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Chromecast: Google's best weapon to breach the TV biz


When it comes to its ambitions for television, Google's hoping that the third time's the charm.
This morning the company unveiled Chromecast. Google's latest foray into the television is a low-cost stick that plugs into a HDMI input to let a wide swath of smartphones, tablets, and devices using the Chrome browser seamlessly fling what they're playing onto the TV.
Google argues that it is solving a unique problem, but it really isn't. In fact, a myriad of devices already exist to do just that. But by coming out with a cheaper, more innovative offering, Google fired its loudest shot across the bow of Apple TV and all of the other streaming TV peripherals with the Chromecast. And at $35, it claims to have a winner.
The television is "the most immersive experience in the house," said Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android, Chrome, and apps at the breakfast unveiling Wednesday in San Francisco. He noted more than 200 billion online videos are watched globally by users every month, and Netflix and YouTube combined represent nearly half of peak downstream Internet traffic in North America.
"It's very difficult to get your online media onto your television in your house," said Pichai.
True enough. It has been difficult, but largely only for Google.

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