As of October 2017, over 55 million Chromecasts and Chromecast built-in devices have been sold globally. We have been talking about Google Chromecast a couple of times – read this text. We still analyze this sector in terms of business with existing and future Better Software Group partners. This time we would like to focus on some important aspects of development and benefits of implementing this service in your business or daily life.
Just a brief reminder to the start. Chromecast is the name Google gives to streaming dongles: the standard Chromecast and Chromecast Audio. Chromecast streams content to the TV from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, Spotify and the Chrome browser via the Google Cast extension. The remote control is the user’s smartphone, tablet or computer, whereby content is selected and “cast” to the TV. The Google Chromecast is a streaming media player which takes content from the Internet and displays it on your TV. As of October 2016, the Chromecast comes in two flavours: Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra. The Ultra version supports 4K Ultra HD and HDR video and you can also use it with an Ethernet connection in addition to Wi-Fi. With the Chromecast you find the various content you want to watch/listen to/play on your Android or iOS mobile device or in your Chrome browser and then “cast” it to your TV through the dedicated player.
Google Chromecast vs. Google Cast
In industry media, the definitions Google Chromecast and Google Cast are often used interchangeably. Is there any difference? Google Cast branded for consumer devices as Chromecast built-in, is a proprietary protocol developed directly by Google. This protocol enables mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, console) and personal computers to initiate and control playback of Internet-streamed audio/video content on a compatible device. This solution can be implemented in a widely understood digital media players connected to a high-definition television or home audio system. The protocol was first launched on July 24, 2013. The main task was to support Google’s first-generation Chromecast player. Google Cast is still expected to live on as a name for a set of developer technologies aimed at helping publishers make their apps cast-compatible. Chromecast built-in is what Google calls the same streaming abilities integrated into a product like a TV or speaker. So if a TV comes with Chromecast built-in, it’s ready to stream content without the need for a Chromecast dongle. Chromecast built-in used to be called Google Cast. If a product refers to its ability to cast content means streaming it to Chromecast-equipped or Chromecast built-in device.
It’ not a secret. Google is trying to build mass-market hardware of its own. Chromecast has arguably been the company’s first such success story, with Google selling more than 30 million units in three years. With the simple change of brand, Google now seems ready to cement this status, signaling to all partners and consumers alike that its own hardware is leading the charge.
Google Chromecast advantages and profits
One of the main advantages is that there are already hundreds of Cast-enabled apps, which provide more content choices than you get with most proprietary TV-based streaming platforms. Google Cast is still expected to get more frequent updates and improvements than most systems built by single TV makers such as Samsung or LG. Bartlomiej Lozia, CEO of Better Software Group lists some important benefits and practical adoptions for digital TV market, among others:
- Building a Chromecast for your application and using streaming to big screen TVs is an alternative to smart tv. Certainly more convenient and efficient.
- The smartphone becomes a remote control for the TV. You can simply use your phone to search, browse, queue and control the TV from anywhere.
- Investing in Chromecast opens up to Smart tv apps and big screens enviroment.
Google Chromecast for private user and developer
Whether Google Cast is a better option than a conventional smart TV platform depends on who is using it. Google Chromecast is very useful not only for traditional user. It’s also a dedicated service for mobile apps developers. Google Cast is designed for media apps including TV, movies, music, and more. You can put your best video content on the biggest screens in the house, and now you can also bring your audio content to Google Cast for Audio devices and Google Home devices. Google Cast Remote Display allows any mobile app developer to take full advantage of the multiscreen Google Cast model. Developers, using Google Cast SDK can build dual screen applications where part of the experience is projected on the TV via Cast, and the other is displayed on the phone or tablet screen. The Google Cast SDK enables you to extend your Android, iOS or Chrome app to direct its streaming video and audio to a TV or sound system. Your app becomes the remote control to play, pause, seek, rewind, stop, and otherwise control the media. The Google Cast SDK was released on February 3, 2014. It allows third parties to modify their software to support the protocol. All these above options confirm that Google Chromecast is a service which in the coming years will strongly change the digital and smart TV market structure.
Source: ConsumerReports, Google, Techforluddite, WhatWiFi, Variety
Graphic: Google Play, Google for Developers