[opendtv] Google Chromecast Lets You Stream Internet Video to Your TV for Just $35

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:06:38 -0400

Yesterday Google announced the New Nexus7 Tablet, which is aimed squarely at 
Apple's iPad mini, at a significantly lower price point. But the trade press 
this morning is talking more about a $35 dongle for TVs with an HDMI port - 

In essence, after several failed attempts to gain access to the TV in the 
living room, Google is again following in Apple's footsteps. Unlike Apple TV, 
Chromecast is useless on its own. In essence, it acts like the Airplay feature 
of iOS and Apple TV, allowing a wide range of devices to "cast" what is on 
their screens to a TV with HDMI. It will work with any Android or iOS phone or 
tablet. AND it will work with any computer (PC, Mac, Chromebook) running the 
Chrome browser. For supported services - currently YouTube, Netflix and Pandora 
-an icon (which looks very much like the AirPlay icon) appear on the device. 
Click the icon and the stream you are watching appears on the TV - the device 
that initiates the the "cast" continues to operate as the "remote control." For 
devices running the Chrome browser you can also cast any website to the TV, 
which allows access to almost any OTT site, at least until they figure out how 
to shut Chromecast down…

This announcement confirms the trend toward the use of mobile devices to 
control the TVs in your home, and the growing reality that within a home, using 
wires to route bits is becoming an anachronism. Case in point is the project I 
am working on today.

When my house was built in the late '70s, it was wired for cable TV - every 
bedroom, and both family rooms - yes, it had two before we remodeled. When I 
became one of the first ADSL customers in Gainesville, I installed a router and 
started adding ethernet connections - kids bedrooms for their computers, my 
office, and the family room for my wife's computer. When Wi Fi came along the 
router was upgraded, but the location I had chosen in a closet was too far from 
the garage for WiFi, so I added an an ethernet port for my laptop when I was 

The TV is still connect to a cable; there are several older analog TVs also 
connected to cable, but they have not been turned on in years. Our Macs, iPads, 
iPhones, and an HP multifunction printer with e-print, all get their bits via 

Today I am installing a new WiFi router - an Apple Time Capsule version of 
their Airport Extreme that supports the new 802.11 A/C standard. It supports 
beam forming and higher transfer speeds for next generation A/C devices. The 
Internal 2 TB drive will automatically back up both of our Macs. It also has a 
four port Ethernet router, but only one port will be used. That port will 
connect my existing NetGear router that supports WiFi through the 802.11 
standard. The Airport will be located atop a kitchen cabinet closer to the TV 
and center of the house; the NetGear router will move to the garage.

For now, the ADSL modem will remain in the closet, with an Ethernet cable 
running to the Airport. When Cox comes to install the cable modem, it will sit 
next to the Airport. The sum total of cables in my home will be one coax to the 
TV, one coax to the cable modem, and one ethernet cable between the routers. 
The e-net cable is not required, but I did not want to impact wireless 
performance by using wireless bandwidth to operate the NetGear router as a 

There are a bunch of stories about Chromecast available today. The consensus is 
that Google may finally have gotten TV right.

We'll see.

This ABC story is one of the more useful that I read:



Google Chromecast Lets You Stream Internet Video to Your TV for Just $35

Google's Chromecast is a $35 dongle that lets you stream video from a phone, 
tablet or computer to a TV. (Google)

By JOANNA STERN (@joannastern)
July 24, 2013

Google's new Nexus 7 has the specifications to impress, but a new little and 
cheaper device called the Chromecast is impressing a bit more today.

The small dongle costs approximately $35 and promises to let you easily stream 
Internet video on a television. Plug the device into the back of a TV's HDMI 
port, connect it to your home WiFi network and you can then fire up videos or 
music on your phone, tablet and computer and watch it on the bigger screen.

"The Chromecast is easiest way to bring your favorite online entertainment to 
your TV," Google Head of TV Technology Mario Queiroz said at the launch event 
this morning.

Google will build in the Chromecast support to the phone and tablet apps, 
themselves. For instance, the Android or iPhone YouTube and Google Video apps 
will have a Chromecast button that lets you play that video or song on the TV 
screen. In Chrome browsers on Mac, Windows and Chrome OS computers, the button 
will allow you to mirror what is on your computer's Chrome browser on the 
bigger screen.

It's intended to be a really simple way to watch the content you are watching 
on your mobile devices on a bigger TV screen. The technology allows you to do 
other things on your phone or tablet, for instance reading an email, while 
still streaming the video on the TV.

But it is simplicity and price together that are getting people excited about 
the Chromecast. The little device costs only $35 and comes with three free 
months of Netflix service for both new and existing customers.

Netflix support for Chromecast is coming, Google said at the event today.

Competing devices that bring Internet connectivity and video to the TV, like 
the $99 Apple TV and the $50 Roku, are more expensive, though, in many cases, 
have more functionality.

"Perhaps the best news about the Chromecast was its price. At $35, it is almost 
a third of what Apple TV sells for and even significantly less than even Roku," 
Ross Rubin, principal analyst for Reticle Research, told ABC News. " It's not 
the solution to everything and it does require initiation from a smartphone or 
other device. And they don't have all the services, but have some key ones in 
Netflix, YouTube and Pandora."

This isn't Google's first foray into the TV space, and its previous attempts 
have been largely unsuccessful. Its Google TV software, which was built into TV 
sets from Sony and Samsung, was sluggish and companies moved away from using 
the platform. Google also announced its Nexus Q set-top box last May and, after 
negative reviews, it was never released to the public.

Still, experts seem to think that, at $35, this might be the device many can 
get behind, especially given its simple purpose of just making it easier to get 
the video content you are watching on your other devices on that bigger screen.

Some analysts pointed out that set-up could be a bit complex for people to 
configure, but they pointed to the price and basic functionality as being a 

"It's not a complete solution, but it's trying to tackle a single problem -- 
expediently getting online video to your TV -- and at a price that beats about 
everything out there," Rubin said.

The Chromecast is available now from the Google Play Store, BestBuy.com and 
Amazon.com for $35. It will ship on Aug. 7. 
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