The surprise announcement at the ‘Breakfast with Sundar’ event was the announcement of Chromecast, marking Googles 2nd attempt to conquer the living room after the failed Nexus Q.
The Chromecast device, supports 1080P streaming, runs on simplified version of ChromeOS and plugs into any available HDMI port on your TV, essentially making it a ‘Smart TV’.
The concept behind it is very similar to Miracast, however Chromecast doesn’t mirror your screen, it interacts with apps on your device using them as a remote. At this stage Chromecasting is supported on Android and iOS but that’s not to say other mobile OS’s won’t be supported. App support for Chromecast can so far be found in Youtube, Google Play – Movies and Music and Netflix apps.
There is also a Beta feature which allows you to throw tabs in Chrome to the Chromecast dongle that will work with most Windows laptops, most Mac laptops and the Chromebook Pixel.
Each Chromecast dongle can be named, essentially allowing you to plug in multiple devices into screens around the house and send video from the compatible app, to whichever screen you desire at the push of a button.
To Chromecast from the Apps on your device simply load the app and hit the ‘Cast button’ in the app.
Once you’ve started the video, you can actually use your device to go about your normal, business, your Android device is simply the remote control for the Chromecast.
There is support for multiple devices in Chromecasting, Google used Netflix for this example which showed them starting a show on one device and then taking control of the Chromecast dongle from a completely new device. With the multiple user support you will also be able to have your friends add to a communal playlist on Youtube.
The Chromecast dongle is CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) compatible allowing you to control devices from the Chromecast dongle, meaning you can change the volume on the TV with your Android device.
Check out the video – Chromecast: For Bigger Fun
The Chromecast dongle is available in the US for order for US $35. It will roll out to other countries as quickly as possible, but no actual timeframe or local pricing has been released.
Interested in a Chromecast device?