Good news for early adopters of Google’s Chromecast streaming media stick: HBO is rolling out a new Chromecast app today for its streaming video service HBO Go, the company announced today.
Chromecast is Google’s ultra low-cost ($35) streaming device that allows you to push whatever you’re watching on your mobile device or laptop to your television screen. The idea is that you’re already using (or able to use) smartphones and tablets for all your media consumption needs, but now you can easily flick that video to a larger television screen with very little effort or pause. The technology is similar in scope to what Apple TV’s Airplay feature has offered for some time.
The biggest setback of Chromecast when it first launched was that the selection of available applications was pretty slim — leaving you with only Google’s own services (Google Play All Access, YouTube) and Netflix. Previously, Chromecast owners could push any video they wanted to the TV screen through a plugin that enabled mirroring of tabs through Google’s Chrome web browser — meaning you could log into HBO Go from a laptop and click the Chromecast button to enable screen mirroring. The downside to this was that the audio would not accompany the video, and the video quality sometimes suffers.
Yet, over the last two months we’ve seen Chromecast apps launch from a handful of big media services, including Hulu, Pandora, and now HBO Go. Of course, to use HBO Go you’ll still need to subscribe to a monthly TV package through a cable or satellite television provider.
It is very interesting that it took Apple years to get an HBO Go app on Apple TV — not to mention the equally slow process of adding Airplay support to the HBO Go iPad app. But Chromecast seems to have done this in just over four months. Hopefully, that means we could see quite a few more Chromecast apps debut in the near future.
Check out the short demo video of the HBO Go Chromecast app in action below.