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Small gadget turning into a big deal

Google's newest gadget, the Chromecast, will change how you consume entertainment. And, it has the potential to become so much more and it only costs $35.
by Richard Hall Published: August 6, 2013
/articleid/3869353/1/pictures/2176611">Photo - The Google Chromecast comes in an attractive packaging complete with all of the accessories to get users up and running. <strong>Richard Hall - Richard Hall</strong>
The Google Chromecast comes in an attractive packaging complete with all of the accessories to get users up and running. Richard Hall - Richard Hall

But that shouldn't be a deal breaker. The list of Cast-enabled apps and sites is growing by the day. YouTube, Netflix, Chrome and Google Play are chief among them. But shortly after its launch, the Chromecast became buddies with the likes of Redbox Instant and Vimeo, and Hulu and HBO Go cast-enabled apps are in the works.

The Chromecast isn't limited to just streaming video.

Anything you can put into the Chrome browser can be cast onto a television screen. This includes websites, photos, documents and more. You can even show your computer's desktop and use of programs through it. Though there is some lag when doing this, it's not noticeable if you're showing static images like photos or a PowerPoint presentation.

You can even Cast video games onto the television though, when I tried it, lag persisted. It did do well with Facebook's Words With Friends app, which I attribute to the game's static Scrabble-like nature.

With this kind of use, the Chromecast has the makings to become a big thing for those in the business and education sectors, and it's something Google should advertise as Chromecast continues to grow.

One of the best things about the Chromecast is that it can be plugged into an audio receiver and used as an audio streaming device.

You can stream music using the Chrome browser with sites like Grooveshark and Spotify. Or you can use the Google Play Music app to stream from your various devices.

A huge perk about the Chromecast is its portability. If you're like me, you can take it to your parents' when you house sit for them. Or, you can take it to a friend's for a movie night. Or you can move it from your living room to your bedroom when you're ready to get under the sheets but not yet ready to stop watching that movie you have on.

At the end of the day, the Chromecast is only $35, which is a fraction of the cost when compared to similar set-top boxes like the Apple TV and Roku. It's also easier to use than either of those products.

The number of uses the Chromecast has makes it great for so many things, and the device's potential is pretty limitless right now.

by Richard Hall
Digital Media Specialist
Richard Hall is an award-winning newsroom developer, editor and blogger for NewsOK. He was born in Austin, Texas, spent his childhood in southern California and has lived in Norman since 1999. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2008.
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