Monday, July 29, 2013

Chromecast - Google's OTT Breakthrough

Those of you who follow this blog know that I am all about "Over the Top Television" (OTT).  Roku, AppleTV, Google TV and BD Players all helped push the market to a point where a product could truly allow OTT to be accessible for every household.  Surprisingly, it's Google who has released this innovation into the market.

Welcome Google into the Living Room

Cord cutters must be excited about the unveiling of Google's Chromecast this week.  It's a tiny, $35 dollar dongle that plugs into your television via an HDMI port and turns your television into a smart tv.  Now, it's easy to be skeptical of Google when it comes to over the top television.  It is well documented that they have already had a few failed attempts at penetrating the home entertainment space.  This time, it feels different.  Chromecast is simple and affordable -- two things that should help it catch on (although it appears as though it's already catching on).  They are already out of stock at Amazon, and further investigation indicates that there is a potential waiting time of up to one month to get your hands (and eyes) on one.  This is a good sign for Google.

Starting Small

Google's strategy with Chromecast is intriguing.  Lately, we've seen products unveiled with a big list of agreements in place.  After all, that was one of the main factors considered years ago when Marketeneur reviewed early generation OTT products.  Chromecast, however, only comes with agreements in place for Netflix and Youtube.  It has yet to bring Hulu, HBOGo or Pandora into the lineup.  Starting small like this would usually be a deal breaker for this reviewer.  However, at $35, the risk is low for purchasing the product, and one has to be optimistic that the others aren't far behind.

Big Potential

Chromecast will really work if the likes of Hulu and HBOGo join the platform.  However, even without those agreements, there are already workarounds in place.  Chromecast allows you to watch these other networks by using your mobile device as a mirror.  Quality isn't as great using this method, but at least it will work.  Plus, Google has made Chromecast compatible with IOS and Android devices alike (which gives an advantage over Apple's AirPlay).  Google has also opened up its API for developers, hoping to spur app development for the platform.  Overall, Chromecast seems to be a good buy.  Yes, it's not perfect, but at such a reasonable price, this product has a ton of potential.  Don't hesitate to get in line and put an order in for this product.

Not Sold on Chromecast yet?

Check out reviews from some reliable sources: