The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

July 25, 2013

Google ups ante in fight for smart TVs

Google is taking another swing at commanding the television with its new Chromecast, a low-cost accessory that plugs into a TV and allows users to stream video, share tabs from the Google Chrome browser, or play music from their smartphones, tablet or computer on the big screen.

The big selling point? The Chromecast lets users stream or share while also allowing the device to do other tasks.

With the Chromecast, analysts said, Google appears to have learned a lesson from some of its own missteps and those of its competitors. The small device, which fits into a TV's HDMI port, eliminates some of the usual frustrations with TV streaming. For example, while Apple TV and, to a lesser extent, the Xbox allow users to beam some content from their mobile devices to the television, the mobile devices then can't be used for anything else at the same time. Google says that the Chromecast will enable multitasking on the laptop, tablet or other device without interrupting what's streaming on the TV.

Chromecast also comes with built-in support not only for Google devices but also for Apple's iPhone and Google's Chrome browser on Macs and PCs. That means that nearly every television can now get a Google upgrade — a major shift for the competitive landscape, analysts said.

Now, said James McQuivey, a principal analyst at Forrester, "it's not a war of smart versus dumb TVs — it's a war of which smart TV."

The Chromecast hasn't caught up with the content offerings of competitors Roku and Apple TV — it launched with support for Netflix, but other popular services such as Pandora are yet to come, the company says. But during its announcement Wednesday, Google pointed out that it's easy for developers to add Chromecast support to their existing apps, which could have the double benefit of beefing up content for Chromecast quickly and giving apps on Google Play a little something extra that competitors don't offer.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014