A Great Cast: Google's Chromecast one of 2013's hottest gadgets

Published on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 23:19 - Written by By Travis Webb twebb@tylerpaper.com

Google: It’s not just for searching anymore. The tech giant already has made several efforts to breakthrough into other areas. Some, such as the Android platform for mobile devices, very successful and others — Google+ and Google TV — significantly less so.

But with Chromecast, released earlier this year, the G-Men have hit a homerun. Not that anyone should expect Chromecast to have the sort of impact on the tech that say, Android has, but this affordable little gadget does what good tech is supposed to do: Improve our lives is a simple, appreciable way.

So much so that Time magazine put this little gem at the top of their list of the best gadgets of 2013 — the first to dethrone Apple from the top spot since 2010.

Chromecast (available for $35 from Google Play) is a simple USB device that plugs right into the HDMI ports on most modern television sets.

After downloading the Chromecast app, users can then stream movies and media across a Wi-Fi network from laptop’s, PCs and other devices right to their TVs.

This is a big trend in tech — one of the major selling points pushed by both Sony and Microsoft for their new consoles is the ability to manage media and play it through an HD television.

While that’s an added plus for gamers, there are plenty of folks out there who don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for an expensive game console they’ll never use except to stream media.

Admittedly, Chromecast isn’t exactly revolutionary, and for folks who like gaming — or with children who do — you might be better paying for a console.

Nor is Chromecast the only device of its kind — if you’ve already got a way to stream media to your TV (and you’re satisfied with said device) then feel free to skip Google’s offering.

But Chromecast does have two major qualities to recommend itself to consumers: A great price and a refreshing simplicity.

Both are big for the not-so tech savvy among us — and even the technologically elite would do well to pick up this handy little device.

If you’re looking for a great gift for the techie in your life, or a loved-one who’s been daunted by the difficulties of setting up a Wi-Fi device like this in the past, look no further — Google’s got you covered.

Chromecast is available online and at many retailers.