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July 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

TV-Internet convergence took another step toward reality with the announcement by Google on Wednesday that it is introducing a $35 device that will let users stream online video directly to their TV sets from phones, tablets or laptops. Somewhat surprisingly, Google said that it won’t require those devices to be equipped with its own Android system. “We will not force you to have the same operating system on all of your devices,” Google executive Mario Queiroz said. The device, called a Chromecast, simply plugs into the HDMI port of a TV set and can then be discovered by apps such as YouTube and Netflix on a mobile device. It will also allow that device to act as a remote while the video is being played. Since content is played back from the cloud, the mobile device does not have to continue to run while the video is being played. If you subscribe to Netflix’s streaming service — or sign up for it — you’ll get three months free when you buy the Chromecast, bringing down the effective cost of the device to $11. In a related development, Netflix said on Wednesday that its Android app will deliver 1080p high-definition video on some movies for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. The company declined to say when such an app will be available for other devices, including those running Apple’s iOS.