Google’s recent launch of the Google Chromecast dongle has been all over the new: plugging a simple dongle into your TV and using your smartphone and tablet as a remote opens new doors for the industry.
So what is it? It’s really a pretty simple small dongle that can be plugged into a TV HDMI port to enable OTT content to be watched on a connected TV all controlled by your Android or iOS device – and most important of all it’s only $35. It supports both HTML5 and Flash, making it compatible with virtually all video content available online. It was sold out in hours on Google Play, proving that there is enormous demand for user-friendly tools that enable the consumption of Internet content on the TV.
However, security is an issue. Commentators discussing Google Chromecast report that it lacks any kind of basic password control: once plugged into the TV, Chromecast can be controlled by virtually anyone that comes by.
The idea that any device can become a remote for connected TVs is not new, popular standards such as Digital Living Network (DLNA) already provide this kind of functionality. Many TV’s support DLNA and operators are beginning to use DLNA to provide exciting new multiroom and multiscreen experiences without the requirement for additional hardware. These new use cases are supported by the DLNA Premium Video Guidelines, which have been designed to support operators and content owners looking to provide secure multiscreen experiences.
While DLNA already incorporates security requirements from Studios and Operator, the Chromecast device is still lacking such functionality. Operators can utilize DLNA distribution and utilize HTML5 and Responsive Design UI as the developments standards to launch exciting multiscreen experiences.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Chromecast can work with biggest players in the broadcast landscape. Until it can, it will remain an interesting gadget rather than a full-fledged connected TV environment. We believe that right now the most important impact of Chromecast is in adding impetus to the effort of operators working towards providing the high-quality multiscreen experiences controlled by the set-top-box and extending to all other connected devices through the browser.