Google has launched Chrome Cast, a dongle that plugs into any TV via the HDMI port to allow content streaming from any device.
Running a simplified version of Chrome OS, Chrome Cast is just 2-inches long and plugs directly into the HDMI input on a TV.
Connecting to a Wi-Fi network, Google says it is “fast and easy to set up”, works “across platforms and across devices” and users will have “nothing new to learn.”
Chrome Cast pulls content from the cloud rather than just the device, which allows multiple users to interact with that content.
A new Cast button allows users to send their content to their TV without the TV having to be turned on first. The Chrome Cast can turn on the TV and switch it to the right input without the user having to touch a traditional remote control.
YouTube, for example, already recognises the Chrome Cast to stream content to the TV. The dongle also allows users to change the volume and control the TV with tablets, laptops or smartphones.
Users can create a TV Queue using Chrome Cast that allows a playlist for content streaming to the TV, all based on Google Play Music, YouTube or other music and video apps.
Multiple devices can also add to the TV Queue with any device to create a shared queue that anyone can get involved with. Even if the person streaming content to the Chrome Cast leaves the home with their device, another user can take over control of the TV and the Chrome Cast content without affecting the content on screen.
Not only is Chrome Cast compatible with YouTube, but other apps like Netflix can be streamed directly to any TV with an HDMI port. Chrome Cast plays it in Full 1080p HD and supports 5.1 surround sound as well.
Music apps are also supported with Chrome Cast, and the photo sharing functionality is launching in beta to start off with.
Chrome Cast is compatible with iOS devices as well as Chrome and Android platforms, so there’s no limitations on the device.
Chrome Cast will retail at $35 (£23), available to purchase in the US from today. Other countries will get the Chrome Cast “as soon as possible”.