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Chromecast hacked: uses Google TV code, stripped of Android features - Page 2

post #41 of 61

The AppleTV YouTube experience really sucks with just the Apple IR remote.  Granted its a lot simpler using the Apple Remote App on my iPhone or iPad to search and type for YouTube clips.

 

However if I have to think about it... do I really have a need to spend any time watching YouTube on my big HDTV? Is it a more satisfying experience? Are video clips generally high quality video with 5.1 surround sound? No, not really. Do I don't gather up the family in the living room or sit in bed with my spouse before bedtime watching YouTube videos?   Maybe some people do, I don't. That sounds really weird to me. Why not? 

 

Well, I think its been really well said before.  The amount of time people are willing to spend in front of a screen is proportional to the screen size. A movie, a tv show, yeah.. ok.. I'll watch that on a big TV screen.  Short video clips of YouTubes on the big screen? No, not really worth it to me.  Hard enough finding a movie or TV show we all agree on, a bunch of YouTube videos that I want to subject everyone to? Good luck with that.   Seems like YouTube clips are short enough that its not really worth it to break them out on the the big screen.  

 

So with the size of screen proportional to the runtime of what you want to watch;  Short clips, smaller screen is good enough.   If I really want to subject friends and family to a clip, I'll send them a link or walk over with my device and show them the clip.

 

Now for Netflix, iTunes Movies and TV Show, I really dont seem to have any complaints using the IR remote; other than finding it. Its really small. For those times, I use my iPhone to control the AppleTV. They really need a "Find my AppleTV remote app".  If and when I find my IR remote, I prefer it over the Apple Remote App because I keep a screen lock on my phone.  Its a real pain to simply pause the program, or rewind without the IR remote.  Unlocking the iPhone screen is not a good long term solution, I don't want to drain my iPhone battery and takes to long to wake the phone out of sleep in order to hit pause. When my Apple IR remote broke, I was happy to find out I could use an old no longer used TiVo remote and have the Apple TV learn the IR codes it sends. That was nice.  Now its much easier to find. 

 

I guess in summary, I prefer IR remote and big screen for watching TV shows and Movies on the AppleTV.  For short video clips, I prefer the iPad and iPhone.

 

So while using smart phone or tablet to control sounds good on paper, in practice its not desirable to me.  Your milage may vary.

"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

It's not cross platform.  It does web streaming.  Period.  Also, there are lots of reports already that it doesn't work, or doesn't work well, on iOS at all.  It basically works on Firefox and Chrome browsers and everything else is dodgy.  

 

You also have to figure in the fact that most web video is crap quality and full of advertisements as well.  Have fun streaming your 800x600 YouTube videos that have been cross-coverted from shit Windows video files.  

 

For a few bucks more, Apple TV has built in YouTube and built in Vimeo as well (Vimeo is like YouTube but in HD and for grownups).  Apple TV also does the same web streaming that Chromecast does, but also does Airplay, has a store, plays games, does mirroring, does Hockey and MLB (if you like that crap) Netflix, Anime stations, Flickr, Photostream, and can be hacked to provide a host of other services for free as well.  

 

Second hand Apple TV's do indeed go for 50 bucks as I said.  Only an idiot would buy something second hand and not get at least 50% off.  The only reason they are a bit hard to find, is that they are so popular, that people generally don't sell them a lot.  many people never put their old ones on eBay, they just attach them to other TVs around the house.  

 

If you like your Chromecast, keep it is my advice.  

I just think Apple TV is a better value, and there are numerous people that are smarter than either of us, saying the same thing on tech sites all over the web.  

ATV is a better value in some regards, but not in the most important ways.  First it has the shittiest interface on the planet.  It uses an onscreen menu just like all the dumb "smart TVs" out there.  Airplay is not a suitable design around for this problem because airplay drains my iPhone battery (besides a good product shouldn't require you to think of a design around to a poor interface design).

Arguing that ATV is $50 because you might be able to find a used one for that price is a ridiculous argument. Chromecast will eventually be available second hand as well. 

Apple TV is vastly inferior than Chromecast because it isn't open to third party developers.  Obviously Apple can fix that quickly, but if they don't then it will continue to be a vastly inferior product.

Apple could also upgrade ATV to switch the video stream to pull from the internet source rather than use the iphone as an intermediate server.  That would fix the battery problem.  

post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by snova View Post

The AppleTV YouTube experience really sucks with just the Apple IR remote.  Granted its a lot simpler using the Apple Remote App on my iPhone or iPad to search and type for YouTube clips.

 

However if I have to think about it... do I really have a need to spend any time watching YouTube on my big HDTV? Is it a more satisfying experience? Are video clips generally high quality video with 5.1 surround sound? No, not really. Do I don't gather up the family in the living room or sit in bed with my spouse before bedtime watching YouTube videos?   Maybe some people do, I don't. That sounds really weird to me. Why not? 

 

Well, I think its been really well said before.  The amount of time people are willing to spend in front of a screen is proportional to the screen size. A movie, a tv show, yeah.. ok.. I'll watch that on a big TV screen.  Short video clips of YouTubes on the big screen? No, not really worth it to me.  Hard enough finding a movie or TV show we all agree on, a bunch of YouTube videos that I want to subject everyone to? Good luck with that.   Seems like YouTube clips are short enough that its not really worth it to break them out on the the big screen.  

 

So with the size of screen proportional to the runtime of what you want to watch;  Short clips, smaller screen is good enough.   If I really want to subject friends and family to a clip, I'll send them a link or walk over with my device and show them the clip.

 

Now for Netflix, iTunes Movies and TV Show, I really dont seem to have any complaints using the IR remote; other than finding it. Its really small. For those times, I use my iPhone to control the AppleTV. They really need a "Find my AppleTV remote app".  If and when I find my IR remote, I prefer it over the Apple Remote App because I keep a screen lock on my phone.  Its a real pain to simply pause the program, or rewind without the IR remote.  Unlocking the iPhone screen is not a good long term solution, I don't want to drain my iPhone battery and takes to long to wake the phone out of sleep in order to hit pause. When my Apple IR remote broke, I was happy to find out I could use an old no longer used TiVo remote and have the Apple TV learn the IR codes it sends. That was nice.  Now its much easier to find. 

 

I guess in summary, I prefer IR remote and big screen for watching TV shows and Movies on the AppleTV.  For short video clips, I prefer the iPad and iPhone.

 

So while using smart phone or tablet to control sounds good on paper, in practice its not desirable to me.  Your milage may vary.

There are many of us that hate using the IR remote.  Once people get used to using their iPhone to select content and hit play and it just shows up on your big TV, you will never go back.  IMO.

I disagree that people won't watch YouTube on a big TV.  The reason they don't do it now is because it is a pain in the ass to get the content on your TV.  Once everyone gets their Netflix or Aereo TV through Chromecast, they will be easily converted to watching YouTube on a big screen TV.  In fact, they will watch much more of it because it is readily available on a big screen.

I think everyone is severely underestimating the pricing power of a $35 device.  No one gives a shit whether the device is Apple or Google. Most phones are iPhone or Android. Since Chromecast works with both, the decision is going to come down to price.  I highly doubt that the video quality is going to be much different between Chromecast and ATV.  The bottleneck is going to be the network bandwidth of your home internet connection.  It will be a no-brainer for Apple owners to get a Chromecast.  In fact, if Google were smart, they would build Airplay into Chromecast.  Does anyone know if they've done that?

post #44 of 61
Even with an Xbox and a PS3, I still bought a Chromecast. I always have my phone on me. Even when I watch a movie I'm browsing around my news apps.

The Chromecast is just really convenient. I can queue a bunch of YouTube videos and the Chromecast plays them (just like on PS3). I don't have to turn on my PS3 and surf to the YouTube app or the Netflix app. It is just convenient. That's the key word and that's why its going to sell well (it already is)
post #45 of 61

2 things, Google is going to slow down on Android development, they're unable to monetize mobile well without ruining the user experience.  They're going to focus on Chrome, the browser and OS.  Chromecast is actually Android/Google TV, that they called Chromecast is interesting. 

 

Also, the content providers are going to lock down what little free content is currently available, Netflix is god awful, it's cheap, but it's godawful.  

 

The lag on these things is not good, either, I had cut the cord almost a decade ago, just built a HTPC and hardwired everything because the lag is irritating as hell.  I was using onoine content from a Roku box, an Apple TV, etc...  The content was getting expensive, so I just got cable and built a HTPC.  HBO Go is almost worth the cost of cable alone.

 

Chromecast would be perfect for a traveling exec who spends a lot of time in hotel rooms, I can see a ton of these things thrown in a drawer and forgotten.

post #46 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

There are many of us that hate using the IR remote.  Once people get used to using their iPhone to select content and hit play and it just shows up on your big TV, you will never go back.  IMO.

I disagree that people won't watch YouTube on a big TV.  The reason they don't do it now is because it is a pain in the ass to get the content on your TV.  Once everyone gets their Netflix or Aereo TV through Chromecast, they will be easily converted to watching YouTube on a big screen TV.  In fact, they will watch much more of it because it is readily available on a big screen.

I think everyone is severely underestimating the pricing power of a $35 device.  No one gives a shit whether the device is Apple or Google. Most phones are iPhone or Android. Since Chromecast works with both, the decision is going to come down to price.  I highly doubt that the video quality is going to be much different between Chromecast and ATV.  The bottleneck is going to be the network bandwidth of your home internet connection.  It will be a no-brainer for Apple owners to get a Chromecast.  In fact, if Google were smart, they would build Airplay into Chromecast.  Does anyone know if they've done that?

I agree that IR remote is terrible for searching for content and for typing into search fields. Its terrible for surfing the web and reading web pages. Its terrible for writing term papers and email too. Its terrible for using Facebook and for reading and responding to this forum. You know what.. for me that is just fine. 

 

I pick the right tool for the job. I dont pack a physical keyboard with my iPad, some argue I should. I also dont want to keep my iPhone unlocked and constantly awake to control my TV.  Google and yourself may argue that I should. 

 

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.   When I watch something on the big screen, I dont find a great need to constantly surf for content. I dont watch live TV, I record it all with my DVR.  Therefore, the need to send a lot of complicated input to the TV constantly simply is not there. For me the big screen is more of a consumption device for enjoyment of high quality media.  Its even more of a consumption device than the iPhone or iPad.  The input I need or even want to send is basic. However, when I do need to use pause or rewind controls, I need it to work instantly and control needs to instantly available, without fumbling with taking my phone out of lock or sleep.  Its a lot like switch music tracks on your iPhone.  Using the build in controls on the headset, or bluetooth controls on the radio or car steering wheels are a must for me for an enjoyable experience.  Having to fiddle with waking the phone, looking at the screen, and then hitting next track or pause is a really PITA. 

 

If you want to provide me with a solution for this problem using my smartphone, I welcome it.  However, please don't dance around this point.  I think its a valid flaw with the Chromecast usage model.  Actually, I think its more then just a "flaw".  It is a fatal flaw.. it wont pass the wife test. I know from experience. She HATES to use her iPhone when she cant find the IR remove, while trying to watch the AppleTV. I can't blame her. Its not as responsive as direct IR remote.  Also, mever heard any complaints picking out content with the IR remote for the Apple TV.  Then again,  I never heard her or the kids want to watch YouTube on the TV either nor do I ever see them spending any significant time watching YouTube on their iPads or iPhones. 

 

However, If you think you will watch a lot of YouTube, which are short clips, keep in mind that this require constantly waking up the phone, doing searching and clip selection and doing a lot of control operations. You may actually find you are spending significant time keeping the phone awake vs actually watching content.  In this situation, I think battery drainage will be factor anyways.  If you had clips queued up like track on an album, this would be different.  How long do you intend to watch YouTube, anyhow? As you made it clear, YouTube browsing takes a lot of interaction. Do you actually veg out the entire evening watching YouTube clips on the HDTV big screen? Honestly?   I guess you could. I simply don't see it for most people I know. Maybe its just the crowd I know, but most people I know dont spend their evenings this way. 

 

In my personal usage model, I may watch one YouTube clip every couples days if someone sends me a link or in the course of reading some kind of news article which embeds a video clip. I'll do that right with my computer, iPad or iPhone. I'm not gonna rush over to my big screen TV, sit down (kick kids off TV if they are using it) and watch it there. Its simply not reasonable for me. It may be for others.  I'd be surprised if many. 


Edited by snova - 7/28/13 at 11:25pm
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post #47 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esoom View Post

 

 

Chromecast would be perfect for a traveling exec who spends a lot of time in hotel rooms, I can see a ton of these things thrown in a drawer and forgotten.

OK.. sounds good on paper. Except can we get to the specifics of how an "exec" will get past the http terms and conditions landing page of most hotel wifi servers with the Chromecast as well as viewing content from Netflix when traveling abroad. 

 

This exec is gonna mess around with this? Lets get real here. 

 

I'd put my money on the exec using his laptop, iPad, or iPhone to get online.  If they want to watch a movie on the in room big screen TV, they will pay for the in-room programming or use their laptop or iPad.  Or my personal favorite solution, just get a stupid HDMI cable from laptop to TV or iPhone/iPad to TV.  No exec is gonna, lug around more crap in their suitcase just to spend their evening screwing around with landing pages, figuring out how configure VPN to get home country content, only to put up with thottled hotel bandwidth for watching videos on the in room TV.  Why would they do this?  Just so they can use their Chromecast device to save a few bucks on movies? Seriously?

 

Yeah.. I can see this being this years gift for executives. I was thinking of giving you a new set of golf clubs, but I decided to get you a $35 Chromecast instead. Just think of how much money you will save your company while on business trips. Oh, and here is a leather carrying case for it with your initials on on it.  Enjoy!

 

I do agree about the "being thrown in a drawer and forgotten" portion of your sentence for being such a PITA to setup in a hotel room.


Edited by snova - 7/28/13 at 11:41pm
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post #48 of 61

Victory of the Dalviks!

 

Wait. I seem to have spelt something wrong...

post #49 of 61
None of these devices cost more than $15 to make. Apple TV uses a Cortex A8 whilst this uses a Cortex A9. Apple could easily expand their TV to cross over a bit too. And simplifying and improving means it could also sell at a decent profit, even at $35.
post #50 of 61
"2 things, Google is going to slow down on Android development, " Quite possible. Google are a web software company. Android is only there to ensure they continue to dominate the web, alleviating the control effect of proprietary business decisions.
post #51 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by snova View Post

The AppleTV YouTube experience really sucks with just the Apple IR remote.  Granted its a lot simpler using the Apple Remote App on my iPhone or iPad to search and type for YouTube clips.

 

 

You do realize that if you update your AppleTV unit it does now except a bluetooth keyboard. Easier to type with... just sayin.

 

Google is running from Rubin and Andriod words like the plague. Due to both words being poison and slowly killling Google. So Androidcast, became Chromecast, with a change of the head of project.

 

Now, for the Chrome/Android comparison. Did you pay attention when the hackers stated it was more Android than Chrome? If Apple took Airplay, and did a dongle with it, would it be OSX or iOS? It would be more iOS, correct.

 

So, change out Android phones to ChromeOS phones. Not like Chrome can't do games in the web browser on your desktop, few tweeks and boom, phone OS that you can call your own.

You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

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You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

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post #52 of 61
Bluetooth is currently turned off on this Chromecast.. A hack might yet get most things running.
post #53 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by aBeliefSystem View Post

None of these devices cost more than $15 to make. Apple TV uses a Cortex A8 whilst this uses a Cortex A9. Apple could easily expand their TV to cross over a bit too. And simplifying and improving means it could also sell at a decent profit, even at $35.

Isuppli estimates Apple TV bill of materials to cost $64. Apple TV is obviously more expensive as its a 1080p device with digital audio outputs; it's also one of Apples least profitable products.
post #54 of 61
This new Google TV has even better 1080p hardware decoding. Being open there is hope to get Chrome and bluetooth working too in addition to the screen mirroring. That $64 BOM sounds way over the top. The single core A5 is now one of Apples oldest chips.
post #55 of 61

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... it's really Google TV without the Android features.

 

And it took how long for Google to figure out that TV viewers don't want internet complexity?

Let's see...

 

Google TV: October 2010 -

Nexus Q: June 2012 - October 2012

Chromecast: July 2013 -

 

2 years and 9 months have elapsed between first-gen Google TV launch and Chromecast launch.

And what will Chromecast achieve for Google?  It will be a placeholder, just a public relations

project to make it look like Google is in the television game.  So Google can wait for Apple

to unveil their disruptive television concept, then (attempt to) copy Apple.  

Again.


Edited by SockRolid - 7/29/13 at 10:25am

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post #56 of 61
Originally Posted by aBeliefSystem View Post

... Being open there is hope to get Chrome and ...

 

I keep hearing "hope" from open-source advocates.

Heard it from Linux fans.

Heard it from Android fans.

Starting to hear more of it from Tizen fans.

So no, don't hold your breath.

 

Oh, and if you want Chrome on your TV, I'm pretty sure there are some raging fire sales on Google TV boxes right now.

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post #57 of 61

It has some similarities to the newly launched Sky NowTV Device selling for $15.

 

That also has some open access so the XBMC like Plex has already been installed there.

post #58 of 61
This is a great product that brings Google into the present as a contender for in-home entertainment. Google TV wasn't that, which was especially clear when LG preferred even unmaintained WebOS over Google TV.

Apple is now in the shits. Apple TV hardware is great after the last refresh, but the ui is stuck in the 70s. They can fix that next, but unfortunately the train left the station. They lost the opportunity for a monopoly, and people are already googling and flash streaming from Joe Blow web hosting, which is single-click easy. What's the Apple advantage going to be now?
post #59 of 61
I would certainly not say it was great, just clever in promoting their Chrome browser.
post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harald Rudell View Post

This is a great product that brings Google into the present as a contender for in-home entertainment.

lol.
Quote:
Apple is now in the shits. Apple TV hardware is great after the last refresh, but the ui is stuck in the 70s. They can fix that next, but unfortunately the train left the station. They lost the opportunity for a monopoly, and people are already googling and flash streaming from Joe Blow web hosting, which is single-click easy. What's the Apple advantage going to be now?

Shut up and go away.

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post #61 of 61
Other content providers are already moving to Chromecast support according to news reports today. Both Redbox and Vimeo already announced they'll come on board and even HBO confirms it's in talks with Google to bring HBO Go to the new little dongle.
http://gigaom.com/2013/07/29/chromecast-vimeo-redbox-instant-plex/

Edit: After the Anandtech folks spent a week with the Chromecast what's their opinion? "Awesome"
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7186/google-chromecast-review-an-awesome-35-hdmi-dongle

Google might do OK with this one.
Edited by Gatorguy - 7/30/13 at 4:17pm
melior diabolus quem scies
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