A couple of months ago, I saw an advertisement on Hulu for a little gadget called Chromecast. It's made by Google and costs $35. This post is totally going to sound like Google is paying me. They are not. I just love this little thing to BITS.
See, we don't have satellite or cable television. We watch Netflix or Hulu when we aren't watching DVDs. Before Chromecast, we ran an HDMI cable from my laptop to the television screen and whatever showed up on my laptop screen was now on the TV screen. It worked.
That said, effective, but also annoying. First, there was a cable perpetually strung across the living room, which is both ugly and a little dangerous. Chester clothes-lined himself on it a couple of times, once knocking my laptop off the coffee table and causing some damage. Not good. Second, if I wanted to watch TV, that meant I couldn't really be using my laptop because the TV picture would disappear behind whatever else I was doing. That doesn't really work when you want to binge-watch West Wing while also getting Etsy listings up.
Enter Chromecast. The little doohickey plugs into the HDMI port on my TV. I downloaded the Chromecast app to my phone and suddenly my phone is a remote control running the app in the background while I do whatever I want with both my laptop and my phone. It doesn't even use data because my phone is hooked up to our household WiFi.
So now if I want to, I can watch Sherlock for the 1,000th time, edit photos and text with a friend all at the same time. And I do. All the time.
If you're not a ridiculous multi-tasker who is always online, this might not be something you need. But if you are, a one-time payment of $35 to be able to watch TV like a normal person without paying hundreds of dollars a month for cable? Yeah, pretty awesome.
I got mine from Amazon, but you can also buy them at Best Buy.
Really, this isn't an ad. It's just the fact that Chromecast is so cheap and fixed this ridiculous blogger problem so well, I pretty much want to tell the whole world how amazing it is. So there.