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Old 07-24-2013, 12:16 PM  
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Google introduces Chromecast - 35 bucks?!?

This looks like it will really test Roku/Apple TV. For that price point, I'm not sure how it couldn't. From what I'm hearing, you can stream anything from your desktop to the connected device, but not from mobile. Only supported apps from mobile will stream. More to come, I'm sure.

http://cnet.co/1c2ZBTm

Google's taking yet another stab at the living room.

Today Google introduced Chromecast, a stick-like device that connects to one of your TV's HDMI inputs and accepts video pushed from smartphones, tablets and the Chrome browser. It's available for just $35 starting today from the Google Play store in the US, with availability in other countries to follow.

The compact 2-inch device will work with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and TV, and Google Play Music at launch, with support for future services, including Pandora, coming soon. It's a cross-platform device, with support for both Android and iOS devices, as well as the Chrome browser on both Windows and Mac computers. More details are currently available on the Google's Chrome blog.

Chromecast's approach is different than most devices on the market: it's half-remote, half-streaming media box. The idea is instead of designing a TV-optimized user interface, you'll be able to select and control content from your smartphone or tablet. Browse the Netflix app, find your content, then tell it to play in your living room. Chromecast even goes one step further, by automatically switching your TV to the correct input and giving you the ability to adjust the volume using your mobile devices built-in volume controls. The ability for Android devices to pause content without unlocking the phone first seemed particularly well-implemented.

You'll also be able to juggle control between multiple mobile devices, with Chromecast syncing between connected devices. You can start playing Netflix from your tablet, then later use a smartphone to fast-forward. Using the YouTube app, you can also create a shared queue of content, stringing together several short web videos for an extended viewing session. All-in-all, Google's demos looked particularly slick.

As sleek as the Chromecast device looks, Google's initial presentation skimmed over some of the rougher edges. The specs in the Google Play store list both a USB power cable and a power adapter, which indicate that the Chromecast will have some wires hanging off it -- it's not truly "just a stick". It's the same method PLAiR used to power its similar HDMI-based streaming stick.

The hardware itself supports 2.4 GHz WiFi 802.11, which isn't quite as nice as the dual-band Wi-Fi offered on Roku's Streaming Stick. The internal processor is capable of playing back full 1080p video with 5.1 surround sound.

I haven't had any hands-on time with the Chromecast yet, but from the initial announcement, the biggest limitation appears to be app support. Supporting only four services out-of-the-gate puts Chromecast well behind established players like Roku and Apple TV, and limited functionality was also one of the major knocks against the ill-fated Nexus Q.

However, the big difference with Chromecast ultralow $35 price. It's a lot easier to accept those limitations when you haven't paid much upfront and the low price should also help spread adoption, which should encourage services to include Chromecast at a faster rate.

This is a developing story so stay tuned for further details as we get them.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:42 PM   #61
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Sounds cool, but im not sure what i'd gain from using it. If i want to watch netflix I simply turn on my PS3.

How is this more advantageous than simply turning on my PS3 or even connecting my laptop to my T.V?
Something like this could make it easier to bring your internet media with you when you travel or visit.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:24 PM   #62
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My brother brought his Apple TV with us on vacation last week. It was a lot of fun. We used Airplay a ton to stream stuff from our devices: music, YouTube videos, GoPro videos we'd shot, and our pics from each day. It was pretty sweet. Not arguing for superiority of Apple TV, just sharing a cool application of this type of tech I'd never thought of.


I kept worry I was going to AirPlay some porn to the TV though.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:26 PM   #63
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Got my last night. Set up took a minute and everything worked as expected after that. I have a smart TV that was constantly dropping it's connection and has been unusable. I was streaming Netflix all night and also played a couple of Youtube clips.

Thumbs up from me.
Saahhweet! Thanks for the feedback. I am definitely getting one now.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #64
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Chromecast Fever: Google Dongle Attracts Flurry of Interest From HBO, Hulu, Others

After consumers flocked to buy out the first batch of Google’s (GOOG) new Chromecast Internet television dongle, HBO, Hulu and other major video and music services say they are looking to follow.

When Google unveiled its three-inch Internet-television connector last week, the conventional wisdom was that the Chromecast was cool tech but lacking content to match competitors such as Apple TV (AAPL) and Roku.

But already there seems to be a flurry of interest from other developers to support the $35 Chromecast, now sold out with a three- to four-week backlog.

“We are actively exploring supporting Chromecast as another way for our subscribers to enjoy HBO GO,” spokeswoman Laura Young says. The premium network owned by Time Warner (TWC) isn’t disclosing any specific timing, however.

That matches up with evidence that some computer hackers found hidden amongst the Chromecast’s operating code: Configuration files appeared to show testing between the Chromecast and HBO Go, Revision 3 and Songza.

The network-owned streaming video service Hulu is also already actively working with Google to add Chromecast capabilities to its apps, a person familiar with the effort says.

And online music video channel VEVO says its wants to get in on the potential dance parties, too. "VEVO is planning to update our apps for Android and iOS as well as our website to support Chromecast," spokeswoman Jennifer Press says.

A Vimeo executive was even more explicit. “We look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products,” vice president of mobile Nick Alt told GigaOm, which also reported interest from Redbox. The subsidiary of Outerwall (OUTR), formerly Coinstar, is best known for its ubiquitous DVD rental vending machines, but Redbox is also partnering with Verizon (VZ) to beta test an instant viewing service competing with the likes of Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu.

Out of the box, Chromecast lets anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer play shows from Netflix, YouTube and a few other apps directly on a home television set. Users can also stream most other online content via Google’s Chrome browser on their computer to a TV, but quality suffers and some reviewers complain video and audio tracks get out of sync.

That’s probably why, at the same time Google unveiled the device, it also provided a software development kit to let programmers add Chromecast compatibility to their apps, both on Android and iOS. With such capability added, videos stream directly from the Internet to the Chromecast, just like YouTube and Netflix. That avoids bottlenecks at the browser and PC level.

The plastic dongle plugs into a TV’s HDMI port and connects to the Internet via wifi. Power comes either via a TV’s USB port or an electrical outlet.

The low price and simplicity have already attracted hordes of early adopters. More content could bring in more of the TV-watching masses as well.
Not that it's a surprise, but it looks like it won't be long before the supported set of service expands. Maybe Google will actually succeed this time...
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #65
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Anything that makes the cable companies and traditional networks see that normal people are getting stuff on their TV through IP is a good thing.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:49 PM   #66
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I'm not sure why google blows so much at selling its own products. 3-4 weeks out? I'm excited to get mine and play around with it though. I hope sites widely support it, although I'm sure we'll have the same "pay extra" (Hulu) or "verify cable" model though. Only Netflix is good at giving you stuff anywhere you want it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:59 PM   #67
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I'm not sure why google blows so much at selling its own products. 3-4 weeks out? I'm excited to get mine and play around with it though. I hope sites widely support it, although I'm sure we'll have the same "pay extra" (Hulu) or "verify cable" model though. Only Netflix is good at giving you stuff anywhere you want it.
I hate that verify cable bullshit.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:03 PM   #68
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:33 PM   #69
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I hate that verify cable bullshit.
This could be in place due to existing contracts that the content guys have in place with the cable companies. Take HBO for example. Since they presumably don't need the cable package subsidy like ESPN does they should be liking this idea a bunch. Unfortunately they're owned by Time Warner so it could continue to suck for a while.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:33 AM   #70
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My brother brought his Apple TV with us on vacation last week. It was a lot of fun. We used Airplay a ton to stream stuff from our devices: music, YouTube videos, GoPro videos we'd shot, and our pics from each day. It was pretty sweet. Not arguing for superiority of Apple TV, just sharing a cool application of this type of tech I'd never thought of.


I kept worry I was going to AirPlay some porn to the TV though.
The AppleTV also is capable of being jailbroken, which allows for the installation of XBMC among other 3rd party apps on top of what you've already listed. Which makes capable the free streaming of nearly every popular movie and TV show ever. I often show people what my jailbroken AppleTV2 is capable of, and they always leave saying "Holy shit, I need to get that kind of setup". I haven't had cable in almost 2 years, and I still watch everything I want to watch when I want to watch it...
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:24 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
I'm not sure why google blows so much at selling its own products. 3-4 weeks out? I'm excited to get mine and play around with it though. I hope sites widely support it, although I'm sure we'll have the same "pay extra" (Hulu) or "verify cable" model though. Only Netflix is good at giving you stuff anywhere you want it.
My Chromecast was schedule for delivery a couple of days ago, with an expected delivery date of August 20th. Just checked again (on amazon), and now it's in transit, due to be delivered later today. I'm looking forward to it. I don't have an Apple TV or Roku, so this will be useful for me. Anyone who ordered from Amazon the day of, I urge you to check your shipping info.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:44 AM   #72
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The AppleTV also is capable of being jailbroken, which allows for the installation of XBMC among other 3rd party apps on top of what you've already listed. Which makes capable the free streaming of nearly every popular movie and TV show ever. I often show people what my jailbroken AppleTV2 is capable of, and they always leave saying "Holy shit, I need to get that kind of setup". I haven't had cable in almost 2 years, and I still watch everything I want to watch when I want to watch it...
Teach me the ways of streaming HD sports.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:59 AM   #73
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Teach me the ways of streaming HD sports.
That is the ONE major drawback.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:11 AM   #74
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That is the ONE major drawback.
Especially since I have Surewest, and still lack WatchESPN access.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:52 AM   #75
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I got mine a couple days ago. It's very cool, although still quite buggy and not widely supported. For $35 though, absolutely.
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