Some of you might be wondering if Google TV has just become obsolete. It hasn’t. It was announced earlier today that Google TV will actually receive Chromecast support at some unspecified time in the future.
As reported by Phandroid, Google TV Developers announced on Google+ that partners are still making Google TV enabled HDTVs and set top boxes. Some Chromecast features will be incorporated into Google TV but they will remain separate products. As Rishi Chandra, director of product management for Chromecast told The Verge:
"We don’t think there’s one device that’s going to rule them all," Chandra says. Parsing out how Google believes these two products fit into a living room strategy requires figuring out just what Google has planned for its ill-reputed TV product. Chandra makes the distinction this way: there are still millions upon millions of TVs sold every year, and "they’re going to have an operating system built into it, and we believe that operating system should be Android, which is what Google TV is based on." For the hundreds of millions of TVs already out there, Chromecast is literally a plug-and-play solution.
So what exactly is Chromecast? It is a dongle that you plug into the HDMI slot on your HDTV. As The Washington Post has reported with it plugged in it “lets users beam content to the big screen.” At the same time that you are streaming to your TV, you can continue to multitask on whatever device you are using whether it be a cell phone, tablet or computer.
Unlike other proprietary devices like Apple’s Airplay, you don’t have to use a particular operating system for it to work. Basically, if you can use the chrome browser on your device, you can beam content to through Chromecast. It works with “devices running Google’s Android mobile operating system, Apple’s iOS operating system and Chrome for Windows, Chrome for Mac and any device running the Chrome OS.”
While Chromecast can be used with a variety of different operating systems, there are still limitations to what you can currently stream. For instance you can use Netflix and YouTube but not Pandora – yet. Google is hoping that more app developers will build in the ability to work with Chromecast but that will be a slow process.
Yesterday when Chromecast was first presented, part of the allure was three months free Netflix service. Your three months free service meant that the actual cost for Chromecast was $11 ($35 – $24=$11). According to Phandroid the Netflix offer expired earlier today because it was so popular, Google couldn’t afford it. Still $35 isn’t bad for an easy streaming solution.