Why Chromecast is cool

Ed Anuff —  July 25, 2013 — Leave a comment

People are getting fixated on this as a streaming video device but it’s actually something much more interesting. It’s essentially a set-top box that you program in HTML5 and Javascript. Chromecast is meant to be controlled by an “sender app” running on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. What the sender app does is connects to the Chromecast and asks it to launch a web app (i.e. a web page). Then, using WebSocket, the sender app is able to communicate in real-time with Chromecast device, which delivers messages from the sender app to the Javascript running on the device. One example provided by Google is a two-player TicTacToe game where each player uses their Android phones as controllers which speak to the Chromecast device. The game is implemented as a simple single HTML page web app with a small amount of Javascript. From FCC pictures, it appears that the Chromecast is powered by the Marvell DE3005 System-on-a-Chip processor which is a single core version of the 88DE3010 SoC found in Google TV as well as several set-top boxes including the ill-fated OnLive. It will be interesting to see what the performance of the Chromecast HTML5 and Javascript implementations are on this processor, but it could be possible to do a lot of cool things with this.

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