Google Chromecast Digital HD Media Streamer NEW
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End Date: Saturday Dec-7-2013 2:10:04 PST
Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player - HDMI streaming for televisions
End Date: Friday Dec-20-2013 8:24:40 PST
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
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Google Chromecast Digital HD Media Streamer BRAND NEW
End Date: Tuesday Dec-24-2013 14:51:38 PST
Buy It Now for only: $35.00
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|Type||Digital media player|
|Release date||July 24, 2013(United States)|
|System-on-chip used||Marvell DE3005-A1|
|Connectivity||HDMI (supports CEC), Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz)|
|Dimensions||72 mm × 35 mm × 12 mm|
Chromecast is a digital media player developed by Google. The device, a 2.83-inch (72 mm) dongle, plays audio/video content on a high-definition television by streaming it via Wi-Fi from the Internet or local network. Users select the media to play on their television from the Google Chrome web browser on a personal computer or from a supported app on their mobile device. The device was announced on July 24, 2013 and made available for purchase on the same day for US$35, along with a limited-time promotion for three free months of Netflix.
Features and operation
Measuring 2.83 inches (72 mm), Chromecast plugs into a television's HDMI port, while the power is supplied by connecting the device's micro-USB port to an external power supply or a USB port. The device connects to the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection to the user's home network. Chromecast works in two ways, both of which stream content to a television. The first employs mobile apps and Web apps. The second, called "tab casting", can mirror almost any content displayed by the web browser Google Chrome running on a personal computer.
- The primary method of playing media on the device is through Chromecast-enabled mobile apps and Web apps, which control program selection, playback and volume. The media is streamed by the Chromecast, thus allowing the controlling device to avoid incurring any mobile data usage while freeing it for other tasks, such as answering a call, without disrupting playback. Both Android and iOS mobile apps are supported, as are Web apps running on computers using Google Chrome (on Windows, OS X and Chrome OS) through an extension.
- Tab casting mirrors the content of a Chrome browser tab on a television. The quality of the image depends on the processing power of the computer, and minimum system requirements apply to video streaming. Content that uses plug-ins, such as Silverlight and QuickTime, is not fully supported: the stream may lack sound or image. Google lists the feature as beta.
Chrome and mobile apps
At Chromecast's release, YouTube and Netflix were available as Android, iOS, and Chrome Web apps. Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV were also available, but only as Android apps. Chromecast-enabled applications for Hulu Plus and Pandora Radio were released in October 2013. Additional Chromecast-enabled apps are expected when Google releases the production version of the Chromecast software development kit. Jeff Lawrence, founder and CEO of PlayOn, said that Google was giving "most favored developer" status to major streaming companies, a move he found understandable from Google's perspective, but frustrating to other developers given the lack of a concrete timeline. Google subsequently invited developers to a two-day hackathon on December 7th at its Mountain View headquarters, offering the opportunity to test drive the SDK's "upcoming release".
|AOL On||in development||AOL Inc.||Video|
|Blip||in development||Blip Networks, Inc.||Video|
|Google Slides||Chrome 32+*||No||No||Presentations|
|HBO Go||Yes||Yes||Yes||Home Box Office Inc.||Video|
|Pandora Radio||No||Yes||Yes||Pandora Media, Inc.||Music|
|Play Movies & TV||No||Yes||No||Video|
|PlayCast for PlayOn||ready||ready||ready||MediaMall Technologies, Inc.||Video|
|Pocket Casts||No||ready||ready||Shifty Jelly||PodCasts|
|PostTV||in development||The Washington Post Company||Video|
|Redbox Instant||in development*||Redbox||Video|
|Simple.TV||in development||Really Simple Software Inc.||Video|
|Tonido Home Cloud||in development||CodeLathe LLC||Cloud|
|VEVO||in development||VEVO, LLC||Video|
|Zattoo||in development||Zattoo Europa AG||Video|
Chromecast does not currently support apps that stream video or audio stored locally on a mobile device. An update of Chromecast's internal software "broke" support for AllCast, an Android application that provided this function. Responding to a reporter inquiry from The Verge, Google said it "would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content" pending the production release of the device's software development kit.
Local content on a PC or attached external drive, if playable on a tab of the Chrome browser (examples: .mp3, .avi, ...), can stream to the Chromecast.
The PC display and sound can be mirrored by launching Chrome Remote Desktop, Chromecasting the tab, then connecting to your own computer. However, the cursor does not appear on the TV.
Chromecast contains the Marvell 88DE3005 system on a chip. This integrated circuit includes hardware decoding of VP8 and H.264 codecs. Radio communication is handled by AzureWave NH–387 Wi-Fi which supports 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz). The device has 512 MB of Micron DDR3L RAM and 2 GB of flash storage.
Software development kit
Google released a beta "Google Cast SDK" to allow developers to make their applications compatible with Chromecast. Developers must create a "sender" app for Google Chrome, Android, or iOS to send the media, along with a "receiver" page that appears on the Chromecast device to play the content. As of August 22, 2013, Google has released preview version 1.0.1, which will only be supported short term and is intended only for app development and testing. The company strongly recommended that vendors not publicly distribute apps until the official SDK is released.
Chromecast uses the DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) protocol, co-developed by Netflix and YouTube, to search for available devices on a Wi-Fi network. Once a device is discovered, the protocol synchronizes information on how to connect to the device.
At the introductory press conference, Hugo Barra, then Google's vice president of Android product management, said that Chromecast is "running a simplified version of Chrome OS." Subsequently, a team of hackers reported that the device is "more Android than ChromeOS" and appears to be adapted from software embedded in Google TV.
Google lists Chromecast operating system updates on the Chrome Releases blog. As with Chrome OS devices, Chromecast operating system updates are downloaded automatically without notification. As of September 18, 2013, the current build is 13300.
As of December 4, 2013, the current build of the Chromecast firmware is 14651, which brought a redesigned home screen and new set of wallpapers.
Release and reception
Chromecast was made available in the US for purchase online on July 24, 2013. To entice consumers to purchase the device, Google initially offered buyers free access to the Netflix service for a three-month period. Chromecast quickly sold out on Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and the Google Play Store, and within 24 hours, the Netflix promotion was ended due to high demand for the device. On October 19, 2013, the Chromecast mobile app was released outside of the US for the first time, perhaps signaling that Google is getting ready to release the device in other markets.
Nilay Patel of The Verge gave the Chromecast an 8.5/10 score in his review, saying, "The Chromecast is basically an impulse purchase that just happens to be the simplest, cheapest, and best solution for getting a browser window on your TV." Speaking of the adapter's potential, he said, "it seems like the Chromecast might actually deliver on all that potential, but Google still has a lot of work to do." In particular, Patel pointed to Apple's AirPlay protocol as an example of an established competitor with many more features. TechCrunch's review of the device said, "Even with a bug or two rearing its head, the Chromecast is easily worth its $35 pricetag." Gizmodo gave the device a positive review, highlighting the ease of setup and sharing video. In comparing the device to competitors, the review said, "Chromecast isn't Google's version of Apple TV, and it's not trying to be... But Chromecast also costs a third of what those devices do, and has plenty of potential given that its SDK is just a few days old." David Pogue of The New York Times praised the device for its $35 retail price, saying, "It's already a fine price for what this gadget does, and it will seem better and better the more video apps are made to work with it." Pogue noted the limitations of the device's screen mirroring feature and said using only mobile devices as a remote control was not "especially graceful", but he called Chromecast the "smallest, cheapest, simplest way yet to add Internet to your TV".