25
Jul
GoogleTV-Thumb

Chromecast may perhaps be the evolution of the Nexus Q, but it's not a replacement for Google TV. True to form, the company believes that the two products do not compete with one another and can co-exist comfortably side by side. This should come as no surprise from the folks that brought us both Chrome OS and Android, two operating systems that just aren't going to merge regardless of how loudly some people cry. Instead, Google will add Chromecast functionality to Google TV in a future update, and the two will be good buddies.

GoogleTV

Upon further reflection, it makes sense why the two products aren't competitors. Chromecast takes the Chrome OS approach, a TV interface that serves more as a conduit for other content than its own beast. It even runs the lightweight operating system under the surface, even if it's hidden from the user. Google TV, on the other hand, is a customized version of Android. It has its own dedicated apps, parental controls, ethernet connection, and interactive content that a Chromecast dongle just doesn't deliver. The former may replace the desire for a "Smart TV" for many of us, but the latter is still more of a direct competitor with efforts from Apple and Samsung. So if you already own a Google TV, don't worry, it didn't just become a brick overnight.

Sources: Google + [1],[2], Google TV

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Erstam

    I own 2 google TVs and an OUYA. I couldn't resist getting one of these chromecasts though. I think I would use it more than the GTV though since all i ever do is stream from it and use a real HTPC for real stuff like movies and such.

    • Vibrunazo

      I will plug my ChromeCast hdmi output to my Google TV hdmi input. And the reason for such apparent redundancy is really simple: it's because I can.

  • daburghit

    The question I have is if this is something that cam come through Google Play Services so my Sony Blu Ray Google TV box gets it, or if I'm going to have to hope like hell Sony decides to deliver an update to my device--which I see as highly, highly unlikely.

    • kervation

      My thoughts exactly. I hope this update will be rolled out using the new API's Google has implemented. Would make sense given that Google TV STB's are made by various manufacturers.

    • jm9843

      I'm guessing a "Google Cast Receiver" app for Android that will turn any Android device into a Chromecast-like receiver.

      • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

        Possibly, but it will not work on the First Generation of Google TV due to it's processor architecture. (See the G+ Post)

    • clettiere

      No, you will not get it bc the Sony Blu-ray is a first gen device. Only Sony's second generation devices will get the update, which will hopefully be soon and hopefully include ChromeCast & Jelly Bean! I don't mean to come off as a jerk. I also own the Blu-ray version, but, luckily, I have the second generation too. I ordered the ChromeCast to plug into the GTV player's hdmi input...I already subscribe to Netflix, so the dongle will basically cost only $11, as Netflix will credit my account for 3 months.. best of luck!

      • daburghit

        Yeah I looked into it a bit more after I typed this and you are exactly right. I'm not surprised. I'll continue using the Google TV device I have in the living room and put the Chromecast I ordered in the bedroom.

    • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

      This will not happen look at the G+ post. The Chromecast integration into Google TV will come with the Jelly Bean update, which is only for ARM based devices. The reason behind not supporting the first generation device is due to the lack of support from the Intel System-on-Chip that was used. Also to get Google TV back into the mainstream of Android (code-wise) instead of being a fork of it. Android is built for ARM and even the newer Intel based smartphones and tablets are built for ARM, but have a binary translator that make them work with Intel's x86 processor without these very incompatibility issues.

      The time and energy to port the code from ARM to a dated architecture and the dated device is not worth it. The time and energy is better spent make Google TV better in other areas and features.

      • daburghit

        I read the G+ post after making the original comment, and the logic makes perfect sense. I'm glad the team is focused on moving the platform forward. It is somewhat sad that jumping in early on GoogleTV leaves me left behind, but that is the way technology works and I knew it was a possibility.

  • Evan Jenkins

    But it's safe to assume that the Logitech Revue won't get this update?

    • Vibrunazo

      From the original source:

      > Sorry to say, but the 3 year old Intel based devices are discontinued and are not going to see JB nor most of the new features that the newer ARM based devices will.

      The revue has an old intel atom CE4150 chip. So no, sorry :S

      • Evan Jenkins

        that's fine I was going to get a Chromecast anyway, at 35 bucks it's dirt cheap. just wanted to know if I could throw out my Revue or not

        • ddpacino

          I'm going to try to toss mine on ebay or Craigslist, then go gen one of the newer ones. Maybe the OnStar? Is that a good choice... anyone?

          • Christian Riese

            I just switched from revue to nsz-gs7 - i don't regret it. much more smooth and snappy, the only thing thats worse is the remote... i love the revue keyboard :( i dont know if its true, but i think all gen 2 und gen 3 gtv devices are more or less the same, so switching from revue to any of those should be great

          • ddpacino

            Nice. I'd prefer a gen3 device, just to avoid being cut off yet again from an update, lol. Anyone know which are gen3 devices? Thanks.

          • Christian Riese

            Afaik there are no 3gen devices released yet, but LG should be dropping some this year. Sony will bring a updated (3gen) version of the nsz-gs7, too, which apparently will be the same except the detail that there will be a mic included in the remote to use voice control (which can be used by the 'old' gs7 by using a BT headset though)

          • ddpacino

            Awesome, Thanks! I'll be keeping a look out for those.

  • Defenestratus

    DAMNIT GOOGLE I JUST BOUGHT A CHROMECAST DONGLE YESTERDAY... and now you tell me my Costar will get it for free.

    Damn you.

    • Dexter Melling

      I am in the same boat....I will be returning it!

      • Carlos Borroto

        I wouldn't. I got Chromecast not to replace my LG G2 GTV, but to replace the HDMI cable plus adapter(miniDisplayPort to HDMI) I carry with me when I travel in order to watch content from my laptop in the hotel TV. Hell, I now don't even need my laptop, just my phone!.

        • Tess

          Holy schneikes, that's a great idea.

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      Do you have a source on that matter? I'm curious to read about this..

  • Points Surfer

    "So if you already own a Google TV, don't worry, it didn't just become a brick overnight."

    What if Google TV gets Chromecast functionality? Won't that make Chromecast obsolete?

    • Michael Pahl

      $35 for Chromecast dude.

      • Vibrunazo

        And most importantly it's portable. I have a GTV but I'm buying a ChromeCast because I can bring it with me on my pocket. Can't do that with my GTV box.

  • Alex Flynn

    They should roll the Chromecast functionality into Google TV

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I think this guy might be on to something, guys...

    • Michael Pahl

      you are really something special!

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Are you a wizard?

  • Vibrunazo

    I wonder what exactly does "[Google TV] will support cast" means? My Google TV can already do 100% of what the ChromeCast presentation showed today using the Chromemote and Able Remote apps. In fact, I'm watching a video podcast on my GTV's Chrome using my laptop to control it right now as we speak. Does that simply means that these apps will now become native instead of requiring a third party? It seems most people are not even aware of what GTV can do, so maybe making these 2 important apps native could be nice for marketing.

    • http://androidandme.com/ Taylor Wimberly

      No one understands GTV because so few devices have been sold.

      • Vibrunazo

        Or maybe so few devices have been sold because no one understands GTV?

        A mystery science cannot explain.

        • http://androidandme.com/ Taylor Wimberly

          As a GTV lover I was kind of pissed at chromecast but now I'm hoping it will bring more attention to the platform. What's good for one is hopefully good for the other.

    • ProvoAggie

      It doesn't do 100% of what Chromecast does. The YouTube implementation is exactly the same but Netflix and Google Music are both different. With Cast, you can be watching a movie with the Netflix app on your phone and press a Cast button and have your TV load up the same movie in the same spot. Same with Music. You listen to Music on your phone and have it start in the same spot on the TV. GoogleTV already has the ability to play Netflix and Music but not with this level of integration. The Chrome Tab mirroring with a computer is also new. I'm excited to have these new features on my Co-star.

    • didibus

      The difference is the Cast SDK. Companies that have stream servers, like Netflix, can add support for Streaming to the Chromecast, probably using a specific cast protocol, with the help of the Cast SDK.

      Then, they can include in their apps a way to detect the presence of a Chromecast compatible device, and show a button to "Send to Cast" when it does.

      I think this is a pretty cool system. It means streaming companies still get users to go through them, having to go in the Netflix app for example, but let users redirect the feed to a Chromecast device. This is also a nice way for companies to not have to make new apps specific to Chromecast, they just need to add support for it in their existing app and infrastructure.

    • RedPandaAlex

      It can't do everything. It does the YouTube stuff brilliantly, but not Netflix (not that I've been able to get to work anyways) and the other apps.

      Maybe they just mean they're going to phase out the current implementation and use this new standard.

  • http://androidandme.com/ Taylor Wimberly

    Google TV has had Chromecast-like features since last year.

    • jm9843

      For YouTube. Not for Netflix, Google Play Music/Movies/TV, Pandora, and the many other 3rd party apps that will add support for the Chromecast.

      • Vibrunazo

        > Not for Netflix, Google Play Music/Movies/TV, Pandora

        It does for every single one of those. The only one of that list I don't use is Pandora (I use TuneIn instead). Plus the GTV also supports any apps that use intents (the share menu), so developers don't need to develop specifically for it. The ChromeCast developer docs is bragging that you only need 200 lines of code to add ChromeCast support to your app (share a link with it). While you need zero lines of code to do the same for GTV (saved your app already have a share menu).

        • jm9843

          Are we talking about the same thing? Can you do the following today on a Google TV device connected to a receiver?

          Turn on the receiver leaving the TV turned off. Open the Google Play Music app on ANY Android device on the same WiFi and control music playback on the Google TV device through the receiver (essentially operating it "headless").

          Because that's what the Chromecast can do. And, thanks to Warren Rehman confirming it, that's what gen 2 and later Google TV devices will do after the Jelly Bean update

          • VegasDude73

            Yes you actually can either via chromemote or gtv remote on the phone. Skip, play, pause etc. All you wouldn't be able to do is scrub but I have never scrubbed a sing anyhow

          • Vibrunazo

            > Turn on the receiver leaving the TV turned off. Open the Google Play Music app on ANY Android device on the same WiFi and control music playback on the Google TV device through the receiver (essentially operating it "headless").

            Yes you can do all that lol. It's funny, you speak of it as it's some kind of distant technology of the future. I've been doing it literally every day, for about an year. I can control any apps on my TV (which includes Google Music, or turning TV on/off, controlling it's input channel or volume) using either the bundled controller, my laptop with Chrome (the Chromemote extension for chrome), my phone or tablet (using Able Remote for Android). All of these work on any room of my home since it's using wifi. In fact, I have a hdmi splitter so all of these control both my living room and bedroom TVs.

            Some apps, like Youtube, Netflix or Google Music etc have specific controls specially designed to work with GTV (as in the ChromeCast demo). But even then I usually prefer to use Able Remote because it's just a better app with better controls. Chromemote on your laptop is even better. You can control everything on the TV using your laptop keyboard/mouse as a mirror into your TV. Similar to the ChromeCast demo, except it works on more than just Chrome, any Android app that you can sideload on your GTV you can use Chrome or your phone to control it.

          • jm9843

            Thanks for confirming - that's what I thought. Personally, I prefer the "cleaner" Chromecast implementation where the content provider app is controlling a receiver device - no additional app or sharing intents required.

            There's another limitation in the approach you describe - it only pulls content from a single account on the GTV box. There's no "social queue" element. For example, say Vudu or Flixter adds "Google Cast" support to their iOS/Android apps. Now, if a friend comes over to visit and is on my Wi-Fi, he can bring up the Vudu app on his iPhone and easily play any movie in his UltraViolet account on my Chromcast-enabled TV. Or, at a party, anyone with a Google Music account can add songs from their personal cloud library to the playlist for everyone to enjoy.

          • Vibrunazo

            > I prefer the [...] content provider app is controlling a receiver device

            Well, to each his own. But like I said, I have many apps that do provide specific support for GTV. But even then I usually end up using the generic Able Remote app for Android, which let's you control every app. It's just a better made app with a better interface and better options. Netflix is notably bad at building interfaces. Their phone UI is bad, their tablet UI is bad, their GTV is bad as well. Using it with a third party app is less bad. None of the apps I tried to use their GTV "second screen app" were even close as good as Chromemote.

            > it only pulls content from a single account on the GTV box.

            Wrong again. It matters little which account is controlling it. Anyone with an Android device or laptop with chrome can control your TV as long as you're in the same wifi and you allow them. Anyone can add videos to the youtube queue, or set the movie to watch on Netflix etc etc. When you first try to connect a new device to a GTV device, it shows a pairing code on your TV screen, you type that code on your phone and now that device can do whatever the hell it wants to your TV. Then it can either control it as a remote control using Able Remote, or just send videos/music/etc directly as an intent.

            I know this very well because I often use that to troll my girlfriend :P And she's using her own Google Account. Though we never found the queue thing useful for anything, but it's there.

          • jm9843

            >> it only pulls content from a single account on the GTV box.
            >Wrong again. It matters little which account is controlling it.

            Again, I'm talking specifically about pulling content from multiple accounts here, not simple control. With stuff like YouTube or Netflix it's of little consequence because everyone essentially has access to the same content. But it's distinctly different when talking about services where individuals have unique libraries of content associated with their account (e.g. Google Music. Eventually Flixter, Vudu, Amazon VOD, etc.).

            "Google Cast" through devices like the Chromecast supports that kind of "social queue" while Google TV currently does not. Fortunately, "Google Cast" support is being baked into the Google TV platform for its Jelly Bean update so it will soon be a moot point. Everyone wins.

      • Robert Froese

        Actually, I'm pretty sure the Netflix app on my tablets constantly asked if I wanted to have the episode / movie I was launching displayed via the GTV. Yes, the Chromecast functionality adds much more, but the basics were in the GTV.
        ......don't get me wrong, I bought two of these puppies (one for me, one for my mom -- I have a TV in my bedroom the girlfriend would love to stream netflix / Google Movies / TV Shows on to ... as for my mom, she has a blu-ray player with netflix etc... but it can't play the Google Movies / TV Shows)

  • George Varghese

    This is great. I will get a google TV for my main TV and the chromecast for the bedroom tv

    • David Fleck

      This

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    Would be nice if they could make a Chromecast app for the PS3/Xbox.

    • RedPandaAlex

      I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the functionality baked into PS4

      • ddpacino

        That would be AWESOME since plan on getting one.

  • Angry

    How long until Google TV gets chromecast? This is getting out of control, I use to watch HBO Go, now I can't. Nothing changed other than an "update" which crippled my functionality! I want this fixed sooner rather than later. I paid a ton of money for something that now works on a $35 device but not on my $200 device that I bought specifically for HBO Go. Ridiculous.