Originally Posted by Marvin
When it's mirroring content:
"“Effectively, the Chromecast is a Web media player,” Pichai said. “Once you say ‘Play this YouTube video or Netflix video,’ it is actually pinging YouTube or Netflix over Wi-Fi, going through the Internet backbone, and they are just sending it like they would send it to a browser.”
Internally, Pichai said his team calls this process “flinging” content. Flinging is intended for video and music apps, and outside developers are welcome to build in support for it.
Chromecast will also support a second behavior: “mirroring” Web pages, though that will be in beta for the next few months. With mirroring, whatever you do on your phone, tablet or computer is synced up with the display on your TV. That way you can pull content from any Web site, not just supported apps — though you’ll draw down the battery on the device that’s being mirrored."
Some media content will have proprietary decoders (DRM) that can only be decoded on the hardware. Netflix is usually done that way but I think they have web streaming alternatives. This happens with Airplay mirroring too but native Apple TV apps have the advantage, even just iTunes streaming.
In cases where Chromecast is playing video streams, and not mirroring Browser Tabs, it does not use your mobile device after the movie starts playing. YouTube, NetFlix, Google Play, anything that has a codec supportable by Chrome (H264 or VP8/VP9) is streamable from the cloud and does not require the device.
Lots of denials in these threads. You can wire up several rooms in your house for 1/3 the cost of Apple TV, it takes less space and stays elegantly hidden behind the TV, most modern HDMI sets have USB connectors to power it, it controls the TV via HDMI-CEC. You can control it with any Android, iOS, or laptop, it can work unassisted afterwards.
Apple TV is overkill for this application. Maybe if it starts supporting games and becomes a game console, but for just streaming console, the idea of using your smartphone to control a $35 streamer is a much better value proposition.
And you can bet that soon there will be Google Now integration with touchless-voice "Ok, Chromecast, play House of Cards"