With a list price of $35, the Google Chromecast is already one of the cheapest tools for streaming internet video to your TV. Now Google is sweetening the pot a bit by offering new customers a free video rental.
Just buy a Chromecast for $35 from Amazon, Best Buy, or the Google Play Store, and you’ll get a promo code which you can use to rent a video from the Google Play Store as long as it normally sells for $6 or less.
Update: For a limited time, Amazon is selling the Chromecast for $30, and you still get the free video rental.
The Google Chromecast is a small device that you can plug into your TV’s HDMI port. Once it’s set up, you can fire up Netflix, Hulu Plus, Google Play Movies, HBO Go, or a handful of other apps on an Android or iOS device, select a video, and tap a button to send if to your TV.
You can also stream content from a browser tab on a PC if you’re using the Google Chrome browser.
The Chromecast is hardly the only option for turning a dumb TV into a smart one. Roku offers a range of boxes that do something similar — and which offer support for far more internet video sites than the Chromecast. You can also pick up an Apple TV or a Sony, Logitech, or Vizio device running Google’s other TV software, Google TV.
But the Chromecast is one of the cheapest of the bunch and one of the simplest to use since you don’t have to learn to navigate the user interface with a remote control — just use on-screen buttons on your phone, tablet, or PC to choose videos and control playback.