At $35, the Google Chromecast multimedia dongle is a no-brainer


Google had more to announce than just the latest version of Android and the new Nexus 7 in San Francisco today. The company also introduced Chromecast, a new HDMI-based multimedia stick that will let you stream content from your Android, iPhone or Chrome devices wirelessly, easily and efficiently.

The Chromecast, retailing at just $35, gives folks a lane for beaming content such as streaming music, YouTube videos, and photos to their television at the click of a button. This will be possible with a “Chromecast” button that you’ll find in supported apps.

google chromecast


For instance, playing your music from Google Play Music on Chromecast is as simple as tapping the Chromecast button within the app. From there, your TV or home entertainment system picks up where your phone left off. Conversely, if you wanted to continue listening on your phone, you can disengage that connection and pick right back up.

The same is true for watching a video on YouTube or viewing photo albums from Google+. And you can even keep all of this stuff going on your TV while you continue to do stuff in the background. For instance, you can continue chatting on Hangouts while your TV is playing a song, or you can continue browsing the web on your Windows, Mac or ChromeOS-based PC while it’s showing photos on the big screen.

And it’s not just YouTube, Google Play Music and Chrome — the Chromecast SDK allows developers to implement the functionality in their apps with ease. Pandora and Netflix are already on board, and more are sure to be on the way once this device gets rolling.

Goodbye, Nexus Q

This is the Nexus Q re-imagined, and it’s what we wanted out of that now-defunct device to begin with. A lot of folks were sad to see the $300 Nexus Q die, but if this is what we get because of that — well, let’s just say that was a sacrifice worth making.


This is one of the most exciting products Google has announced in a long time, and for $35 I can’t imagine not being in for one of these once they become available. The Chromecast will go on sale today online (ships in 1-2 days, but no later than August 7th), and will be available in-store (at Best Buy) starting July 28th.

Find out more details over at the Google Play Store, or look for it on Amazon or Best Buy’s website if you prefer those online storefronts.

Chromecast Netflix Offer

We read the fine print for you and that 3 months of free Netflix applies to previous, current, and new Netflix members! If you were planning on paying for 3 months of Netflix anyways, you’re essentially buying a Chromecast for $11. That’s pretty amazing! Here is the quote:

“*Once your Chromecast ships, you will recieve an email with a promotional code for 3 months of Netflix. Offer valid for previous, new and existing Netflix members, one per Netflix account. Offer expires 12/31/13. For full promotion details, visit google.com/chromecast/offer.”

[via Chromespot]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. This is cool!

  2. Great price point, how can you not get one?

    1. Such a great useful piece of hardware! Score one for Google!

  3. Already purchased mine :-)

    1. Samsung really really let me down with their “internet TV features” (especially Netflix). Bought one to see how it works. :)

  4. I want this but first I want to know if it is updateable? *Edit: Bought it anyways, too cheap to not to buy it.

  5. This is going to be cool, esp if they add more apps

  6. if only i had a tv to support it and hopes maybe it will do local content as well or maybe there will be an app for that

    1. Works on any tv with HDMI.

      1. you assume I have a tv with a hdmi port lol

        1. I did because I made the assumption that everyone did. A TV with an HDMI port, or monitor, can be picked up for a few bucks.

          1. a few bucks yea but the size issue , i have a tv that weighs at least 80lbs it has av ports and coaxial port “I am old school(poor)” over here

          2. Honestly you spend about $100-200 extra a year powering those suckers (depending on size and age, and if how much you use it/leave it plugged in) versus a flatscreen, so your spending money either way. If that helps in your decision to upgrade.

          3. Dude I don’t even use it its all laptop and cellphone, cellphone for hotspot connectivity via latop use my laptop for hulu youtube netflix etc. but thanks this convo really has me looking at an upgrade 230 for a new monitor with the abilty to chromecast would change some things.

          4. its really got me thinking about it

  7. Still going to need to find another open outlet for it…none of the pics show the required USB power cord.

    1. It does say it is powered by USB. An open outlet shouldn’t be too big of a deal.

    2. I was wondering how it was powered. Didn’t think power over HDMI was possible.

      There should be a couple usb ports on most tv’s anyway.

      1. Power over HDMI is possible with MHL for sure, and possibly slimport actually. Newer TV’s have built in MHL, but I don’t think it has it since no Nexus Device has MHL, they all went for Slimport.

    3. I figured as much. If it was like the photo above that would be a no brainer for me. I have all my cords well organized around my television and the thought of having to squeeze in another device fills me with dread as I don’t think I have available power plugs. Now if I had an available USB plug already on my TV I think that would change things.

      Now excuse me while I run home to look at the back of my TV.

      1. It also comes with an hdmi extension cord, so you could theoretically plug it into an electrical outlet near the wall/surge protector, and then just have the hdmi cord running to the tv.

    4. Yeah, I wish HDMI offered power like USB, that’d be even sweeter. But still not bad. For $11 (taking the 3 months of Netflix into account), its worth it for me to give it a shot.

      I’ll probably grab it from Best Buy next week since the Play store is charging tax and $3.99 shipping.

  8. When is this coming to the UK? Already have the chrome extension. No brainer indeed.

  9. Not available in Germany :/

    1. I tell you what, buy two and ship them to me and I’ll ship you one of them :)

  10. Ordered. How can you not?!

  11. Can it play local content?

  12. What are you smoking? I already have had the iMediaShare app for a long time and can already do all this.

    1. Only if you have something to connect your TV to your network, or a TV that can. For $35, this an inexpensive something.

  13. Ordered

  14. Ordered mine :)

  15. About time there’s something that isn’t leaked ahead of time that is big! I want this now! Combine this with Google All Access! Oh yeah!

    1. Actually just the name ‘chromecast’ was leaked last night but nothing else was known about it until they showed it during the presentation.

    2. http://www.cultofandroid.com/29184/google-is-creating-a-chromekey-hdmi-dongle-behind-the-scenes-rumor/

      We had rumors back in June…I was waiting for it. Name is almost the same too, maybe ChromeKey was the codename.

  16. Doors anyone know what stores will carry this? I wanna pick one up on the 28th

    1. They said in the press event that Best Buy at least would be carrying it.

    2. Best Buy, Amazon, Google Play Store.

  17. I’m torn as I already have a googleTV box that does all this for me, but probably wont do it as well as Chromecast.

    Will they add a chromecast app so that I can install it on my Co-star?

    1. Same boat, cept my first reaction is “WTF no mention of GTV again”.

    2. Your google tv won’t stream a browser tab to your tv. You can share presentations, huluplus, cbs video with your tv. I wish that they had this framework on the gtv. Maybe they’ll roll it in.

      1. from what i can tell cbs/huluplus will NOT stream. its using a back-end system with a developer SDK to allow others to participate in the redirect. If CBS/Hulu jump on board you’re right … but it wont get us passed the silly broadcast limitation rules we have where some things refuse to stream on device hardware and are computer only.

        Basically this is a great cheep Netflix/youtube streamer if you don’t have one built into your bluray player … but little more.

  18. Amazon Video?

    1. You can stream what’s on your laptop chrome browser to the chromecast. So, there’s that, I guess. I’m with you though. Dedicated support for Amazon Video would be excellent!

      1. It might most likely come with supports soon!

  19. Could this be the beginning of the end of Google TV?

    1. Doubt it, although it might get rid of the HDMI cable for a Google TV device if Google TV can stream to it.

      Hopefully version 2 will have capture also, something of a SlingBox functionality. It would probably have to have DRM though unfortunately.

    2. Yeah, I thinks so. GTV didn’t thrive due to the networks blocking it. Hulu not being there is also another negative. Hulu is working on a chromecast app so I believe that this means the networks must somewhat be on board. Until the app is there you’ll be able to cast hulu from your pc/mac. Once Aereos or dyle tv create and app for chromecast it’ll all be over and we’ll be watching tv how we want and not how our parents and grand parents did.

    3. I was thinking that as well but what makes Google TV unique, my Vizio at least, it works through my cable box. I then am able to control live TV and the online options a la Chromecast.

    4. The Chromecast doesn’t have an IR transmitter either, so it can’t control things like the volume on your receiver. Setting the volume on the receiver to “loud” and then digitally adjusting the volume using the Chromecast isn’t quite the same.

  20. In cart and ready to go…

  21. I can already do this with my Vizio M551d.

  22. Yeah it’s definitely a great device.
    Buy Now link is dead… Error 404 :(

    1. Link still shows up fine here.

  23. Just ordered two. Dont screw us on this one google.

  24. Bought one but I might cancel it if Best Buy is going to have it in store before my order ships. Heck, if I can walk into Best Buy on the 30th and pick up one of these with a new N7, that would be sweet.

    1. Go to Best Buy in the morning and ask a manager if they have them yet. A friend went to the local Best Buy and bought 3, one for himself, one for me, and one for another friend. I think that they had to get them out of the back as they hadn’t stocked them on the shelves yet. I’ve been using mine for around four hours now.

      1. Thanks! After calling around to a few stores, I just finally decided to order off of Amazon. Turns out I still had credit, so I that brought the price down enough that I could do expedited shipping and still be cheaper than in store or through Google. (And get it faster too.)

  25. 3 free months of Netflix… and it’s valid for current Netflix subscribers…
    Very much a no-brainer buy.

    1. Anybody know if it’s limited to 3 months per Netflix account? I was trying to find a disclaimer, but couldn’t find any details.

      In other words, if I purchased 3 Chromecasts, does that mean I’d get 9 months of Netflix covered or just 3? I’m figuring it’s limited to 1 promotion per Netflix account, but if there’s no limitation, I may just purchase one for each TV in my house!

      1. LoL!! =.3
        You may want to try and find that out. Did you try contacting Netflix, themselves?

      2. One offer per Netflix account.

        1. Thanks. Is there somewhere that states the disclaimer specifically?

          1. Yes, I read it on the Amazon page there is an asterix * and it said one per netflix account.

            Seems like that has been removed on the Amazon page due to the stock running out, they stopped showing the “3 months free from Netflix below the price” which removed the disclaimer lower down the page.

            But trust me I read it multiple times, I was concerned that it wouldn’t only send me 1 code even if I added 2-3 of them into my cart. It didn’t say anything about that though. Hopefully I get 3 codes (I am buying them for 3 different people who don’t have netflix)

          2. Thanks so much. I’m glad I got in on the Amazon purchase. At least my cousin will get 3 months free Netflix. I cancelled my Google Play orders because they switched my order date from yesterday, to today, so I wouldn’t have gotten the Netflix deal for either of the ones I purchased direct. I’m going to wait for Best Buy or Amazon to get back in stock. Sucks that the promotion was such a short lived promotion.

          3. Couldn’t you just suspend your main account and make a 2nd and 3rd netflix account? Maybe not the most honest thing in the world, and might have to setup some things a couple times, but still.

          4. Wouldn’t have made a difference. Google basically changed the order, as if it was placed after the Netflix deal was done, so I wouldn’t have gotten the deal even if I tried doing what you suggested. Already cancelled the purchases anyway. Cheaper for me to buy through Amazon or Best Buy, if I purchase later down the line anyway.

    2. Netflix offer is no longer going on. Quote straight from the Playstore.

      “Please note that the Netflix promotional offer (which was available in limited supply) has now ended. Orders placed before 1PM PST on 7/25 will receive their promotion code once their order ships.”

  26. Free 3 months of Netflix? I guess I can pick this up.

  27. Yes we’ve all heard this before, but shut up and take my money.

  28. if my cable box is hdmi 1 and i plug this in as hdmi 2 how does it show up when i’m watching tv? do i need to keep switching outputs to view anything?

    1. Changing inputs is so 90’s…. :(

      1. Seriously, why not passthrough HDMI with pretty overlays?

        I guess this would be Google TV territory…

        1. Probably cost… I’m sure that’s a much more expensive proposition. Perhaps Chromecast 2?

          1. This is an entirely different thing than google tv. Essentially this allows you to use your phone/tablet/computer as a remote control, for a roku/apple tv like device. Plus with the 3 month’s netflix, this is cheaper than me constantly replacing micro hdmi cables that break easily (and far prettier of solution), without destroying my phones battery.

          2. Clearly you don’t have a GoogleTV device. Everything Chromecast does, GTV has been doing since it came out (with minor exceptions).

          3. Yeah you can’t stream your chrome browser tabs to your google tv. WIth that feature you can stream hulu to your tv from your pc. I’m hoping this works well.

          4. Um, nope. This works with anyone sitting in the room. Google TV dies this with YouTube and that’s it. It doesn’t do this with Netflix nor Google play movies or even play music

          5. I said minor exceptions. Anyone on your wifi can send stuff to your Google TV. The steps are slightly different but the functionally has been there. Netflix and Play music were JUST updated with this technology, come on bro.

          6. Can you upload the video of you sharing tabs from your browser to your TV with Google TV, friends queuing up music via play music or streaming a video on Hulu plus via your computer. Oh wait, you can’t because this runs chrome and Google TV runs Android and the only thing the two share is the ability to cast YouTube videos which the ps3 does as well.


            A Google TV user.

          7. You can’t upload the video from a chrome tab, but you can share the page to your GTV, it has a FULLY functional browser. Minor differences. As I stated earlier, Play Music was just updated with the functionality. HULU has been blocked on GTV since inception because major networks suck. So as stated earlier, minor exceptions. Google will release a small update to give the remaining chromecast functionality to GTV.

          8. Very likely, at that price point I am ok with changing inputs.

            Also, it basically opens URL and stream it to the HDMI, passthrough is much more useful in a GTV scenario although GTV has yet to fulfill its potential…

            My vision/pipe dream for KLP is a “Nexus 4 wireless charger” with passthrough HDMI. Put your phone on it, NFC pairing, WiFi direct transfer and Wireless charging, boom, GoogleTV/ChromeCast, name it, with overlays on whatever you are watching…

    2. Obviously – you will have to live through the torture of having to press one button on your remote control!

      1. Actually, your television gets turned on automatically AND the input changes to your Chromecast HDMI port.

        1. Only if you plug it into your TV, and your TV supports that. Not sure if that’s a commonly available feature on TVs or not… I have mine plugged into a HDMI port on the back of my receiver. There’s no way I was going to listen to music and movies on the awful speakers that are built into my TV when I have a high quality surround sound system at hand. In theory you could get this to work via an audio return channel in HDMI but I have no idea at the moment how to get that to work on my TV/receiver combo.

          1. Optical audio out.

          2. Which would work if you have optical audio out on your TV an an optical audio in on your receiver, and an optical audio cable. I don’t think that I have any of those. Plus it kind of defeats the simplicity of having a single HDMI cable to move audio/video around.

    3. Wait according to cnet…
      “Chromecast even goes one step further, by automatically switching your TV to the correct input and giving you the ability to adjust the volume using your mobile devices built-in volume controls. The ability for Android devices to pause content without unlocking the phone first seemed particularly well-implemented.”…. so problem solved?


  29. can i stream or mirror chrome browser? thats what i need to know.

  30. This is basically free and awesome. Even if it just does netflix I’ll be happy. It’ll be interesting to see if it can handle chrome browser, and if so how rich of experience will it be. Streaming direct from cloud is the way to go, (youtube remote, was obviously a beta test for this). Let’s hope no lag if it does have browser support.

    Also…. the site isn’t letting me add one to my cart:(

  31. Take my money!!!!

    1. :( coming soon? argh it won’t shut up and take my money. I’ve broken my laptop and my phone screen hurling my wallet at it.

      1. Its live!!!! I just ordered mine!

        1. Finally got through. it seems the trick was to shove cash directly into crack on the edge of the screen. I just hope google keeps up the support for this, since its super beta and doesn’t just fix all the issues add all the features on version 2

  32. Purchase is Live right now!

  33. woah.. happy =)

  34. Cant buy now. “Coming Soon” with price grayed out :(

    1. refresh

      1. ah, it’s not working anymore it seems.

  35. I wonder if I plug it into the back of my Nexus Q if I will be able to play video out of it (while still powering my speakers)? For that matter, is it safe to assume that this can be plugged into any A/V device (e.g. receiver or a pre/pro)? Otherwise it sort of screws over anyone who really wants to listen to content on “the best speakers in the house”.

  36. just bought it. Had to hit refresh a few times on the play store as it kept saying “coming soon” but was finally able to get one. Can’t wait.

    1. You had to be helpful and share that didn’t you. Now I’ll be stuck refreshing for the next hour or two! lol

  37. I just bought a Vizio Co-Star -.-t

  38. Only for devices with Android 4.3+??? I’m stuck on Verizon and I don’t think they have any Android devices that have 4.3.

    1. It says ChromeCast is compatible with Android 2.3 and up.

      1. Thanks! Not sure what I thought I saw about 4.3 Much happier now.

  39. Are there any of my American Phandroid brethren willing to help a northern neighbour score one of these jewels?

  40. Sold out……..

  41. for €28 I’m buying @ least 5

  42. Damn! Went into a meeting and as soon as I get back, not available to order. I hope they keep the Netflix promotion going when it’s available again!

  43. Those that can’t order through Play, try Amazon


    Just waiting for mine to arrive :), although Amazon will ship it via LaserShip – not super confidence about that, since it miss more than hit :(

    1. yep just grabbed one with Prime account, will have it on friday

    2. Thanks for the link, I couldn’t find it before. I canceled my play ordered and saved the shipping with prime. It says it might take an extra 1-2 days to ship, but since I was going to be cheap and do the google 5-10 day shipping anyways, prime’s 1-2 days will still beat it.

  44. I bought 2. Not sure what I’m going to do with them since I already have 2 gtvs. If streaming hulu pluse from pc to tv works well I won’t be using the gtv much if at all.

  45. The cloud will now officially start the take over of traditional tv watching. The casting possibilities…presentations, photos, docs, vids, etc. I imagine that network tv will also get on board since they won’t be able to be circumvented. Google has forced the hand and made a way for everyone to make money and protect the precious content.

  46. wow…awesome especially with the netflix offer….no brainer is right

  47. Back in stock!

  48. Is the Netflix promotion only for the people who buy on Google Play? What if I buy on Amazon?

    1. As far as I can tell it’s for everyone. I got mine at Best Buy and the receipt had a code printed on it that I entered on the Netflix web page.

  49. Good god there’s a lot of input from this story. :)

  50. Maybe i didn’t read thoroughly enough, but do you have to charge this thing, or does it need constant power?

    1. It has a micro-USB port on the end that takes power. A USB wall wart is included, though presumably any TV that has a USB port on the back can just be hooked up to the Chromecast dongle with the TV powering it. This is what is commonly done with the HDMI thumb computers now. You can even leave it all plugged up. When you turn your TV on, power is also sent to the Chromecast dongle.

  51. Definitely getting this. This was an unexpected gem nobody saw coming. The cost is amazing for what it does. Is this essentially a dirt cheap miracast adapter with additional functionality?

  52. Wait there’s an SDK?

    SO basically content providers are just going to block the sh** out of this like they do with Roku already. Can’t tell you how “fun” it is to have a hulu episode “only available on your PC”.

    Let me know when I can stream any video content streaming on my chrome browser … otherwise this is just a limited edition of Roku with all the same problems. (but at least loads cheaper).

  53. To think, I love tech and have a smartphone a custom built gaming PC and a laptop and yet I really don’t value TVs. So much so that I can say I don’t even have a flatscreen TV, never mind a HD one! This tech while a no-brainer is inherently useless to me xD!

  54. Wait, is it a usb? Do non smart TV’s have usb?

  55. Just bought my Chromecast at Best Buy, and it works great with my phone and tablet. However, I don’t seem to have that “cast” button that I see in the demo when using Chrome browser or Youtube.
    Can anyone explain to me what I’m overlooking here?

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