Chromecast, having recently seen Hulu Plus and HBO GO support the platform, might be onto something a bit bigger. It seems that some code in the Plex software show Chromecast capabilities, with files such as Chromecast.xml popping up. If it makes it to Google’s newest living room offering, it pens up a big, brave new world of streaming content.
Plex takes your downloaded content and streams it directly to your mobile device, or in this case Chromecast. It transcodes the media, too, so you won’t have to worry about what type of file it is. Many people use Plex to stream downloaded bootlegs, then stream it to their devices. In doing so, they often violate copyrights and fair use.
This unfortunately resurrects the AllCast debacle. When the original version was being prepped for distribution, Google effectively crushed it, leading the Developer to claim Google would only allow “approved content”. For what it’s worth, AllCast is much like Plex, save for monetization and official organization of files. Plex offers several subscription models, including a lifetime option for $74.99. The difference seems to be that Plex now supports the Dial protocol, which is the backbone of Chromecast streaming. This gets back to Dutta’s claims that google will only support “whitelisted” media entities.
We’ve been expecting Plex for Chromecast for some time, so this is great news. It brings all of our media to Chromecast easily and effectively, but does so at a price. Plex allows for media channels, like YouTube or Revision 3, which would in turn act as an end-around for Google. If the goal is more content on more platforms, this is a winning strategy. If the goal is “approved content”, we’re not sure how this is going to be policed, moving forward.