CNET First Look
New Chromecast keeps streaming cheapGoogle's Chromecast streaming device betters the previous version with improved Wi-Fi and a funky design, but the best part is the impulse purchase price.
[MUSIC] Hello everyone, here is the new Chromecast. Just 35 bucks in the US, the exact same price as the old version, this little device is the cheapest way to stream thousands of TV shows, movies and songs from hundreds of apps to your TV screen. It consists of a little circular puck available in three colors. Stashed neatly behind the TV however, you'll probably never see it. With a short HDMI cable attached, and the device can either stick to the HDMI plug via magnet or dangle free in the breeze. You'll need to plug in another cable for power, either a standard wall adapter or the USB plug on your TV. To use it, you'll need an Internet connection with decent WiFi, and a phone or tablet running the Chromecast app. I'll use an Android phone for this video, but Chromecast also works with iPads and iPhones. One reason it's so inexpensive is because it doesn't include a remote control. Instead, your phone is the remote. To use Chromecast, you fire up an app on your phone, tap the Cast button, and the video or song starts playing on your TV. The experience is a lot like using a normal streaming device, like a Roku, or Apple TV. But using it, I often missed having a physical remote. I like being able to pause and rewind a show without having to look at my phone. And it was annoying to have to keep unlocking my phone to control the video. The process of getting something playing on the TV was usually quite a bit slower too. One the other hand, the new Chrome [UNKNOWN] has faster load content then the old one. Google also added support for five gigahertz wi-fi connections which should improve performance in crowded or interference heavy locations My favorite edition, however, is an all new Chromecast app, which works equally well with both the old and the new Chromecast. It shows a bunch of videos across a range of apps you have installed on your phone. You can search for specific shows or movies across different apps, and results include pricing. The app also suggests new apps that are compatible with Chromecast. As of today, most major apps will work with the device including Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora. As well as new additions Spotify, Showtime, and coming soon, Sling TV. The biggest omission is Amazon, whose app doesn't support Chromecast. And that's where tab casting comes in. Using the Chrome browser on your computer, you can cast to the TV, showing whatever content is on there. A webpage, Facebook, or even a video site like Amazon. Video quality via tag casting isn't better than a dedicated app, but it is better than nothing. If you already own the original Chrome cast, there's little reason to get the new one, unless you're experiencing WiFi connectivity issues. And I definitely don't consider it the best streamer for everyday use. On the other hand, the price is so low, you probably won't regret buying it. Even if it's not your main streamer. And chances are, you'll find some innovative way to use the new Chrome cast. I'm David Katzmaier for CNET. [SOUND]