Mozilla employees have mentioned a few times that the company is working on its own streaming device to compete with Google's $35 Chromecast, and now we're getting our first look at how it will work. The device is based on Firefox OS and actually plugs into most Chromecast-enabled apps out of the box.

The home screen interface of the Mozilla streamer looks quite a lot like the Chromecast, with the substitution of "Fling" for "Cast" as the operative verb. Apps that can connect to Chromecast will see the Mozilla stick as a casting target, and most of them allegedly work as intended. The video only shows YouTube playback, but the interface is oddly complex for a device with no remote control. It should also be able to mirror tabs from Firefox browsers.


The hardware partner for the streaming device is not yet known, and it will be a few weeks before Mozilla is ready to say anything official about the product. If it actually does work correctly with Chromecast apps, the Firefox OS streaming stick might be a neat alternative to the Chromecast -- the device will have open source software with an open bootloader. Though, pricing will probably be the determining factor.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • c0n0r

    Would need to be similarly priced to the Chromecast for me. I'm still using my Raspberry Pi for media but having played with my friends Chromecast I might get one because it's so cheap.

  • NickAVV

    Compatibility with the Google Cast protocol is excellent news, since it means that the ecosystem of applications won't become fragmented. Google is doing such a good job attracting apps to Chromecast, I'd hate to see that work start to split

    • b0b

      Believe it or not but it can't emulate the Google Cast v2 protocol.

      Before someone mention CheapCast, leapcast and others: they are dead and do not work with the v2 protocol.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      The video doesn't show it being compatible with the Google Cast protocol. The video just shows it controlling the YouTube leanback interface running on the stick. My TV does the same - if my phone is on the same network as the TV, the YouTube app on the phone will detect the TV as a possible target for streaming, once you've paired it by going to the TV YouTube app and selecting "pair device". In fact, you don't even need a TV - just go to https://www.youtube.com/tv#/ on your computer, then select "Pair Device" from settings. Now go to your phone YouTube app (phone should be on the same network as the computer), and enter the pairing code. Now your phone sees your computer as a target "TV" and you can control the YouTube interface with it.

  • Sir_Brizz

    I don't really see how this could possibly "kill" the Chromecast. It's just Firefox's version of the same thing and most people don't care two craps about open source.

    • MJ

      Who said this was going to "kill" the Chromecast? Are you just trolling? You think maybe some people may prefer using Firefox over Chrome for browsing so this product would appeal to them? Being open source and having a unlocked bootloader will appeal to a lot of people including me.

      I would hate to live in your world where we shouldn't have any alternatives to existing products.

      • Nick Cannon

        YouTube title says Chromecast killer. Would hate to be as oblivious as you.

        • MJ

          We pay attention to click bait titled YouTube videos now? I could see if were calling out Android Police or someone who made a comment here with that opinion.

          • Jesse

            Dude, you literally asked "Who said this was going to 'kill' the Chromecast?" and then someone told you who said it and now you're being defensive. Chill.

          • Cat Astrophy

            As if AP titles aren't click bait

        • dude

          Random Youtube video =/= Mozilla official statement.

          • Sir_Brizz

            Never said it did, but it's slapped right across the top of the video in this post. Chromecast competitor, yes. Chromecast killer, no.

            Also, I used to only use Firefox but they went far downhill. I'm guessing this will be bloated and slow ;)

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          • qd

            That's how you get people to watch your video or read your article. Do you not live on earth?

          • Sir_Brizz


  • Pal

    "Me too! Me too!"
    Kidding aside, I'm fine as long as this drives the concept forward.

    Also, such a substantial cap for a device that's plugged in 90% of the time. I suppose that, at this stage, it's being demoed on many, many displays so it serves its purpose.

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    It looks very much like the reason YouTube and other apps work is because they already support the DIAL protocol which the Chromecast uses, however the man said apps like Plex didn't work - which doesn't surprise me - because the Chromecast uses a websocket to talk to apps that want to do more than play and pause. The "Chromecast" apps that will work out of the box - will basically be the same ones you can already launch and control on Smart TV's - eg Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies.

  • Cole Mickens

    Hey Google,

    I'm willing to bet every Chromecast I've purchased, that Mozilla's stick supports DTS and AC3...

    • nupi

      Yeah, and give me 1080p24 while we are at it

    • Sir_Brizz

      LOL, I doubt it.

  • deltatux

    That interface the GigaOM editor is showing us is just https://www.youtube.com/tv. Honestly, put your regular Chrome browser to App Mode (changing the start menu properties) and then you can actually cast to TV. That means this stick is just using that interface to deal with YouTube on this Mozilla stick...

  • M

    I love it when hardware fights to the death. Almost as much as new software attempting to assassinate it's long standing rival but failing to deliver a killing blow.

  • tdurden64111

    Damn... RIP In Peace!

    • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

      RIP stands for "Rest In Peace", so you just wrote "Rest In Peace" in Peace.

      • xTerraH

        No, RIP stands for Requiescat in pace, a common misconception. But yes, even translated his comment doesn't make sense.

    • RickMartensen

      Rest in RIP :(

  • Steve Freeman

    There's a Firefox OS?