Have you ever wanted to watch a movie from your computer on your TV ? Typically you would need to connect your laptop to the TV via a HDMI cable. But what if the movie you wanted to watch was on your phone or on your tablet ? Unless you have purchased a special cable to make this possible you are out of luck. One day when your TV breaks you hope to get one of those new “connected tv” that is able to hook up onto your WiFi and then you could stream your movies directly onto your TV.
What if you could buy a $35 device that plugs into any TV HMI slot and instantly transforms it into a connected TV allowing you to stream movies directly from the internet ?
This is now a possibility as Google introduces Chromecast. Its their latest attempt at trying to capture the connected TV market by ensuring your TV is connected to the net and controlled by through your home WiFi network by your PC, phone or tablet.
The device is said to be simple and straight forward to set up and use without a need to call your local Techie for help. Once you slot it into your TV, you use your Android or iOS device to choose what content you would like to stream and the Chromecast will simply play it on the TV. Google demonstrated the device using a Windows laptop and an iPhone.
Chromecast can be used to not only watch movies but also check e-mail on your computer, tablet or phone while a custom YouTube playlist broadcasts on your TV.
At launch, Chromecast only streams content from YouTube, Google Play and Netflix, however other streaming options are in the pipeline and expected in the future.
Clearly Google has set its sights on capturing the home streaming market and takes on established devices such as Apple TV which is well established in the market.
Currently the Chromecast stick is available via the Google Play store in the USA and at electronics retailers such as Best Buy an each devices is bundled with three months of free Netflix streaming.
For us in South Africa, the obvious concern is about the bandwidth required. Will it eat through our capped data and what will the quality be like. Unfortunately Chromecast is not available just yet and this is the message you get when trying to purchase it: