Light Reading

Can Cable Stick One on Chromecast?

Mari Silbey
3/3/2014
50%
50%

In direct contrast to the much-maligned set-tops rented from cable providers, Google's retail Chromecast device -- a low-cost HDMI adapter that streams over-the-top video content to a TV set -- is owned and beloved by many.

There's a long list of reasons why the two device categories are very different, but the sheer popularity of the Chromecast adapter leads to an inevitable question: Should the cable industry follow Google's lead and develop its own HDMI streaming stick solution?

As it turns out, the answer is not simple.

Traditional set-top vendors are exploring the merits of HDMI adapters and the business-case scenarios that could make sense to service providers. Pace plc chief technologist Darren Fawcett told us about three possible use cases for a streaming stick. First, it could be used for mirroring content from a mobile device to a TV. Second, it could connect to a broadband gateway and offer over-the-top video service direct to a TV. Third, it could be used in a hybrid scenario, combining pay TV and broadcast TV programming with OTT video.

There are pros and cons to the hybrid use case. On the pro side, even though it still represents a capex cost for the operator, a streaming stick could be much cheaper than a set-top. And it still gives service providers a way to manage the video experience without relying on a consumer electronics manufacturer to provide the underlying software.

"I think the reason why the stick is appealing to many operators is because, whilst it is a capex client to handle… [it] enables me to maintain the managed service [and] is also controllable in the sense that I know what software version is on it, and I therefore know… what services I can offer and how I can upgrade my services accordingly," Fawcett said.

An HDMI adapter can also be self-installed by a subscriber (no truck roll). Thanks to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), it has the cachet of a must-have gadget, rather than a must-tolerate cable box.

On the con side, consumer expectations for cable TV are much higher than they are for the over-the-top video that Chromecast supports. Further, operators want the ability to offer an experience that's consistent with what they deliver on other platforms. In short, the performance requirements for cable providers are much different than they are for Google, and that impacts the size and price of the hardware they need.

"You've got to be mindful that, as soon as you start putting… more into it, in effect it becomes a set-top box," Fawcett said. "It's not quite as straightforward as 'The technology is evolving and therefore shrinking. I can fit it all in the dongle.' What we're seeing is technology is evolving, but also requirements are creeping up."

Next page: Who's doing what?

(17)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/14/2014 | 5:38:39 PM
Re: Performance is key
MikeP688: "Creating different classes of users, though, is against the very spirit of the interent that was supposed to be the great equalizer."

Not at all. ISPs have always been able to charge more for more bandwidth. The problem arises when ISPs begin to discriminate against certain websites and businesses with no technical reason for doing so 
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Moderator
3/10/2014 | 2:38:42 PM
Re: Chromecast is not for everyone (Briefly)
@Mike yes, you may want to hold off on buying a Roku streaming stick. The regular Roku boxes are already very good.
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/6/2014 | 12:26:03 AM
Re: Performance is key
Creating different classes of users, though, is against the very spirit of the interent that was supposed to be the great equalizer.     TELCO's already have tiered plans which we've deliberated here.   The moves, though, are worrisome to say the least.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/6/2014 | 12:09:29 AM
Re: Performance is key
A consumer who pays a premium for cable access has higher demands than someone watching a free video on YouTube.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 4:10:51 PM
Re: "For Chromecast app developers there needs to be an incentive..."
This discussion makes me wonder if Google will alloy some kind of "in-app purchases" via the Chromecast interface in the future. That would provide an incentive for some app developers. I also wonder if Google will someday allow Chromecast accessories to be made by 3rd parties (like Apple does with various approved iPad accessories) -- so we might see remote controls or "joysticks" to go along with the Chromecast.
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 2:01:28 AM
Re: "For Chromecast app developers there needs to be an incentive..."
Yes, it is popular--but there needs to the incentive for the App Developers to drive revenue--and as I said, I am more than confident Google will drive it as it dominates ever more.

 
gconnery
50%
50%
gconnery,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 1:59:25 AM
"For Chromecast app developers there needs to be an incentive..."
The incentive for app developers is that the ChromeCast is popular so has sold in large numbers and is easy to use and has an SDK available, allowing them to write support for it into their existing app.

Should HBO Go support it?  Well, what's HBO Go for?  To keep you paying your HBO monthly fee?  Oh, then yes they should.

Should Hulu Plus support it?  Do they want people to pay for Hulu Plus?  Oh, then yes they should.

Should Amazon support it?  Yes.  Should MLB support it?  Yes.  Anything that already has a monetization strategy for mobile should support it.

And if they don't have a mobile monetization strategy?  Well, then they're going to be out of business soon enough.  They probably shouldn't spend money on ChromeCast support.
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 1:51:52 AM
Re: Performance is key
Buffering drives me up the wall....but as one who consider himself a "Power User", I am patient.  But the typical patient may not be as patient.    
MikeP688
0%
100%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 1:50:54 AM
Re: Not sure what to say...
I thought ROKU was in a step in that direction.

 
MikeP688
0%
100%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 1:48:22 AM
Re: Chromecast is not for everyone (Briefly)
There is no question that for $ 35, you get a lot of value--just as I'm sure ROKU's offering will be just as valuable.     As for App Developers, there needs to be an incentive for it which I am sure Google will work to figure it out since it is clear that Android is clearing house right now 

 

 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (3) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Carolina Town Becomes First US 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/3/2015
Eurobites: Anite in OSS Tie-Up With Nokia
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.