Google Chromecast was first unveiled at the end of July 2013. Since its launch, it has received stellar reviews around the globe. What exactly is this $35 gizmo, what devices are compatible, why is it so effective, and what are the limitations?
What is Google Chromecast?
Chromecast is a USB looking device which plugs into a television. It allows one to stream video, pictures, or music directly from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet to a television. All that is needed is a television with a USB or HDMI port along with a WiFi network shared between the Chromecast and the device. Most commonly Chromecast is used to wirelessly stream content from Netflix, Youtube, or Chrome Browser. It is still in the beginning stages, but over time there will be additional applications with support.
What Devices are Compatible?
· Android smartphones
· Android Tablets
· Apple Iphone
· Apple Ipad
· Chrome for Mac
· Chrome for Windows
Why is it so Effective? What are Limitations?
In the past, streaming content could often be difficult and clumsy. One would have to use HDMI cables or a wireless DLNA connection. Now all that is needed is a TV with a USB and WiFi port. USB televisions are now standard, so it is unfortunate if the TV being utilized pre-dates the 2000’s. A limitation is the current lack of application support. However, this is due to relatively new status for the device. Another limitation of the device is that minimum system requirements apply to video streaming. This means that if streaming includes plug-ins such as Silverlight or Quicktime, then the application is not fully supported. The stream may then lack sound or image. By streaming to the TV, it means that the highest available resolution can be used instead of hoping that the local device raises the quality.
The Chromecast sports an AzureWave combo WiFi controller and a moderate-power Marvell SoC. These are paired to 512 megabytes of RAM and 4 GB of flash memory. The AzureWave chip is said to support 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and FM radio. So the application’s full potential is not even being utilized. With radio capability and Bluetooth 3.0 there will be numerous other possibilities for the future. All the controls of the video playback are given on the device itself. So the streaming options and volume control are controlled with the device itself. A device such as this was first expected to sell for $100 plus.
However, due to Google being the company responsible for creation, it has dramatically lowered the price to a very affordable $35. Within the first 48 hours Chromecast sold out in all stores and online. Google agreed to give out three months of Netflix for free with purchase of the device. This demonstrates the close proximity Google and Netflix are maintaining. During its first year, Chromecast will primarily be used by Netflix subscribers. Chromecast 2.0 is set to launch during the summer of 2014. This revision should be leaps and bounds than its predecessor.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Today’s post was provided by Justin D’Souza, creative writer at FindAFax. Justin has a passion for technology and is always up to date with new industry trends.