Google Chromecast Is an Entertainment Game-Changer: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-08-02 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Although Google has suffered from a few missteps in its bid to take control over the living room, the company's latest creation, Chromecast, a video dongle that connects to televisions, might just be a solid step in the right direction. Google's dongle, which costs just $35, is already sold out, and likely won't be available again for several weeks. The device is the kind of product that consumers are clamoring for and offers a wealth of opportunities both now and in the future. But what makes Chromecast such a game-changer in the world of entertainment? Well, part of it is due to its potential. With the right moves and the right partnerships, Google could turn Chromecast into a handy, pocketable tool that can be brought anywhere and deliver a full multimedia experience. In other words, as interesting and compelling as the first-generation Chromecast is, expect much more in future iterations. Here, eWEEK looks at what's about Chromecast has excited consumers so much in the brief time it's been available.

 
 
 
  • Google Chromecast Is an Entertainment Game-Changer: 10 Reasons Why

    By Don Reisinger
    0-Google Chromecast Is an Entertainment Game-Changer: 10 Reasons Why
  • It's Extremely Cheap

    Customers looking to bring Web-based applications to their televisions will need to pay at least $1,000 to pick up an Internet-ready set. If they'd rather opt for a set-top box, they'll spend around $100 for an Apple TV and approximately $60 for a Roku unit. The Chromecast is just $35. In other words, it's a great deal.
    1-It's Extremely Cheap
  • Chromecast Works Anywhere

    Although it's nice to have products like the Apple TV or Roku and televisions that can connect to the Web, it's not so easy to bring those products with you to other homes. The Chromecast is just a USB dongle connecting video and audio to any television. In other words, it's light and portable enough to go anywhere.
    2-Chromecast Works Anywhere
  • The Web Is Moving to the Living Room

    The Chromecast is effectively capitalizing on one of the most important trends impacting the industry right now: the availability of the Web in the living room. Chromecast isn't as high-powered at the moment as some might like, but it comes with enough Web-based features to make it a practical, interesting Internet-ready product.
    3-The Web Is Moving to the Living Room
  • The Apps Are All Right There

    Although the Chromecast will allow for mirroring (more on that in a bit), it also supports several native applications, including Netflix, YouTube, and the Google Play marketplace. Granted, it would be nice to see native Amazon Prime Instant Video and HBO Go apps, but for the money, all the apps the average person needs to get started are right there.
    4-The Apps Are All Right There
  • Bring On the Mobile Devices

    Google made the intelligent decision not to just support Android with Chromecast. In fact, the Chromecast will support Android smartphones, iPhones, iPads and many other mobile products. Plus, it doesn't come with a remote, so all those devices can easily control the entire experience.
    5-Bring On the Mobile Devices
  • It Eliminates the Need for Other Boxes

    Current Apple TV owners might still keep the device around, but the truth is, those who want simpler functionality will actually be able to toss out their existing TV connectivity for the Chromecast. If all those customers are after is Netflix streaming and the ability to play music on the television, the Chromecast delivers.
    6-It Eliminates the Need for Other Boxes
  • The Sky Is the Limit

    Let's not forget that this is the first run for the Chromecast. For Google, the device is little more than a test to see how customers will respond to such a product, and Google can't be unhappy about that. Since it's proven so popular, Google will probably dedicate more resources to add all kinds of features to the product. Can you say full TV control?
    7-The Sky Is the Limit
  • More Apps Are Coming

    Before the higher-end products, such as full TV control and channel guides, come to Chromecast, expect more companies to allow their native apps to run with the streaming device. Companies like Amazon, Apple, and other providers like popular products, although they might fear it as a competitive threat. But they can't deny Chromecast is popular. This factor should make it easier for Google to attract more partners.
    8-More Apps Are Coming
  • Screen Mirroring Is the Next Big Thing

    Chromecast comes with full support for screen mirroring. So, while some popular applications, like HBO Go, aren't supported out of the box, users can simply open up the platform on their handset and mirror that image to their televisions. Screen-mirroring is a hugely popular feature and something that more devices should be using. It's nice to see such a cheap product supporting the feature.
    9-Screen Mirroring Is the Next Big Thing
  • Simplicity Is What Customers Want

    Simplicity is ultimately what drives customers to products. That's why touch-screen-based products are so popular and why Google has tried to reduce the complexity of its many products. Chromecast is arguably the simplest home-entertainment device out there and that is why people are quickly embracing it.
    10-Simplicity Is What Customers Want
 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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