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What is Google Chromecast?

Google Chromecast

Last week, Google announced a new device which is designed to take over your living room and turn your old-fashioned analogue house into a high-tech home of the future.

It’s about the size of a USB memory stick, it costs $35 (UK pricing still to be confirmed) and it’s called Chromecast.

If you find yourself often sharing your phone around the lounge so that other members of your family can see what it is that’s amusing you, Chromecast may well be for you.

It plugs into the side of your TV, taking up an HDMI slot in the process, and makes streaming video and audio from an Android phone or tablet really, really easy. It can also be used to stream internet services like YouTube and Netflix to your TV, and turns your phone into a remote control.

With Chromecast it’s also much easier to get video from a laptop or networked storage device to your TV too, since your phone can again act as the intermediary for playing back via UPnP.

Chromecast isn’t the first time Google has tried something like this: first there was Google TV, then there was the Nexus Q last year. Thanks to the price, however, many critics think that Chromecast is in with a chance of catching on.

The only problem for Chromecast is that it doesn’t do anything a current smart TV or set-top box with streaming capabilities already can – the difference, hopes Google, is that it’s easier and faster to use than these existing techs and so will prove more useful and spontaneous.

Will you be buying a Chromecast dongle when it’s launched over here?

Find out more at Google.com/Chromecast.

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