Back in July, Google announced that they would be releasing a digital media streaming adapter to stream to everyone’s home television. Google has decided to create a direct competitor to the Apple TV, and it has been a hit according to the sales numbers. There has been a shortage of the little dongle due to the massive scavenger hunt by Google novices and pros alike. Not only is this a great device, but at a price of $35 it is priced well below the Apple TV and many other streaming devices.
The Google Chromecast comes in at a scant 2.83 inches (72mm) long and plugs into a television’s HDMI port. Unfortunately, the dongle requires a power supply which is done by either plugging into the TV’s USB port or the wall power supply that is included. Depending on the method used, this necessary power could add to the wired clutter behind many TVs. The way that it works is by connecting to the local Wi-Fi connection of 802.11b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz, this is a solid speed that enables the device to have minimal lag issues. To set it up, the user has to go to the Google website while on the same network and input some data while viewing the TV. Once the easy setup is complete, the Chromecast brings some great capabilities to the TV. As of right now, the Chromecast is able to stream Netflix, YouTube, and Play Movies/TV/Music from Google Play. All this is available by either running from the Google Chrome web browser, Android version 2.3 or higher devices, or iOS devices. (Currently the Google Play features aren’t available for the iOS devices.) The great thing about this device is what will soon be available! On deck are applications such as HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Pandora Radio, Redbox Instant, and many more. Along with those applications, the company has set up a Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows even individual app makers to get in on the action. With the SDK, the possibilities for Chromecast are limitless.
Now this article may have you excited to run out and get the device but put your brakes. The three outlets of sale (Google, Best Buy, and Amazon) have essentially exhausted their supply. As of today, if you were to buy on Google it will take 2-3 weeks for the device to be delivered to your door. If you were to buy at Best Buy, you can’t buy it online and would have to have your own scavenger hunt and hopefully there are some left in stores. (It seems that Best Buy gets random shipments once a month.) Finally, if you want to buy it on Amazon, they are currently stating that you wouldn’t be able to get the dongle to your door step until October! As a last ditch resort, there is possibility of buying one on EBay but those prices are so high, you could wait and buy two or three instead. Chromecast is a great device and has a great future ahead of it, but good luck on getting one!