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Google Claims ChromeCast Local Streaming Only Broken Because of SDK Changes

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the uh-huh dept.

Google 82

sfcrazy writes "You may be familiar with the story that a ChromeCast update disabled the playback of local content, but Google has confirmed that it will allow every kind of content. Google Statement: 'We're excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It's still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only. We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available.' So no need to fear!"

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GET BACK TRACK DO IT AGAIN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44683871)

Wheel in the sky !!

Round and round !!

Liar !! Liar !! Liar !!

Voices !! Voices !!

As long alternatives are available (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44683873)

That's a fair statement.
As alternative people use Plex, Apple TV or Western Digital TV

I can't find anything for my FTA satellite receiver to feed HDMI or RCA output onto my local network and use laptop to watch the shows. In the past I used Dreambox to do that. It could even change the channels. All in software using built-in VLC as a server/client.
Any recommendations?

Re:As long alternatives are available (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684277)

Yea, suck real dick instead of watching it over FTA. We know your girlfriends balls are getting blue, so you best take care of that.

I mean, you can only be a bottom for so long. You know?

Most unsurprising explanation is the most likely (5, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#44683875)

Much as everyone on here loved to crow about how Google were being evil and locking the device down, isn't this the far more likely reason? An undocumented API has changed. Now can we stop overreacting? Locking down this device isn't really their style.

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44683953)

I suspected it was some mistake, but I still think they're evil.

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684029)

I suspected it was some mistake, but I still think they're evil.

Well, Edward Snowden pretty much confirmed that. [cryptome.org]

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684321)

That was a supremely shitty reference for your claim. Using snowden's name gives your claim more weight, but in reality that article is all about Julian Assange...with only a passing reference to Google. Don't be a dick.

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684389)

That was a supremely shitty reference for your claim. Using snowden's name gives your claim more weight, but in reality that article is all about Julian Assange...with only a passing reference to Google. Don't be a dick.

Only a passing reference?? Not sure if we read the same article, because almost every paragraph in that article is about Google.

And true the article writer is Julian Assange, but the revelations he first reference and then adds too with his own experience and knowledge are the latest Edward Snowden revelations [theguardian.com] .

No, it is not only Google that are caught with their pants down by the latest Snowden revelations. But with the latest revelation it is becoming very clear that Google is just as much in bed with NSA as others, while in beginning people tried spinning Google as still somewhat better. In the article Assange adds to this with his own story, I don't see how that can't be relevant too.

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44689791)

So, an evil traitor says something about a highly successful, multi-billion dollar company, and I'm supposed to believe the traitor?

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44692577)

No! You should never believe whistleblowers no matter what evidence they provide! Always trust the successful multi-billion dollar company that tells you they do no evil, if there is one thing we can always trust to have our best interests at heard it is our multi-billion dollar corporations.

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#44684055)

I suspected it was some mistake, but I still think they're evil.

Well indeed, but let's atleast get our reasons straight...

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684205)

I suspected it was some mistake

Yes, and it wasn't even Google's mistake. Some developer wanted go make a name for himself by being an ass.

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (1)

beefoot (2250164) | about a year ago | (#44685209)

"Don't be perceived as evil"

Re: Most unsurprising explanation is the most like (1)

formfeed (703859) | about a year ago | (#44693883)

"Don't be perceived as evil"

Thanks Machiavelli.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about a year ago | (#44683971)

Aye, I think it's more likely that it'll take use of that 2nd screen window thing that 4.2? onwards has had in the system, just not used in anger yet. Having a render surface on the device, then cast that over, so you get it controllable on if you want a screen mirrored, or something on the tablet, then something else cast over might be the more long term solution. How faffy it can be from sending stuff over from a chrome tab, I can see they'd want to keep working on things so an SDK change at this point? Understandable.
Shame Koushik's app was broken and hopefully comes back once the platform's more stable.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (5, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44684099)

Much as everyone on here loved to crow about how Google were being evil and locking the device down, isn't this the far more likely reason? An undocumented API has changed. Now can we stop overreacting? Locking down this device isn't really their style.

No, their style will be to cancel the device/services with some warning and litle explanation.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684395)

Yeah like Reader! We only had several months of warning for that one!

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

Zappy (7013) | about a year ago | (#44684437)

Latitue

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#44684543)

Latitue

Latitude isn't cancelled, it's just moving into Google+. Granted that in the short term it's lost some functionality, but I'm sure it'll be back.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#44684571)

Much as everyone on here loved to crow about how Google were being evil and locking the device down, isn't this the far more likely reason? An undocumented API has changed. Now can we stop overreacting? Locking down this device isn't really their style.

No, their style will be to cancel the device/services with some warning and litle explanation.

Cancel the system that's bringing YouTube (and its ads) into the living room? Seems very unlikely. In general, Google only discontinues services that aren't very successful (no, Reader wasn't very widely used, in spite of the heat generated by its fans). Successful services that are generating revenue are expanded. Successful services that aren't generating revenue are monetized. Unsuccessful services are discontinued if it looks like they're not going to become successful.

The Chromecast seems to be very successful, and to have an obvious and successful revenue model in place (YouTube). I don't think it's going anywhere.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but don't speak for Google.)

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44685047)

I'm still perplexed by the fact that they cancelled Reader. It had been around for 8 years. I'm sure it wasn't their most popular service, but then again, there probably didn't cost them much to run. The code didn't really need updating as nothing has changed in RSS in the past 5 years, and less users just means fewer server resources to handle the traffic. After they announced they were closing, 3 million people joined Feedly [wikipedia.org] . That's not a very small number of people by any means. Personally, I went to Tiny-Tiny RSS [tt-rss.org] , which I host on my own (shared host) server. That way I'm not reliant on some company deciding to shut down service.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

jamaalthegreat (993993) | about a year ago | (#44688911)

Look at it from a different perspective. Google gave up a project that was little value to them. It did prove and get many people, myself included, to use RSS. Do I like Feedly as much as Reader? No. Do I use it just as much as Reader? Yup. Destroying Reader suddenly created demand in a market that practically didn't exist the day before. Startups always worry about what will happen when one of the big boys decide to play in their yard. Well here is a case where one decided to go do something else and let everyone else get a chance to play. Shutting down Reader was a gain for a Google, a gain for alternate RSS developers and a gain for users.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44689475)

The code didn't really need updating as nothing has changed in RSS in the past 5 years

Google's internal tools, frameworks and supporting services are constantly being improved, and Google prefers breaking changes over accumulation of legacy overhead in internal APIs.

It's not a matter of just leaving a LAMP box alone in a corner.

[3 million]'s not a very small number of people by any means.

The most popular Google products have over a billion users. Medium popular ones have a hundred million.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#44689745)

I'm sure it wasn't their most popular service, but then again, there probably didn't cost them much to run.

it's just math. google exists to make money. if they were making $ with reader, it'd still be around. they aren't a non-profit, so argument like "it didn't cost that much" are irrelevant. google may allow some losing services to exist, but it's because they see future potential in them. RSS readership has been on a downward trend for some time.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684151)

It should be pointed out...is an API change undocumented if the API itself is documented??

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#44684169)

It should be pointed out...is an API change undocumented if the API itself is documented??

Or... is it an API at all if it's undocumented?

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#44684349)

I guess so. Unless you think it should be called an `undocumented API` in that case. Doesn't seem to bring much to the table; calling it something else would bring even less.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44688467)

"Undocumented API" = "NSA backdoor"

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684295)

That's crap. Do you think they didn't test this 'change' before pushing it out? Of course they did. BTW, changing the API so it won't stream local content is still just changing the API.

The ChromeCast hasn't been out long enough for products to be taking advantage of "undocumented" APIs when the whole thing is too new to have anything realy built around it.

Maybe Google can hire Steve Balmer when he retires from Microsoft so they can fine-tune their evil ways.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

gauauu (649169) | about a year ago | (#44685679)

That's crap. Do you think they didn't test this 'change' before pushing it out? Of course they did. BTW, changing the API so it won't stream local content is still just changing the API.

The ChromeCast hasn't been out long enough for products to be taking advantage of "undocumented" APIs when the whole thing is too new to have anything realy built around it.

You are just completely wrong. This whole kerfluffle was because the API was changed in such a way that Koush's aircast app for android stopped working. An app that used some undocumented API's to work around google's device whitelisting system. So yes, I'm sure google tested this thing. And (if you believe them), they still don't mind local content playing through it (which is likely, as they never broke streaming local content via a chrome tab). But if changing an undocumented API breaks a 3rd party app (particularly one that worked to get around the standard APIs), then so be it.

That said, I was still mad that they made the change, as I liked using Aircast. Hopefully it will be back at some point.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44684365)

Perhaps so... another explanation is that the removal was generating bad PR. If there hadn't been Slashdot coverage of the loss of the capability, they might have continued with some plan of removing the capability I suppose we will never know.

If they truly want to be non-evil; they'll provide a documented stable API to expose the hardware's functionality -- instead of just undocumented API they keep randomly changing in minor updates.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684493)

If there hadn't been Slashdot coverage of the loss of the capability, they might have
continued with some plan of removing the capability

And if I hadn't been holding this rock, I might have been mauled by tigers.

But go ahead. If you think that justifies the bad behavior in yesterday's discussions, with everyone jumping to conclusions over some massive google conspiracy, then continue on. I'll just sit her, embarrassed for you all, since you apparently don't have a sense of shame of your own.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (4, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#44684397)

But it is the style of those content providers whose apps leave messages like, "This content is not available on mobile"
and "You cannot play content while a second display is enabled"

And if you could cast any media class, then all of a sudden, those messages just wouldn't matter.
And content providers would pull their apps claiming they no longer have control over where it's displayed.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684701)

I don't understand this argument.

I have a mobile device. Its OS was developed by Google. It is able to play most any content I want. Sure, providers of streaming video may choose to restrict my access to their online media. But they haven't bullied Google into preventing me from playing videos that I've loaded onto it.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#44687469)

listen up AC, it wasn't only videos that you've loaded onto the device.

Koush's work included DIALing anything with a media class. That included any video or audio capable app.

And that's why the loophole is closed.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44684741)

How was the API undocumented. FYI if this feature is undocumented and not supported then the original contention that Google will not allow local content streamed is still valid.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year ago | (#44685319)

An undocumented API has changed. Now can we stop overreacting?

How is the API undocumented [google.com] ?

Developers might also want to take note of the following:

Warning: The current Google Cast SDK is a preview SDK intended for development and testing purposes only, not for production apps. Google may change this SDK significantly prior to the official release of the Google Cast SDK.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year ago | (#44686517)

no because I have to fit google into my NWO corporate nsa fcontrail antasies somehow

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#44687421)

So, it is better to be incompetent than to be evil?

Because any decent software developer would test something as basic as local playback *before* doing a release.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#44687947)

So, it is better to be incompetent than to be evil?

Because any decent software developer would test something as basic as local playback *before* doing a release.

It's got a SDK that is in developer preview and subject to change. Why is this so hard to understand on a supposedly technical site? When the SDK is stable, and it gets changed to disallow local playback (or the SDK somehow never makes it to a stable release), *then* we can all jump up and down. Calm the hell down, consumer devices have been released like this for years now. The iPhone didn't have a stable SDK on its first release, later it did. Chromecast doesn't, later it will.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (1)

helix23011 (3032125) | about a year ago | (#44687687)

I have looked over the API it's still very new and sensitive right now. Google needs to stabilize this then release to developers so big companies like HBOGO, Amazon and Hulu can build for this new product.

Re:Most unsurprising explanation is the most likel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44691821)

Much as everyone on here loved to crow about how Google were being evil and locking the device down, isn't this the far more likely reason?

No and the evidence is in the fact that they even have these private/undocumented APIs. If a competitor comes along they can just break the necessary API while reserving the advantageous functionality for their own applications and claim that it was using a private API, we saw the exact same thing with Microsoft in the early 90s. Private APIs should not be allowed, they just give the platform author an unfair competitive advantage in the application market and the ability to shut out competitors.

Lies, Lies, Lies. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44683889)

Google bad. Microsoft good. Get it right people!

We have always been at war with Google (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#44684075)

Microsoft has always been our ally.

In other news, the chocolate rations will be increased this week, and there's been another winner in the lottery!

Today's lottery (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | about a year ago | (#44684103)

I am fairly certain we are all living in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" these days. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery [wikipedia.org]

Re:We have always been at war with Google (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44684239)

Microsoft has always been our ally.

We have always been at war with Least Pays-yah.

I imagine the folks on Big Brother's PA are playing a most wicked game of Telephone (Chinese Whispers in metric).

Re:We have always been at war with Google (1)

gander666 (723553) | about a year ago | (#44684639)

Increased to 20 grams?

Testing balloon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44683997)

This is called a Testing Balloon, just like Microsoft with their XBone restrictions.

Fear not! More attempts will come after this died down, what Google cannot make money out of, Google will discontinue eventually.

Re:Testing balloon (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#44684053)

what Google cannot make money out of, Google will discontinue eventually.

Er... yes? What world do you live in where this isn't true of any business?

Re:Testing balloon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684257)

The commie world. Cuba. Russia modern day. Nordkorea. And Candida. France but maybe not.

Absolutely true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684039)

...and I don't jerk off.

No shit (5, Insightful)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year ago | (#44684173)

Yeah, people fucking pointed this multiple times (here and elsewhere), but this rather important tidbit was lost among the noise that is misguided Internet rage.

The Internet is extremely good at pushing things out of context or missing that little bit of info that completely changes the meaning of something. Like that image of Will Smith's family looking shocked over Miley Cyrus' act at the VMAs even though the picture-in-picture clearly showed it was Lady Gaga's act. But hey, people love to not pay attention to the details. It's faster that way.

Re:Correction: It's all the same shit. (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44684357)

The Internet is extremely good at pushing things out of context or missing that little bit of info that completely changes the meaning of something.

You mistake strength for weakness. Imagine such levels of hue and cry and demanding of accountability in the mainstream populous -- Such is missing even over things that actually really matter.

'Tis better to Sense Emphatically and waste a few cycles for self correction than Decide to dismiss threats by default and Act far too late. For the first time in your planet's history businesses can respond nearly instantly to customer demands. Just look at the Xbone, for a recent example. The point is that if Google had removed such feature they'd know it was a bad move, and going forward they know for sure not to strip that feature.

Tell me, do you curse yourself for your immediately incorrect first impression before you've even considered a second look to discover something a bit closer to truth? Your indignation would be warranted if despite widespread evidence of the falsehood everyone still believed the initially perceived deceptions. Let they who hath never done the double take pass the first judgment.

The Internet is not unlike your brain, except that you can see every part of this seething Cybernetic system as it fills with speculation prior to arriving at better understanding over time. Like humans the Internet reacts the most to what is perceived most threatening. What is most notable is not the time frames of the responses but the relative time frames of each cybernetic phase: Rapid repeated Sensing and even duplication of thoughts bubble up here in Slashdot's corner of the global mind; At a slower pace do the Decisions percolate as information is gathered; Yet more energy still is required to activate that synapse of the collective's Actions.

As a cyberneticist I agree that you should have the sense to decide before you act; However, do not mistake Sensation for Decision or Action. The Internet isn't perfect, but I couldn't have designed it better myself.

Re:No shit (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44684367)

Yeah, people fucking pointed this multiple times (here and elsewhere), but this rather important tidbit was lost among the noise that is misguided Internet rage.

Its not the Internet -- its an overall rise in douchebaggery and exploding belief that ones' instinctual sense of the truth is, in fact, always the truth. Its permeating society -- not just in the US, but globally. I think the only thing the Internet contributes to it is the ease at which it allows people to wall themselves off in a like-minded narrow community that will consistently produce and echo messages that resonate with that narrow viewpoint. For some reason -- probably because so many people have just given up on it over the years -- Slashdot seems to be one of the worst main-stream offenders. I've said before and its worth saying again that Slashdot is basically the Fox News of the tech community -- polarizing stories and discussions of varying, but usually low, relation to reality intended to target a very specific subset of the public for the purpose of driving ads views.

(I do suspect the rise in the number of people who lives as professional "bloggers" contributes greatly to the overall polarization of information on the Internet, because extreme bias may find a small audience, but it'll find a consistent audience.)

Re:No shit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44684563)

The truth is that Google has terminated the means by which streaming to local was achieved without creating new ones. How is that not Google breaking ChromeCast local streaming? How is your response not to be outraged that instead of adding a facility to enable local streaming to the SDK, they continued to "overlook" this feature which nearly every user wants in yet another SDK version, while simultaneously destroying the feature that was being used to provide it?

Re:No shit (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year ago | (#44689943)

The SDK is NOT FINAL, correct?

An SDK that is being built is by definition subject to change, INCLUDING BREAKING THINGS (advertently or inadvertently). When the SDK is final, or even VERY VERY close to final, and something is STILL broken, then whine.

Re:No shit (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44685357)

I'm not sure why you blame the internet. Had I had one of these things and no internet to bring me this story, I probably would have just sworn never to buy anything by google again. What you are objecting to seems to be human nature.

fuck a spOnge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44684329)

whether to repeat Creek, abysmal LEt'ss keep to in the sun. In the

The tech press (4, Insightful)

Simulant (528590) | about a year ago | (#44684653)


Unfortunately much of the tech press content consists of (paid?) product announcements, unsubstantiated rumour, and reviews of dubious quality.

Google was up front about there being no Chromecast apps until the SDK was released, at the very beginning. This was never a story.

Re:The tech press (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44684755)

It's a story if this feature is removed. Since the SDK is still being developed time will tell.

Re:The tech press (1)

Teresita (982888) | about a year ago | (#44685071)

Chromecast took a big hit on orders after that story came out, so here's Google backtracking. At least they don't double down ala Win8.1.

Re:The tech press (1)

jockm (233372) | about a year ago | (#44686385)

Do you have any numbers to back that up?

Re:The tech press (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year ago | (#44685183)

Thing is, one needs to keep in mind that AirCast was abusing a loophole in Google's whitelisting process (which is in place while the SDK is in beta) - It was behaving as if it were an instance of the Chromecast extension for Chrome.

One thing Koush never indicated was whether this change affected SDK-based apps like his original (unreleased due to the current licensing of the beta SDK) local content playback app.

Re:The tech press (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44687053)

If only there had been some sort of site on the internet where anyone could post informative things where other informed people could up-vote them so people could read the most insightful of these comments. Surely these knowledgeable people would disseminate having such information rather then just complain about these internet sites and brag about how they always knew better after the fact.

Re:The tech press (2)

RandomFactor (22447) | about a year ago | (#44688265)

Unfortunately much of the tech press content consists of (paid?) product announcements, unsubstantiated rumour, and reviews of dubious quality.

RODQs?

I don't think they really exist.

A distinction without a difference (-1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44684885)

Whether they deliberately targeted a useful add-on that offered users more freedom or it became "conveniently" non-functional because of an SDK update, the result is still the same.

If you develop an SDK or API, it's your job to ensure that updates won't break existing functionality unless you have a damn good reason to, ie.: you are offering a better alternative that offers the same functionality. To be clear, "better" means faster, higher quality and/or more options, NOT de facto tied to some ad-pushing bullshit.

If your SDK breaks existing third party software, it should never be immediate. You should give plenty of advanced warning and a transition period for developers to update.

Re:A distinction without a difference (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year ago | (#44685191)

Except when your SDK is in beta and explicitly states that apps are not to be distributed without your approval until the SDK comes out of beta.

In this case, I'm not sure if it's even an SDK change - it's a removal of an exploit that was used to allow a non-whitelisted unofficial app to behave like a whitelisted one.

Re:A distinction without a difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44685305)

It makes a huge difference. If they are intentionally breaking it that means the software will never be allowed to work. If its just a matter of churn in a preview SDK, which developers were warned about, its really the fault of the developers releasing prematurely (there's a joke about premature release in there somewhere). The alternative would be Google to fully develop the SDK without third party input and release it. As a software developer I'd rather give input before release when things can get fixed right instead of after release where fixes are often awkwardly bolted on since they can't break existing APIs.

Re:A distinction without a difference (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#44686151)

This is a preview SDK. They're not obliged at this point to retain compatability or to avoid breaking anything. In fact, they can quite legitimately throw the entire API out and replace it with something else.

Anyone developing for Chromecast right now knows this, which meant the original article was dubious, if not intentionally deceptive. The author's program would have broken whether they'd written the app to stream from local hard drives or from Hulu.com.

Ultimately anyone who wants to write their own streaming servers, be they for commercial services or for home hacking, continues to be able to do so, and in a few months they'll have a stable API to code against. Local streaming was never broken.

So Slashdot lied- AGAIN! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44685087)

Why does Slashdot publish so many FUD stories against Android and Google's strategies behind it? Oh yes, I remember- because Microsoft's pockets are so very deep, and no tech journalist or site ever regrets working with Microsoft's PR department.

Android has a 'protected path' for video/sound, and we are told on a regular basis that this means blocking user generated content (files without an official DRM signature). COMPLETE LIES. We are told every year that Google won't release the source for the latest version of Android. COMPLETE LIES. With Chromecast, I wasn't interested enough to know if it were a true Android device, or a proprietary locked-down gizmo, but the later seemed a clear self-defeating strategy for Google. Anyway, we now have the answer.

Microsoft relies on so-called 'hackers' whose true understanding of anything is extremely limited. These hackers LOVE to be the centre of attention, and every their their tatty code hits a bump, they scream some FUD nonsense or other at the top of their lungs. One's suspicion is that a cheque from Microsoft is often a factor in many of these incidents.

Google is bad- truly evil- in a myriad of ways, but locking down Android is not one of them.

Sober Reflection (1)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#44686153)

I think it's a good time for us all to take a step back and reflect on the (many very reactionary) comments made after the "Google breaks Chromecast" story the other day.

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/13/08/25/2254208/google-breaks-chromecasts-ability-to-play-local-content [slashdot.org]

Re:Sober Reflection (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year ago | (#44687875)

So now Google is doing press releases that make me look bad by causing my previous accusations to appear stupid and hyperbolic? That just proves that Google is out to get me! They're trying to discredit me so no one will believe me when i tell them that Google is the devil and is plotting to destroy the world!

A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

KeithH (15061) | about a year ago | (#44686667)

When I stream video from Netflix, the server chooses an encoding and resolution specific to the device running their client software. I assume that other video streaming servers behave in the same manner: why stream HD to a 320x800 display?

In the case of the Chromecast which is presumably displaying to a 1920x10820 display, is there some sort of passthrough signalling that will let the streaming device use a more appropriate resolution? Or do I only get the same resolution as the intermediate device?

On a related note, can somebody tell me why this device is desirable? I'm still struggling with the use case here. What is the benefit of Chromecast over something like teeny little wdtv box? It's smaller and cheaper but does a lot less.

Re:A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#44687457)

On a related note, can somebody tell me why this device is desirable? I'm still struggling with the use case here. What is the benefit of Chromecast over something like teeny little wdtv box? It's smaller and cheaper but does a lot less.

It's a small, extremely portable, self-contained media streaming device. It can be powered entirely by the TV, and controlled remotely from an android device. It is potentially possible for this little device to replace a lot of the other boxes hanging off your TV. When you go on vacation or to a friend's house you can very easily throw it in a bag and take it with you, without losing any settings. You also get all that for only $35, with 3 months of Netflix included (if you order from the right place).

Personally I'm hoping that someone figures out how to add generic UPnP support.

Re:A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about a year ago | (#44689885)

What is the advantage of this over DLNA/UPnP? I get the streaming of Netflix, etc, but why wouldn't this be possible using DLNA? Why not use standards that are already established and work on most televisions bought in the past couple of years?

Re:A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#44693087)

What is the advantage of this over DLNA/UPnP? I get the streaming of Netflix, etc, but why wouldn't this be possible using DLNA? Why not use standards that are already established and work on most televisions bought in the past couple of years?

Personally I don't think it's better, I would love if it could be used as a generic UPnP device. I'm really hoping someone figures out a way to make that happen. I managed to snag the 3 months of free Netflix when it was first offered, so I'm willing to gamble $11 or so that someone will find a way to do it. But at that price, even if they don't, I still have a mildly useful device without spending a lot of money.

Re:A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year ago | (#44690005)

with 3 months of Netflix included (if you order from the right place).

From the right place?

What does that mean? The well known free 3 months of netflix offer ended less than a day after orders became available.

Is the offer still available somewhere else? I'm one of those who would be more tempted to get one with the 3 free months of netflix even though of course I can afford it. If it did Amazon Prime Instant Video, I'd likely get one anyway.

Re:A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#44693061)

I believe the offer is available again when purchased from a physical BestBuy store.

Re:A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year ago | (#44693099)

Thanks, that should get modded informative if it's indeed true!

Re:A Question about Chromecast stream resolution (1)

n7ytd (230708) | about a year ago | (#44688037)

When I stream video from Netflix, the server chooses an encoding and resolution specific to the device running their client software. I assume that other video streaming servers behave in the same manner: why stream HD to a 320x800 display?

In the case of the Chromecast which is presumably displaying to a 1920x10820 display, is there some sort of passthrough signalling that will let the streaming device use a more appropriate resolution? Or do I only get the same resolution as the intermediate device?

Yes, the Chromecast delivers at a higher resolution. Basically what happens is the intermediary device (phone, tablet, etc.) sends the video information to the Chromecast, and it logs into Netflix itself and behaves as a native player on a large screen. I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't even prompted to log into Netflix on the larger display.

On a related note, can somebody tell me why this device is desirable? I'm still struggling with the use case here. What is the benefit of Chromecast over something like teeny little wdtv box? It's smaller and cheaper but does a lot less.

Well, two out of three ain't bad. :) The biggest downside for me is that you have to have an Android device kicking around to act as the remote control.

Looking at it Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44809741)

Chromecast has done its job

the vehicle to be changed will be Youtube also owned by google-which many non-developers forget.

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