Chromecast was one of the big announcements from Google this past week. Chromecast is a $35 (£25-30) thumb-drive sized dongle which plugs into any TV with an HDMI slot and gives you the ability to do all the things a "smart TV" does (access to Netflix and an internet browser are seemingly what makes a TV "smart").

There are already avid haters and lovers of Chromecast, with both sides seemingly proclaiming the rise or fall of Google based on this device, but it seems that everyone is overlooking what actually matters: who should buy this and who's going to use it? Here are five things you shouldn't overlook when even thinking about Chromecast:


1. Roku still has the most content, but Chromecast has what you need.

Roku outweighs Chromecast and AppleTV by far, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant, Pandora, and HBO GO. However, lacks YouTube - which Chromecast will obviously have included in its small but potentially huge "preview" release (Google's codeword for "beta" release). Chromecast will specifically have Netflix, YouTube, all Google Play media content and (soon enough) Pandora.

To be more specific, let's look at the stats:

YouTube and all related affiliates (which includes VEVO) take up 50% of the streaming market, with Hulu's media streaming coming in second place and Netflix's streaming subscription in third. Chrome includes two of these top three, which will most likely account for the majority of uses. Include some sort of sports streaming and HBO GO and Chromecast becomes just as relevant as both Roku and Apple TV.

2. It's sold out because... well. Duh.

$35 (£25-30) to turn any TV with an HDMI port into a SmartTV? Those Black Friday Westinghouse TVs you got a few years ago just got a million times better. Also, your dorm room or apartment just got way better. The demographic of users who use Netflix (which are the initial people buying these up - assuming they have [or will get] Netflix subscriptions) are in their 20s. And figuring your parents pay for your Netflix account like they do your phone bills, the below-average statistics for 18 - 24 year old users are markedly underrepresented.

3. It's not just a screen-share of what's on your phone.

Chromecast isn't just a glorified copy of what's on your tablet or phone. It's grabbing the content from the internet, independently of your phone or tablet. Your mobile device is no more than a big touchscreen remote - which is great, since that means your battery life will be saved. However, unlike Apple TV, which acts alongside a WiFi connection, Chromecast creates its own WiFi hotspot which your device will need to connect to in order to take (or hijack) control.

4. It's clearly more than just streaming stuff.

You can also use it to browse the internet, turning your TV into a giant monitor companion for your phone/tablet. Picture this scenario: You're presenting something in a conference room. You have access to a big 70" and you've created your presentation through the web-based presentation program, Prezi. No need to be strapped up with wires and whatnot. Plug this into the TV, connect to it via your phone or tablet, and present.

Also, the Chrome browser does come with all the bells and whistles. If you really are missing out on Hulu (or want to stream something more... inappropriate), accessing the Hulu site and streaming from the browser is completely fine.

5. Third party apps will have to be utterly amazing - or else.

Apple's App Store became a gold mine, but only after third party apps were rampant via unlocked and jailbroken 1st and 2nd generation iPhones. Chromecast should be modeled the same way - but need to land big time developers to become relevant. For Samsung SmartTV owners, you should know the "Smart" options are only auxiliary to your TV experience. Chromecast needs to find a way to package sports, pay-per-view, prime time and/or premium cable options into Chromecast for this to be able to stand the test of time.

HBO GO and MLB.tv will most likely come as third party options, which are good starts, but more is needed. More live TV options are necessary for this to truly be a game changer (or an Apple TV killer). If DirecTV could introduce a Sunday Ticket app for Chromecast, this becomes a monster instantly. Step into upcoming World Cup coverage or live Olympic Games coverage and this becomes a live sports must-buy.