Google launches low-cost video-streaming device


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chromecastThe Gadget Guy reviews the latest technology for the government and explores related trends and hot topics.

(Editor’s note: The story has been corrected to reflect that Chromecast “connects to the HDMI port and has an integral micro USB port to provide external power for the device, rather than “connects to any display’s USB or HDMI port.”)

Most large high-definition displays on the market today are capable of connecting to pretty much any device wirelessly, allowing you to show video on them fairly easily. Maintaining and upgrading every display in every conference room to keep up with these advancements can be very costly, and any network administrator can tell you these tend to be at the bottom of the list of priorities for replacement. That leaves trying to get older displays to work with more modern devices, often with unwieldy cabling.

Well, Google announced on its official blog something that might help in these circumstances. Chromecast is a small key fob that connects to the HDMI port and has an integral micro USB port to provide external power for the device. Once plugged in, it can be accessed through any mobile device or computer running Android 2.3 or higher, iOS 6 or higher, Windows 7 or higher, Mac OS 10.7 or higher, or Chrome OS. Currently, it works with applications such as Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, but more applications are planned to be added soon.

Google is selling the Chromecast for $35 at online outlets like Google Play, Amazon and BestBuy. To find out if it will suit your needs, you can find more information on it at Google’s website.

Whether this will become an ideal solution for offices that have older displays without built-in wireless capability will of course depend upon what applications Google will add to Chromecast’s repertoire.

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