Google Cast

Google Cast, branded for consumer devices as Chromecast built-in,[1] 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.[2]

Google Cast
Google Cast wordmark

DeveloperGoogle
TypeMedia streaming
Release dateJuly 24, 2013
Operating systemAndroid 4.1+, iOS 7.0+, Microsoft Windows 7+, macOS 10.7+, and Chrome OS
WebsiteOfficial website

Operation

Google Cast receivers can stream content via two methods: 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.[3] In both cases, playback is initiated through the "cast" button on the sender device.[4]

  • The primary method of playing media on the device is through Google Cast–enabled mobile and web apps, which control program selection, playback, and volume. Google Cast receiver devices stream the media from the web within a local version of the Chrome browser,[5] thus freeing the sender device up for other tasks, such as answering a call or using another application, without disrupting playback. Mobile apps enabled for Google Cast are available for both Android 4.1+ and iOS 7.0+; web apps enabled for Google Cast are available on computers running Google Chrome (on Microsoft Windows 7+, macOS 10.7+, and Chrome OS for Chromebooks running Chrome 28+) through the installation of the "Cast extension" in the browser.[6][7] Streamed content can be Internet-based, as provided by specific apps, or reside on the sender device's local storage. Apps that provide access to the latter include AllCast, Avia, Plex,[8] and Google Photos.[9][10]
  • Content can also be mirrored from a tab of the Chrome browser (with the Cast extension) on a personal computer or from the screen of some Android 4.4+ devices. In the case of "tab casting", the quality of the image depends on the processing power of the device, and minimum system requirements apply to video streaming. Content that uses plug-ins, such as Silverlight and QuickTime, does not fully work, as the stream may lack sound or image.[11][12] Similarly, screen images mirrored from Android devices are typically degraded, reflecting the fact that video displayed on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones is usually downscaled.[3]

Sender devices previously needed to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as a Google Cast receiver device to cast content,[13][14] until the addition of a "guest mode" feature on December 10, 2014;[15] When enabled, the feature allows sender devices to discover a nearby player by detecting ultrasonic audio emitted by the television or speaker system to which the player is connected;[16][17] alternatively, the sender device can be paired with the receiver device using a four-digit PIN code.[17][18] Guest mode is only available for Chromecasts; the Nexus Player and Android TV devices do not support the feature.[19]

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.[20]

Release and distribution

At the time of Chromecast's launch, four Google Cast-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.[21][22] Additional apps supporting casting 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 apps, but not distribute them.[23] While that admonition remained in force, Google Cast-enabled applications for Hulu Plus and Pandora Radio were released in October 2013, and HBO GO in November.[24][25] Google invited developers to a two-day hackathon on December 7 at Googleplex, its Mountain View headquarters, offering the opportunity to test drive the SDK's "upcoming release".[26] The session attracted 40 developers from 30 companies and was followed by 10 additional apps, including Plex, Avia, and Realplayer Cloud.[27]

Google opened the SDK to all developers on February 3, 2014.[28] 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. Google also made the SDK a part of the Google Play Services framework, thereby giving users access to new apps without having to update Android itself.[29][30] Over time, many more applications have been updated to support Google Cast. At Google I/O 2014, the company announced that 6,000 registered developers were working on 10,000 Google Cast–ready apps;[31] by the following year's conference, the number of compatible apps had doubled.[32] Google's official list of compatible apps and platforms is available on the Chromecast website. Google has published case studies documenting Google Cast integration by Comedy Central, Just Dance Now, Haystack TV and Fitnet.[33]

Framework

The development framework has two components: a sender app and a receiver app, both of which make use of APIs provided by the SDK.

  • The sender app is based on a vendor's existing Android or iOS mobile app, or desktop web app, and provides users with content discovery and media controls, including the ability to select to which device content is streamed. Under the hood, sender apps can detect receiver devices on the same local network, establish a secure channel, and exchange messages.
  • The receiver app is a web app executing in a Chrome browser-like environment resident on the cast receiver device. Receiver apps of varying complexities can be developed depending on the variety of content formats the app can play. For example, a simple receiver app might just play HTML5 content, whereas custom receiver apps, which require more programming effort, can take a variety of streaming protocols, including MPEG-DASH, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), and the Microsoft Smooth Streaming Protocol.[29]

Supported media

Chromecast supports the image formats BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and WEBP, with a display size limitation of 720p (1280 × 720 pixels). Supported audio codecs are HE-AAC, LC-AAC, MP3, Vorbis, WAV (LPCM), FLAC and Opus; AC-3 (Dolby Digital) and E-AC-3 (EC-3, Dolby Digital Plus) are available for audio pass-through. Supported video codecs for the first and second generation Chromecast are H.264 High Profile Level 4.1 (decoding up to 720p/60 frames per second (fps) or 1080p/30fps) and VP8.[34] The supported video codecs for the Chromecast Ultra are HEVC / H.265 Main and Main 10 Profiles up to level 5.1 (2160p/60fps) and VP9 Profile 0 and Profile 2 up to level 5.1 (2160p/60fps).[35]

Additional functionality and APIs

At International CES 2015, Google announced an expansion to Google Cast called "Google Cast for audio", which allows apps that support the Google Cast SDK to play audio through compatible Wi-Fi–connected speakers, soundbars, and receivers.[36] Manufacturers supporting Google Cast as a built-in function in their speakers include LG and Sony.[37]

In May 2015, Google introduced new sets of APIs to Google Cast. The Cast Remote Display APIs allow developers to create second-screen experiences for apps such as games without needing to mirror displays. The Game Manager APIs offer developers more options for creating multiplayer games.[38] Lastly, additional APIs were provided to control autoplaying and queuing of content.[39]

In September 2015, Google announced "Fast Play" and accompanying developer tools, which are aimed at reducing the delays between loading content. In a typical scenario, if a user viewed the first three episodes of a television series, the fourth episode might load in the background.[40] The feature's release has since been delayed.[41]

Compatible devices

See also

References

  1. ^ Roettgers, Janko (2016-11-23). "Google Quietly Phases Out 'Google Cast' Branding for TVs, Speakers". Variety. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  2. ^ Jonnalagadda, Harish (October 4, 2017). "Google has sold 55 million Chromecasts around the world". Android Central. Mobile Nations. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Turner, Adam (July 14, 2014). "Hands on: Chromecast Android screen mirroring". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ Maybury, Rick (April 5, 2014). "Should I buy Google Chromecast?". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  5. ^ Stein, Gabe (July 24, 2013). "Wow! Google's Chromecast Is Amazingly Hackable". Co.Labs. Fast Company. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "GET STARTED WITH CHROMECAST: What's Under the Hood? – Chromecast Help". Google. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  7. ^ Robertson, Adi (July 24, 2013). "Google reveals Chromecast: video streaming to your TV from any device for $35". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  8. ^ Linder, Brad (February 17, 2014). "These 8 apps stream videos from Android to Chromecast". liliputing.com. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  9. ^ Welch, Chris (October 1, 2015). "Google Photos for Android now works with Chromecast". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  10. ^ Calimlim, Aldrin (December 11, 2015). "Google updates Photos and Wallet apps for iOS with new features". AppAdvice. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  11. ^ "Cast from Chrome to your TV: Casting a Tab". support.google.com. Google. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  12. ^ "Cast from Chrome to your TV: Minimum System Requirements". support.google.com. Google. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  13. ^ Devine, Richard (June 25, 2014). "Chromecast to allow casting without being on same WiFi network". Android Central. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  14. ^ Tarantola, Andrew (June 25, 2014). "Chromecast Is Getting a Slew of Awesome New Features". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  15. ^ Kellex (December 11, 2014). "Chromecast Update Brings Guest Mode, Beta Mirroring, Fresh Material UI". Droid Life. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  16. ^ Welch, Chris (June 26, 2014). "Google's Chromecast will use ultrasonic sounds to connect with nearby devices". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Set up guest mode for Chromecast Audio". support.google.com. Google. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  18. ^ Roettgers, Janko (June 26, 2014). "Chromecast will use ultrasonic sounds to pair your TV with your friend's phones". GigaOM. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  19. ^ "Guest Mode". Google Developers. Google. July 26, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  20. ^ "Google Cast Design Checklist". Google Developers. Google. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  21. ^ "This Week in Tech 416". TWiT.tv. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  22. ^ Pressman, Aaron (August 1, 2013). "Chromecast vs. Roku vs. Apple TV: What's the Best Streaming Device? | Daily Ticker". Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo!. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  23. ^ "Google Cast Release Notes: 1.0". Google Developers. Google. July 24, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  24. ^ Nischol, Karan. "Cast Away: Hulu Plus on Chromecast". Blog. Hulu. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  25. ^ Solesman, Joan E. (October 31, 2013). "Chromecast adds Pandora to short list of apps so far". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  26. ^ Lawler, Richer (November 21, 2013). "Google invites devs over for a Chromecast hackathon plus SDK show-and-tell, updates official app". Engadget. AOL Inc. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  27. ^ Roettgers, Janko (December 13, 2013). "Chromecast in 2014: an open SDK, big international plans and maybe even new devices". GigaOM. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  28. ^ Duckett, Chris (February 4, 2014). "Google takes Chromecast SDK out of preview". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  29. ^ a b Affaki, John (February 3, 2014). "Ready to cast: Chromecast now open to developers with the Google Cast SDK". Google Developers Blog. Google.
  30. ^ Roettgers, Janko (February 3, 2014). "Get ready for tons of new Chromecast apps: Google releases Cast SDK". Gigaom.
  31. ^ Molina, Brett (June 25, 2014). "Live: Google unveils Android experiences for home, car". USAToday.com. Gannett Company. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  32. ^ Haselton, Todd (May 28, 2015). "17M Chromecasts sold to date – 20,000 apps available". TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  33. ^ "Cast: Case Studies". Google Developers. Google. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  34. ^ "Supported Media for Google Cast with 1st and 2nd gen Chromecast". Google Developers. Google. March 20, 2017.
  35. ^ "Supported Media for Google Cast with Chromecast Ultra". Google Developers. March 20, 2017.
  36. ^ Singleton, Micah (January 5, 2015). "Google takes on AirPlay with Google Cast for audio". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  37. ^ "Google Cast for audio". Google Cast. Google. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  38. ^ Tim-o-tato (May 29, 2015). "Google Launches 'Cast Remote Display' APIs, 'Game Manager' APIs". Droid Life. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  39. ^ Ruddock, David (May 29, 2015). "Google Cast Gets New APIs, Allowing For Second-Screen Functionality, Autoplay, Queuing, And More". Android Police. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  40. ^ Olanoff, Drew (September 29, 2015). "Google Announces Chromecast 2 And Chromecast Audio To Bring Intelligence To Your Living Room". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  41. ^ Ruddock, David (July 27, 2016). "Chromecast's Fast Play Content Prediction feature has been delayed, still being worked on". Android Police. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  42. ^ "Chromecast built-in - Audio". Google. Retrieved 2017-07-27.

External links

AirPlay

AirPlay is a proprietary protocol stack/suite developed by Apple Inc. that allows wireless streaming between devices of audio, video, device screens, and photos, together with related metadata. Originally implemented only in Apple's software and devices, it was called AirTunes and used for audio only. Apple has since licensed the AirPlay protocol stack as a third-party software component technology to manufacturers that build products compatible with Apple's devices.

Apple announced Airplay 2 at its annual WWDC conference on June 5, 2017. It was scheduled for release along with iOS 11 in the third quarter of 2017, but was delayed until June 2018. Compared to the original version, Airplay 2 improves buffering, allows audio to be sent to multiple devices in different rooms, and control by Control Center, the Home app, or Siri, functionality that was only available previously using iTunes under MacOS or Windows.

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.

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. 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.

DTS (sound system)

DTS, Inc. (originally Digital Theater Systems) is an American company that makes multichannel audio technologies for film and video. Based in Calabasas, California, the company introduced its DTS technology in 1993 as a higher-quality competitor to Dolby Laboratories, incorporating DTS in the film Jurassic Park. The DTS product is used in surround sound formats for both commercial/theatrical and consumer-grade applications. It was known as The Digital Experience until 1995. DTS licenses its technologies to consumer electronics manufacturers.

The DTS brand was bought by Tessera in December 2016, then Tessera changed its name to Xperi.

Google Chrome for Android

Google's Chrome for Android is an edition of Google Chrome released for the Android system. On February 7, 2012, Google launched Google Chrome Beta for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices, for selected countries. The first stable version of the browser was released on June 27, 2012. Chrome 18.0.1026.311, released on September 26, 2012, was the first version of Chrome for Android to support Intel x86 based mobile devices.

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.

Google Play Services

Google Play Services is a proprietary background service and API package for Android devices from Google. When first introduced in 2012, it provided simple access to the Google+ APIs and OAuth 2.0, but since then it has expanded to cover a large variety of Google's services, allowing applications to easily communicate with the services through common means. As of April 2018, it has been installed more than five billion times on Android devices.

List of Google apps for Android

e Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.

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."

Miracast

Miracast is a standard for wireless connections from devices (such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones) to displays (such as TVs, monitors or projectors), introduced in 2012 by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It can roughly be described as "HDMI over Wi-Fi", replacing the cable from the device to the display.The Wi-Fi Alliance launched the Miracast certification program at the end of 2012. Devices that are Miracast-certified can communicate with each other, regardless of manufacturer. Adapters became available that plug into HDMI or USB ports, allowing devices without built-in Miracast support to connect via Miracast.Miracast employs the peer-to-peer Wi-Fi Direct standard. It allows sending up to 1080p HD video (H.264 codec) and 5.1 surround sound (AAC and AC3 are optional codecs, mandated codec is linear pulse-code modulation – 16 bits 48 kHz 2 channels). The connection is created via WPS and therefore is secured with WPA2. IPv4 is used on the Internet layer. On the transport layer, TCP or UDP are used. On the application layer, the stream is initiated and controlled via RTSP, RTP for the data transfer.

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.

OpenFlint

OpenFlint is an open technology used for displaying ("casting") content from one computerized device on the display of another. Usually this would be from a smaller personal device (like a smartphone) to a device with a larger screen suitable for viewing by multiple spectators (like a TV).

Development of OpenFlint was initiated in 2014 by the Matchstick project, which is a crowd-funded effort to create a miniature piece of hardware suitable for running an OpenFlint server casting to a screen through an HDMI connection. This is similar in concept to Google's Chromecast device that uses Google Cast.

The Matchstick TV devices are powered by Firefox OS, but as an open technology OpenFlint itself is not tied to any specific operating system or hardware.

As of July 2015, no consumer-grade OpenFlint-enabled products have shipped, but Matchstick developer devices have been shipping since late 2014, and the first round of devices for backers of the Matchstick Kickstarter project were expected to ship in February 2015, but were delayed until August 2015.A demonstration OpenFlint server can be set up on an ordinary laptop or desktop computer running Linux by following instructions. The Matchstick TV dongle project was canceled due to issues implementing DRM into Firefox OS.

Showmax

Showmax is an online subscription video on demand (SVOD) service which launched in South Africa on 19 August 2015.Showmax is employing a localisation strategy to take on established video on demand competitors with a focus on local content and partnerships with mobile telcos.In South Africa, Showmax competes with Netflix and Amazon Video.Showmax is a part of MultiChoice Group (which itself is a spin-off of Naspers). Showmax's engineering team is based in the Czech Republic. Showmax publishes engineering and research articles on a technical blog.Showmax offers consumers a free 14-day trial.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium is an Android smartphone manufactured and marketed by Sony. Part of the Xperia X series, the device was announced to the public on April 16, 2018 featuring a 4K HDR display and a MotionEye™ Dual Camera.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is an Android smartphone manufactured and marketed by Sony. Part of the Xperia X series, the device was announced to the public along with the Xperia XZs at the annual Mobile World Congress in February 2017. Pre-orders for the Xperia XZ Premium started in Europe on 22 May 2017. The device went on sale in the UK on 2 June 2017 and in the US on 19 June 2017.It serves as the spiritual successor of the Xperia Z5 Premium and is Sony's latest flagship after the Xperia XZ.

The device's highlight features are a 4K HDR ultra high resolution display and its capability of capturing super slow-motion videos at 960 frames per second.

Sony Xperia XZs

The Sony Xperia XZs is an Android smartphone manufactured and marketed by Sony. Part of the Xperia X series, the device was announced to the public along with the Xperia XZ Premium at the annual Mobile World Congress last February 2017.

The device's highlight feature is its capability of capturing slow-motion videos at 960 frames per second, a world's first in a compact smartphone.

Style Jukebox

Style Jukebox was a hi-fi high-resolution audio cloud music streaming and storage player for the Windows, iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms. A Web Player is also available for Mac, Windows and Linux.Style Jukebox allows users to upload their personal music collection from their computer to Style Jukebox servers and listen to them from another compatible device (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Windows Phone) by streaming or downloading songs for offline playback.

Basic accounts have 10 GB of storage. Pro accounts can have up to 2 TB of music.As of July 2016, Style Jukebox had more than 250,000 registered users.On December 1st 2017, Style Jukebox discontinued their service with a very small post on their home page, and no further details were released.

XBR (Sony)

XBR is Sony’s highest performance series of BRAVIA LCD, OLED, and formerly, Trinitron CRT and WEGA Plasma televisions featuring advanced features and progressive industrial design. According to Sony, XBR is an acronym for eXtended Bit Rate, although there is evidence that it originally stood for “Project X, Black Remote” which was supposed to set it apart from the then-standard line of Sony televisions. The XBR range is typically derived from equipment that has been released in Japan and Europe as mid and high-end models, usually with some small upgrades. For example, in Europe and Japan, the Sony X-Series 1080p TVs had two HDMI inputs, whereas on the American XBR version, there were three. An XBR may cost up to US$25,000.

XBR models usually are denoted by a series number, particularly in the BRAVIA line.

KV-25XBR - circa 1985, 25" CRT monitor shipped with 2 external 2-way speakers that could hang on the sides of the TV, 4:3 aspect ratio, standard definition

KV-36XBR series (1990s) - 4:3 CRT with more than standard definition but less than high definition resolution, also available in 32" and 40" sizes

KD-34XBR (late 1990s) - 16:9 CRT TV, 34" diagonal, more resolution than standard definition, lower resolution than high-definition

XBR2 / XBR3 (2006) - 1080p LCD with "Floating Glass" design where the bezel is surrounded by a glass frame (XBR2 has a gray bezel and XBR3 has a piano black bezel)

XBR4 / XBR5 (2007) - 1080p LCD with same "Floating Glass" design as previous XBR2/3 series and offers a 120-Hertz refresh rate (XBR4 has optional interchangeable color meshes and XBR5 has a piano black bezel)

XBR6 (2008) - a 120-Hertz model featuring a floating customizable lower speaker, USB input, and DLNA photo player.

XBR7 (2008) - a transitional series of models including a 52-inch 240-Hertz model and a mammoth 70-inch model. This series uses normal CCFL backlighting.

XBR8 (2008) - a 120-Hertz model featuring the Triluminos LED backlighting. Unlike traditional LED-LCD displays the XBR8 used locally dimmed RGB LEDs vs. the standard white or blue LED. Floating customizable side speakers.

XBR9 (2009) - a 240-Hertz model including enhanced DLNA capabilities and built in internet video features.

XBR10 (Late 2009) - a 240 Hz thin LCD panel with LED edge-lighting and wireless 1080p connectivity via an included transmitter and receiver.

XBRHX909 (2010) - 240 Hz, Full-Array LED backlighting with local dimming (Intelligent Dynamic LED), Internet streaming features, and optional Active RF 3D via a separate transmitter. The first model to incorporate Sony's "Monolith" design, wherein the TV is composed of a single pane of black glass. Available in 46-inch and 52-inch sizes.

XBRLX900 (2010) - 240 Hz edge-lit LED with Monolith design. Included built-in wi-fi along with an integrated 3D transmitter and 2 pairs of active glasses. Also included a low-resolution camera that acted as a presence/proximity sensor. Available in 52-inch and 60-inch sizes.

XBRHX929 (2011) - Featured streamlined Monolith design using Corning Gorilla Glass. 240 Hz refresh with Motionflow XR960 rating, Full-Array LED backlighting with local dimming (Intelligent Peak LED), presence sensor, X-Reality PRO image processing, Active 3D (RF). Available in 46-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch sizes.

XBRHX950 (2012) - Minor refresh of the HX929 with a newer, more rounded Monolith design and pedestal. Available in 55-inch and 65-inch.

XBRX900A (84" version) (2012) - 84-inch 4K UHD (3840x2160 resolution) LED-edge-lit panel with local dimming. 240 Hz refresh rate with Motionflow XR960. Passive 3D with SimulView gaming, X-Reality PRO with XCA8-4K upscaling chip, detachable 50w speaker system. Sony includes a 4K media server and Xperia tablet remote control with this model.

XBRX900A (2013) - 4K UHD resolution, 120 Hz/XR960, edge-lit LED with local dimming featuring TRILUMINOS quantum dot technology. Passive 3D with SimulView, 4K X-Reality PRO, non-detachable speaker system. Compatible with FMP-X1 4K Media Server (not included). Available in 55-inch and 65-inch. Upgradeable to HDMI 2.0 via firmware update.

XBRX850A (2013) - 4K UHD resolution, TRILUMINOS quantum dot technology, 120 Hz/Motionflow XR960, edgle-lit with local dimming LED. This model does not include the glass front or the speaker system of the X900A models. Includes HDMI 2.0 compliant and Active 3D. Available in 55 and 65 inches.

XBRX850B (2014) -4K UHD resolution, Triluminos, HEVC for 4K streaming,PlayStation Now ready, Frame Dimming, 3D: Passive (49, 55, 65), Active (70). Available in 49", 55", 65", and 70".

XBRX900B (2014) -4K UHD resolution, Triluminos, HEVC for 4K streaming,Playstation Now ready, X-Tended Dynamic Range (edge-lit local dimming), Wedge (tapering) design with side-mounted magnetic fluid speakers, 3D: Active (55", 65"), Passive (79"). Available in 55", 65", and 79".

XBRX950B (2014)-4K UHD resolution, Triluminos, HEVC for 4K streaming,PlayStation Now ready, X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro (Full-Array LED backlight with local dimming), Active 3D. Available in 65" and 85".

XBRX830C (2015) - 4K, Android TV with Google Cast built-in, new X1 Processor, Motionflow XR960. Available in 43" and 49".

XBRX850C (2015) - 4K, Android TV with Google Cast built-in, X1 Processor, Triliuminos, Frame Dimming, Voice control remote, Motionflow XR960, Active 3D. 55" (edge-lit), 65", and 75" (direct-lit).

XBRX900C/XBRX910C (2015) - 4K, Android TV with Google Cast built-in, X1 Processor, Triluminos, Voice control remote, Motionflow XR960, 0.2" thin edge-to-edge panel with included flush mount, Passive 3D. 55", 65", 75".

XBRX930C (2015) - 4K, Android TV with Google Cast built-in, X1 Processor, Triluminos, Voice control remote, Motionflow XR1440, X-Tended Dynamic Range (edge-lit with local dimming), High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, half-wedge design with side-mounted magnetic fluid speakers, Active 3D. 65".

XBRX940C (2015) - 4K, Android TV with Google Cast built-in, X1 Processor, Triluminos, Voice control remote, Motionflow XR1440, X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro (FUll-array LED backlight with local dimming), High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, half-wedge design with side-mounted magnetic fluid speakers, Active 3D. 75".

As of 2015, Sony applies the XBR branding to all of their 4K models in the United States.

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