Enter Chromecast – Apple TV’s new Contender

Yesterday, Google launched a new product – the Chromecast, which brings the web content to your TV.

The Chromecast is an HDMI dongle that communicates with video and audio apps — including YouTube, Netflix and Pandora — running on Android or iOS, and transfers that content to your big screen HDTV.

You can also control content on the big screen using apps on your phones or tablets. Another neat feature is that you can “cast” content from the Chrome browser to the Chromecast. There’s also beta support for bringing any Chrome tab to the Chromecast.

For now, the Chromecast will support:

  • YouTube
  • Netflix
  • Google Play
  • Google Music
  • Chrome for Windows, Mac and Chroembook Pixel

I agree that the implementation seems extremely similar to what Apple offers with AirPlay and the Apple TV. However, the biggest difference with Chromecast is that it is cross-platform. Google is also launching a new Google Cast SDK to make it easy for iOS, Android and Chrome devs to add Chrome Cast support to their existing apps.

“Our goal is to partner to create an ecosystem of apps as well as devices,” Google said. “While the Chromecast device is the first instantiation of Google Cast, we expect the technology to be embedded in a range of devices from our partners.”

Another major advantage is the Chromecast will sell for $35 at Amazon, Best Buy and the Google Play store and will include three free months of Netflix for a limited time.

Does this sound appealing to you? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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