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back to article Google's new Chromecast spills its simplistic guts

Google's li'l Chromecast media-streaming HDMI dongle is certainly getting a lot of attention for a 35-buck, one-trick pony. Announced on Wednesday and given its Reg review on Thursday, Chromecast has left one admirer "pretty blown away," was praised for its "pure simplicity" by another, called a "cord cutter's dream" by a third …

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Linux

Can't be arsed to check...

But is the bootloader locked on this thing? Could make a nice little XBMC stick.

I'll stick to my Raspberry Pis for now.

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Go

Re: Can't be arsed to check...

But is the bootloader locked on this thing? Could make a nice little XBMC stick.

The DE3005 is, as best I can determine, from the Armada 1000 series which is based on the Sheva PJ1 ARMv5/ARM9 core, which is the architecture that pre-dates the ARMv6/ARM11 SoC used by the Raspberry Pi.

There's very little info available about the DE3005, suggesting it might be a custom SoC. The DE3010 is a dual-core 1GHz+ SoC, so my guess is that the DE3005 could even be a single core design. According to Anandtech the 1GHz+ Sheva PJ1 is comparable with the later ARM11 design in terms of power characteristics.

Since XBMC runs on the ARM11 based Raspberry Pi, I guess it might be possible to get it running on the Chromecast, particularly if is a dual-core device, and it's running standard Android as the OS.

But it's probably easier and cheaper to just buy a Raspberry Pi...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't be arsed to check...

It is a cut down Armada 1500, same as the Google TV 2.0 platform but cut in half, but with a single core. It isn't worth comparing it to the old Sheva plug, they are very different beasts, this thing runs off 500mA even with the radio.

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Pint

@Zola.

Thank you!

Drinky poos?

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Re: Can't be arsed to check...

Can't be arsed to checkeither, but I agree would make a lovely XBMC stick. 16GB seems like enough to do something useful. I'd certainly buy one if there was something like FireCore to flash it, (I have a flashed AppleTV2 and it's unbeatable for streaming vids off the NAS) but I haven't seen enough yet to know if that would be feasible. I'll be

watching closely.

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Re: Can't be arsed to check...

> But it's probably easier and cheaper to just buy a Raspberry Pi

...and that's exactly what I'm doing (well, I already have my Rpi). It's amazing that they both share the $35 price point. Yes, you need to buy a few more items to get the Raspberry Pi running (HDMI cable, SD card, USB wifi stick) but it's much more flexible.

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Re: Can't be arsed to check...

"16GB seems like enough to do something useful."

It does. Shame this only has 2GB, or 16Gb as the article put it.

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Sorry, but the point of this is a cheap way to replicate whats on a device to a TV screen. Comparing it to your own purchase which does more for a different price is irrelevant just as much as telling us that you modified your own purchase to do X Y Z. Basically your not the target market of this product, For a product to be successful it does not require the tech industries writers or lovers to appreciate it.

It HAS TO DO ONE THING WELL.

Thats the fact, if it does everything OK then its missed every market, better to stake your claim in any market well than them all in mediocrity!

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FAIL

You missed the point

"Sorry, but the point of this is a cheap way to replicate whats on a device to a TV screen.". Except that it doesn't. Can't, in fact. It streams Google and Netflix content to your TV via the Internet. Period.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You missed the point

>Can't, in fact. It streams Google and Netflix content to your TV via the Internet. Period.

.....it can sling absolutely any content or service you want which is viewable in a web browser - including local video etc.

....even if Googlecast uptake is poor (which it won't be of course) this is a very useful little device..

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FAIL

Re: You missed the point

It's pointless. It's a Google controlled Wireless HDMI spyware cable as it ENTIRELY relies on Google SW running on a gadget which can often use an HDMI cable.

Pluses:

No cable

No Content only on screen

Cheaper than Wireless HDMI.

Allows Gadgets with no HDMI to feed TV

Minus:

Google might be "spying" on what you access.

Needs a Gadget (Phone, Tablet, Laptop) etc able to view the content.

More limited than an HDMI cable to Laptop.

What is maximum reliable data rate of video streamed?

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Happy

No; that's not the point of the device; it's actually more useful (once there are more apps.) The primary purpose is not to put your Chrome content on the screen; the main use is for your web browser (or phone) to send a signal to the dongle instructing it to retrieve the requested content directly. This requires a lot less stress on your home bandwidth, as it doesn't have to be streamed to your laptop/tablet, then re-streamed to this box.

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Flame

So can it play Crysis?

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Boffin

It can play the webcast of you playing crisis.

so if you have a fast enough PC to transcode your display to stream on a web browser then sure, yes it will let you "play" crysis on your TV.

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Re: You missed the point

You got the 'no cable' in the wrong column. And devices with no HDMI have been feeding signals to tvs since the 1920s

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Re: You missed the point

it can sling absolutely any content […] including local video etc.

Citation needed, because from what I've read, this is explicitly the one thing it does not do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You missed the point

Need to read more. To stream local video all that needs to be done is drag and drop the video to your chrome web browser then send it to the chrome cast device.

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Custom stick

Can't be arsed to check either, but I agree would make a lovely XBMC stick. 16GB seems like enough to do something useful. I'd certainly buy one if there was something like FireCore to flash it, (I have a flashed AppleTV2 and it's unbeatable for streaming vids off the NAS) but I haven't seen enough yet to know if that would be feasible. I'll be watching closely.

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Facepalm

So sorry but please RTFA

16 Gb. Somewhat less useful than 16 GB.

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Re: Custom stick

It would be useless as an XBMC device... much like Raspberry Pi's and Apple TV's

Try pushing a decent HD film with a decent HD soundtrack and welcome to buffer city... (and castrated audio....) - and yes I have tried on both platforms! - all my blu-rays are backed up full size - just wished XBMC handled proper 3D iso's

As to the Chromecast... my opinion... cool & I want one, but on reading on its capabilities... not too sure... a cheap android stick looks more flexible for a similar price

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Re: So sorry but please RTFA

Chris 244 is right. It's 16 Gb AKA 2 GB.

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Re: So sorry but please RTFA

rasp pi are certainly not useless as an XBMC! I use one on my "other" TV. It is perfect for internet radio, sportsdevil, iplayer, youtube and 720 streaming (wont do 1080 well enough). I use an old gw620 as the remote control. for my main TV I use a more dedicated xbmc box

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Big Brother

More proprietary protocols instead of open standards!

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Holmes

re: proprietary protocols

We expected something different from the makers of the next IE4?

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It has a proprietory SDK of course, but the protocol is open.

http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6455

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Ahhh, HD and Wi-Fi...

go together like chips and dip.

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This Google design and implementation simply highlights ...

the childishness in Apple's feeble attempts to frustrate people in opening their property.

No 'unique' screws here!

Nice, clean, design with no compromises like piggy-backing components. Curious why the 'circular' edge is actually a series of flats rather than a continuously rounded profile.

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Re: This Google design and implementation simply highlights ...

cheaper to produce flat cutters than curved when cutting out the PCB's?? its a hidden piece so aesthetics aren't a priority?

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Paris Hilton

Re: This Google design and implementation simply highlights ...

What? This is equivalent in hardware (not capabilities) to Apple's Lightning to HDMI cable which also snaps apart and doesn't have proprietary screws. Of course, neither has anything you could replace or upgrade so who cares how take-apart-able it is?

As for flat edges, I would think someone so well versed in industrial design to be able to fault Apple's designs and who is familiar with Pentalobe vs Torx vs Phillips screw types would know that cutting a straight edge is much easier (i.e. cheaper) then cutting a rounded edge.

Paris, because she's just as confused as you.

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Meh

Re: This Google design and implementation simply highlights ...

With today's technology producing smooth, rounded edges is as easy as a straight. I have PCB's made by the thousand and it's OK for those quantities.

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Anonymous Coward

People still watch TV?

Really?

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Re: People still watch TV?

Chromecast is not about TV, it's just content and a screen. Even when broadcasts cease I expect "TV" will still hang around as the name for a big screen in a living room.

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Facepalm

Re: People still watch TV?

A TV is an output device for displaying moving images. As long as there is content to show on such a device then people will still watch them.

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h3
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I would prefer it if it could use the already existing wired connection to my TV.

Prefer it if it didn't involve a web browser though. (Think Windows Network Projector or just another X display - hardware is good enough to support it).

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Competition.

I could see something like this being very popular. I wonder how difficult it would be for other companies to market similar competing products.

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Can it run linux?

Can it run a full linux distribution? Then it suddenly becomes a sound buy!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can it run linux?

"Can it run a full linux distribution? Then it suddenly becomes a sound buy!"

Yes please - we all want 1,000+ security vulnerabilities in our media player...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can it run linux?

"Yes please - we all want 1,000+ security vulnerabilities in our media player..." True, better than a few million on other platforms.

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Anonymous Coward

Totally misses the point - yes you can stream from your Android device from a browser but it's not stand-alone so I can't get it to just play a film without leaving my phone / tablet in range. Apple TV is a much more polished and complete product and Android users will feel like poor cousins in comparison.

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Anonymous Coward

"Apple TV is a much more polished and complete product and Android users will feel like poor cousins in comparison."

You can crawl out your ass now, it's 2013! Apple TV was just a nightmareish folly.

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vga

Is that a VGA header above the SDRAM chip?

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Re: vga

17 pads, so probably not. More likely test points for production QA

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Simplistic?

Let's see you grab a soldering iron and make one ;-)

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BBC iPlayer support

Would this little device play nicely and stream BBC iPlayer on my telly?

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And it looks like it's been rooted already. A functioning UART exists on those test pads, and further work has been done here http://gtvhacker.com/index.php/Google_Chromecast

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Score so far: Apple trolls 17; Rasberry trolls 13; Google trolls 16; anti-Google trolls 9; common sense 0.89

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Boffin

Well, it started with the article itself, for example the footnote - a heatsink can work perfectly well in a sealed enclosure, it is a _radiator_ that will have problems.

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Actually, its

Score so far: Apple trolls 17; Rasberry trolls 13; Google trolls 16; anti-Google trolls 9; common sense 0.89, Dick Pountain's being stupid : 1

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Anonymous Coward

"Score so far: Apple trolls 17; Rasberry trolls 13; Google trolls 16; anti-Google trolls 9; common sense 0.89"

Smart arses too many to count.

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FFS...

The way IT media is banging on about this device you'd think Google invented the bloody concept. They're WAY late to the party. These things have been around for ages.

See http://www.rikomagic.co.uk/ (I'm not affiliated to them in any way - just getting pissed off with all this Google worship).

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