Google Opens Up The Chromecast's Content Pipeline

Looking to expand the amount of content that can be beamed to the TV-connected Chromecast device, Google on Monday released a software development kit for the popular streaming adapter that will make it easy for developers to build Chromecast support into their apps and Web sites. 

The Google Cast Software Development Kit enters play more than six months after Google introduced the Chromecast and an initial batch of apps optimized for the platform. Google quickly sold out of its initial stock of the $35 adapter at online outlets such as Amazon.

Targeted to developers interested in creating apps and compatible Web sites for Chromecast and other coming platforms that will rely on Google’s cast-to-the-TV platform, the SDK should help Google to open up the floodgates and vastly expand its content pipeline and its ability to work with browser-based apps.  

But it will likely take a while for the Chromecast to begin to catch up to rival platforms such as the Roku, whose channel store is home to more than 1,200 apps.

The Google Chromecast is currently optimized for Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, Google Play TV & Movies, Google Play Music, Vevo, Red Bull.TV, Songza, Plex, PostTV (videos from The Washington Post), Viki, and RealPlayer Cloud. Users can also cast a Chrome browser tab from their PCs or laptops to the TV.

In the pay-TV world, Comcast Labs is beta testing a Send To TV app that supports some of the TV-flinging features found in the Google Chromecast. Comcast's version, however, does not allow users to send content to the TV that is digital rights management (DRM)-protected. More detail about the Comcast's Send to TV app is available here (subscription required).