OT:Chromecast

Submitted by joeyb on July 24th, 2013 at 4:57 PM

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=chromecast

Google just announced this today and it looks awesome. Basically, this plugs into your TV and you are able to stream video directly to your TV from major sites like Youtube, Netflix, and Pandora. What makes it different is that, from Android or iOS apps or from Chrome, instead of playing the media directly on your device, you can tell it to send it to your Chromecast device. This will cause the media to start streaming on your TV right away. You can then close that app down and it will continue playing.

Sources for media are limited right now (because it was just released), but I expect that many apps will be doing this very soon. I would have to imagine that WatchESPN will jump on this and I don't see any reason that BTN wouldn't do this as well. Looking at the SDK, it seems like it is straight forward to implement this, so I would think that someone will have a server that streams over the local network soon enough so you can watch all of those torrented Michigan classics on your TV.

The best part is that it is $35. Right now, it also comes with 3 months of Netflix for free, even if you already have an account. That, essentially, makes this an $11 toy that has huge potential. I just bought one, but I thought I'd pass this along to other techies on here who might be interested in it.

Comments

Doc Brown

July 24th, 2013 at 5:05 PM ^

I saw this earliar and I am totally excited. Apps shouldn't be too hard to port from android. I am assuming Watch ESPN and the BTN should on board pretty quick. Chromecast is really making me consider cutting the cord with cable. I am still going to wait to see what happens with Fox Sports 1. I have the NBC Sports App to watch the national NHL broadcasts. If Fox can release a similar app with regional rights for their FSN stations then I am totally on board with dumping Uverse. 

Come On Down

July 24th, 2013 at 5:22 PM ^

The issue is that Watch ESPN and BTN2Go are only available to those who have a cable subscription (or those who have friends willing to share passwords). Given this, cutting the cord is still difficult if you have a desire to watch sports. If these apps ever become stand alone I'll cut the cord in a second but given the corporate interests Disney, Fox, Time Warner, etc have in making us buy all of their channels, not just the ones we want, I won't hold my breath waiting.

Doc Brown

July 24th, 2013 at 5:53 PM ^

The first domino is HBO (a small dominoe though). HBO is on the cusp of offering subscriptions sans a traditional cable tv connection. Hulu/Netflix/Amazon can get you through most non-sports television. I was using my parents comcast account to access Watch ESPN prior to ESPN signing on with AT&T.  

You are right ABC/CBS/Fox/Time Warner have way too many lobbyists with the media providers such as Comcast. DirecTV, Verizon, and AT&T. 

PurpleStuff

July 24th, 2013 at 6:19 PM ^

HBO is owned by Time Warner.  Just like Comcast owns NBCUniversal.  I don't know where you're getting the information that HBO GO is going to be offered for sale without a cable subscription, but these companies aren't going to do anything that makes them less money overall.  Cable companies are not in the business of making it easier for you to not buy cable service.

JayMo4

July 24th, 2013 at 8:41 PM ^

It's inevitable, after all.  Just like downloading music online was back in the 90's.  Everyone could drag their feet, kicking and screaming, making it harder than it had to be.  But it was always just a matter of time.  Cable and satellite providers, TV networks and entertainment conglomerates, they can either embrace change and find new ways to profit from it, or they can fight tooth and nail and come to find that the future will still arrive.

Doc Brown

July 24th, 2013 at 5:56 PM ^

Apple TV has apps similar to an iPad. However, you are still tied to iTunes. I love chromecast for completely undercutting the cost and offering multiplatform support (minus blackberry and windows mobile, seriously does anyone actually still have a blackberry or a windows phone...)

jblaze

July 24th, 2013 at 5:06 PM ^

Does it simply mirror your Chrome web browser on your PC to a TV? If so, why are apps needed for netflix?

Could I just stream a game from a random internet site on Chrome on my PC and have the image on my flat screen? That would be awesome and basically goodbye cable!

htownwolverine

July 24th, 2013 at 5:12 PM ^

 I have already been doing this for years with ye olde desktop... Now we have a device that is basically a 'bluetooth/wifi' stream enabler. Cool for most people who don't own a computer with a vga/hdmi cable.

wile_e8

July 24th, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

This also has the advantage of working with Android and iOS phones and tablets. And being able to put these devices on mutlple TVs in your house and picking which one to stream to. And, as you mentioned, through wifi instead of needing to reach it with a VGA/HDMI cable. For only $35, and you get 3 free months of Netflix knocking the effective price down to $11. It's been possible to play media from your computer on TVs for a while, the big news here is doing it wirelessly from multiple devices for really cheap.

wile_e8

July 24th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

Again, it's not that this was impossible before. It's just never been this cheap and easy before. Your solution requires an Xbox and only works with media center PCs. This costs just $35 and works with the vast majority of tablets and smartphones too. 

wile_e8

July 24th, 2013 at 9:47 PM ^

At first, yes, all the launch apps appear to do is redirect streams to TVs. But the big deal about ChromeCast is the SDK. Once the developers like Plex get to work it shouldn't be long until ChromeCast can do everything your HTPC can do and still have the ability to skip the PC and do everything from a smartphone or tablet.

Shop Smart Sho…

July 24th, 2013 at 5:20 PM ^

And I'm guessing Amazon will continue to claim that they don't quite have an app ready for it, but if you buy a Kindle Fire, you'll be quite able to watch Prime content on it.

BlueMars24

July 24th, 2013 at 5:24 PM ^

I also have a PC hooked up to my TV and can do all of that. Netlfix, HBO, Hulu all have add ins. Even amazon I can just open a browser. I've had it for about 8 years now.

joeyb

July 24th, 2013 at 5:29 PM ^

Almost all devices come with support for those apps now as well. Where this will excel is the price and being able to control it with whatever device you are using while you are watching TV as opposed to a mouse or whatever.

BlueMars24

July 24th, 2013 at 6:54 PM ^

I already have a remote to control Media Center. I also have an app on my phone that can be a remote. The only time I pull out a keyboard is for admin tasks, which isn't very often. I'm just saying this doesn't offer anything that you don't already have with just a PC hooked up to your tv and you get a lot more from the PC. I use it as a 4TB DVR. Cost is nice for chromecast, but I would pay for a PC in the house anyway, I just use it for a tv too.

joeyb

July 24th, 2013 at 7:03 PM ^

Obviously, for those who already have the HTPC setup, this isn't something that they are going to want. For those who were looking to build an HTPC setup, this might be a better option if it does everything they were hoping to do.

Moleskyn

July 24th, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

I am SO pumped for this, and I'm so glad that someone posted it here! 

Edit: Wow, they already have a month-long backlog of orders. My estimated ship date is August 21, and I'm a Prime member.

BlueCE

July 24th, 2013 at 6:30 PM ^

I had a quick question since I am just in the market for a movie streaming device.  Which one do you guys recommend? I was looking at this http://reviews.cnet.com/best-streaming-media-boxes/ and it seems like Roku is great. However, I want to be able to stream from websites and ideally also stream from my XFinity cable account (HBO, sports, etc).  Is ChromeCast the way to go?  Can Roku stream from websites?

Thanks

joeyb

July 24th, 2013 at 6:43 PM ^

Based on what Chromecast has available right now, it's probably not the best option for you. It's hard to say what it really will support because they say that you can stream anything from your browser, but who knows if it's actually as good as it sounds.

I can see three ways that you go with this:

1) Wait it out and see what the reviews are for Chromecast and also what offerings become available in the next few weeks. Then, decide what is best for you.

2) Buy it, play with it, and decide if it fits your needs. Right now, at $35 with the free $24 worth of Netflix (assuming you already have Netflix) it is going to be a net cost of $11. If it doesn't fit your needs, you're out about $17 after tax and S&H.

3) Just go with a Roku. It's proven to work with everything you're looking for. It may or may not turn out that Chromecast is a better way to go, but the only way that I think you will regret this decision is if you wanted to save that $65 or whatever the difference is.

What I would suggest is option #2 because it may do everything that you want and be cheaper than the Roku. If it doesn't, like I said, you're out $17 and you might even be able to resell it to someone for $15-20 if you decide that you'd rather have the Roku. However, that's up to you, as I don't know what your financial situation is.

BlueCE

July 24th, 2013 at 7:49 PM ^

Is there any device (besides connecting the computer directly to the TV) that will allow me to stream from my cable account or a random website?

Thanks everyone

willow

July 24th, 2013 at 10:26 PM ^

Roku does not do LIVETV, everything is video, BUT......

The best plugins for live TV for Roku and a lot of others (not Apple TV) are available through a pc product called Playon.  It's cheap, often comes with a free Roku and works well. It uses plugin scripts (cheap, donation or free) for almost all the cable channels.

It'll also manage logins to other subscriptions like ESPN Insider and CBSSports (BTN).  Charter will block BTN all the time and ESPN if they feel like it unless you have Cable TV.  Use a VGA or hdmi cable to your tv and log onto espn and charter from your pc instead. 

Two of the best scripts are superusvoxtv (Look up its website on the internet.  They have excellent support.) and basic cable.  You can also find MLB and lots of other sports including european channels among the Playon plugins.  Playon also has DVR software call PlayLater.  Get a lifetime license, it's well worth the money.  The picture quality has improved a lot in the last 6 months or so.

ppToilet

July 24th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

I've got one and it works great for Netflix, Amazon, etc. I haven't used it for web streaming, but have tried local streaming with PLEX.

I think the feature I like the best for the Roku is its new search feature. If you want to see a show/movie, you just type into a global search and it will pull up every "channel" that has it and what the charge is.

Interface is really straightforward and there are apps to control it with your phone and tablet (Android or iOS).

I think the Chromecast is intriguing and want to learn more about it, but I was planning on implementing a Miracast solution for some of my mirroring needs.

Voltron Blue

July 24th, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

Why in the world would you stream BTN2Go or HBOGo or WatchESPN from a non-TV device to your TV, when you have to have the TV subscription in order to get those apps?  Why wouldn't you just watch the channel in all its full-resolution, direct on cable/sat rather than through the internet glory?

Oh, because you want to 'steal' the content?  

Yeah...it's possible, but I doubt Google is going to "revolutionize" that particular aspect of the industry with a $35 device.  

wile_e8

July 24th, 2013 at 6:41 PM ^

Well, Netflix and Google Play Movies are already on board, so you get a ton of free and legal content right there. Plus Pandora is coming soon, and who knows what other services will add it on (you woud have to think Amazon is going to want to add this to their streaming content on Kindle Fires soon).

EDIT: Forgot about Hulu. Anything you can legally watch in your browser can easily be sent to your TV now.

wile_e8

July 24th, 2013 at 6:48 PM ^

I missed the point of your original post (and now I can't edit my last post, drat), but you're still wrong. For NOW, you have to have cable subsciption to get the services you mention, but the point is to hopefully be able to buy them on their own in the near future. This will make it easier for people that don't need those services to cut the cord now, and eventually if a critical mass builds up they'll be offered online-only. But until that happens, yes, you might as well just watch on your cable box.