Despite the continued push of the Google Chromecast and the more recent Android TV, Google is reported to be looking at other platforms and venues to be able to widen the horizon of the casting technology. The latest rumor is that they are working with TV manufacturer Vizio to release new TV sets that will have a Chromecast-like functionality already out of the box but will also have to be connected to a mobile device.
The TVs will not actually have any of the usual smart TV apps but instead of using an external Chromecast device to receive the casted media, an Android tablet will be used as a remote control but the streaming will be initiated from a mobile device as well. Said tablet will of course have many of the media services we’re used to, like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc. It will also reportedly have a programming guide with content recommendations as well. The tablet may be included in the TV set already, free of charge, and may even replace the usual remote control.
But all of this has yet to be confirmed by either Google or Vizio. If ever they are true, it’s not the first time that the two companies will be working together. During the ill-fated Google TV phase back in 2012, they had a Boku-Like set-top box but they didn’t use it for their TV sets, opting instead for Yahoo’s Connected TV app platform. The latter is actually set to shut down due to Yahoo’s restructuring and some of their TV sets have been transitioning to Opera’s smart TV platform.
Google has reportedly also approached one other TV manufacturer and if that is true, this may mean that they are really looking at expanding their casting capabilities beyond Chromecast and Android TV. This is still part of the evolution of our media consumption, one that digital has single-handedly revitalized and changed. It’s exciting to see what companies like Google has in store over the next few years.