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 25th, 2013 at 7:14 AM ^

The one benefit could be those of us who follow fringe sports (most college sports not football or basketball) on the Watch ESPN app. For example, the only you could watch Michigan's softball regional live was through the Watch ESPN app. ESPN sent a crew to cover the regional but did not broadcast the games on any of their channels. 

If HBO cuts the cord to content providers as they have been hinting at lately, then the scales could be turned. 

joeyb

July 24th, 2013 at 6:54 PM ^

First of all, it's not streaming from a non-TV device; it is streaming from their servers straight to the TV. (Unless, of course, by non-TV device, you are referring to the Chromecast itself)

Second, BTN and ESPN may not have regional coverage for the game you are trying to watch. If you have to stream the game, it's better to do it on the TV rather than your computer. This is especially important if you are interested in smaller sports like baseball, hockey, or lacrosse that probably aren't going to be on TV, but may be streamed.

Third, HBO's CEO said something back in May about the possibility of not requiring a cable subscription for HBOGo's use. It's probably not happening in the near future, but who knows. You can also stream shows like The Sopranos or The Wire, which aren't necessarily available through on-demand. If you don't have HBO on-demand at all, then streaming newer shows to your TV is also a big perk.

Voltron Blue

July 24th, 2013 at 7:09 PM ^

1)  Technology - I didn't realize that is the way it works.  Thanks!

2)  Regional coverage - Fair enough.  On my DirecTV, all the regional feeds are available, but it's a good point that this is not true for everyone.  Though, in my defense, nobody that was posting about this miracle device, to whom I was responding, mentioned this specifically.  

3)  This may happen - but my point was simply that this device is not going to be what makes it happen.  It would unquestionably benefit, but if/when unbundling happens, then yes, this thing will have much more value.  

And, hey, I'm not saying this thing is worthless, I just don't think it suddenly signifies a bold unbundled future as some above made it seem (how's that for a straw man?).

joeyb

July 24th, 2013 at 7:27 PM ^

To be fair, none of those reasons apply to me.

I was just about to update my post when you responded because I didn't originally see your title where you said that we are probably overestimating the potential. For $11, I don't expect much out of this that I can't already do other than to give me some convenience.

However, I disagree that it doesn't have a lot of potential. From a development perspective, there are huge groups of individuals that work hard on HTPC apps and Google might have just come up with a product that will drive support from content providers rather than a developer base having to support everything themselves.

From what I've seen of the SDK, I could potentially go home tonight and write a server web app in about an hour that would stream any media (home videos, my music library, my pictures, etc.) that I store on my home PC to my TV. That assumes that this device can stream from network locations, but even if it can't, I would just have to find/write a server software to stream in whatever protocol the support.

Voltron Blue

July 24th, 2013 at 8:01 PM ^

...perhaps you are right.  

Why do you think this is so dramatically different than Google TV / Nexus Q?  Is it just price point / ease of 'installation'?  Or the market is more ready now than it was?  Or something having to do with the technical guts?

 

joeyb

July 24th, 2013 at 8:41 PM ^

Compare this to something like Boxee. Boxee had a hard time with Hulu and other sites changing their formats or explicitly blocking them. The burden of making the system work was on the developers. In this case, Google is giving the content providers a framework to work with and the burden of making it work is on them. Considering how well this has been received by consumers, I think that content providers will jump on the bandwagon very quickly. For those that don't (most likely the ones you listed above), there will be unofficial support from the community and it won't be a huge issue.

Doc Brown

July 25th, 2013 at 7:18 AM ^

no, this device alone will not make it happen. However, the combination of users streaming content through x box 1, ps 4, apple tv, chromecast, samsung link, etc is starting to reach a global mass. 

Sllepy81

July 24th, 2013 at 6:53 PM ^

says out of inventory. I'm getting one, eventually. hopefully it runs with an ipad, looks like it might but with Apple tv you would think they would block it.

Steve in PA

July 25th, 2013 at 9:39 AM ^

If I understand all of this correctly it could be the end of DirecTv's NFL stranglehold. Doesn't Verizon stream games to your mobile device? If that's the case then this should let you stream NFL to your TV.

*Disclaimer-I don't have Chromecast, Verizon, DirecTV, or watch NFL.

joeyb

July 25th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

I was thinking about this last night and I think there is some misconception about what they are saying Chromecast can do. Just because you have an app or website that you can stream video from doesn't necessarily mean that you will be able to send it to Chromecast. The developer of the app/website will have to add support for you to actually send the information to Chromecast. In the case of websites that stream video via flash, a developer can probably put together a plugin that will do this for you, but there's a chance it can break if the code on the site changes and there's no guarantee that there is a way to get the necessary information to do so.

In the case of Verizon, they will not support this as it will violate their contract with the NFL, so that plan most likely isn't going to work.

Sllepy81

July 25th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

Well temporarily out of stock but free 2 day shipping for prime members. I am curious what the chromecast sdk will offer. As long as Verizon still gives me big ten free I won't buy it for now but when they finally remove it since I don't pay for it I will get the chromecast.

Sllepy81

July 25th, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

ipad won't let you mirror big ten network, Amazon prime through the ipad. can I mirror those through the ipad to the chromecast? or is it not supported?

WestSider

July 25th, 2013 at 11:55 AM ^

ordered from Best Buy this morning after following this for two days. As a 'Silver' member, shipping is free and it looks to ship first week of August. Given the three months of Netflix whether or not you already subscribe, the eventual approximate cost of $11+ is a great bargain, with plenty of potential.

I have HD televisions in the home. I have Roku 2, Roku 3 and Apple TV. The Roku 3 is the best of the bunch. I will be experimenting with the Chromecast on a secondary television where we really only watch Netflix. I am curious to see what Chrome will stream to the Chromecast. However, we cut cable two years ago, and really only miss ESPN. With the sites on the internet that show UM sports (for free), I've been able to avoid having cable TV (Charter), while maintaining highspeed internet. With an exterior mounted antennae, we have HD signals available from CBS, ABC and NBC, along with Fox17 and some other worthless feeds. You could nearly buy three Chromecasts for the cost of an Apple TV. However, for those of you who have not experienced these sorts of streaming boxes, the clear best value and most loaded unit is the Roku 3 (has remote with head/earphone jack for those moments when media noise is not an option).

This Chromecast purchase is a no-brainer for me.