MOUNTAIN VIEW: Google has made another attempt to dominate the delivery of internet content to the living room, with the launch of a new device for streaming video and other internet services from mobiles to TV sets.
The Chromecast box, launched on Wednesday at a mere $35, throws down the gauntlet to Apple, whose internet-connected TV box retails at $99, reports the Financial Times
US film rental service Netflix has adopted the protocol, known as Cast, and Google says it is in talks with other providers.
Its previous attempts to access this market have been hindered by the failure to achieve such deals with TV providers, but Dan Cryan, digital media analyst at research firm IHS, said the low price makes success more likely this time.
Chromecast is compatible not just with Google's own Android software, but Apple's iPhones and iPads as well, and by helping more of its web content onto TV screens the launch could provide a major boost to its core advertising business, the Wall Street Journal
“We have a multiplatform approach, and we go where the users are,” said Sundar Pichai, head of Chrome and Android at Google, adding that even with the low price tag he expected that both the search giant and its retail partners would make a profit.
Google executives noted that YouTube and Netflix accounted for almost half the peak time US internet traffic, which they insisted proved there was strong demand for video services that could be viewed on a TV set with their new product.
But the launch is a signal that the battle for the control of living rooms by consumer technology companies is hotting up, as Amazon is working on a set-top box for streaming video and Apple is also reportedly working on new television technology.
Meanwhile, in another challenge to Apple, Google also revealed on Wednesday a new version of its Nexus 7 tablet, in direct rivalry to the Apple iPad mini and Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
Data sourced from Financial Times, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff