Google's Chromecast is a $35 doohickey that let's you "cast" video, music, and web pages to your TV. If you're interested in "cord-cutting", it's a great, inexpensive way to get video on to your TV. And let's face it, as a cord-cutter, you're going to spend a lot of time figuring out how to do that.
Life of a cord-cutter
I've been a "cord-cutter" for a few years now. Being a cord cutter means giving up your cable subscription for services like Netflix, Amazon Video, or iTunes. It also means missing out on current shows other people are watching (I'm a season behind on The Walking Dead) and live sports.
The holy grails for cord-cutting are watching Youtube and video on the web on your TV. There are solutions to do these things, including plugging your computer into your TV with a cable. That's the most straighforward solution, but not always.
Setting up the Chromecast
First, let's talk about set up. To get the Chromecast up and running, you just take it out of the package (okay, I'm teasing). Seriously, though, you have to have a spare HDMI port on your TV. The Chromecast can either draw power from the HDMI or you plug it to your TV's USB cable. If you're thinking "My TV doesn't have any of those," then that might be the first sign that you shouldn't rush out and buy it.
Next you need to download an app for your device (iPhone or Android) or download an app for the Chrome browser. So, this might be another barrier to consider (though I highly recommend using Google's Chrome browser).
Get everything on the same WiFi network and you're off and running. You can "cast" tabs from your computer, videos or music from your tabler or smartphone.
The verdict? Chromecast kind of rocks
So, after using the Chromecast for a few months now, my verdict is: It rocks. But why does it rock? Well, it rocks for a few specific reasons. The device itself is small and unobstrusive. Set up is pretty pain-free (assuming you've got the right stuff).
Then, casting content from your device or computer is just really easy. I also love that when I'm on the computer, I can still browse around, maybe looking for another show or video to watch, while the Chromecast is playing.
So, if you're exploring being a cord-cutter, I recommend checking out the Chromecast.