Okay, perhaps not entirely obsolete. But it’s hard to argue with a $35 Wi-Fi enabled streaming stick that plugs into the regular old Plain Jane non-MHL-capable HDMI port of your TV (or, as I’m planning on using it, into the HDMI input of my OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray player), and streams video and pictures from your Android smartphone or tablets, iOS device (yep!), or Chrome browser on your PC or Mac. YouTube and Netflix are already supported (in fact, Wired is reporting that the Chromecast, as it’s called, comes with three free months of Netflix service — even for current subscribers!).
And according to All Things D, within a few months, Chromecast will be able to mirror web pages on the big screen, effectively replicating anything in your smartphone or computer browser on your TV. Which sounds like a seriously handy way to get around those broadcasters’ websites that blocked Google TV (remember that thing?) from accessing streaming TV shows in the living room.
Of course, it may not matter to most of you that said mirroring functionality is a few months away. It’ll probably be that long before you can get your hands on one. Currently, the Google store shows new orders as shipping in “4-6 weeks.” And Amazon currently shows the Chromecast as out of stock with no new availability date.
It’s worth noting, of course, that Chromecast doesn’t feature any of its streaming services on board. There isn’t a Netflix player inside, and memory for the device is a paltry 256K. No, seriously.
But it still supports video of resolutions up to 1080p and features 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. So, yeah, given how quickly the first batch of dongles got snatched up, I’d say Google is off to a way more successful start than it had with Google TV. Which, apparently, is still kicking. But does it really matter anymore for most consumers?
Via: [Google Blog]