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Google Chromecast: The tiny (and cheap!) multimedia enabler!

Hey, what if I told you that there is now a tiny device that can transform any TV into a smart TV? And it only costs all of US$35 (Php1,520)?

Say hello to my little friend, the Google Chromecast.

20130726-Google-Chromecast-up-close-Technoodling

Sure, much of the press was lately focused on the new Nexus 7. But personally, I was more excited with the less hyped Chromecast. This USB drive-sized gadget plugs directly to your TV’s HDMI port and turns it into a web-enabled smart TV that you can control with your mobile device!

It’s not often that a tiny, low-cost device can get to excite tech lovers.  I mean sure there’s the Raspberry Pi, but how many actually use the darn thing as a media player? (Mine is just lying next to the TV, a victim of too-high expectations and sluggish actual performance).

Chromecast allows you to avail of Youtube and other Google content (Google Music, Google Plus photos), plus Pandora and Netflix (for which you need a VPN for Philippine access) on your TV.

And yes, you can use your smartphone (iPhone, iPad, Android device) or computer (via Chrome for Mac, Chrome for Windows, and generally any computer that can run Chrome) to control it. It’s essentially a web-controlled web-using device.

Will it run content from your own network, such as from your computer? Sadly, no. At least not yet. But who knows? The software development kit for it is already out, so sooner or later someone could figure it out.

It’s not a self-contained unit though– you still need to power it with a USB port. If your TV comes with a USB port then that’s good enough. Otherwise, prepare to set up a USB adapter somewhere.

For just $35, it’s a steal. And who’s to say what it will be capable of in the future?

The catch? It’s sold out right now. As in frickin’ sold out. I did reserve my unit already via Amazon, and will just wait it out until it comes back in stock.

Art

Art

Art is a long-time editor for a number of technology publications. He is a Palanca-winning writer (he got lucky) whose day job is to try to be as serious as possible while being a management consultant and lecturer. His favorite noodles: chapchae.

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