Light Reading
Should the cable industry follow Google's lead and develop its own HDMI streaming stick solution? Many think so.

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  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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   >   >>
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed