Chromecast is already poised to be a pretty big addition to a lot of home theater systems out there. And now, thanks to some new support coming in from YouTube's recent tests, and some quiet support added to the device, it's about to get more in the way of functionality with the ability to beam videos from third-party websites on the browser to the television.
Previously, only YouTube videos could be beamed in this way, but recently some alert Chromecast viewers noted that the play to TV button that had only been seen on YouTube videos in the past was now starting to crop up on embedded videos spotted on Google+ as well. The reports suggest that the arrivals are somewhat sporadic, not showing up for every video or even for every user, as the whole thing is still basically being tested.
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A YouTube spokesman, meanwhile, offered a few remarks on the matter, saying that YouTube was eager to find more ways to help people easily not only find, but also watch and share videos. With that in mind, YouTube was ready to “consider rolling changes out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments.”
Naturally, this approach makes quite a bit of sense for YouTube, as the more videos that can be served up, the more time users will spend watching same, and in turn, the more ads that can be presented to viewers which in turn means more revenue. Having a way to easily stream YouTube content to televisions is already a pretty big step—there's more video uploaded to YouTube in a standard month than most people can watch in a lifetime to begin with—but bringing in other sources as well is a huge step. The more sources of video that Chromecast can put up, the better an option it becomes overall and the more likely it is to be the set-top box of choice for most anyone setting up a home theater system. Plus, the more sources it can work with, the better able it is to compete with the like of the Roku system or the Apple TV system.
Chromecast's development is a topic well worth watching, and the farther along it goes, the better off everyone looking for a simple way to kick back and relax with some television or movies in the evening is as well. The development needs to keep going, of course, but more features—executed, as ever, with an eye toward usability—seldom ends poorly for the product or service that brings said features into play.
Edited by Alisen Downey