Google has unveiled its latest venture, a dongle that plugs into the HMDI socket on television sets, allowing users to stream content from their computer or mobile device to their TVs in high quality.
The Chromecast dongle is about the same size as your average USB storage stick, and syncs with users’ existing laptops, tablets and smartphones to display internet video content such as Netflix and YouTube on their flat-screen televisions.
At just £22, and with a three-month subscription to Netflix included, the Chromecast is the lowest-priced TV streaming device on the market, which Google hopes will give it the edge over its competitors.
Existing devices on the market include the Apple TV and Roku set-top boxes, both of which currently retail for around £50, with no extras such as subscriptions to streaming services included.
Furthermore, the Roku and Apple devices stream their content directly from the internet, while Google’s Chromecast pass the hard work of processing the content onto their synced devices, which then stream to the dongle.
Manufacturing the Chromecast in this way, Google says, allows the company to keep costs down, and will provide a higher quality picture.
Google has long been determined to make a breakthrough into the living room, seeing it as a lucrative opportunity to sell more advertising space, which brings in most of its revenue.
Although their history in this area hasn’t exactly been illustrious, with previous failed ventures including Google TV tie-ins with TV manufacturers, and the Nexus Q orb.
However, due to its simplicity and value for money, Chromecast may just prove to be Google’s Eureka moment.