The Chromecast is a nice and easy way to send videos to a local TV, and you can't argue with the price. But right now it's limited to just a few apps streaming directly from existing video and music services. Bubblesoft, makers of the BubbleUPnP media server, are showing off features of an upcoming version that would make Chromecast a lot more useful: streaming nearly any file on your smartphone or cloud drive.
Netflix profiles have been showing up intermittently on some streaming devices, but now the feature is officially launching. Profiles will start hitting some platforms in the coming days, with more to follow soon. Sadly, our beloved Android is not in this first batch.
When you create profiles on Netflix, each one acts like a sub-account with its own recommendations, history, and streaming queue. Although, Netflix didn't even mention the individual queues this time – they seem more interested in personalized recommendations and Facebook integration.
Attention, people of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: you can now buy television shows from Google Play, both on the web and via your Android devices. Google threw the switch on the content earlier today, making the UK the first country to get access to TV shows on Google Play outside the United States. Content appears to be a decent mix of US and UK shows at the moment, though it's probably a bit anemic when compared to the US store due to good old-fashioned licensing issues.
Rumors about Chrome OS running on a tiny HDMI stick started leaking out a few months ago, but we were all wrong about what it was going to be. The Chromecast is not a shrunken down Chromebox – it's not even really a Chrome OS device in the strictest sense. The Chromecast is Google's latest attempt to be invited into your living room. It also might be the first one to succeed.
Anyone paying $20 per month for a premium cable channel should probably be doing everything possible to take advantage of it. With that in mind, the new update to Showtime Anywhere has added live streaming of Showtime to the app, but it's only available if you're a paying subscriber.
All the archived episodes of Showtime series are included, but now you can see what's airing on the Showtime East and Showtime West feeds.
Google is not good at TV – despite having more money and super-smart engineers than you can shake a remote control at, the company has always stumbled in the living room. Google TV was a good idea, but it's suffered from poor support and various bugs. The Nexus Q meanwhile was killed before it even launched once someone inside Google realized it should never have been made at all. But this...
YouTube is not the only source of online streaming video. In fact, there are certain vids you simply won't see on Google's streaming video site. For times like that, there's LiveLeak. The website doesn't work very well on a mobile device, but now there's an app. It's unattractive, and works in a somewhat bizarre way, but it's still an improvement.
The LiveLeak interface is just a long list of videos in various categories.
One of Google's problem areas has long been the living room, and the Chrome team looks to be coming to the rescue by leveraging the huge mobile device ecosystem. The Chromecast is a new device running a simplified version of Chrome OS. It enables you to get content from your phone, tablet, or laptop to a bigger screen. This is not a Chrome OS computer in a tiny package, but rather a smaller, cheaper, more capable Nexus Q.
Just sitting around with nothing to do? Why not watch some TV on your Android device? The new Watch ABC app offers access to a large number of on-demand shows and even does live TV streaming in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. The obvious downside here is almost no devices are currently supported.
Today's update to Play Movies introduces a sleeker experience for Android devices. Unfortunately, the experience is too sleek for the Nexus Q to handle. For the few of you that have one of those endearing little spheres, your movies are now joining your music as content you can no longer stream to the device.
With both Play Music and Play Movies support gone, there is little reason to continue using the Nexus Q.