So, Google set out their stall in the battle for your living room TV And the format they have chosen is essentially a Mini TV Stick (at least that’s what I like to think :P)! It plugs into your TV via HDMI and they’ve chosen components that will run stable with just the juice from your TV’s USB port (kinda like the MK802 II, I guess).
It’s pretty light weight in terms of processing power compared to recent Mini TV Sticks, but this seems to be reflected in the relatively low price. It sports a Marvell DE3005-A1 System on Chip (SoC), 0.5GB of RAM and 2GB of flash memory. The SoC is based on Marvell’s ARMADA 1500-mini platform (see Marvell’s press release here). It looks like it uses a dual core 1.2GHz processor. Perhaps, go here if you have one and want to start hacking around with it
A comparison against the other sticks may give you a better feel for where this product sits compared to what is currently available on the market (use the comparison tool :)):
I don’t have one of these sticks as they are not available in the UK yet (plus my gadget fund has been sucked dry by my Oculus Rift adventures :P). Information about what it does can be found on the Google Chromecast page and there are loads of YouTube videos that show people trying the device out. My understanding of the functionality is essentially this:
A. Watch something on one device (e.g. your phone or laptop)
B. Broadcast it to the TV or laptop that has the Chromecast plugged into it
However, be aware that this functionality is only available if you are watching/listening to media on one of the media channels/apps that the Chromecast supports. At the time of writing, you are limited to being able to broadcast to your Chromecast enabled TV from the following:
- Google Play
I think it’s pretty cool that Google have created this product. It seems to do very little compared to the other Mini TV Sticks, but it seems to do it really well -> I seriously hope that the Mini TV Stick manufacturer’s sharpen their pencils and spend more time focusing on the software that they supply with the sticks as this has been quite a let down for a few models -> so much so that the secondary ROMs have been essential to get them working properly. (Ok, so Chromecast has had it’s issues, but I think we can have confidence that fixes will be created).
The survey that I’ve been running for a while now has consistently shown that the 2nd thing most popular thing that people want to do with their Mini TV Sticks is -> Watch YouTube. However, if you want to do the number one thing – watch XBMC – you’re going to have to get one of the other models… MK808 is probably still the daddy for most…
Here comes the Mandroid and the Womandroid?
And a bit of fun for the conspiracists out there. I posted this Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy tribute back on the 22nd Feb 2013 (earlier this year)….
Funnily enough the model for the stick that is currently out is “H2G2-42″ (see tear down step 3)… errr…. HHGG-42… “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… 42??
OK, just hoping they let me keep that video on the channel! lol.