. Have Google TV in the living room and have been looking for a cheap way to stream Netflix and YouTube from my Nexus 7 on bed.
They're also supposed to be building out HBOgo support which will allow me to drift off nightly to The Wire.
You should be able to do HBOGo from a laptop even now using the Chrome syncing gizmo.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:19 PM   #26
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You should be able to do HBOGo from a laptop even now using the Chrome syncing gizmo.
Care to elaborate?
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:21 PM   #27
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35 bucks?

Yes.

In.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:29 PM   #28
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Care to elaborate?
The stuff I've read online says you can play any HTML5 or Flash video. Just load up the page containing the video in Chrome and then hit the extension's button to send it to your TV.

I guess I'm not 100% sure that HBOGo uses those two tech types, though. If it uses Silverlight like Netflix, it'll need its own app.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:29 PM   #29
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Just another option. If you already have ways of doing Netflix on your TV, this won't bring much.

I suppose the only major innovation here is the controls - you can control what's playing on your TV from a laptop, phone, or tablet, so if you do a lot of surfing on a laptop while watching TV, it might be an easier way than clicking through a bunch of menus on a PS3.
i control my Apple TV with my ipad.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:33 PM   #30
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i control my Apple TV with my ipad.
As usual, however, that's Apple specific. This is universal.
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