Tag Archives: Chromecast

Muktware_Chromecast_Concept

Google’s Chromecast sells more than 100k units in just 2 months in the UK

More than 100,000 Chromecasts have been sold in just two months of being launched in the UK. The figure comes from select industry experts speaking at MediaTel’s annual ‘Media Playground’ event held in London, UK earlier this week.

Google introduced the £30 Chromecast in the UK back in March following the successful launch of the device in the US. Compared to the sale figure of more than a million devices shipped in the US, the 100k figure does pale in comparison, but nonetheless it is a solid start for the device in a new land. Also, given that fact that the device isn’t as pricey as some of its other competitors like Apple’s AirPlay and Roku 3, the Chromecast have a very good probability of being a dominant force in the field.

In fact speaking at Media Playground on Wednesday, Paul Scanlan, co-founder and president of MobiTV, Chromecast, which allows video content from tablets and smartphones to be ‘cast’ to a TV screen, was a “strong threat” to the likes of Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk.

“I think it can do more damage than good to the pay TV operators,” he said. “To the existing incumbents I think Chromecast is a really strong threat.”

Chromecast already has several of the UK’s biggest media providers onboard. BBC iPlayer, BT Sport, and Netflix all offered native Cast support in their respective Android and iOS applications on launch day. Even BBC is planning to add casting feature in their web player in the future. Nigel Walley, managing director at media strategy consultancy Decipher, expects pay TV operators like to add casting capability to their Sky+ app thus integrating into the threat and profiting from it rather than fighting it.

However, Jon Block, ITV’s controller of digital products, is not that optimistic. According to him Casting is a niche activity at the moment and says that it will take it about half a decade to become mainstream by which time the TV market will be in a new cycle, thus negating any possibilities of a threat. He also cites that since there are a lot of services that are not supported by Chromecast, like 4OD and ITVPlayer, Chromecast have a long way to go before being classified as a viable threat. He also adds that lack of any industrial standard in this field will keep the Chromecast limited in the foreseeable future.

Whether the Chromecast is a serious threat, or it is just a limited device with a lucky start only time will tell. But what we can say from the figures for sure is that there is healthy amount of demand for the convenience and connected experience that Chromecast is capable of affording to the end users.

Source: OMGChrome

Google’s Chromecast arriving in UK on 19 March

People in UK have a good news coming their way. So far, those who wanted to lay their hands on Chromecast had to import one from the United States. But it won’t be necessary anymore. It has been reported in Android Police website that starting Wednesday, interested buyers can source it from a retailer.

Come 19 March and Google’s popular streaming dongle will hit shelves in the country. If not more, there is atleast one that will have the dongle stocked. This was revealed through an email by Dixons that talks about the Dos and Don’ts of the new product launched by Google.

While the note does not talk about the pricing of the device, it instructs employees to store the stock securely and also directs them to not start selling before 9am Wednesday. Additionally, it says that the product is protected under the Non Disclosure Agreement with Google.

This is the first time that Google will be making the device available outside of the US. It will be interesting to see how much response they are able to garner.

Source: Android Police

Google’s Chromecast Arriving In UK On 19 March

People in UK have good news coming their way. So far, those who wanted to lay their hands on Chromecast had to import one from the United States. But it won’t be necessary anymore. It has been reported in Android Police website that starting Wednesday, interested buyers can source it from a retailer.

Come 19 March and Google’s popular streaming dongle will hit shelves in the country. If not more, at least one retailer will have the dongle stocked. This was revealed through an email by Dixons that was circulated among all its branches. It talks about the Dos and Don’ts of the new product launched by Google.

While the note does not talk about the pricing of the device, it instructs employees to store the stock securely and also directs them to not start selling before 9am Wednesday. Additionally, it says that the product is protected under the Non Disclosure Agreement with Google.

This is the first time that Google will be making the device available outside of the US. Let’s see the response they are able to garner.

Source: Android Police

Muktware_Chromecast_Concept

Chromecast concept shows futuristic redesign and we like it a lot

Google’s Chromecast remains their hottest selling device. At $35 a piece and an ever increasing list of supported apps, the little dongle has put many set-top boxes and sources of digital media out of business. While many have expressed their love for the device, designer Sam Dirani of Raleigh, NC, feels like there could be a more modern look to the revolutionary device, and he has now revealed his take on it.

Dirani’s Chromecast leaves the dongle-like look behind, and decides to add some curvature to the piece. By curvature, I mean all 360 degrees of it. Yes. Dirani has turned the Chromecast into a disc-like figure, not distant in design from the Sony Discman you owned back in the early to mid 90’s. Unlike the discman however, Dirani has crafted a sleek device that, although hidden behind your tv of choice, would look just as comfortable next to your Xbox One, PS4, or any other recent entertainment acquisition of yours.

To achieve such precision and beauty, Dirani employed the use of a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining process along with an all aluminum case. To get rid of the heat, “a unique heat-sink that has been chemically-etched into the underside of the case” was used. A permanently attached and bendable HDMI cord is bendable to allow easy access to all those hard-to-reach ports, and the chrome logo looks right at home on the black, circular device.

Dirani’s ability to use this familiar shape (circle) in creating a design as stunning as his, suggests that he should be snapped up by some OEMs who have problems designing eye catching smartphones or smartwatches for that matter. From this point on, technology and design need to work together for the good of mankind. We need beauty with the function. We need eye candy while we geek out. To catch a glimpse of some more of Dirani’s work, click here, or hit the link after the break for more details of his Chromecast concept.

Sources: Yankodesign

AllCast adds DLNA support

Koushik Dutta, the famed developer of CyanogenMOD has added DLNA support to his AllCast Android app. Ever since Google opened Chromcast to 3rd party developers Koush is on roll. He has, in fact, been toying with Chromecast the day it was released and created some stir in the free software community when Google changed the preview APIs for Chromecast which broke his app.

He is already working on mirroring Android to Chromecast and keep improving his AllCast app. Looking at the track record of Google, its obvious that Google will incorporate all the features that AllCast offers rendering its useless, but Koush can always claim he did it first and may actually keep Google on its toes by keep adding more features to his app.

AllCast is available for free of cost from the Play Store, but has a limit of 1 minute video playback. You can unlock it by buying a $5 premium edition, which is more or less a license for the app.

Chromecast

Chromecast support is coming to Chrome for Android?

Good news for Chromecast users, who love to tinker and get access to features not available to mere mortals. Android mirroring is one of the most useful feature for users. Ever since Google opened up Chromecast to 3rd party developers by releasing the SDK, a lot of development is happening around this device. One of the feature that I really want is Android mirroring so that I can ‘stream’ games to my TV through Chromecast. Koushik Dutta of CyanogenMOD has already demoed it, but there is still no word from Google if and when such a feature will arrive to Android. But it does seem Google is working in that direction. A flag has been spotted in the beta of Chrome for Android which allows users to ‘stream’ YouTube content from Chrome browser. It doesn’t allow one to stream everything that’s running in the browser, unlike the desktop edition which allows a user to stream the entire Chrome tab to the device.

If you want to test it out, just install the Chrome Beta and visit below page in the browser to access the flags.

chrome://flags/#enable-cast

Chromecast youtube hidden feature

Then enable the flag. Now, you won’t notice any Chromecast icon on browser, however if you go to YouTube on the browser and play any video, then you will see the option to cast that video to the device.

It’s not really that exciting as one can already cast a video from YouTube app, but it does show that Google is working on integrating Chromcast with Android.

AllCast update brings Chromecast fixes and Muzei support

If Mumbai has the reputation of the city which never sleeps, Koushik Dutta, of CyanogenMod fame, has almost similar reputation. This extremely prolific developer keeps rolling out new release of his popular AllCast app which allows Android users to ‘stream’ content to  devices like Chromecast, which Google recently opened to 3rd party developers.

He has updated the app today bringing quite a lot of new features and face-lifting. Some of the most notable new features can be:

  • Major UI redesign
  • Muzei support
  • Chromecast fixes
  • Playlist fixes
  • Possibly fixed video thumbnail crash fix on Samsung
  • Chromecast icon update
  • Set app to free while bugs are fixed
  • Chromecast support is now available and in beta! (Requires new Google Play Services 4.2.34)
  • Better song info when playing music on DLNA or Roku
  • Power/wake leak fixes
  • Better photo support for DLNA

AllCast supports a wide range of devices including Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic Smart TVs, and Chromecast. From among these the most important one is Chromecast as the rest support DLNA.

There is a free version of the app which limits video playback to 1 minutes. To be able to play full video you can buy the paid version AllCast Premium which is available for only $4.99.

Google releases beta channel for Chromecast extension

Google has finally started to expose its Chromecast, the $35 magical device which can be found in majority of US homes, to 3rd party developers. The Android maker recently released the stable SDK for Chromecast which allows developers to use the device and reach enter people’s living rooms, now the company has released a public beta channel for the Google Cast extension. The goal behind this release is to enable developers to test out the latest features before they’re released to the public.

Google’s Shawn Shen posts on Google+, “We want to make sure that new versions of the Google Cast extension don’t inadvertently break sites that integrate with the SDK.  Providing pre-release versions to the community is the best way to ensure we detect and address any issues prior to a public rollout.”

The extension can be installed from the Web Store (just disable the stable extension so as to avoid any conflicts). Once you have enabled the beta, it will get updates automatically so you won’t have to worry about future updates.

Just keep in mind that it’s beta so things might break and it’s intended for those who want to help Google and developers in finding the bugs and making it better.

What it means for users?

It means that more and more developers will be able to offer their content and services to Chromecast users. One feature that I am most excited about is the ability to cast local content to my Chromecast.

koushik_dutta

CyanogenMOD developer demos Android Mirroring to Chromecast

Koushik Dutta, the lead developer of CyanogenMOD has been flirting with Google’s Chromecast for the early days. He created a storm in a cup when he reverse engineered it to stream local content and Google changed the code to block it.

Well, Google had warned not to use preview SDK to write apps as it was in initial phase. Dutta has an AllCast app which allows one to stream quite a lot of local content to Chromecast. Now since Google has released the SDK and opened Chromecast to 3rd party developers there are immense possibilities – and Dutta is back. He has teased users with an app which can mirror the Android screen on Chromecast cast.

You can clearly see him playing Flappy Bird on this phone which is ‘Chromecasted’ to the Chromecast device. It’s exciting as now you can enjoy HD games or other stuff on your big screen using the phone as a remote. We don’t yet know when Dutta will make the app available publicly but it’s certain it’s coming, or it may just be another feature of AllCast.

BTW, if you want to win a Chromecast, enter this contest today.

Google opened Chromecast to developers, announced SDK; Now can I play local content?

Google has finally released the SDK for Chromecast which will allow 3rd party developers to stream content to the living room via Chromecast. The living room is going to get more exciting!

The launch of Google’s Chromecast was a huge success, it was the hottest device at that time – and I am pretty sure it still is. However dark cloud hovered over the device and the open source community got concerned that this may be a ‘closed (as in non-free)’ Google device, when Koushik Dutta of CyanogenMOD tried to reverse engineer it and tried to play local content via Chromecast.

Google had strictly asked developers to refrain from using the developer preview of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) to built apps as things might break. Google made some changes and it broke Koush’s app – a storm brew up in a tea cup, once again, questioning the ‘open-ness’ of the app.

It was assumed that Google was positioning Chromecast as a streaming device and was focusing on getting content providers for it before it engage developers to add support for their apps. Now when Google has succeed in getting a long list of content providers to bring their content on Chromecast, the company is opening the device to developers.

Today Google has released Google Cast SDK for “developing and publishing Google Cast-ready apps,” as John Affaki says on a company blog.

John further adds, “The Google Cast SDK is simple to integrate because there’s no need to write a new app. Just incorporate the SDK into your existing mobile and web apps to bring your content to the TV. You are in control of how and when you develop and publish your cast-ready apps through the Google Cast developer console. The SDK is available on Android and iOS as well as on Chrome through the Google Cast browser extension.”

In order to help developers Google has published some open source sample apps on GitHUB.

Google has already updated all Chromecast devices to the latest software so that it can work with the SDK. The company will start updating its extension for Chrome browser (and OS) today.

Jonh says that th”Google Cast SDK for Android will be available in a few days as part of the Google Play services 4.2 update, which is currently rolling out to Android devices. The Google Cast SDK for iOS is available starting today.”

So, can I now play local videos stories on my device to Chromecast? Well technically there are some apps which already allow that such as RealPlayer, Plex and some more – unfortunately they all have some restrictions – RealPlayer wants you to upload your private video to their servers to be able to play on Chromcast and Plex wants you to buy a $3.99 (per month) Plex Pass to access the feature. I hope the situation will change with the arrival of the SDK.