Ina Fried

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Google’s Chromecast Offers Another Way to Get Content From Mobile to TV

Google on Wednesday announced plans for Chromecast, which the company says is an easier way to get video and other content from a mobile device to a television.

The approach is centered around a two-inch fob that will sell for $35; it plugs into any TV’s HDMI port and connects to a home Wi-Fi network. Interestingly, Google opted to use a modified version of Chrome OS for this effort, while Google TV was Android-based.

Google’s Sundar Pichai said that nearly half of peak Internet traffic is coming from YouTube and Netflix, but most of that is going to PCs, tablets and phones.

“The television is missing from the picture,” Pichai said, despite the fact it is the best and most immersive display. In any given week, he said, only 15 percent of U.S. households stream video to their TV.

Chromecast works not only from Android devices, but also from supported apps on iOS devices, including YouTube and Netflix. It also works with Macs and PCs, as well as the Chrome OS-based Chromebook Pixel.

While the streams are launched from the mobile device, they are streamed from the cloud, avoiding battery drain and allowing users to multitask on their mobile device.

Other apps, including Pandora, are coming soon. Meanwhile, Google is releasing an early version of the software tools that programmers will need to add Chromecast support to their mobile apps and websites.

The announcement came as part of a broader event that also saw updates to Android and a new version of the Nexus 7 tablet.

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