Web Dailies & Wireless Monitoring for $35? Google Chromecast Opens for Possibilities

nofilmschool by Dave Kendricken

Since Google released Chromecast last year, the little ‘HDMI dongle’ has had two big things going for it — Netflix and YouTube. Of course, given its simplicity and ridiculously low price of $35, it hasn’t had much going against it either. Even with some creative work-arounds via Google Chrome ‘tab casting,’ Chromecast’s downside has been its short list of natively supported apps — despite subsequent support for Hulu, Pandora, and HBO GO. Well, all that’s changed, because Google has announced the public release of the device’s SDK. In short, this turns what was a very exclusive party into a fiesta that any developer can join. Many more native apps are sure to follow, but how can this benefit filmmakers?

As a device, Chromecast is pretty nifty. It’s small enough to carry as a keychain item, easy enough to link into available WiFi networks, and requires no remote control. In lieu of a more conventional home screen based-interface (like Roku, for instance), Chromecast is more of a passive player whose queue and playback you control with your phone. Until you give it something to play, Chromecast acts like a screen saver slowly scrolling through wall papers and landscape photography. Multiple users can add to and arrange the queue simultaneously or, as mentioned above, the device can display a near-real time stream of your desktop PC or active tab in Google Chrome.

This, all in a size and shape reminiscent of a USB flash drive. I own one — at $35, why not? — but I’ve probably used it on no more than ten separate occasions. See the multitude of posts about ‘getting the most out of your Chromecast,’ I’m not alone. It’s not that I don’t like it, because I do. The reason for this is because, until recently, Chromecast was merely a novelty item for streaming a few select services. Now, its roles could greatly expand, and I hope they do.

Finally, Development Opens for Chromecast

The announcement on the release of the Google Cast SDK came on Monday:

We want to make it easier for that content to get to your TV, so today we’re releasing the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers who want to build Chromecast support into their apps and websites. read more...

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