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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 24, 2013

What is Google 'Chromecast'?

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Google (News - Alert) is gearing up for its announcement event scheduled for Thursday July 25, which always has the blogging community and technology hawks on the lookout for any clues as to what might be revealed. This time they’ve found something: a link for what is being called “Chromecast,” in the About Devices page of the Google Play section of the support site.

Since being originally noticed, the link has disappeared (and it went to a Page Not Found Error anyway), leaving plenty of speculation in its wake. It may as well have been dubbed Ghostcast.

Image via droid-life.com

The presence of the mention in the devices section is notable and fires the imagination in terms of what form the hardware could take. For instance, is it an affordable Chrome dongle for TVs that brings the desktop to the big screen, which Google was rumored to be working on? Is it a set-top box that forms the basis of the latest Google TV gambit?

Or perhaps it’s not hardware at all. What about an Apple (News - Alert) Airplay type of in-home synching service that could work with Android devices? Or, as one Droid Life reader claimed, citing what a Google Play support representative said, "Chromecast is a TV service that's provided in some areas." Is it an add-on to Google Fiber’s IPTV (News - Alert) service, the Google equivalent of TV Everywhere? The devices page would be the place to find information about which digital platforms are supported in that case.

The other—remote—possibility is that Google will announce plans for its own over-the-top (OTT) service, which will offer a traditional cable-style TV package for streaming across connected devices. The search giant was rumored to be in talks with media and broadcast companies to build such a service, and the name—ChromeCAST, rhymes with broadCAST—certainly would fit.

Obviously, the possibilities are myriad, and the latter is a very long shot, but we will likely get some kind of an answer sooner rather than later.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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