& cplSiteName &

Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room

Dan Jones
LR Cable News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

Google's super-cheap Chromecast streaming TV dongle could be a threat to cable providers as well as serving as a stepping stone for the search giant to become a major player in the battle for the living room.

Google broke streaming TV price barriers with its launch of the US$35 Chromecast dongle on July 25. Sales figures haven't yet been revealed but the units are back-ordered and sold out everywhere, at least giving the impression of extensive demand. (See Chrome Cuts: Refurb Apple TVs Drop to $75.)

The device plugs directly into the HDMI port on a TV and streams Netflix video and other video content over Wi-Fi. Users can use a Chrome browser, Android or iOS device as a remote control.

Greg Ireland, research manager for multi-screen video at IDC, suggests that the accessibility of the new device for the average consumer will likely make it a threat to cable TV operators and could encourage more cord-cutters over time. "There's a threat in so far that's it's available at such a low price; in a sense it's the ultimate impulse purchase," Ireland says.

He's not sure, however, that Chromecast buyers will all be new to the streaming video game and may be supplementing a Roku box or Apple TV. "It's a great device to add to your second, third or fourth viewing location," Ireland suggests.

In the end it will be the content that determines whether Google gains a foothold against cable TV providers and its streaming rivals. The search giant started with Netflix and its own YouTube content available for streaming. Now Google is working with HBO, Hulu and Pandora to bring more content to the streaming service.

Google, however, doesn't have to just rely on third parties for audio and video, Ireland suggests. "The wild card is what content Google will bring," the analyst says.

Google hasn't been known for in-house content other than providing a platform for users -- and an at attempt at more professional channels -- on its YouTube video service. As the recent Emmy Nominations for Netflix show, a streaming service can become a content provider to be reckoned with.

Certainly, Ireland notes Google is "thinking creatively" in terms of how to price and deliver streaming TV compared to its earlier expensive effort to crack the market. Ireland says this could mean getting creative with how it bundles the inexpensive dongle with the Android smartphones and tablets that can be used as a remote control interface for the streaming service.

"We could very well see it bundled with an Android phone," Ireland says. He suggests that tablets will "work naturally in conjunction" with the service for tasks such as show scheduling.

However Google's Chromecast gambit plays out, Ireland says, the company has one big goal in making these bold moves into streaming TV and beyond: "They want to extend consumption of Google content in the living room."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/9/2013 | 10:37:01 PM
re: Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room
Good info, seems like HBO is on the way...
User Rank: Light Beer
8/9/2013 | 7:49:58 PM
re: Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room
I was able to procure a couple of them. The hooks for netflix and youtube work great. No issues with disconnects or wifi in general as the domain is blanketed pretty evenly. Casting while connected to a newer TV and powering from the wall will magically turn it on and change the input source - didn't happen on an older device. Would be nice if the source went back to the original but I bet that feature has already been requested. Also DLNA is missing and would love to have that.

In summary I would say the stick is well worth the money. I had planned to replace the older TV with a smart one however the chromecast just extended its useful life. If other content providers like HBO and Amazon throw their hats in the ring, then I think the popularity of this device will surge.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/9/2013 | 1:49:11 PM
re: Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room
Let us know what happens, thanks.
User Rank: Light Beer
8/9/2013 | 2:58:22 AM
re: Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room
I got mine the other day. It works pretty good using my acer iconiatab a500. I tried netflix and youtube, not bad, until i left it for a while then trued to connect again. It kept loosing the connection so I had to redo the setup steps every time. I was on the tv in the room about 40 feet and 3 walls from my wifi router. I'll keep testing and also try it on my tv nearer to the wifi router. Wish me luck.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/8/2013 | 2:34:14 PM
re: Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room
So who has managed to get a Chromecast dongle. Experiences?
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Adtran Will Be a 5G Winner, Says Analyst
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2018
Trump Trashes EU's $5B Google Fine
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/19/2018
Get Off My Wireline Lawn!
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/17/2018
Eurobites: EU Socks Google With $5B Monster-Fine for Android Control-Freakery
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 7/18/2018
Sensors Working Overtime: T-Mobile NB-IoT Goes Nationwide
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/19/2018
Upcoming Webinars
Webinar Archive
Animals with Phones
Casual Tuesday Takes On New Meaning Click Here
When you forget your pants.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed