Google Chromecast is a $35 HDMI stick that plugs into the TV and, through a mobile app for your smartphone, tablet or other device, will let you send online movies, video music and more right to your television set.
This month, Google’s Chromecast turned 1, and its first year has been a huge success, with a roster of apps including Netflix, HBOGo, Pandora and Hulu Plus.
Google says in its first year there have been 400 million casts thus far, and it’s selling in 20 countries, including the newest market, Ireland.
During the June Google I/O conference for developers, the company announced a new round of features, including one that lets your TV screen mirror that of your Android mobile device. Google also noted, according to reporting on Techcrunch of the event, that it is “blown away” by how well the Google Chromecast is doing in the market.
“YouTube sees more active engagement on Chromecast than on any other type of device,” noted Rishi Chandra, Chromecast director of product management.
Chromecast is also a cheap alternative to Apple TV, which retails for $99 and is compatible with the more than 1 billion Android devices worldwide, giving consumers a low-commitment entry into the world of over-the-top streaming.
For consumers looking to cut costs and get more content by cutting the cord, Chromecast will continue to be an attractive alternative throughout its second year on the market. Eventually, as Google continues to develop Android TV, the company is hoping a mobile-enabled smart TV will take the place of Google Chromecast, but in the meantime, its online streaming tool can’t be beat for the price tag.