"Google Chromecast review: can you make your dumb TV a smart one for just $35?"
Despite the best efforts of Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, LG and others, most of the televisions in people's homes these days are not of the smart variety. However, there are hundreds of millions of regular televisions packing HDMI ports, and Google's new Chromecast device offers a way to put some brains into those dumb TVs by giving them access to web-based content. Having a Chromecast dongle connected to your TV means you can stream videos straight from a Google Play, Netflix or YouTube app, or mirror the content in any open tab in Google's Chrome browser using a tab casting feature.
Sure, we've seen devices with almost identical functionality, like Plair, but Chromecast is backed by Google, whose relationships with content providers and developers mean that the Google Cast technology powering it will soon be popping up in even more apps. Not to mention, there's the price. At $35, it's almost a third of the cost of Plair and also Roku 3 and Apple TV, the current most popular devices that bring internet video to your TV. Even for such a paltry outlay, is it a worthy addition to your living room? And is it really "the easiest way to enjoy online video and music on your TV" as Google's marketing would have us believe? Read on to find out.