Google Chromecast Brings Internet Video to Your TV

Dennis Faas's picture

Google has unveiled a $35 plug-in device that brings online video to your television. It's intended to provide an alternative to expensive set-top boxes and video game consoles.

The Chromecast works with a range of online services -- such as YouTube and Netflix -- but will also play any video you can access through a web browser.

The device is only a couple of inches long and has no buttons. It plugs into an HDMI port on your television and has a small USB socket for supplying power.

The Chromecast also has built-in WiFi that connects to your Internet router. You can then control it through any computing device connected to the same wireless network.

Chromecast Controlled With Phone, Tablet, or Computer

The Chromecast system works in two ways.

First, you can use an Android or Apple smartphone or tablet device to find something you want to watch. Once you start playing the selected clip on your television, you can then use your smartphone or tablet to control the volume or pause and play the video. (Source:

The second method is even simpler. If you're running the Chrome browser on any computer in your house, you'll be able to click a button to send any video content to your TV.

This means you don't have to worry about finding a set-top box or video game console that's compatible with a particular service: if you can play it in your Internet browser, you can play it on your TV.

Chromecast also uses its own Internet connection to play video, meaning you don't have to worry about running down the battery on a phone or tablet.

Google Aiming to Simplify Online Video

Google is targeting the device at people who like the idea of accessing a wider range of content on their TV but are concerned about the cost of set-top boxes.

There are some limitations to the system, however.

For one, Chromecast only works with online video and won't play any content you've downloaded to your computer.

Insiders have also pointed out that the system only works if you have a reliable WiFi connection.

Finally, if you're using the Chrome browser to send content, you'll need to go to your computer if you want to press pause or change the selected video. (Source:

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