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Will Google’s Chromecast Change TV Game?

Yesterday Google hosted their much-anticipated “Breakfast with Sandar Pichai” event. And while the release of the new Nexus 7 was the headliner, Google’s new TV dongle, Chromecast, has been generating a ton of buzz. At first glance, my feelings were mixed. While it was good news that there was another solution to get the internet to your TV— and competition is always good for the consumer—Chromecast still seemed to be ‘just another addition’ to the growing space. However, after giving it a closer look, two things make it really compelling – it’s cross platform and insanely cheap at only $35. As reported by

“Most streaming devices are a gateway between your TV and the Internet. They have their own interface, which often mimics an app store, and usually include a separate remote control. But Google’s Chromecast does the opposite: This $35 gadget turns your laptop, tablets, and phones into remote controls for viewing video, photos, music, and websites on your TV screen.

“It seems like an obvious solution to the Internet-on-television conundrum. But it’s not the first stick-sized device to try and think outside the streaming TV box. Roku, which was named one of our Most Innovative Companies this year, introduced its Streaming Stick in 2012. But that device only works with sets that have a newer MHL connection rather than simple HDMI. And there’s also Plair, a Wi-Fi-enabled dongle that can connect any smartphone to any television (that has a USB port). Both of these alternatives not only have drawbacks compared with Chromecast, but they cost $99, more than double what Google is charging.”

The $35 price is the real kicker for Google with Chromecast, because at that price it becomes an impulse buy with such a low barrier to entry, more people will be willing to give it a shot. It’s probably just what Google needs to help them compete with Apple TV. Because they haven’t been successful in the space previously as noted by

“Google hasn’t had much success thus far in its attempts to conquer the living room. Google TV has been a flop, and the spherical black Nexus Q streaming media device was basically killed before it hit the street.”

Well, now we have something a bit more promising. Also, the strategy aligns itself  more closely with Google’s product strategy: offer free or next-to-free products and they will provide you with advertising. Oops, I meant information, not advertising.

Check out the Google Chromecast video below and tell us what you think.

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