- Google Chromecast
- Price: $49
- Rating: 8/10
Welcome to the new way we watch TV.
In case you didn't know, there's a TV revolution going on, and it goes like this: "I want to watch what I want, when I want."
These days, the consumer has the power (which is creating a lot of problem for TV advertising revenues, but that's another story) in the form of on-demand and streaming TV.
The emerging popularity of ABC iView and SBS On Demand - in addition to the impending arrival of Freeview Plus and the $40 billion behemoth Netflix - is case-in-point.
And this is where Google Chromecast comes in.
Aimed at TV watchers without a smart TV, the media device enables the viewer to watch videos over the interwebs on the TV.
So how does it work?
Well, the Google dongle plugs into the HDMI cable at the back of your TV.
It's a simple process to connect the Chromecast to your home Wi-Fi network, so simple I reckon my 70-year-old next door neighbour Al could do it.
And that's it. There's no remote - you drive the device from your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Compatible video services like YouTube will display the Chromecast icon in the corner.
In Australia these include the aforementioned, Google Play, Foxtel and Vevo. While ABC iView is on the way later this year (hopefully soon).
Perth-based Quickflix also has a contract with Google to deliver its streaming service.
Using your smartphone in the house to queue up YouTube videos whilst doing the dishes (in my case it was videos from the latest Glastonbury festival) is a real thrill. And it is so easy to use - ridiculously so.
I have to admit though, after a week I began to forget about it. And the thrill of watching the Baby Panda Sneezing video on the big screen wore off just a little.
But the Chromecast's main advantage is price - at $49 got to be one of the cheapest ways to bring internet video to the big screen.
And when iView, SBS and the commercial stations jump on board, it will be the easy way to watch what you want, when you want.