You may have heard a bit about Google Chromecast, and may be wondering just what is Google Chromecast? It sounds like a process, but Google Chromecast is actually an Internet broadcast device (much like an Internet television device, such as Apple TV, or a Roku). So, just how is Google Chromecast different from an Apple TV, a Myth TV or a Roku? Here’s how.
To start, the form factor is completely different – whereas the other Internet TV and broadcast devices are generally boxes that you connect to your high definition TV (HDTV) with an HDMI cable, Google Chromecast is a small dongle that plugs directly into an HDMI port on your HD TV.
Then there’s the price point: at just $35, Google Chromecast is by far the least expensive device out there.
But there’s a reason for that. Where Apple TV and Roku and the like are self-contained Internet channel ‘receivers’, for lack of a better word, the “cast” in Chromecast refers the fact that the Chromecast is a passive receiver for things that you ‘send it’ – i.e. broadcast to it – from other devices. Specifically devices running the Google Chrome browers.
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Here’s how it works: You fire up Netflix, or other compatible services, on your device, such as on your iPhone, or iPad, or laptop, or Android phone or tablet. Then you stream it through Chromecast to your television set.
Chromecast’s biggest selling point, however, is what else you can do with that device (iPhone, Android phone, laptop, etc.), because unlike many other streaming setups, with Chromecast you can multitask – meaning that once you start streaming that movie from Netflix over to your television, you can go to another window or app on your device, while Netflix is streamed in the background to your television.
So, at the end of the day, Chromecast is competing not with the set-top type devices such as Apple TV or the Roku, but with other device-to-television streaming solutions (primarily connecting your device to your television with a cable) that allow you to stream from your device to your television.
Put another way, Chromecast is the way to cut the cord if you want to stream from your device to your television, without being limited by cable length, or when you want to be able to run the media in the background while you do something else on your device.
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