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Labarum
2013-07-24, 11:33
Is this a game-changer?

Google has just launched a new streaming system.

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details/Chromecast?id=chromecast

Has anyone sight of the technical specs?

There is almost nothing visible to the likes of me.

Now it must handle Google Play's 320b/sec MP3, but hopefully will do much better, and if the stream can be routed to a decent DAC . . .

The first hardware - the HDMI dongle - looks rather restricted, but maybe other hardwares will appear.

Roland0
2013-07-24, 16:16
Google has just launched a new streaming system.
Has anyone sight of the technical specs?
Now it must handle Google Play's 320b/sec MP3, but hopefully will do much better, and if the stream can be routed to a decent DAC . . .
The first hardware - the HDMI dongle - looks rather restricted, but maybe other hardwares will appear.

Information can be found here (https://developers.google.com/cast/).
Very restricted system - no local streaming (audio only via Google Music, video from Youtube etc. - you can't even send e.g. pictures from your mobile/tablet), limited media support (e.g. no flac, xvid), only HDMI output, Apps have to specifically support it, etc.
It might be possible to build an app to implement the missing functionality, but I don't see the point in doing so - a regular android stick (or even a Raspi) is much more versatile (and open), and basically the same price....

DaveWr
2013-07-25, 03:52
Is this a game-changer?

Google has just launched a new streaming system.

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details/Chromecast?id=chromecast

Has anyone sight of the technical specs?

There is almost nothing visible to the likes of me.

Now it must handle Google Play's 320b/sec MP3, but hopefully will do much better, and if the stream can be routed to a decent DAC . . .

The first hardware - the HDMI dongle - looks rather restricted, but maybe other hardwares will appear.

This is no game changer it is Google TV Mk3. Logitech failed, Sony failed so now this, albeit with a Netflix sweetener.

It may be a ruse by the NSA to check on your media preferences!

bklaas
2013-07-25, 12:30
This is no game changer it is Google TV Mk3. Logitech failed, Sony failed so now this, albeit with a Netflix sweetener.

It may be a ruse by the NSA to check on your media preferences!

I disagree, I think the Chromecast is going to have massive impact (in the U.S. at least, the only place it's available). I say this as someone whose job at Logitech was basically destroyed by the wildly myopic belief that GoogleTV was going to be a big thing. Chromecast is a very different device.

First, at $35 it is an impulse buy. Add in that you get 3 months of free Netflix and that's something you might already be paying for, it's really $11.
Second, it doesn't make the silly mistake that GoogleTV did, which was adding in a ton of interactive complexity into a space that most users want to be a passive experience. Where GoogleTV was a do-everyting-in-the-world (poorly) interface overlayed on your TV, ChromeCast has one job: that content that you were accessing on your phone/tablet/laptop gets streamed out your TV.
Third, it's extremely analgous to Apple AirPlay in what it does (though not in how it accomplishes it), but way more open and way cheaper.
Fourth, they released an SDK, and while it is not particularly open-source friendly (really, no surprise there), if they sell as many as I think they are going to, 3rd party development will follow and the device will become more useful over time.
Fifth, it's super tiny and thus super portable. Your phone or tablet + a chromecast becomes your roving A/V entertainment system. Wherever an HDMI-capable TV or receiver and an available WiFi is, you're good to go.

I hadn't really considered Chromecast as an audio-specific device, but if you've got a receiver that accepts HDMI input I suppose the potential is there. I did read that Pandora is already working on support for it. For me, if it effectively streams netflix in HD, it's already worth the $35 asking price. Everything else is cake. For audio I will continue to use my squeezebox + local music solution, which is unrivaled and not cloud service or even internet dependent.

cheers,
#!/ben

itm
2013-07-27, 04:16
I also think this has huge potential. The path is clear for developers to do what they want with this platform, and the price point of the device will guarantee them a huge market.

Labarum
2013-07-27, 08:24
Some technical comment here

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/27/why_chromecast_is_important/

erland
2013-07-28, 04:17
Add in that you get 3 months of free Netflix and that's something you might already be paying for, it's really $11.

They have dropped the Netflix discount as I've understood:
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-ends-chromecast-netflix-promotion-20130725,0,483513.story



Third, it's extremely analgous to Apple AirPlay in what it does (though not in how it accomplishes it), but way more open and way cheaper.
Fourth, they released an SDK, and while it is not particularly open-source friendly (really, no surprise there), if they sell as many as I think they are going to, 3rd party development will follow and the device will become more useful over time.

Agreed, it feels more like an AirPlay competitor than something that tries to replace a full blown AppleTV/GoogleTV.
However, if I just consider my personal use case, I use my AppleTV 95% of the time for Netflix and for the remaining time it's used for AirPlay, so maybe this thing will replace the AppleTV for users who primarily use Netflix.



Fifth, it's super tiny and thus super portable. Your phone or tablet + a chromecast becomes your roving A/V entertainment system. Wherever an HDMI-capable TV or receiver and an available WiFi is, you're good to go.

I wonder if I'm the only one who is starting to run out of HDMI inputs on my TV, guess I soon have to select which devices I really want to use.

kesey
2013-07-28, 07:07
I wonder if I'm the only one who is starting to run out of HDMI inputs on my TV, guess I soon have to select which devices I really want to use.

Erland, this HDMI switcher may ease selection:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neet%C2%A9-SWITCH-input-output-Switcher/dp/B001DAHS5Q

Neetİ - 3 Port HDMI AUTO SWITCH 3x1 Mini Hub Box (3 way input 1 output) 1080p Full HD v1.3b HDMI Switcher

DaveWr
2013-07-28, 09:03
They have dropped the Netflix discount as I've understood:
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-ends-chromecast-netflix-promotion-20130725,0,483513.story


Agreed, it feels more like an AirPlay competitor than something that tries to replace a full blown AppleTV/GoogleTV.
However, if I just consider my personal use case, I use my AppleTV 95% of the time for Netflix and for the remaining time it's used for AirPlay, so maybe this thing will replace the AppleTV for users who primarily use Netflix.


I wonder if I'm the only one who is starting to run out of HDMI inputs on my TV, guess I soon have to select which devices I really want to use.

But it still doesn't do lossless audio, it only support Chrome browser codecs!

erland
2013-07-28, 10:53
Erland, this HDMI switcher may ease selection:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neet%C2%A9-SWITCH-input-output-Switcher/dp/B001DAHS5Q

Neetİ - 3 Port HDMI AUTO SWITCH 3x1 Mini Hub Box (3 way input 1 output) 1080p Full HD v1.3b HDMI Switcher

Have you used it so you know it works reliably ?
Looks suspiciously cheap for something that doesn't loose quality, works reliably and is automatic.

castalla
2013-07-28, 10:54
Have you used it so you know it works reliably ?
Looks suspiciously cheap for something that doesn't loose quality, works reliably and is automatic.

I have a similar device - works 100%

erland
2013-07-28, 11:01
But it still doesn't do lossless audio, it only support Chrome browser codecs!

I don't think you should look at Chromecast as something you would use for your primary music listening.

For audio usage, I think it's more focused at handling the case when a friend visit and he/she want to play something or when you want to discover/preview music before purchase or when you play something from one of the online streaming services (barely none offer lossless formats). Some people want lossless also for these use cases but for the other 95% of the potential buyers, the Chrome codecs will be good enough in these scenarios.

Considering it's plugged in with HDMI, it feels like Google have designed it more for video usage than audio usage.

erland
2013-07-28, 11:01
I have a similar device - works 100%

Which one ?

castalla
2013-07-28, 11:17
Which one ?

Even cheaper!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0020426AG/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

kesey
2013-07-28, 13:26
Have you used it so you know it works reliably ?
Looks suspiciously cheap for something that doesn't loose quality, works reliably and is automatic.

I actually bought this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neet%C2%AE-SWITCH-REMOTE-output-Switcher/dp/B001PL5QDY/ref=pd_cp_ce_0 which was appreciably more expensive at £19.95...the extra was for an IR remote control. So far so good, it works perfectly.

bluto99
2013-07-28, 16:06
Picked one up Friday at my local Best Buy and to my surprise still got the 3 free months of Netflix though Google and Amazon had already cut that off. Works great and especially like using it to cast a Chrome tag of Pandora One from a laptop to get the superior 192K audio feed which sounds much better than the 128K P1 my Squeezebox Touch provides. Had to use the supplied USB power cable when I plugged it into my AV receiver but this gave an unexpected benefit as when I cast a tab my receiver powers up and switches to the correct HDMI port automatically, also no need for the TV to be on if I'm only interested in the audio i.e. P1, web radio, etc. and for that sort of audio the sound quality is fine. So at a net cost of $11 well worth it for me to stream audio alone, but it also casts Hulu, etc. from Chrome too. No doubt many apps will include Chromecast soon and am curious what bitrate Pandora will use, according to the web Pandora will add a Chromecast feature shortly but I have not found any info on what the bitrate will be...

TheShanMan
2013-08-07, 12:25
I have one coming. Supposedly MediaBrowser 3 (htpc software) will add support for chromecast, and MB3 supports audio file playback. I'm not specifically interested in it for that purpose, but thought it would be worth mentioning since it came up here.

bklaas
2013-08-07, 14:41
I've had one in place for about a week. Quick mini-review:

The good:
Crazy cheap at $35. I got the Netflix code because I bought it right away, so for me it was a net $11.
Does what it says on the tin. Streams Netflix and YouTube. Hulu and HBO GO I think are also on board with this, though I use neither.
Has a less crippled model for future support by 3rd party developers, unlike e.g. previous Google attempts, AirPlay, etc.
Reasonably responsive remote control via mobile devices, once the stream is going.
All chromecast-capable devices become remotes for the casted stream, not just the one you casted from. Neat.

The bad:
U.S. of A. only. :(
Kind of abysmally slow getting the initial stream to start. Seems to be worse depending on what mobile device I use to "cast" the stream to the chromecast. Given how chromecast works (it gets the stream directly from the stream provider, so the mobile device isn't doing any work for those bits), I was a bit surprised by these differences. A 2nd gen iPad was the fastest amongst the 4 devices I tried, and a Nexus 4 was also pretty good. A Nexus S and a first gen Samsung Galaxy Tab were pretty bad.
I have crashed a couple different android devices while "casting". The stream keeps working, but meanwhile you are doing a hard reboot of your controlling device, which makes for some pretty darn bad user experience, should you need to e.g. pause the stream.

Summary:
Fits a quirky little niche, one that I had a desire to fill, but if you already have a Roku or something else to put Netflix out of your TV, it's redundant and inferior.

cheers,
#!/ben

gharris999
2013-08-14, 15:58
For my uses, the weak spot in the Chromecast is the lack of DLNA support. For now, I'm able to stream video from my server to the chromecast by setting up lighttpd and a hacked php index script so that I can easily browse my video library, play the videos in a chrome browser window and 'cast' them to the Chromecast. But that's just with windows & linux chrome. No "google cast" extension support as of yet in chrome for android or iOS.

I wonder how hard it would be to make a LMS plugin that would 'cast' content?

Dilbert
2014-01-26, 11:08
I was wondering wouldn't it be cool if the Squeezebox Server could behave as a ChromeCast receiver. So that a user could use the default Google Music App (or Spotify app once they support Chromecast) and choose to cast it to the Squeezebox Server.
Is there already a project out there working on this?

srasher
2014-01-28, 00:16
I was wondering wouldn't it be cool if the Squeezebox Server could behave as a ChromeCast receiver. So that a user could use the default Google Music App (or Spotify app once they support Chromecast) and choose to cast it to the Squeezebox Server.
Is there already a project out there working on this?

Actually there is already something like that. There is an Android App called "Cast to UPNP/DLNA for GMusic" (by the developer of BubbleUpnp). When you start Google Play Music out of this App it will provide you a button to Cast the Play Music "stream" to any UPNP/DLNA renderer in your network. As LMS contains (limited/tricky) such functionality since quite some time, all your Squeezeboxes will show up as possible targets for your Cast.

Please refer to the following thread for some more information from people that got it working: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?99482-Stream-google-play-music

For myself it basically works but I cannot manage to let the stream continue after the first song has finished. There is obviously some communication problem between the Cast app and LMS when a track change should be communicated. I am using LMS 7.8 nightly (don't know the exact date at the moment, but it's a pretty recent one) and tried it with several versions of the App on several Android devices (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Galaxy Tab P1000, Galaxy Note) with several Android versions involved (4.1, 4.2.x, 4.4.x) and with nearly all iterations of the Cast App (it is updated pretty frequently) since end of December 2013. Nevertheless as you can see in the thread linked above there are people that got it working ;-)

Cheers,
Seb

P.S.: There is also a totally different alternative related to Google Music. There is a plugin making use of the unofficial Google Music API that exists and seems to work near perfect (at least for the moment. As it is unofficial it might break any moment). I tried this also and it works very nice, also there is active development going on. Currently access to "My Music" library on GMusic works perfectly and searching and streaming individual stuff from GMusic All Access is also fine. The developer seems to be working on getting the complete Radio related functionality working. Currently you can access and start Radio "streams/stations" that you have already streamed/saved in the GMusic App (or Web client), but you cannot create/start an Artist or Genre related Radio newly from the LMS plugin. However, I would say at least 85% of the potential functionality is already implemented and works flawlessly. Have a look at: https://github.com/hechtus/squeezebox-googlemusic

BJW
2014-01-28, 18:15
for devs who know way more than I do: is it possible, since there is a SDK, that someone might develop a way to send windows audio to the device? or maybe develop a plugin for something like winamp to stream to the device? or is that crazy?

srasher
2014-01-28, 23:55
for devs who know way more than I do: is it possible, since there is a SDK, that someone might develop a way to send windows audio to the device? or maybe develop a plugin for something like winamp to stream to the device? or is that crazy?

Sounds like you're looking for the WaveInput plugin ;-)
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/WaveInput_plugin

BJW
2014-01-29, 21:53
can u expound?

srasher
2014-01-30, 03:04
can u expound?

Did you have a look at the link? I have never used the plugin myself because I do not use Windows on my server PC. But the Wiki page seems to be pretty detailed and comprehensive ;-)

BJW
2014-01-31, 11:54
I did look at the link. I am not seeing the connection between it and chromecast, prob b/c I'm dense, ergo my req that you expound.

Mnyb
2014-01-31, 12:30
I did look at the link. I am not seeing the connection between it and chromecast, prob b/c I'm dense, ergo my req that you expound.

Wave-in can take the computer sound as input , anything playing or making noises on the PC can be distrubuted to squeezeboxes .

TechHome
2014-02-01, 18:37
For my uses, the weak spot in the Chromecast is the lack of DLNA support. For now, I'm able to stream video from my server to the chromecast by setting up lighttpd and a hacked php index script so that I can easily browse my video library, play the videos in a chrome browser window and 'cast' them to the Chromecast. But that's just with windows & linux chrome. No "google cast" extension support as of yet in chrome for android or iOS.

I wonder how hard it would be to make a LMS plugin that would 'cast' content?

I spent $35 on a whim as well. In addition to squeezeboxes, I've been thru Windows Media Center, Popcorn hour and settled on Boxee Box. Although the Boxee team has moved on to Samsung, the Boxee Boxes still work 100% and run circles around Chromecast.

BTW, I have a DIY Vortexbox on a HP microserver which also runs PLEX. With PLEX Pass, I have PLEX via Chromecast - works very nicely, bringing my stored photos videos and music to Chromecast. If I had it to do over, with the BOXEE team abandoning the product, I would likely go Roku/PLEX for networked video but stay with Squeezebox so long as it works for music.

One plus with Chromecast and I suppose with the Roku sticks - on a recent ski vacation, I brought the Chromecast along and plugged it into the TV in the rented ski house. Super compact, easy to transport and quick and easy to set up. The kids had fun casting youtube and netflix. We were even able to cast Go Pro helmet cam skiing videos from the day's skiing and snowboarding to the TV with PLEX.

srasher
2014-02-03, 01:02
I did look at the link. I am not seeing the connection between it and chromecast, prob b/c I'm dense, ergo my req that you expound.

I am sorry if I missed the intention of your original question. I was referring to this:


...that someone might develop a way to send windows audio to the device?...

I think I misinterpreted "device". I thought you meant the Squeezebox, but obviously device=Chromecast?! Sorry for any confusion this might have caused.

bpa
2014-02-03, 02:11
for devs who know way more than I do: is it possible, since there is a SDK, that someone might develop a way to send windows audio to the device? or maybe develop a plugin for something like winamp to stream to the device? or is that crazy?

The Wavin plugin will only work on PC wqhich is running LMS and does not work for all Windows audio.

An alternative approach which works on any Windows PC (i.e. does not have to be running LMS) would be to use something like VLC (or IIRC Windows Media encoder) and create a http/mp3 stream of Windows Audio and then any device can play it. This method has been described a number of time ion various threads.

No matter what method you choose, redirecting window PC audio will not be in sync with the video on the PC diue to networking delays

BJW
2014-02-03, 19:13
just to be clear, yes by "device" I meant chromecast. perhaps I should have stated it explicitly but I thought I was clear given the context.

my orig question stands:

is it possible, since there is a SDK, that someone might develop a way to send windows audio to the CHROMECAST device? or maybe develop a plugin for something like winamp to stream to the CHROMECAST device? or is that crazy?

DBCooper
2014-02-05, 07:04
To answer that just yesterday Google opened Chromecast to developers, meaning there will soon be a flood of new apps for streaming to all sorts of HDMI devices. I see one of the first out of the box is an app called AllCast (already in the Play Store) which will stream any type of media, audio or video, located on any device on the network to the Chromecast device. That might do what you want, but if not I'm sure in the next few weeks there will be others that will. In fact I'm sure all the streaming programs will soon be adding support for Chromecast as a player.

I'm not that knowledgeable about Chromecast, but I'd like to try using the AllCast app and several small Lepai 2020 type amplifiers scattered around the house and outside for networked streaming. Question is if anyone knows of a modest but good little amp that has an HDMI input so I can plug in a Chromecast and experiment. I can do it with a big AV receiver with HDMI inputs, but since I'd like to use several I'd like to find a small and less expensive amp that would work. A google search hasn't turned up any, so I'd appreciate any suggestions of where to look.

Thanks.

DBCooper
2014-02-13, 13:19
Found one answer to that question. Bought this:

15600

That adapter's ten bucks on eBay. Has an HDMI in, to plug in the Chromecast device, then use that audio out to achieve the equivalent of a Squeezebox device, for line level music input. Plug that audio into a little $20 Lepai 2020+ amp and a pair of speakers and I can scatter those all around the house and outside, anywhere in reach of the wifi signal. Done and dusted for less than $100 each music station, then control any and all with an Android phone. This is cool!

Labarum
2014-02-13, 20:37
Thanks. I have found that HDMI-VGA adaptor on Ebay UK.

Am I right that it will require a power supply. Some of the other adaptors show a power cable terminating in a USB plug,

Have I got this right? The HDMI cable carries no analogue audio, so the adaptor must have an on board DAC.

Have you assessed the performance of that DAC, and the quality of the audio available at the 3.5mm jack?

DBCooper
2014-02-14, 05:16
It's shipping directly from China and I won't know for sure until it arrives, Brian. For the price it's a Real Cheap DAC, but from what I see it should work. It's powered by the HDMI port (ie the Chromecast), this is the eBay description:

Small in size, low power consumtion,only need 5V less than 140mA
No need for external power. Power supply from HDMI port
Energy Star. Low-power standby when VGA is not connected.
With built-in chipset, it supports full-size active high-definition display, resolution up to 1920x1080.
Suitable for portable HDMI device (like laptop/mobile phone/DVD/tablet/digital set-top box/player/digital camera/SLR camera etc) and VGA ONLY display device (monitor, projectors, etc)
3.5mm audio output to connect to external audio devices, like external amplifier or speakers..

Specifications:

Compact/ HDMI Female to VGA Female and 3.5mm audio output adapter.
HDMI input: Type A HDMI Female connector
VGA output: VGA DB15Pin Female signal output interface.
Audio output: 3.5mm Audio output interface
Package includes:

1. HDMI Female to VGA adapter x 1
2. 3.5 mm audio cable x 1


If you want to wait I'll let you know how it works once it's here. For the several different players in remote locations I don't need the highest quality so it should be good, but I won't know about absolute quality until it arrives and I can try it on the good system. It's eBay item number 380755997854 for the white (search for that in eBay), or black at this link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-HDMI-female-VGA-Converte-Adapter-1080P-Audio-Cable-PC-TV-82931-/380755997814?tfrom=380755997854&tpos=top&ttype=price&talgo=undefined

Labarum
2014-02-14, 08:52
Thanks for the extra information.

This solution is not going to match the best sound quality, but may suit some uses.

I only wish Google had included a Toslink, but the dongle is priced as keenly as possible - the Nexus streaming sphere was full of unnecessary features, and lacked some of the basics - it was withdrawn before it was launched.

They have the resources to take Apple on, but seem constantly to miss the target. You have to hack Android phones and install a custom Linux kernel if you want USB audio - but you can run a decent media player - VLC. There is no decent media player for a Chromebook, but plug in a USB DAC and off it goes. Google Play Music, however, works well on both.

It's not very "together"!

DBCooper
2014-02-15, 06:32
This one's just the first iteration so I can understand their reasoning, a new player penetrating a new market by using that compelling price point. And in any case the right solution, for audio, would be for amplifier manufacturers to just add an HDMI input. There's also no impediment for other people to copy the Chromecast device in any form they think marketable, so this is just the beginning. This concept should evolve pretty quickly as people discover more and more forms it can take, things it can do. For example in function the Chromecast is basically just a simple network card controlled by software, so there's nothing preventing anyone from making their own USB audio equivalent, instead of HDMI, or even a SPDIF model. I'm enthusiastic about it all, and especially that I can extend the Squeezebox concept further, maybe indefinitely, without going Sonos. And that's a Very Good Thing.

Labarum
2014-02-15, 06:52
This one's just the first iteration . . .

Agreed

sledgebeast
2014-09-13, 18:39
I have to admit I Read the first page and jumped to the last page hoping to glance at a reference to

Chromecast Dongle & Squeezesoft Marrige?

Why would you even need that little white dongle.

Shurly what google's chromecast api's already are capable of & Squeezesoft-ware could somehow come together.

I already have it plugged into the back of my Onkyo HT-RC430 5.1 CH Home Theater Receiver.

And even tho I'm not pulling any video off the HDMI bus...At this moment.

The 5.1 appears to be working well Rocking a set of Bose 501's mounted to the ceiling on 2 little poles for Rears

& a set of 15" Cerwin Vega's for fronts. Its crystal Clear & krakle free @ Very High Levels & Powerful Sounding as hell.

I recemtly Got that Onkyo thru Wally World Site to store for an awsome price

Only thing I did not get with that receiver I'd like to had was ethernet for app control but is still an awsome box for under $150.

Plus it solved my Optic Dolby needs for My Home Theatre HTPC.

I am running squeezesoft on the HTPC but It'd be nice not to have to have it running for that purpose when I got the chromecast directly in the Onkyo.