A new device from Google makes it easy to stream video from several popular services to a high-definition TV. Chromecast is tiny enough to dangle from a keychain when not in use, but it packs a big punch for a low price.
At merely $35, Chromecast is irresistible. Using your home Wi-Fi network, it streams some of your favorite shows from some of your favorite services, including Netflix and Google’s YouTube. It takes only a few minutes to set up, and the device worked flawlessly.
Chromecast joins Roku, Apple TV and several other devices meant to project Internet content onto TVs. In the early days of online video, people were content watching movies and shows on their desktop or laptop computers. But as these services become more popular and even replace cable TV in some households, there’s a greater desire to get them playing on television sets, which tend to be the largest screens in living rooms.
That’s especially true when your computer is a phone or tablet and has a smaller screen.
Chromecast, which is about the size of a thumb drive, plugs directly into the HDMI port of an HDTV. A USB cable must be inserted at the other end of the Chromecast and connected to a power source, either a wall outlet or a USB port on the TV.