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The Chromecast dongle, announced today, allows users to control their TV through the Chrome browser or supported Android and iOS apps. You can send YouTube, Netflix, Play Music, Play Videos, and other content to your TV. Currently in beta, you can also mirror Chrome tabs. The Chromecast can also control supported TVs.

It's available for $35 in the US, with other countries coming soon.
 

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Its a really interesting product, I've got a $35 Android powered HDMI stick that I use when travelling on business.....it works but is not that great, the idea of being able to push my tablet or phone screen to a TV and control it is very attractive.
 

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You also get three months of free Netflix. At least you do for the US, not sure about Canada.

I have no real use for one of these, since both my TVs have full-fledged PCs connected to them, but I'll still pick one up at that price just to play with it.
 

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I'm surprised that this isn't mentioned more, but I've been using this exact functionality, and you can too. I use my console (Xbox 360) and a iPad.

Load up the YouTube app on your Xbox and on your iPad. You can browse for videos on your iPad, and there is a "TV" icon - the same icon in the Chromecast demo videos - that shows up if your Xbox YouTube app and iPad YouTube app are both using the same Google account. You can tap that icon, and then you get a list of all the TVs available to "send" the video to, pick one, and then presto - the Xbox fetches the same video that you were watching on the iPad, even at the same point and time.

So, the functionality that is being demoed has existed for quite a while now. The new bit is just that they have a $35 client device you can buy.

So, I imagine many of you would be able to do this right now, without buying any additional hardware.
 

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I believe Netflix on the PS3 can do this too. However, this thing can also mirror Chrome tabs, control your TV, is a fraction of the cost, promises support for a wide variety of platforms and services, and doesn't require learning a new interface.

Of all the things Google announced today, I think this is the biggest deal, by far.
 

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The same functionality works for Netflix & You Tube on the PS3, the cool thing is that you can get a small HDMI stick for $35 that does the same thing. I can move it from TV to TV, take it on trips with me......a PS3 is a little bulky to carry round.

Plus the Chromecast stick gives you the ability to 'throw' Chrome tabs onto the TV.
 

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This is an interesting device but the bad news is that it's completely locked down by Google. It requires an app to control it and (according to the report I read) it currently only supports 4 services. Google will track what it's used for and apply their own set of DRM rules, which are very restrictive. If it's anything like Chrome, Google will decide where you are located based on their own determination, not what a proxy tells it, so watching US services from outside the US could be tricky. And, of course, it's designed to be used with US services so it's also designed to be useless anywhere else.

The good news is that apps are available for a wide range of platforms, including Android and iOS, and it's dirt cheap. That's probably because Google is planning to make money from ad services and sales. Want to buy that movie you just watched? How about streaming these other movies for $$$? How about a purchasing a subscription to YouTube Video, Amazon Video, Flickr, Hulu, Vudu, etc. Just log into your Google account now. You get the idea.
 

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For $35 I'll be ordering just to play with it if nothing else. Right now the Play Store doesn't accept my primary address as an eligible "ship to" address. If Canada isn't added to the list in the next couple of months I'll just order it to my US location.
 

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SageTV is dead, I'm afraid. The team is likely working on GoogleTV, but I kind of think Google is done with that segment. Online streaming is their thing, and it's the future of TV anyway.

It's US only now, but they said they were working to add more countries as soon as possible.

This is an interesting device but the bad news is that it's completely locked down by Google.
Not really sure what you mean by that. You can control it with any supported platform (iOS, Android, OSX, or Windows) through apps or through Chrome. Services need to add support, but there's an open API so any service can add Chromecast support if they want to.

And, of course, it's designed to be used with US services so it's also designed to be useless anywhere else.
Again, not really sure what you mean by this. Netflix, Youtube, and Google Play Movies all work just fine here in Canada. Obviously Chrome works here too. And any Canadian service can add support, if they want to.

That's probably because Google is planning to make money from ad services and sales.
I'm sure that's part of it. They can make sure that the YouTube ads still get shown, and they can encourage you to use Google Play Movies/Music, but I see this as a different play for them. For one, people using this dongle aren't using an Apple TV or an Xbox, which keeps them from being sucked into one of those ecosystems. For another, it encourages people to use Chrome as their web browser. I think those two are both a bigger deal.
 

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Google Chromecast

This looks great - an HDMI dongle that allows you to receive Netflix, etc that costs $35.

I tried to order one but it looks like they are not available to Canadians.

Can anyone think of why this wouldn't work in Canada, especially if you use a service like Unblockus?
 

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SageTV is dead, I'm afraid. The team is likely working on GoogleTV, but I kind of think Google is done with that segment. Online streaming is their thing, and it's the future of TV anyway.
SageTV actually isn't totally dead as it is the PVR component of the Google Fiber project - the info screens even show it as SageTV version 8. But that is only of use to people in parts of Kansas City so far.

As long as Google Fiber is offering traditional TV services similar to CableTV then Google is still somewhat operating in that segment. But it is not clear if they ever will decide to get serious and significantly ramp up their Google Fiber efforts. At their current pace it will take them a few hundred years to roll this out across the US, never mind Canada.
 

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They said in the presentation that they will be expanding to other countries as soon as possible. I would suspect supply constraints are the holdup. They likely expect to sell a lot of these, and want to keep them stocked in the US.

I imagine we will see them here soon.
 
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