Chromecast

Chromecast is a line of digital media players developed by Google. The devices, designed as small dongles, enable users with a mobile device or personal computer to play Internet-streamed audio-visual content on a high-definition television or home audio system through mobile and web apps that support the Google Cast technology. Alternatively, content can be mirrored from the Google Chrome web browser running on a personal computer, as well as from the screen of some Android devices.

The first-generation Chromecast, a video streaming device, was announced on July 24, 2013, and made available for purchase on the same day in the United States for US$35.[4] The second-generation Chromecast and an audio-only model called Chromecast Audio were released in September 2015. A model called Chromecast Ultra that supports 4K resolution and high dynamic range was released in November 2016. A third generation of the HD video Chromecast was released in October 2018.

Critics praised the Chromecast's simplicity and potential for future app support. The Google Cast SDK was released on February 3, 2014, allowing third parties to modify their software to work with Chromecast and other Cast receivers. According to Google, over 20,000 Google Cast–ready apps are available, as of May 2015. Over 30 million units have sold globally since launch, making the Chromecast the best-selling streaming device in the United States in 2014, according to NPD Group. From Chromecast's launch to May 2015, it handled more than 1.5 billion stream requests.

Chromecast
Google Chromecast wordmark
Chromecast-2015
The second-generation Chromecast
DeveloperGoogle
ManufacturerGoogle
TypeDigital media player
Release date1st generation:
July 24, 2013
2nd generation & Audio:
September 29, 2015
Ultra:
November 6, 2016
3rd generation:
October 10, 2018
Introductory price1st, 2nd, 3rd generation, & Audio:
US$35[1] / £30
Ultra:
US$69
Units sold30–55 million[2][3]
Display1st, 2nd, & 3rd generation:
1080p
Ultra:
4K Ultra HD
Connectivity
PowerMicro-USB
PredecessorNexus Q
WebsiteGoogle Chromecast

Development

According to Google, the Chromecast was originally conceived by engineer Majd Bakar. His inspiration for the product came around 2008 after noticing the movie-viewing tendencies of Carla Hindie, his wife. Using her laptop, she would search for a movie to watch on a streaming service and add it to her queue, before closing her laptop and using a gaming device to play the movie on a television. Carla took these steps because she found television interfaces difficult to use for searching content. Bakar found the whole process inefficient and wanted to build a phone-based interface that would allow video to play on a large display through a small hardware device. After joining Google in 2011 to work on products that "would change how people used their TVs", Bakar pitched the idea for the Chromecast. Development on the product began in 2012; late that year, Bakar brought home a beta version of the product for Carla to test. The device was launched in July 2013.[5]

Features and operation

Chromecast plugged into TV
A first-generation Chromecast plugged into the HDMI port of a TV

Chromecast offers two methods to stream content: the first employs mobile and web apps that support the Google Cast technology; the second allows mirroring of content from the web browser Google Chrome running on a personal computer, as well as content displayed on some Android devices.[6] In both cases, playback is initiated through the "cast" button on the sender device.[7]

When no content is streamed, video-capable Chromecasts display a user-personalizable content feed called "Backdrop" that can include featured and personal photos, artwork, weather, satellite images, weather forecasts, and news.[8]

If a television's HDMI ports support the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) feature, pressing the cast button will also result in the video-capable Chromecast automatically turning on the TV and switching the television's active audio/video input using the CEC command "One Touch Playback".[9]

Hardware and design

Chromecast devices are dongles that are powered by connecting the device's micro-USB port to an external power supply or a USB port. Video-capable Chromecasts plug into the HDMI port of a high-definition television or monitor, while the audio-only model outputs sound through its integrated 3.5 millimeter audio jack/mini-TOSLINK socket. By default, Chromecasts connect to the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection to the user's local network; a standalone USB power supply with an Ethernet port, introduced in July 2015 for US$15, allows for a wired connection.[10]

First generation

Chromecast dongle
The first-generation video-capable Chromecast

The original Chromecast measures 2.83 inches (72 mm) in length and has an HDMI plug built into the body.[11] It contains the Marvell Armada 1500-mini 88DE3005 system on a chip running an ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The SoC includes codecs for hardware decoding of the VP8 and H.264 video compression formats. Radio communication is handled by AzureWave NH–387 Wi-Fi which implements 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz). The device has 512 MB of Micron DDR3L RAM and 2 GB of flash storage.[12][13]

The model number H2G2-42 is likely a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy abbreviation "H2G2"—in the novel, the number 42 is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything."[12][14] The bundled power adapter bears the model number MST3K-US, likely a reference to the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.[15]

Second generation

Chromecast-2nd-gen-and-Audio
The second-generation video capable Chromecast and audio-only Chromecast Audio

The second-generation Chromecast has a disc-shaped body with a short length of HDMI cable attached (as opposed to the HDMI plug built into the original model). The cable is flexible and can magnetically attach to the device body for more positioning options behind a television. The second-generation model uses a Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3006 SoC, which has dual ARM Cortex-A7 processors running at 1.2 GHz. The unit contains an Avastar 88W8887, which has improved Wi-Fi performance and offers support for 802.11 ac and 5 GHz bands, while containing three adaptive antennae for better connections to home routers.[16][17][18] The device contains 512 MB of Samsung DDR3L RAM and 256 MB of flash storage.[19]

The model number NC2-6A5 may be a reference to the registry number "NCC-1701" of the fictional starship USS Enterprise from the Star Trek franchise: NC2 can be read as NCC, and 6A5 converted from hexadecimal is 1701.[20]

Third generation

The third-generation Chromecast was launched in October 2018. It supports 1080p video at 60fps, but does not support 4K video.

Chromecast Audio

Chromecast Audio
A Chromecast Audio device connected to the auxiliary (AUX) port of a powered speaker

Introduced in September 2015, Chromecast Audio is a variation of the second-generation Chromecast designed for use with audio streaming apps.

Chromecast Audio features a 3.5 millimeter audio jack/mini-TOSLINK socket, allowing the device to be attached to speakers and home audio systems.[21] One side of the device is inscribed with circular grooves, resembling those of a vinyl record.[22] A December 2015 update introduced support for high-resolution audio (24-bit/96 kHz) and multi-room playback; users can simultaneously play audio across multiple Chromecast Audio devices in different locations by grouping them together using the Google Home mobile app.[23] The feature made Chromecast Audio a low-cost alternative to Sonos' multiple-room music systems.[24]

With the advent of Google Home smart speakers, the device became tangential to Google's product strategy and was discontinued in January 2019.[25] In addition, 3rd gen Chromecast supports Chromecast Audio technology.[26]

The model number RUX-J42 may have been a reference to the Jimi Hendrix albums Are You Experienced (stylized "R U eXperienced") and Midnight Lightning, which had the internal code J-42. Chromecast Audio was also developed with the internal codename Hendrix.[27]

Chromecast Ultra

Chromecast Ultra is similar in design to the second-generation model, but features upgraded hardware that supports the streaming of 4K resolution content, as well as high-dynamic range through the HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats. Google stated that the Chromecast Ultra loads video 1.8 times faster than previous models.[28] Unlike previous models that could be powered through a USB port, the Chromecast Ultra requires the use of the included power supply for connecting to a wall outlet. The power supply also offers an Ethernet port for a wired connection to accommodate the fast network speeds needed to stream 4K content.[29]

Model comparison

Previous generation Current generation
Model Chromecast (1st generation) Chromecast (2nd generation) Chromecast Audio Chromecast Ultra Chromecast (3rd generation)
Release date July 24, 2013 September 29, 2015 September 29, 2015 November 6, 2016[30] October 10, 2018
Sales discontinued September 29, 2015 October 10, 2018 January 11, 2019
Launch price US$35 US$35 US$35 US$69[30] US$35
System on a chip Marvell Armada 1500 Mini 88DE3005-A1[12][31] Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3006[31] Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3006[18] Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3009[32]
Memory 512 MB RAM DDR3L[12] 512 MB RAM DDR3L[19] 256 MB RAM DDR3L[19]
Storage 2 GB[12] 256 MB[19] 256 MB[19]
Display 1080p 1080p @ 30fps or 720p @ 60fps N/A 1080p @ 60fps
Audio DAC N/A N/A AKM AK4430 192 kHz 24-Bit DAC[19][35] N/A
Connectivity
Power Micro-USB
(power adapter or USB port)
Micro-USB
(power adapter or USB port)
Micro-USB
(power adapter or USB port)
Micro-USB
(power adapter required)
Micro-USB
(power adapter or USB port)
Dimensions 72 mm × 35 mm × 12 mm (2.83 in × 1.38 in × 0.47 in) 51.9 mm × 51.9 mm × 13.49 mm (2.04 in × 2.04 in × 0.53 in) 51.9 mm × 51.9 mm × 13.49 mm (2.04 in × 2.04 in × 0.53 in) 58.2 mm × 58.2 mm × 13.70 mm (2.29 in × 2.29 in × 0.54 in)[33] 51.81 mm × 51.81 mm × 13.8 mm (2.04 in × 2.04 in × 0.54 in)
Weight 34 g (1.20 oz) 39.1 g (1.38 oz) 30.7 g (1.08 oz) 47 g (1.66 oz)[33] 40 g (1.4 oz)

Software

Google Cast SDK and compatible apps

Chromecast cast button icon
Icon for the "cast button", which is used to connect, control and disconnect from Google Cast receivers. The button can also represent compatible non-Cast receivers, such as Bluetooth audio players.[39]

At the time of Chromecast's launch, four compatible apps were available: YouTube and Netflix were supported as Android, iOS, and Chrome web apps; Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV were also supported, but originally only as Android apps.[40][41] Additional Chromecast-enabled apps would require access to the Google Cast software development kit (SDK). The SDK was first released as a preview version on July 24, 2013. Google advised interested developers to use the SDK to create and test Chromecast-enabled apps, but not distribute them.[42] While that admonition remained in force, Chromecast-enabled applications for Hulu Plus and Pandora Radio were released in October 2013, and HBO Go in November.[43][44] Google opened the SDK to all developers on February 3, 2014.[45] In its introductory documentation and video presentation, Google said the SDK worked with both Chromecast devices and other unnamed "cast receiver devices". Chromecast product manager Rish Chandra said that Google used the intervening time to improve the SDK's reliability and accommodate those developers who sought a quick and easy way to cast a photo to a television without a lot of coding.[46][47]

Over time, many more applications have been updated to support Chromecast. At Google I/O 2014, the company announced that 6,000 registered developers were working on 10,000 Google Cast–ready apps;[48] by the following year's conference, the number of compatible apps had doubled.[49] Google's official list of compatible apps and platforms is available on the Chromecast website. Google has published case studies documenting Chromecast integration by Comedy Central, Just Dance Now, Haystack TV and Fitnet.[50]

The development framework has two components: a sender app based on a vendor's existing Android or iOS mobile app, or desktop Web app, which provides users with content discovery and media controls; and a receiver app, executing in a Chrome browser-like environment resident on the cast receiver device. Both make use of APIs provided by the SDK.[46]

Device discovery protocols

Chromecast uses the mDNS (multicast Domain Name System) protocol to search for available devices on a Wi-Fi network.[51] Chromecast previously used the DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) protocol,[52] co-developed by Netflix and YouTube.[53]

Operating system

At the introductory press conference, Mario Queiroz, Google's VP of Product Management, said that the first-generation Chromecast ran "a simplified version of Chrome OS."[54] Subsequently, a team of hackers reported that the device is "more Android than ChromeOS" and appears to be adapted from software embedded in Google TV.[55][56] As with Chrome OS devices, Chromecast operating system updates are downloaded automatically without notification.[57]

Mobile app

Chromecast is managed through the Google Home app, which enables users to set up new devices and configure existing ones (such as specifying which "Backdrop" images are shown when no other content is cast). Users can also search for streaming content that is available on installed Google Cast-enabled apps. The app manages other Google Cast-supported devices, including the Google Home smart speaker.[58][59]

Originally called simply "Chromecast", the app was released concurrently with the original Chromecast video model and is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices. The app was released outside the US in October 2013.[60]

In May 2016, the Chromecast app was renamed Google Cast due to the proliferation of non-Chromecast products that support casting.[61] In October 2016, Google Cast was renamed Google Home, the name also given to the company's smart speaker—leaving "Google Cast" as the name of the technology.[62]

Release and promotion

ChromecastStand2
A retail display stand for Chromecast

Google made the first-generation Chromecast available for purchase online in the US on July 24, 2013. To entice consumers, Google initially included a promotion for three months of access to Netflix at no cost with the purchase of a Chromecast. The device quickly sold out on Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and Google Play, and within 24 hours, the Netflix promotion was ended because of high demand.[63][64] On March 18, 2014, Google released the Chromecast to 11 new markets, including the UK, Germany and Canada[65] with the BBC iPlayer enabled for UK users.[66]

In July 2014, to commemorate the first anniversary of the device's launch, Google announced it would offer their music streaming service, Google Play Music All Access, at no cost for 90 days to Chromecast owners who had not previously used All Access; the service normally costs US$9.99 per month.[67] On December 10, 2014, Chromecast was launched in India through e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal in partnership with Bharti Airtel.[68] That same month, Google offered a promotion whereby anyone purchasing a Chromecast from a participating retailer before December 21 would receive a US$20 credit for the Google Play Store.[69] Google offered a US$6 credit to the Store for all Chromecast owners beginning on February 6, 2015.[70]

On September 29, 2015, Google announced the second-generation Chromecast and an audio-only model called Chromecast Audio. Each model was made available for purchase the same day for US$35.[71] Days later, Amazon.com announced that it would ban the sale of Chromecast and Apple TV devices, presumably because they compete with Amazon's own Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.[72] Google discontinued Chromecast Audio in January 2019.[25]

On October 4, 2016, Google announced Chromecast Ultra during the "Made by Google" event, alongside other products such as Google Home, Google Wifi, and the Daydream View.

Reception

First generation model

Nilay Patel of The Verge gave the Chromecast an 8.5/10 score in his review, saying, "The Chromecast is basically an impulse purchase that just happens to be the simplest, cheapest, and best solution for getting a browser window on your TV." Speaking of the adapter's potential, he said, "it seems like the Chromecast might actually deliver on all that potential, but Google still has a lot of work to do." In particular, Patel pointed to Apple's AirPlay protocol as an example of an established competitor with many more features.[73] TechCrunch's review of the device said, "Even with a bug or two rearing its head, the Chromecast is easily worth its $35 pricetag."[74] Gizmodo gave the device a positive review, highlighting the ease of setup and sharing video. In comparing the device to competitors, the review said, "Chromecast isn't Google's version of Apple TV, and it's not trying to be... But Chromecast also costs a third of what those devices do, and has plenty of potential given that its SDK is just a few days old."[75]

Michael Gorman of Engadget gave the Chromecast an 84/100 score, writing, "it's a platform that's likely to improve dramatically as more apps start to support the technology." In his comparing the Chromecast to competing devices, Gorman illustrated that it initially had support from fewer multimedia services, but because of its low price and ease of use, he concluded "we can wholeheartedly recommend the Chromecast for anyone who's been looking for an easy, unobtrusive way to put some brains into their dumb TV."[76] Will Greenwald of PC Magazine rated it 4/5, saying, "The Google Chromecast is the least expensive way to access online services on your HDTV", although he noted that "The lack of local playback and limited Chrome integration holds it back in some respects."[77] David Pogue of The New York Times praised the device for its $35 retail price, saying, "It's already a fine price for what this gadget does, and it will seem better and better the more video apps are made to work with it." Pogue noted the limitations of the device's screen mirroring feature and said using only mobile devices as a remote control was not "especially graceful", but he called Chromecast the "smallest, cheapest, simplest way yet to add Internet to your TV".[78]

Sales and impact

In July 2014, Google announced that in the device's first year on sale, "millions" of units had sold and over 400 million casts had been made.[79] The number of casts surpassed one billion by January 2015,[80] and 1.5 billion by May 2015.[81] The company confirmed that Chromecast was the best-selling media streaming device in the United States in 2014, according to NPD Group.[80] In February 2015, Google Korea announced that about 10 million Chromecasts had been sold globally in 2014.[82] At Google I/O in May 2015, the company announced 17 million units had sold since launch,[83] a figure that reached 20 million by September 2015,[84] 25 million by May 2016,[85] and 30 million by July 2016.[2] According to Strategy Analytics, Chromecast captured more than 35% of the digital streamer market internationally in 2015.[86] As of October 2017, over 55 million Chromecasts and Chromecast built-in devices have been sold.[3]

Digital Trends named Chromecast the "Best Product of 2013".[87] In March 2014, Engadget named Chromecast an Editor's Choice winner for "Home Theater Product of the Year" as part of the website's annual awards;[88] for the following year's awards, Engadget named the device the winner of "Best in Home Entertainment".[89]

In July 2015, Google signed a deal with the Television Academy to provide Chromecasts to Emmy Award voters to allow them to view screeners of nominated media. The multi-year agreement will reduce the volume of DVD screeners distributed each year.[90]

Third generation model

In the face of stronger competition from devices such as the Apple TV, Roku or Fire TV, reviewers started to consider the 2018 Chromecast a secondary streaming device.[91] Trusted reviews considered it a "very minor" upgrade. [92] Tom's Guide said it has almost "nothing to show" to reflect three years of hardware advancement in the streaming space.[93]

Security

On January 3, 2019, hackers took control of Chromecast devices, stating they were exposing security risks. The hackers claimed to access 70,000 devices through a router setting that makes connected devices viewable to the public.[94] The bug was dubbed CastHack, and was first found in 2014 by the security consultancy firm Bishop Fox and observed again in 2016.[95]

See also

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External links

7plus

7plus is a video on demand, catch-up TV service run by the Seven Network. The service became available on 27 November 2017. 7plus also offers online live streaming of Channel Seven, 7TWO, 7mate, 7flix, 7food network and Racing.com.

7plus is available across several platforms including Web, iOS and Android apps, FreeviewPlus certified TVs, Apple TV 4th Gen+, Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Samsung TV, Sony Linux TV and PlayStation 4.

Android TV

Android TV is a version of the Android operating system designed for digital media players. As a replacement for Google TV, it features a user interface designed around content discovery and voice search, surfacing content aggregated from various media apps and services, and integration with other recent Google technologies such as Assistant, Cast, and Knowledge Graph.

The platform was first unveiled in June 2014, with its Nexus Player launch device unveiled that October. The platform has also been adopted as smart TV middleware by companies such as Sony and Sharp, while Android TV products have also been adopted as set-top boxes by a number of IPTV television providers.

Chromebit

The Chromebit is a dongle running Google's Chrome OS operating system. When placed in the HDMI port of a television or a monitor, this device turns that display into a personal computer. Chromebit allows adding a keyboard or mouse over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The device was announced in April 2015 and began shipping that November.

Comparison of digital media players

A digital media player is a home entertainment consumer electronics device that can connect to a home network to stream digital media (such as music, pictures, or video).

Dongle

Dongles were originally created in the 1970s to protect computer software which would function only if the dongle was plugged in – see the "History" section below.

The term is now used generically for any sort of small device or adapter plugged into a computer, games console, TV or other system. For example: WiFi adapters, Bluetooth adapters, and even USB "sticks" or "drives", are frequently referred to as dongles. Other devices include digital media players such as Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick, Chromebit and Intel Compute Stick.

Emby

Emby (formerly Media Browser) is a media server designed to organize, play, and stream audio and video to a variety of devices. Emby's source code is mostly open with some closed-source components as of August 2017, releases of the software published via the Emby website are however proprietary and cannot be replicated from source due to the build scripts also being proprietary. As of version 3.5.3 Emby has been relicensed and is now closed-source, while open source components will be moved to plugins. Emby uses a client-server model.

Emby Server has been developed for Windows, Linux, macOS, and FreeBSD. Users can connect to the server from a compatible client, available on a wide variety of platforms including HTML5, mobile platforms such as Android and iOS, streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV, smart TV platforms such as LG Smart TV and Samsung Smart TV, and video game consoles including the Xbox 360, and Xbox One .

Foxtel Now

Foxtel Now is an Australian internet television service which offers subscriptions to over 50 live channels and hundreds of video on-demand titles. The service is owned by Foxtel, and officially launched on 11 August 2013.

The service is available on internet connected devices such as computers, game consoles and selected smart TV's and Blu-ray players. In addition, Foxtel Now subscribers have access to Foxtel's Foxtel Go app for smart phones and tablets.

Google Cast

Google Cast, branded for consumer devices as Chromecast built-in, is a proprietary protocol developed by Google that enables mobile devices and personal computers to initiate and control playback of Internet-streamed audio/video content on a compatible device, such as a digital media player connected to a high-definition television or home audio system. The protocol was first launched on July 24, 2013, to support Google's first-generation Chromecast player. The Google Cast SDK was released on February 3, 2014, allowing third parties to modify their software to support the protocol. According to Google, over 20,000 Google Cast-ready apps were available as of May 2015. Google Cast would later be built into the Nexus Player and other Android TV devices (such as televisions), as well as soundbars, speakers, and subsequent Chromecast players. As of October 2017, over 55 million Chromecasts and Chromecast built-in devices have been sold.

Google Home

Google Home is a brand of smart speakers developed by Google. The first device was announced in May 2016 and released in the United States in November 2016, with subsequent releases globally throughout 2017 and 2018.

Google Home speakers enable users to speak voice commands to interact with services through Google's personal assistant software called Google Assistant. A large number of services, both in-house and third-party, are integrated, allowing users to listen to music, control playback of videos or photos, or receive news updates entirely by voice. Google Home devices also have integrated support for home automation, letting users control smart home appliances with their voice. Multiple Google Home devices can be placed in different rooms in a home for synchronized playback of music. An update in April 2017 brought multi-user support, allowing the device to distinguish between up to six people by voice. In May 2017, Google announced multiple updates to Google Home's functionality, including: free hands-free phone calling in the United States and Canada; proactive updates ahead of scheduled events; visual responses on mobile devices or Chromecast-enabled televisions; Bluetooth audio streaming; and the ability to add reminders and calendar appointments.

The original Google Home has a cylindrical shape with colored status LEDs on the top for visual representation of its status. The cover over its base is modular, with different color options available through the Google Store for matching with home decor. In October 2017, Google announced two additions to the product lineup, the miniature puck-shaped Google Home Mini and the larger Google Home Max. In October 2018, the company released the Google Home Hub, a smart speaker with a touchscreen video display.

List of apps with Google Cast support

The following is a partial list of apps compatible with Google Cast, and the platforms on which each can run. The first Google Cast receiver released was Google's Chromecast in July 2013; a digital media player in the form of an HDMI dongle, the device streams media wirelessly via Wi-Fi after a selection is made through a supported mobile or web app, such as those listed below. Unofficial Google Cast receivers followed, before Google released a second official receiver, the Nexus Player, in November 2014.

For information on Chromecast's app history and software development kit, see Chromecast software development kit and compatible apps.

* = PC-compatible (computers running Windows, OS X, Linux, or Chrome OS) web apps cited here require the Chrome browser, with the Google Cast extension installed, and have support for casting built into the website itself, without the need for "tab casting."

Marvell Technology Group

Marvell Technology Group, Limited, is a producer of storage, communications and consumer semiconductor products. The company was founded in 1995 and has over 3,700 employees. Marvell's U.S. operating headquarters is located in Santa Clara, California, and the company operates design centers in Europe, Israel, India, Singapore and China. Marvell is a "fabless" manufacturer of semiconductors (meaning that it is active entirely in core competencies of engineering and design, with the actual manufacturing outsourced to contract manufacturers in lower-cost emerging markets) that ships more than one billion integrated circuits (known as "chips") per year. Its market segments include data center, enterprise / campus, cloud, automotive, industrial and home / consumer.

NBC Sports Gold

NBC Sports Gold is a subscription over-the-top service operated by NBC Sports providing expanded access to several sports' content. The pass for each sport is sold separately. NBC Sports Gold is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Roku.

Nexus Player

The Nexus Player is a digital media player co-developed by Google, Intel and Asus. It is the second media player in the Google Nexus family of consumer devices. Originally running the Android 5.0 ("Lollipop") operating system, it is the first device to employ the Android TV platform. The Nexus player supports Google Cast, the feature for selecting and controlling media playback on a television that was first introduced by Chromecast. Sales of the Nexus Player were discontinued in May 2016, and product support ended in March 2018.

Nexus Q

Nexus Q is a digital media player developed by Google. Unveiled at the Google I/O developers' conference on June 27, 2012, the device was expected to be released to the public in the United States shortly thereafter for US$300. The Nexus Q was designed to leverage Google's online media offerings, such as Google Play Music, Google Play Movies & TV, and YouTube, to provide a "shared" experience. Users could stream content from the supported services to a connected television, or speakers connected to an integrated amplifier, using their Android device and the services' respective apps as a remote control for queueing content and controlling playback.

The Nexus Q received mixed reviews from critics following its unveiling. While its unique spherical design was praised, the Nexus Q was criticized for its lack of functionality in comparison to similar devices such as Apple TV, including a lack of support for third-party content services, no support for streaming content directly from other devices using the DLNA standard, as well as other software issues that affected the usability of the device. The unclear market positioning of the Nexus Q was also criticized, as it carried a significantly higher price than competing media players with wider capabilities; The New York Times' technology columnist David Pogue described the device as being 'wildly overbuilt' for its limited functions.The Nexus Q was given away at no cost to attendees of Google I/O, but the product's consumer launch was indefinitely postponed the following month, purportedly to collect additional feedback. Those who had pre-ordered the Nexus Q following its unveiling received the device at no cost. The Nexus Q was quietly shelved in January 2013, and support for the device in the Google Play apps was phased out beginning in May 2013. Some of the Nexus Q's concepts were repurposed for a more-successful device known as Chromecast, which similarly allows users to wirelessly queue content for playback using functions found in supported apps, but is designed as a smaller HDMI dongle with support for third-party services.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue (PS Vue) is an American over-the-top (OTT) Internet television service that is owned by Sony. Launching with a limited major-market rollout on March 18, 2015, the service – which is structured in the style of a multichannel video programming distributor – combines live TV (incorporating a lineup of various cable-originated television channels), on-demand video, and cloud-based DVR to stream television programs, movies, and sporting events directly to a PlayStation console or other supported device – including smart TVs, digital media players and apps – without a subscription to a cable or satellite television provider. Targeting cord cutters, PlayStation Vue is designed to complement subscription video-on-demand services. As of September 2018, the service had approximately 745,000 subscribers.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV is an Internet-based TV platform owned by Viacom. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Los Angeles, California. Pluto TV runs as an app on 14 platforms, including Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and PlayStation consoles. The company currently has more than 75 content partners, over 100 free channels, and reaches over 12 million monthly active users. Pluto TV generates revenue from video advertisements between programming, with plans to remain a free television provider. Pluto TV licenses its content directly from providers.

Radio.com

Radio.com is a free broadcast and Internet radio platform owned by Entercom. Radio.com functions as a music recommender system and is the national umbrella brand for Entercom's radio network aggregating its over 235 local Entercom radio stations across the United States. In addition, the service includes thousands of podcasts. It was originally created by CBS Radio and was acquired by Entercom as part of the company's takeover of CBS Radio. The service's main competitors are rival station group iHeartMedia's iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Radio.com is available online, via mobile devices, and devices such as Chromecast.

Spuul

Spuul offers an over-the-top (OTT) service across Web, mobile/tablets (iOS, Android), smart TVs, and Chromecast to stream and download feature-length movies, short films, and TV shows in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, and other Indian regional languages. The service is available worldwide.

As of early 2016, Spuul had a catalogue of over 1,000 films and TV shows, as well as partnerships across several production companies such as Yash Raj Films, Balaji Telefilms, Shemaroo Entertainment, Viacom 18, Reliance Entertainment, Phantom Films, and UTV Motion Pictures.

In addition to a large selection of free movies, Spuul offers a premium subscription option in monthly, annual and multiple smaller packages, along with pay-per-view movies.Spuul is headquartered in Singapore, with an office in Mumbai.

Spuul Blog provides news and gossip for movie buffs to read.According to a review by PCQuest, “Overall, the experience was pretty good and we can say the app is quite the right destination for movie fanatics.”

UFC Fight Pass

UFC Fight Pass is a subscription-based video streaming service owned by the mixed martial arts promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC Fight Pass showcases live UFC, MMA, submission grappling, kickboxing, boxing and Thai boxing events plus a 24-hour linear streaming channel and on-demand programming from a library of over 20,000 fights from over 35 promotions. Fight Pass launched in December 2013 with UFC president Dana White saying it would become "Netflix for fight fans."

In March 2014 the libraries of PRIDE FC, WEC, Strikeforce, Affliction, WFA and EliteXC were added to the FIGHT PASS Library. In September 2014 Invicta FC began live-streaming events on Fight Pass and over the next three years over a dozen promotions from MMA, kickboxing, grappling and boxing have live-steamed events on the Fight Pass service. UFC Fight Pass claims to have over 20,000 historical fights from over 35 promotions available 24-7, including the libraries of PRIDE FC, WEC, Strikeforce, Affliction, WFA and EliteXC, Invicta FC, King of the Cage, Pancrase, Shooto and UCMMA As of 2016, viewers worldwide can access live UFC fights and fight replays on their subscription network UFC Fight Pass at a cost of US$7.99–9.99 per month via devices like Apple TV, iPhone, Android, Xbox, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. Pay-Per-View event replays are available to subscribers 30 days after the original event airs, or the day after the next UFC event airs (whichever is later).

In addition to streaming live UFC fights, Fight Pass streams MMA content from Cage Warriors (U.K. promotion), Pancrase (Japanese promotion), TKO (Canadian promotion), Invicta FC, Cage Fury Fighting Championships, Alaska Fighting Championship, Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting, Island Fights, Titan FC and more. Fight Pass also streams live events from other combat sports such as Glory Kickboxing, Karate Combat, Muay Thai Grand Prix, Friday Night Fights Thaiboxing, QUINTET (grappling), Eddie Bravo Invitational (grappling), Polaris (grappling), World Lethwei Championship, Lethwei Fighting Championship, Roy Jones Jr Boxing and Salita Boxing Promotions.

Although media subscription services tend to experience significant churn, UFC Fight Pass is believed to have approximately 450,000 subscribers globally.

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