Chromecast adds Hulu, but is this really a win for Google?


Google Chromecast users got one more reason to stay glued to the couch Wednesday, thanks to the addition of Hulu to the popular streaming device. As with other devices, using the new service on the Chromecast will require a monthly subscription to Hulu Plus for $8/month. The announcement should be a welcome one to the Chromecast faithful, who up to this point have had a seriously limited collection of apps from which to choose, with Netflix serving as the only partner app to add to Google’s minion of streaming services including Youtube, Google Play, and Google Music.

Chromecast dove headlong into the streaming scene last July. For a mere $35, the streaming stick, which is about the size of a flash drive, provides an easy way to watch online content by simply plugging into a TV’s HDMI port, connecting to Wi-Fi, and pulling up supported apps on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets (though the new Hulu app won’t work for iPhones straight away.) But, while Chromecast has been extremely successful, the device’s lack of available apps has left it vulnerable to more seasoned devices in the genre, such as Apple TV and Roku, both of which secured rights to many of the most popular streaming apps long before Chromecast was in place.

Chromecast has been able to stay viable, however, thanks in part to a simple workaround. The device is capable of mirroring content from a PC or Mac web browser (as long as that web browser is Google’s own Chrome service) allowing users to utilize Hulu, as well as the vast collection of other omitted apps by simply punching them up from their home computer. In fact, research by Parks Associates indicates that 34 percent of Chromecast owners have been streaming video content from Hulu to their TV set every day. Of those, 50 percent are just using Hulu’s free service. 

Arriving late to the party has given the device a lot of catching up to do, and Google has been trying to lock down partnerships with major players in the streaming world such as Hulu since Chromecast’s inception. We will likely see many more apps added to Chromecast in the future, but no timetable has been given. Google doesn’t seem too worried, however. Being one of the most powerful companies in the world has its advantages, and Roku is still trying to secure rights to host an actual Youtube app on its devices. 

As the wheels of streaming entertainment spin in constant motion, the battle between Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and other devices has only increased its fervor. Each step taken from one device seems to provoke an answer from its rivals, and luckily for us, the competition just makes our choice of options that much more alluring. With Apple TV and Roku now on deck, we can’t wait to see what comes next.

Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

Here's a handy guide to mirroring your favorite devices to your TV screen

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device (or PC) to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen.
Home Theater

Make the most out of your new Apple TV with these must-have apps

If you're looking to turn your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K into an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse, we can help you get started with this list of the best Apple TV apps you can download.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Movies & TV

LeBron James’ Space Jam 2 gets an official release date

LeBron James has brought on Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce his upcoming Space Jam sequel, with Terence Nance attached to direct the film. Space Jam 2 is expected to hit theaters in July 2021.
Home Theater

Apple may be making noise-canceling headphones safer to use on the streets

Over-the-ear headphones are massively popular, but they block a lot of outside sounds, which increases the risk of accidents. A new Apple invention hints at a way to have great sound, and great safety, and it might be coming soon.
Movies & TV

Battle of the movie ticket sites: How to make sense of the fledgling industry

MoviePass may be the industry leader in subscription-based movie ticket sales, but the company's troubles have opened the door for competitors AMC Stubs A-List, Sinemia, and Cinemark Movie Club. Here's how the services compare.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.