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back to article Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps

Google has announced that ten more media apps now include support for its Chromecast streaming media device. When the Chromecast TV dongle debuted in July, it came with a low $35 price tag but not much functionality: its streaming capabilities were limited to Netflix, YouTube and Google Play, and it had experimental support for …

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Plex is a big deal

This is the one that streams your own movies from your file share, NAS or somesuch.

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Re: Plex is a big deal

It's a step forward, though hopefully other more open/free solutions will follow (e.g., DLNA for all its ills is something that has plenty of different servers to choose from on multiple platforms, including Android, as well as having out of the box support on Windows at least, and works better with the large amount of DLNA-receivers already available - I'd rather not have to run two media servers, one of Plex and one for DLNA...)

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@Mark .

Like everything Sony, DLNA's signature feature is the long list of things it doesn't work with.

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Re: Plex is a big deal

But $30 a year to stream YOUR local content? That is, after all, what a great many Chromecase owners want.

Avia looks like it might do something, but it used a crazy amount of battery on my Nexus 4 before I forced it to quit.

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Re: Plex is a big deal

Plex has a DLNA Server built in and is quite capable of serving DLNA clients...

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RealPlayer?

Good Lord, didn't that piece of crudware die about ten years ago? Have they re-invented themselves by sticking the latest buzz-word "cloud" on the name? On second thoughts I don't want to know.

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Re: RealPlayer?

No, RealPlayer is The Walking Dead. When I'm asked by someone to fix a computer it usually has it on. It must be popular outside geek circles, or at least it must have been once upon a time.

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Re: RealPlayer?

I think I've found it trying to install itself when installing something else a la yahoo toolbar. If you blindly click 'ok' then you'll likely end up with it, along with all the other crudware that caused the computer to need fixing.

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"Chromecast is designed as an open, web-based platform that allows media companies and developers to implement support for new streaming services themselves, without direct involvement from Google."

Cm'on Register. Stop giving Google a free pass and simply and uncritically regurgitating press release material. Chromecast is *not* open and there *does* have to be direct involvement from Google.

The Chromecast device OS is not Open Source. Applications have to have App ID's issued by Google to run on it. This means the Chromecast browser is fully under Google's control, Google can track every video played on the device, whose app plays it, which server/URL each request originates from and more importantly can block apps from working with immediate effect if they ever want to. Is this some new special form of "open" you have in mind: "Open as in Sprung Cage" ?

Yes you are "Free as in speech", you just have to travel everywhere handcuffed to our security officer and hand over identity papers with every action you take.

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JDX
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You don't have to be open-source to be open, although if you are bound to Google-issued IDs then I agree with you in this case.

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Yes I agree with you. I judge open for tech as I judge it for doors. My point is that since the underlying Chromecast OS is not Open Source and also, if a developer wants to implement a service on Chromecast, they need to get an App ID, the door is not open. You have to first go to the Google security desk and cuff yourself in a security tracker and only then will the guard open the door for you.

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Very good points and totally agree with you on that.

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..

Can you actually buy this in the UK at the moment?

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UK?

Be nice if it supported being sold in 10 new countries.

Last time I looked the UK price via Amazon was almost £50, which is NOT $35!

Come on Google, sort it out.

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Re: UK?

Completely agree. Although the previous comment about it not being open is true, I would love this to be available in the UK at a reasonable price. $35 should be around £26 inc. VAT, not the £40+ you can get them on eBay/Amazon.

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Re: UK?

I bought a roku box when the chromecast was first mentioned (on the suggestion from a helpful commentard right here on the reg). It was £35 in Dixons at the time, and works with iplayer and netflix. Unfortunately that's about all it does, no 4OD for example. But for turning an older TV set into a semi-smart one at a low cost, it's perfect.

EDIT: 4OD might well be available for it as of last month! If this site is correct, I'll have to check tonight. http://advanced-television.com/2013/11/27/4od-joins-now-tv-roku/

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Re: UK?

@Dr. Mouse

I have no problem with Chromecast being what it is and I too would happily buy it if I was in the Google ecosystem. Where I do have an issue with though is how they have been playing to the gallery whilst exercising rank hypocrisy on the subjects of Open Source software, Openness in general, Software Patents and issues around Privacy. If they were honest on these subjects, I would have no problem with them at all.

For example regarding software patents, they have said they are against them (fair enough and an entirely valid position) but fail to mention their entire business was founded and valued on the basis of their adwords software patents. So they seem to think software patents are OK as long as they aren't on client devices (where they have strong competitors and where their competitors have them at a disadvantage re: patents). They said they are pro Open Source, but again they are only pro Open Source when talking about client devices where they want such devices to connect to their centralised services, which are far from open. Additionally they have been steadily pushing value into upper layers of Android (e.g. the Play-Store component), so Andy Rubin's definition of open applies to less and less. They are in other-words implementing a workaround to take control of what they sold to the developer community as a commitment to openness. Again there would be nothing wrong with what they have done, if they weren't playing lip-service to lofty ideals to get applause from the gallery but then behaving differently.

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Re: UK?

I too bought the little Roku box thanks to a commentard here. It's back down to £29.99 in Currys/PC World again so I've just got one for a friend too. It does indeed do 4oD now as well as Iplayer and Channel 5 and netflix. Best though is the plex app which (along with a plex server) which really does work well and gives a very rich "view your own media" experience. Just wish it did LoveFilm.

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Re: UK?

I found 4OD on it last night, and can confirm that it works on the cheapest Roku LT. Yey! That was the only thing missing when I bought it as far as I was concerned. Christened with the first episode of Adam & Joe. Green Wing tonight! I realise I could watch it on the computer or any of the other devices, but I just can't seem to be bothered to watch TV on anything other than the TV. Probably the best £35 I spent this year.

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streaming from personal storage...

...is key. As soon as i can stream from bubble upnp or mx player, im having a few of these.

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got so fed up with waiting

for UK availability and a smidgen of UK-centric apps on this that I instead bought a used laptop as my AV center. Sits under the telly like a super slim set top box and has a nice sleep mode to save power when not in use. It accesses EVERY UK catch up or rental service I can think of plus some foreign ones I use for language practice. Have a nice little remote keyboard/trackpad to control it. Now I do not foresee the need for Chromecast ever unless one drops out of a cornflake packet.

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Anonymous Coward

'Embiggens'? Here's a clue - you're dealing with adults. Grow up.

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What do you mean? Embiggens is a very kromulent word.

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Cromulent.

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I'm with you on that.

Anyone who uses such an ugly word, is very unlikely to have anything to say that I want to hear.

Thanks for putting in the title is saved me having to read the article.

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Re: I'm with you on that.

But bizarrely not the comments.

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Don't really see the point. As has been pointed out, a cheap laptop or HTPC will do the job and a lot, lot more.

Have had a slim Acer machine sat next to my TV for about a year and it's perfect.

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Linux

And what about...

Content from XBMC and VLC?

And if I'm using XBMC already, why do I need Chromecast anyway?....

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Re: And what about...

The google play music player allows you to stream to chromecast but not to dlna receivers such as xbmc which is annoying. There is an app to fool the player that xbmc is a chromecast so it is perfectly possible to do but google are locking it down for their own benefit.

A good percentage of new tv's have dlna support, AV receivers have dlna support, xbmc based boxes have dlna support and future products are likely to have it so why is chromecast actually needed over the dlna standard?

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I won't read this

Sorry but this article is completely null and void due to use of the non-word 'embiggen'. Of all the other words in the english language that could be used, why do these hacks insist on making up horrific new ones?

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Re: I won't read this

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

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Re: I won't read this

What's slightly unnerving for me is that Lee may actually be too *young* to get the reference. If so I'll forgive his ignorance while simultaneously resenting his youth.

Much like the colleague here who's too young to get Fast Show references because he was at nursery school at the time. I was at university.

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Re: I won't read this

Why are people voting down my comment? Are you actually saying 'embiggen' is a good word to use?

Shame on the bloody lot of you English-destroyers.

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Re: I won't read this

Same reason we'll downvote someone who doesn't get, say, a Doctor Who reference, and then proceed to insult the author of an article because of it. "Embiggens" sure isn't a real word, but it's also a well-known made-up word that's been used a lot in The Simpsons - in fact it's part of the city of Springfield's motto.

Sure it's a made up word, and sure it's ok that YOU don't know it, but then you went and made an ass out of yourself by insulting the author and/or the article because you missed a (very old, very common) pop culture reference.

Didn't defend the word, rather, downvoted your dumb overreaction to it.

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Re: I won't read this

"Same reason we'll downvote someone who doesn't get, say, a Doctor Who reference, and then proceed to insult the author of an article because of it. "Embiggens" sure isn't a real word, but it's also a well-known made-up word that's been used a lot in The Simpsons - in fact it's part of the city of Springfield's motto."

No. I know the etymology of the word and try and not be prejudiced because of its origins . If it was coined by Mother Theresa it would still an ugly word and shouldn't be used by anyone wanting to be taken seriously.

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Chromecast

I have one here in the US for a couple of months now. It is pretty nice and I use it all the time. The other thing I noticed the other night is the streams seem to be less compressed. My nephew's high school band has a video up on YouTube. My brother-in-law brought it up on the iPad at his house and it was really grainy. We thought it was the quality of the camera it was recorded on, and then compression. He stopped by this weekend and I was showing him the Chromecast and we watched the same video and it was considerably better. I am thinking about getting one on the downstairs TV now too. The firmware updates itself with a reboot, It checks in each time automatically.

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