I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Despite its limitations, the Google Chromecast is a great little device for its paltry $35 asking price. However, it’s certainly not perfect, and one of the main limitations is in the limited number of content providers.
Those lucky enough to have rooted their device before the first OTA blocked the root method have some fun options to play around with such as a custom ROM and the like. But those who received the automatic OTA before getting a chance to root are unfortunately out of luck.
Now, it appears as if new first party functionality is coming soon to the device. This comes in the form of two new APIs new to Android 4.4.1: CAPTURE_SECURE_VIDEO_OUTPUT and CAPTURE_VIDEO_OUTPUT. These APIs will only be available to Google and OEMs, presumably for copyright-related reasons. And if that’s the case and proprietary DRM is used, this means that the previously covered Cheapcast and other Chromecast emulators will probably not work.
Regardless of the issues, this is very good news for Chromecast owners. Since the cheapest Miracast receivers are approximately twice as expensive as the Chromecast, this could be quite useful for budget-conscious users looking to mirror their Android devices onto the big screen.
This, along with rumors of a Nexus TV, has us excited to see what Google has in store for the living room in the months to come! What are your thoughts? Do you own a Chromecast? Do you actually use it, or is it just needlessly sagging the HDMI ports on your TV, preamp-processor, or A/V Receiver? Let us know in the comments below!