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July 26, 2013

Is Google's $35 Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player a Must-Have for Creatives?

Google ChromecastGoogle recently unveiled Chromecast, a very inexpensive HDMI adapter that turns any TV into a "Smart Television," allowing you to use your phone, tablet, or laptop to run apps like Netflix or YouTube, as well as mirror a Chrome browser tab, all over WiFi onto your big screen. While there are quite a few devices out there capable of similar functions (not including TVs themselves), Chromecast may just be the cheapest, easiest, and most portable solution yet.

Here's what it can do:

  • Stream online video, music and more to your TV using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop
  • Supports Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, as well as anything on the web through Chrome browser
  • Works with Android, iOS, Chrome for Mac, and Chrome for Windows
  • Easy setup: Plug into any HDTV and connect to your home WiFi network
  • Box includes Chromecast, HDMI extender, USB power cable, and power adapter

Check out Google's intro video, followed by a setup video from CNET:

I can see this becoming a really enticing option for households that want a simple way to have all of their televisions capable of playing content from their mobile devices. Once Chromecast is connected, it looks extremely simple getting the content to display on your TV. If you already own an Apple TV and you've been using AirPlay, none of this is anything new, but what makes this such an interesting product is its price. For $35, you could buy three of them for the price of one Apple TV, and leave them connected to specific TVs. When you want to move it, you're simply pulling it out from the back of the TV and bringing it wherever you have to.

This could be really helpful for filmmakers or others in the creative industries for connecting their laptops or mobile devices to a big TV to show off work in front of a large group of people. It looks like you're limited to 720p for Chrome tabs (and probably all of your other devices), but a potentially great feature is that apparently the Chromecast can play most videos that are stored locally on your computer. Simply by typing in the location of the video in the browser, Chromecast should be able to play it through the Chrome extension.

The biggest issue for most people will likely be the quality of their WiFi signals (as long as their network is fast enough). Even if you don't always need one, Chromecast almost seems like a no-brainer for the price just to keep around with you in a bag. It would have been great if it was powered by the HDMI, but I guess you can't have everything in such a compact and affordable device.

It will be interesting to see if people will consume more long-form content on YouTube just because they will have an easy way to watch it on a bigger screen. Even though online video is becoming a bigger part of the way people consume media, regular television still far surpasses it. This may be one way for Google to get YouTube onto as many TVs as possible, and also allow people to almost seamlessly switch from their mobile devices to their TVs in a matter of seconds. The only downside is that it does require some sort of other device to actually play the content, and there is also no remote.

What do you guys think? What are you using right now to get your videos playing on a large screen?

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22 Comments

hulu+ with criterion collection is still my favorite.

July 26, 2013

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cee

Can we get this into cameras now so we can wireless broadcast all over set? If anyone wants to kickstarter that...

July 26, 2013

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Chris Lambert

+1

July 26, 2013

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+2

July 26, 2013

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Chris, no need to kickstart that, Teradek is already on wireless broadcasting on set. Their bolt streams 1080p 60 wirelessly with zero latency. Check out the cube and bond products if you would like to stream it to everyone on set via ipads, laptops, etc via wifi/3G4G/ethernet. The teracentral app also let's you review takes and gives you the option to save proxies for dailies as well.

July 26, 2013

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Mike

Yeh but at $3.5k I think I'll pass. I get that you get what you pay for in the proffesional world often enough but people like myself who work often in the live event world be it corporate, wedding videography etc would kill for a low cost solution to being able to see what view a second operator has being able to rig that up to a cheapo lilliput monitor or iphone etc would be a godsend. Forking out the cost of a low end ENG style camera to find out whether your safe too move... Just buy the ENG style camera

July 26, 2013

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Chris Lambert

Love your stuff by the way if you are the one and same the movi nyc demo reel was amazing.

July 26, 2013

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Chris Lambert

Check out the Paralinx Arrow

July 26, 2013

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Alan

Its possible to smoothly play even 10GB 1080p videos from a desktop computer with this thing?

July 26, 2013

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Laurel

Read the article, and you will find that the answer is no.

July 26, 2013

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Brian

Not a chance, so many people seem to think that this will be possible but it's not what the device is designed for at all. It's literally just for throwing Netflix or Youtube up on a big screen and nothing else. If you want something that can play 1080p files (or any files really) then get a Raspberry Pi for $30 and install XBMC. Or if you don't want the hassle get one of those Android boxes for about $50.

July 26, 2013

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Graeme

Wondering if thing can be plugged into several projectors for VJ type mirrored multi-screen goodness ... $35 for video streaming and wifi and HDMI ... pfff, no brainer, great deal.

July 26, 2013

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Dan

dis is really amazing & awesom! google has done it again yet having in mind d economic power of people to buy & own it! My question here is, does dis mean dat, d hdmi dongle adapter-like would work on any android phone dat doesn't have d hdmi port? best regards!

July 27, 2013

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Hafiz Ginsau

Can we send a browser tab from a Cell Phone ?

July 29, 2013

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kannan

I just used my Chromecast for the first time last night! Worked just as advertised! I'm very impressed by this product! I purchased from Best Buy website. Currently it's sold out everyone (at least on Amazon and Bestbuy.com).

August 1, 2013

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Troy

I was using a spare PC until it died. But seriously, we have 6 kids and collectively we watch about 4 hours of TV a week. The rest is youtube etc. So I guess we must be the the exception to the rule.

I like the new $99 Ouya console as a concept in general. They hired the XBOX Media Centre (XBMC) team but to date, XBMC hasn't turned up on Ouya when only recently was released. XBMC was a little flaky when I ran it up on my Raspberry Pi (card computer) but that was a while ago. It's a gorgeous interface though.

Also you mentioned it doesn't have a remote. Why would you need it? the phone/tablet IS the remote. Remotes just another thing to loose or have to search for when you want it. Doesn't make sense to have it in this case.

When the PC was alive, I installed app on my android phone which allowed me to control the PC from my phone. It was great. This chrome thing will probably be better and it's bloody cheap too.

August 2, 2013

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Terence Kearns

This is a great news for Saudi youth. Is this device locally available in cities like Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam?

August 3, 2013

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Zaheer

It's a big news for Saudi youth. Is it available in cities like Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam?

August 3, 2013

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August 7, 2013

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Google Chromecast for $35 - google.com‎
GOTO:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00DR0PDNE/08-2013-20
Enjoy online video & anything from the web on your TV. Order today!‎ Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player

August 12, 2013

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what would be interesting would be a sender / receiver dongle to dongle, effectively making every hdmi out camera and every field monitor with hdmi a wireless pair. Would be great for cheap drone monitoring and as most slr / gopro video transmission is laggy as hell, much more responsive.

May 29, 2014

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I love it! It's kinda addictive :P I bought it here for 29$ http://www.genius-new-inventions.com/product/google-chromecast-hdmi-stre...

August 3, 2014

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