Firefox OS dongle may just be Mozilla’s Chromecast-killer

June 22, 2014
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There has been a lot of mixed reaction on Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, which allows certain Chrome and mobile apps to stream video to a TV screen – mainly because it is so selective in which apps and devices are able to use it. But Mozilla, the longtime browser rival of Google, may be working on a streaming device project as well, or at least allowing the use of Firefox OS, as seen in a tweet of a prototype device.

UK-based Mozilla developer Christian Heilmann tweeted toward this notion – posting a picture of what looks like an HDMI dongle similar to Chromecast – and describing it as a “fully open TV-casting prototype device running Firefox OS” with “open boot loader and all”. Mozilla is quick to distance itself from the project, denying that it was a Mozilla-initiated project. But it wasn’t so quick to deny the existence or even of the Firefox OS’s role in such a project. “Firefox OS is an open platform freely available for any company to build on without restrictions,” was its official quote.

One of the major disappointments that users have with Chromecast is that even with the latest release of the Cast SDK, the list of Chromecast-supported apps is still somewhat restrictive, while a “fully open” device would mean that potentially all streaming apps would be able to fling video to it, regardless of codecs and other such restrictions. As of the moment, Chromecast allows streams only from a limited list of enabled apps including Youtube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora Radio, HBO GO, Google Play Music and Play Movies among a few others.

Unfortunately, the tweet did not reveal any other details to the dongle-type device, much less a release date. There are rumors across the net that at the very least, Mozilla is teaming up with a secret partner for this device – not completely innocent of the project as it claims to be. With the hype that the device is getting though, it may not be too far away ‘til we get a good look at it. In the meantime, take a look at this video.

VIA: Re/code, Gigaom


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  • rfrost

    What this author does not understand is that Google did it the RIGHT way this time – empowering the CONTENT OWNERS to decide when / if they support ChromeCast – that means that when a ChromeCast app is released that supports their content it WONT be blocked and will be wholeheartedly supported. This is the reason why the other content delivery networks have yet to release their app. Blame the content owners – not the Chromecast for a lack of support. Good luck if you think the content owners will support FireFoxOS to illegally stream their content – they will shut it down just as they did to the Google TV boxes. Yes there will be workarounds to hack that but you are not doing the content owners any favours. The Chromecast is a clear winner – I doubt this device will get serious traction with the masses.

  • T.J.

    Plus a few others? What’s your definition of “few”? At least 26 isn’t a few.