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Google Announces Chromecast Dongle, Easiest Way to Bring Online Entertainment to Your TV

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The Chrome team announced Chromecast this morning at Google’s SF press event, a dongle that is plugged into your home’s TV HDMI port, allowing for streaming online content right to your television. It is made with YouTube and other video providers in mind, turning any compatible TV into a streaming monster. 

The service is cross platform, meaning even iOS users can take advantage of Chromecast. All control of videos is done with your device, so there is no need to learn any new user interface or things of that nature. In the top of apps, like Netflix and YouTube, a new icon can be found when you want to push a video to your TV. It’s a simple way of watching your favorite content right on the big screen. It also works with your music, so think of this dongle as a very simplified Nexus Q. An added bonus is that it doesn’t only work with Play Music, but other apps like Pandora.

Control from your desktop is also allowed. While watching a YouTube video on your computer,s imply hit a button and it is instantly pushed to your TV.

The device is only $35 and is available for purchase right now on Google Play.

  • terrorist96

    Meanwhile, HTC has been selling their Media Link HD for $100…

  • Jackson

    Hey it works with Google TV box at least with YouTube.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    What about streaming content from phone to device? like videos?

  • Jordan

    Can this also mirror an android phones entire display(like airplay) instead of just a specific app?

  • Mitch Joa

    Can’t wait for someone to get chromecast able to pull movies from a home server!

  • MrOrange645

    Just ordered mine from Amazon.com. Should be here in two days with free Prime shipping!!

    • Geekdad

      Just ordered mine. They will also be giving you the 3 months of free Netflix. $38 with tax and two day shipping.

  • thebigmann

    Chromecast is live on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DR0PDNE/

    Showed up in search results from my tablet but not my laptop. Odd.

  • tutaina

    just bought it through amazon!!!!

  • Jose Salas

    Does the tv need to be wi-fi enabled or it can also not have Wi-Fi ?

  • Br_d

    Plus you get 3 free months of Netflix. If you were already planning on paying for netflix, this thing costs $11. Not bad!

  • Keith Sumner

    Help, does my TV require a built in Internet connection or wifi?????

    • Ray

      The chromecast has built in wifi. So all you need a is home wifi connection.

  • Ahku Droid

    And…bought.

  • Ray

    This is the page for when it becomes available on amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DR0PDNE

    • Silver Veloz

      Thank you!

      • Ray

        You are welcome

    • Dan

      It’s available!

    • Silver Veloz

      Amazon is live now – just purchased.

      • RicoDelicioso

        Me too. Cancelling my Google order. I’ll have it by Friday. Awesome sauce.

    • Ray

      Got two, will have them tomorrow.

  • schmaltzy

    Plex support?

    • PSU_DI

      The dev is looking into it.

  • r.™

    So this make Google TV DOA huh?!

  • chris13417

    Does the TV have to be able to connect through WiFi or does the dongle connect to WiFi? My Samsung Tv only has ethernet cable internet connectivity.

    • PSU_DI

      the dongle has wifi

  • Ryan Stewart

    $35? I bought one before I even found out there is an API that other apps can use. Might gift it to the parents though because their TV smart functions suck. This would allow them to broadcast from the iPad.

  • ddh819

    do you have to use a chrome device to operate it? or could you use a tv remote (through HDMI-CEC) to control the chromecast?

    • Fresh360

      Your phone/tablet/PC is the remote and it’s not limited to Chrome it is cross platform compatible so iOS, Windows, and Mac are all suppoerted.

      • PSU_DI

        Just to clarify on this, If on Windows & Mac you can only Cast from the Chrome Browser, no IE, firefox, or Safari etc. If you’re using an IOS or android device the apps will have the ability to support ChromeCast if they choose to for either OS.

        • Fresh360

          As I understand it, yes.

  • Nathaniel Newman

    Would this work to receive content from the new Droid phones with WiFi Direct?

    • PSU_DI

      Doubtful, the whole idea behind ChromeCast is so that the content that is being sent to this TV is done through some cloud server be it Google’s Movie/music servers or Netflix’s steaming servers. so your devices are going from phone/tablet to dongle. Instead the content works like this, app on the phone requests SongA from server, the server streams songA to the app on the phone. Now with ChromeCast, the app can say no don’t send the stream to the phone, instead send it to the TV in my living room. The server responds and switch the stream to the new output. Allowing your app to be a controller or you can close out and do something else while it still streams.

  • MikeSaver

    What I want to know is, how does this work with multiple inputs. So plug it into my HDMI 2 port, right? say I’m watching TV and want to show someone a video, when i hit the cast button will it switch inputs automatically? Will I have to do that manually?

    Also what about switching back? I’m done with the video and want to go back to watching tV. what happens there?

    • brkshr

      It’s not going to control your TV. You would have to manually put your TV onto the specific HDMI port that ChromeCast is in.

      • PSU_DI

        not neccessarily true.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#CEC

        These are all feature that can be supported by Chromecast.
        One Touch Play allows devices to switch the TV to use it as the active source when playback starts
        System Standby enables users to switch multiple devices to standby mode with the press of one button
        Routing Control controls the switching of signal sources

        • brkshr

          Interesting. I haven’t seen this yet. Thanks for the schooling!

          Edit: It would also appear that I am in need of a newer tv :-)

      • MikeSaver

        hmm I guess I’ll stick with my crappy Vizio co-star then. I can already do all of that youtube stuff at least. I wonder if other devices will interface with normal Google TV devices the same way as the chromecast.

    • PSU_DI

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#CEC

      This is how it’s done, it’ll auto switch to the ondemand content. and then switch back when finished.

  • TSK

    Looks like its already sold out :(

    • Havoc70

      it shows back online again, grab it while you can

  • NorCalGuy

    Hopefully you can push the browser to the TV as well gotta get my flash videos in. Pretty much the only reason I have two browsers chrome is the daily driver but the flash videos still have to use stock browser

  • T4rd

    Is it powered by HDMI or do you have to plug in a micro-USB cable to it for power too?

    • KenBarnum

      USB powered. Need the cable. It comes with one. Can plug into the tv’s usb port on some tvs.

  • Henry Chen

    Oh No1 Sold out already! :(

  • Silver Veloz

    So, traveling and in the hotel room that has an HDTV with HDMI, I can use this along with the hotel’s WiFi. If so, this is great for traveling.

    • Lou M

      Seems as if most times you have to sign in to a hotel’s wi-fi. I don’t know how the device would sign in.

  • Henry Chen

    Oh no! Sold out!!! :(

    • RicoDelicioso

      Keep trying. Told me the same thing but I refreshed the page a couple times and I was able to order. Do it for the kids!

      • Henry Chen

        You’re right! One refresh and it was in stock! :) Thanks!

      • JasonWhite

        Yep. Refreshed and it was good to go!

  • jefbystereo

    So close, but still holding out for a bit more info. Seems a little limited right now in terms of what it can cast seeing as I have a jailbroken apple tv. If this could mirror my nexus screen it would be an instabuy. I want to be able to browse redfin or pictures on my tv but its hard to tell if thats a possibility. Only casting netflix, youtube and google movies isnt enough.

    • onDroid

      It will mirror whatever is on your chrome browser so if its on the internet it will stream it

  • flyinggerbil

    so my question is this: if my cable box is hdmi 1 and i plug this in as hdmi 2 how does it show up when i’m watching tv? do i need to keep switching outputs to view anything?

    • PSU_DI

      If you have a TV that supports HDMI-CEC it should be able to switch over to Chromecast automatically when you send something to the TV

  • litobirdy

    ok guys i saw the inside page of the manual it comes with form other android sites. plugs into hdmi and then a micro usb cable form the dongle to the usb on your tv. Done. or you can connect to to external power adapter as well. Im thinking thepower adapter part is what would help to turn it on from a tv being off.

  • kfath1978

    Whats this mean for Google TV?

    • PSU_DI

      You’d think that with Google TV Jellybean that this gets some what intergrated. GTV JB is supposed to support the latest Chrome browser, if that’s case it shouldn’t be able to us GTV like you do any other Android device, other than it’s already on the tv screen. I’d expect from the near future that we’ll be able to “cast” from GTC to other places in the home with the Chromecast adapter. i don’t see GTV going away because of this, if anything it just got a whole lot better.

    • KenBarnum

      Death

      • New_Guy

        It wasn’t doing all that great to begin with. This is more of a Google-esk innovation if you ask me. This will sell out in about T – 3….2…1…

    • kfath1978

      So basically if I have a GTV this is useless?? Am I missing something?

  • Christopher Ford

    On Play store it says my order is a “pre order”. Do we know when these are actually coming out?

  • Adam Millinger

    Is this needed if you have logitech revue? i know its advanced technology but revue seems able to do these things as well

  • conazo
  • Brandon Golway

    I may get one of these eventually but I really have no need for it since I have an Odroid-U2 (Exynos 4450, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB onboard 32 GB external) hooked up to my flatscreen and running Android 4.2.2 and it only cost me $90 to have full blown Android!

    • Luxferro

      The problem there is user experience. Android is meant for touch screens, not TV’s. That’s why there is google TV. How are you controlling it? Is it as easy as demonstrated with chromecast?

      • Brandon Golway

        I control it with either a mouse and keyboard, an air mouse with built in keyboard, or the easiest was is to control it with your phone using DroidMote. The touchscreen acts as a trackpad for controlling the cursor and has a keyboard that will send key presses also. It’s a different experience than ChromeCast because that’s just a stripped down ChromeOS, I have full blown Android running so I don’t have to mirror anything, I can just open up the youtube app and use it like I normally would. I think it’s great because I can rent movies/tv shows from the Play store, play emulators, run XBMC and various other things.

    • litobirdy

      Can you control it easily with your phone and/or tablet? or do you need to buy a bluetooth keyboard/mouse. I’m trying to decide if this is worth the $35 or do I just get a android on a stick, really good one for like $20 more and use my phone to control it

  • Luxferro

    Just ordered 2 :)

    They will make switching movies from living room TV to bedroom TV a lot smoother.

    • OreoMan

      / What Luxferro said. My wife is pissed that we can’t watch Orange is the New Black in the bedroom. Can finally lock the kids out watch some episodes at night!

  • Bill Anderson

    Wow, with the 3 months of Netflix included with this purchase that is even for existing subscribers, this is really only $11.

  • Spider210

    Will plex work?

    • Lou M

      My question too. This almost has me abandoning my Rokus especially with the Chrome tab feature.

      • Luxferro

        I bet if Plex’s android app doesn’t have it yet, it will in the future. All it would need to do is pass a local IP URL instead of a internet one, to play your local content from your server on your LAN.

        You can already play local plex movies in a browser, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to play back off the chromecast stick. At least that’s my guess.

    • PSU_DI

      I saw a post that said that the Dev of Plex is already looking into this. I’d think it’s safe to say that it will be coming.

  • dubregae

    Awesome!!! This just eliminated xbox live…Bye bye microsoft

  • Mordecaidrake

    insta buy

  • Humberto

    anyone knows if this will work with videos within the device? home made vids? (not the dirty kind)

    • Fresh360

      I believe not because it isnt streaming directly from your device. If it could do local files also it would have been even more of a beast than what it is now.

      • mched

        What if they are uploaded to Google+

        • Fresh360

          Typed a long reply with a lot of ‘Maybes’ and ‘Ifs’ but i honestly have no idea.

          • fakekellex

            they domo’d G+ photos from the chrome browser. Wish the G+ app had cast support at launch, but I’m sure that is coming.

    • BroRob

      It works with YouTube. Upload your videos there and then stream to the TV.

    • PSU_DI

      I’m not sure if any of use know for sure either way, BUT Google Play Movies app does have support for personal videos. I would suppose that since the app has Chromecast support you MAY be able to do your local videos

  • aye_winchell

    Ok so my transaction is processing…..and has been, for a bit now, it is ever going to get processed?

  • PSU_DI

    If this lets me cast/watch ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN and the other major networks websites from my laptop to TV, than GOOGLE TAKE MY MONEY x5!, and buh bye expensive Comcast cable package.

  • Skrewee Lewee

    And I spent all that extra money to have a SmarTV?! Dammit.

  • litobirdy

    Dammit, now i cant decide if I should buy this or those Android on a stick devices. for about 20 more bucks I hvae full fledged android on my tv and control it with my mobile device anyway. hmmmm

    • PSU_DI

      Those android sticks can’t get you the major networks websites on your TV, but is sounds like chromecast can!

      • litobirdy

        I’m fine with that. I Just care about Youtube and web browsing mainly. but those android sticks come with everything else.

  • Dee Mann

    Does it do mirroring though?????????

    • socarwolverine

      No

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      I mean they released an sdk, an app will do it.

      • joejoe5709

        Right. Probably not out of the box, but I’m sure someone will find a way.

  • Guest

    So how would you hook this up to your surround sound system? I do not want to use my TV speakers

    • socarwolverine

      Can’t you hook up your TV to your system, turn off the TV speakers and the audio should play through your system. That’s how my setup is currently

      • JMonkeYJ

        i also do that with an optical audio cable. it’s pretty great…a lot fewer wires to my receiver :)

        • socarwolverine

          An optical audio cable is what I used also, but I have a soundbar so essentially the TV is my receiver for all of my differnet sources.

    • fakekellex

      you’ll need to buy a cable that will hook from your TV out and go into your Receiver (audio IN). Not sure what kind of cable. Some have optical?

      • Steve Swall

        Optical cable is what you would need.

    • Robert Macri

      I’ll be putting this right into my AVR as it has hdmi in.

      • fakekellex

        would that affect the “automatic on” portion of it when you hit the “cast” button on your phone? It would seem to me that it would have to have a way to switch your AVR to the correct input.

        • Robert Macri

          You would still need to change inputs on your TV if it was hooked into the TV’s hdmi. Unless I missed something.

          • fakekellex

            pretty sure you don’t. I thought that was the selling point. I thought some people felt it creepy that you hit the cast button and the TV auto switches.

          • Robert Macri

            Looks like you are right… I don’t know how to do that then. I guess optical out from your tv to avr would have to suffice, which adds a second cable to my setup and I would still need to switch inputs on the AVR to hear it in surround.

          • Luxferro

            It probably works using HDMI-CEC, so if your equipment all has it, or variations of manufacturers HDMI-CEC, and they all play nice together, than it can work.

          • sirmeili

            The specs mention CEC specifically, so that isp robably it. The only bad part is that I believe the spec isn’t universal and is manufacturer specific. Just the channel that they send he commands is a standard. So chrome has to support all the different HDMI-CEC command from all manufacturers (past and present) to really make this shine.

            And the bad part is that I don’t think it will work all that well through a receiver, especially if it differs from your tv maker. I still bought one, just to play with, though. At $35, it was hard not to.

            Not to mention, like they said, it’s better than air play as I can use any device to use it. Now I don’t have to buy a receive with “ChromeCast”, I can just use one of the HDMI ports to get it.

          • Luxferro

            I know this crappy experience firsthand. 1-2 years ago I bought new tv, avr and a hdmi-CEC dongle for my htpc just so I can have everything with HDMI-CEC.

            Long story short, samsung made my UN55D8000 TV so it can turn off other HDMI-CEC devices, but doesn’t allow it to automatically turn stuff on. So it will turn off my AVR, but won’t turn it on. They give you a crappy toggle in their onscreen menu to turn stuff on, rather than an option to automatically turn stuff on.

  • fakekellex

    Was really hoping that Google+ app would support this so I could “throw” my personal pics and vids into this. Big omission IMO, but you can do it through the chrome browser on your PC/Mac.

    I’m just guessing, but they’re probably working on a way to put G+ onto the TV beyond just the photo/video gallery portion. IN other words, its probably much more difficult to put your news feed up there as well and thats why the G+ app doesn’t have the support yet.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    AND CAN WE GET GAMES ON THIS!!!!! My android device as a controller? please game devs. Take this to the next level.

    • Christopher Ford

      This is where this needs to go!

    • Game_On

      My vision: Chromecast the game to the screen then your phone/tablet switches into a dedicated gamepad… WIN!

    • PSU_DI

      LAG will be the biggest issue to this. In the demo today there was at least a 1 second lag time between the devices and the TV. IF they can find a way over this issue it would be awesome

  • Zach K

    What i need to know is if you can use chrome on your phone/tablet and mirror it to the TV with this thing and basically surf the web on your TV that way.

    • JG

      if the API allows for it I don’t see why not. Plus, with all these “recent” chrome experiments that they do with the games where you use your browser and mobile device, I don’t think its wrong to say those experiments might have been used for this device…

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Hands down this is todays mvp. I just bought a $40 hdmi cord/adapter for my macbook (it’s belkin) so bro, i am mad. If best buy lets me return it without a restocking fee i’ll make the switch.

    • ddh819

      bb is pretty lenient about returning cables, in my experience