The Google Chromecast is the first thumb-drive to simply plug in to your TV and give you Netflix, YouTube, and other web videos.
It essentially does the same thing a
Apple TV box does, but with fewer cables and a lower price tag ($35 instead of $99).
All you do is plug it into an HDMI port in the back or side of an HDTV. A wire coming out of it leads to a USB plug, which you then plug into your TV's USB slot (most now have one), or a computer nearby.
The USB plug is needed to power the device, as HDMI ports do not provide power.
What if you can't find one?
Remember, if you already have an
XBox, Nintendo Wii, or Sony Playstation, you already have everything you need to turn your TV into a web streaming device.
If you have a new "Smart TV," streaming is already built in, and you don't need this.
However, the Google Chromecast is expected to make streaming so easy, at such a low price, that some reviewers are calling it the "Holy Grail of web TV," the killer app that puts Hulu and Netflix on everyone's set.
But CNET feels some of the gushing reviews are overrated:
CNET's review says it is a simple $35 device that is really just a simple $35 device, nothing more.
As always don't waste your money.
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