Is this going to be one of those memorable moments? When a seemingly small, cheap piece of tech actually pushes a large number of people a big step forward?
Forget Apple TV, Google has come to the party with a bridge between the web and television that costs just US$35 – Google Chromecast.
Of course no sooner than it hit the market, this clever little dongle has sold out almost everywhere – which means that plenty of people are already playing with it, working out the pros and cons, and discovering work arounds.
It’s a dongle that plugs into the side of your television set and pulls through video you call up on your mobile Android or iOS 6 device or computer down from the cloud and onto your big screen.That means streaming video, music or images from YouTube, Netflix, Google music, Pandora and Google+. Other companies are rushing to make their apps compatible.
It can also mirror whatever you’re playing in your Chrome browser.
If you have walked into your living room watching something on YouTube on your smartphone, and you have Chromecast in the side of your TV, you can sit down and start watching on the big screen from exactly where you got to on your mobile.
Because the dongle is so cheap, people are buying one for each tv they have in the house, and the good news is that you can have it up and running the first time in less than five minutes.
Since it is streaming from the cloud, Chromecast doesn’t play anything you have stored locally on your computer or phone, including paid for iTunes content, due to the DRM protection.
But there are some workarounds in play already, and bound to be many more as the most tech savvy continue to experiment.
Have a read here for some suggestions.
Where do you get it?
Because it keeps being sold out, best thing is to get onto Amazon, Google Play store or Best Buy and put in your order. At launch it came with a Netflix deal, but that expired pretty much on the first day due to overwhelming demand.
But wait there’s more …
Of course there is. Google has also released a software developers kit that enables app makers to make their apps Chromecast compatible with just 200 lines of code. So if you want to hook up your customers to the big screen, this is your chance.