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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 07-25-2013, 02:54 PM   #31
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That sounds great.

I love technology, and I love the way TV watching is rapidly evolving.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:00 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by DaFace View Post
As usual, however, that's Apple specific. This is universal.
I also control my AppleTV with my Android phone. So it's not necessarily Apple specific....
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
I also control my AppleTV with my Android phone. So it's not necessarily Apple specific....
Well, OK. Not an officially-supported way of being universal then.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:08 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
I also control my AppleTV with my Android phone. So it's not necessarily Apple specific....
This is MEANT to be universal
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:53 PM   #35
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They killed the free 3 months of Netflix deal. Rumor going around is that anyone who ordered after 1 PM PST yesterday is out of luck (that would include me - ordered yesterday evening). Would Google really spoil the buzz on this product by doing this? Seems they'll upset a lot of people who ordered on the day the product was announced.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:12 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by KevB View Post
They killed the free 3 months of Netflix deal. Rumor going around is that anyone who ordered after 1 PM PST yesterday is out of luck (that would include me - ordered yesterday evening). Would Google really spoil the buzz on this product by doing this? Seems they'll upset a lot of people who ordered on the day the product was announced.
I smell a lot of cancellations if they really did that. Thats messed up.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:17 PM   #37
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I smell a lot of cancellations if they really did that. Thats messed up.
Jeebus. You'd think a company as smart as Google could predict the kind of fallout they're about to get from this sort of move. What are they thinking?
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:50 PM   #38
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Sounds cool, but im not sure what i'd gain from using it. If i want to watch netflix I simply turn on my PS3.

How is this more advantageous than simply turning on my PS3 or even connecting my laptop to my T.V?
That's what I was thinking. So, you want me to pay $35 for something that anyone who has a gaming console can do. I can even hook my laptop to the TV and watch that way. Sure, $35 isn't much, but I'd hope that it would do something at least a little bit unique.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:24 PM   #39
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Here's a pretty good comparison of this to the other popular options (game consoles, AppleTV, and Roku).

http://qz.com/107942/googles-chromec...dia-solutions/
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:36 PM   #40
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it basically makes your TV a monitor for your smartphone. Pretty smart. and it sold out already in hours. Google own YouTube. The easier they make it to watch Youtube on a device you already have in your hand (rather than turn on your game console and open the YT interface, etc.) the better it is for them. My father is 74. he watches netflix on his tablet but his neck gets tired. Now he can just bring up a movie he likes and watch it on his TV. Simple.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #41
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it basically makes your TV a monitor for your smartphone. Pretty smart. and it sold out already in hours. Google own YouTube. The easier they make it to watch Youtube on a device you already have in your hand (rather than turn on your game console and open the YT interface, etc.) the better it is for them. My father is 74. he watches netflix on his tablet but his neck gets tired. Now he can just bring up a movie he likes and watch it on his TV. Simple.
This is kind of accurate, but in function it's got one important difference: the video itself is being streamed directly to the Chromecast, so once it's started, you can keep doing whatever you want on your phone/tablet/laptop after you press play.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:42 PM   #42
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This is kind of accurate, but in function it's got one important difference: the video itself is being streamed directly to the Chromecast, so once it's started, you can keep doing whatever you want on your phone/tablet/laptop after you press play.
That's pretty rad. I was at Google's L.A. office today (shameless namedrop) talking about doing some YouTube-based ideas for one of our clients and they were telling me about Chromecast. It's pretty kewl.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:18 AM   #43
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That's what I was thinking. So, you want me to pay $35 for something that anyone who has a gaming console can do. I can even hook my laptop to the TV and watch that way. Sure, $35 isn't much, but I'd hope that it would do something at least a little bit unique.
It lets you stream video from the browser. If this includes flash content, that's unique. I don't know about PS, but XBox doesn't do flash with it's onboard IE. Neither does iOS.

As mentioned before, I'm watching a lot of sporting events that I can only find on say, justin.tv or firstrow. If I can stream that to my TV without having to hook up cables, as well as be able to do other things on my laptop while I do, that's certainly worth the money to me. It was especially so at $11, but even if they have killed Netflix, it still is at 35.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:40 AM   #44
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So say I get NFL Sunday Ticket on mobile since I am getting Madden would this be able to stream the games from mobile to my TV?
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:32 AM   #45
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Most likely not. It's not designed to take arbitrary content and display it on the TV from what I've read.

Quote:
If this includes flash content, that's unique. I don't know about PS, but XBox doesn't do flash with it's onboard IE. Neither does iOS.
See above plus the fact that if $600 iPhone doesn't have the processing power to run flash then neither will this $35 dingus that's the size of a thumb drive.

What I think is completely ridiculous is that for all the pictures that makes this look like you can just plug in this doohicky into the HDMI port and be watching video, you still have to connect it to AC power through the USB port on the back of the Chromecast thingy.

What's the point of it being small if I've still got to string power from it to an already nearly full power strip that may or may not have room for the USB adapter?

I'll stick to my AppleTV that can play HBO Go, ESPN, Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, my entire iTunes library, mirror what's on my Mac, mirror what's on my iPhone or iPad, and be controlled by an iPhone, Android, universal remote or the tiny remote that it came with.

It's a hundred bucks versus $35 and currently a lot more functional.
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