This may be the biggest surprise for Hollywood in Google‘s event today to unveil new products and software. The two-inch long Chromecast plugs into a TV set HDMI port, enabling users to watch videos from YouTube, Google Play, and Netflix and handle music and photos. (A Pandora app is on the way.) If it works as promoted, it would offer people an easy way to watch Web videos on TV without having to connect a box such as a game console, Blu-ray player, or Roku. Chromecast also comes with a three-month free trial to Netflix. With its small size the Chromecast “simply disappears behind your TV,” Google’s Rishi Chandra says. The device connects with the home Wi-Fi network, so you don’t need to tie up a computer, mobile phone or tablet. “We bring the highest resolution directly from the cloud instead of relying on your device to push the content,” Chandra says. But you can also use those devices to serve as remote controls, for example to pause the video or adjust the volume — which you can do without unlocking. And it will work with other companies’ devices, including Apple iPhones. “YouTube on TV becomes simple and intuitive,” the exec says. Google hopes that at the $35 price people will buy a Chromecast for each TV set. The company says the device will be available today on Amazon, BestBuy.com and Google Play, and will hit Best Buy stores by the end of the month.
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