Yesterday Google dropped a huge bomb in the digital living room space in the form of Chromecast, a $35 HDMI receiver that enables the user to initiate streaming of over-the-top video services and personal content using a variety of mobile devices, be they Android, iOS, or even Windows.
The foundation for the content-tossing capabilities in Chromecast is DIAL, the wireless streaming protocol the company co-developed with Netflix.
To be certain, Chromecast is a very big deal, and it shows that Google learned a few things with Google TV. However, that doesn’t mean that Google TV itself is dead, a fact Google essentially confirmed today.
In my view, this makes sense. Chromecast is great, but the technology itself does not replace a pay-TV entertainment experience (as some seem to imply it does). Further, while Chromecast functionality will likely become common, most TV manufacturers are still going to increasingly want to put connected-TV capabilities into their TV offerings, and Google TV (and Android) is still the leading third-party TV-optimized stack.
In the end, the different efforts (Chromecast and Google TV) will likely feed each other. Chromecast is a sexy new technology that will enable “gee-whiz” new content-shifting capabilities in the home, but it’s not a fully featured TV offering. Google TV itself represents a more cohesive TV technology suite that integrates all of Google’s TV services and fills a need for many TV hardware OEMs as they figure out they can’t keep up in the new connected living room relying solely on their internal software development capabilities (save possibly Samsung).
Ultimately, Chromecast may save Google in the TV space, but expect Google TV to continue to grow in the coming years.