Google Launches Chromecast

Google finally entered the streaming fray with a thumb-drive-sized product called Chromecast that promises to deliver digital content to your TV with unprecedented ease. Chromecast is a step above other streaming devices in multiple facets: it’s size makes it simple to transport, Google says that the interface is as simple as plug-and-play over any WiFi network, and it’s only $35 – cheaper than any other similar option on the market (like Roku, Boxee, Xbox, or Apple TV). Chromecast also provides for phone integration, but it’s an open interface; it won’t prevent different makes and models from connecting to the HDTV. It has native YouTube, Google Play, and Netflix apps, but you can also watch video from any streaming device you want. The real kicker, though, is the ability to open new Chrome browser tabs on the TV; there’s finally a way to stream content on an HDTV in the same way as users are used to streaming content on their laptops. So although it’s not quite as sexy as Google promises – you do have to charge the device with a cord that takes away from the sleek aesthetic – at a $35 price point, there will be plenty of willing guinea pigs.