Google is re-entering the TV market. Forget 2010’s ill-fated Google TV box, Google Chromecast is a small, cheap receiver compatible with any HD TV. It's been available in the US since 2013 and now it's finally here. But what is Chomecast?
Like Apple TV, Chromecast lets you wirelessly stream (or cast) video content from your laptop, smartphone or tablet to any high definition TV.
The Chromecast dongle creates its own WiFi hotspot, which means it works with any television - whether or not your TV is internet enabled.
How does it work?
Chromecast works within three steps. 1: Plug in. 2: Connect to WiFi. 3: Watch.
The receiver fits into the HDMI port of a TV. It runs a scaled-down Chrome browser, which receives data and transmits it to the set.
When you want to cast something to your television – such as a YouTube video - make sure the device is connected to WiFi, tap the blue icon on the device and watch as it casts.
While casting you can continue using your device to complete other tasks, such as search for video on YouTube or send an email.
With Chromecast you don’t need a separate remote - play, pause and even control the video volume using your device.
Is it just available for Android devices?
No, what’s interesting about Chromecast is that it works across different devices – including tablets, smartphones and computers.
As well as Android, it's compatible with multiple operating systems, such as iOS and Windows, so it works with the iPad, iPhone and Mac computers. Devices need to be WiFi enabled, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread or iOS 6 and higher.
Does Chromecast work with all apps?
Google’s own apps, YouTube and Google Play Movies & TV are compatible with Chromecast, along with Netflix. Google has confirmed US internet radio app Pandora is coming soon.
Apps need to be compatible with Chromecast.
To encourage developers to incorporate Google Cast technology into their web and mobile apps, Google has released the developer preview of the Google Cast SDK.
When is Chromecast available?
Chromecast is available now in the UK for £30 from Google and other high-street retailers