Chromecast Features Coming to Google TV

Chromecast looks to be the first step in Google's new invasion into the living room. Google TV has yet to become a real household name, with only a few vendors producing set-top boxes and LG currently remaining as the only HDTV provider. However, more are supposedly on the way in both form factors, but for now, the company's new assault starts with Chromecast.

"Partners are continuing to launch new Google TV-enabled HDTVs and boxes," the company said. "As we announced at I/O, we are working with partners to bring the latest experience of Android and Chrome to devices later this year. We believe there is ample room for both products to exist and succeed."

There's supposedly a Nexus-style set-top box in the works with more robust features, and is likely part of Google's rejuvenated streaming TV efforts. There's a good chance it will have Chromecast support, allowing users to pump videos, music, pictures and other files to their HDTV on the fly. This set top box will also allow users to install apps thanks to full access to Google Play, including Netflix, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora and so on. Naturally, only specific apps will work on Google TV.

Google's Warren Rehman, who is part of the Google TV team, confirmed on Wednesday that the Google TV platform will indeed incorporate Chromecast features. Thus, Google's assault on the living room will start with the $35 Chromecast device; extend to the pricier, more feature-rich Google TV set-top boxes with Google itself serving as one of the ODMs; and HDTVs with Google TV as the OS -- all with Chromium capabilities. We're betting Chromecast itself may somehow support Google's streaming TV service using an app and the Chrome browser so that Google covers all three sets of customers.

However, when the rumored set-top box and the next-generation of the Google TV devices will be released is currently unknown, but both Rehman and Android/Chrome boss Sundar Pichai indicate that a wave of new products is slowly approaching. These products, along with some of the existing solutions on the market, may likely incorporate Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean" instead of Android 4.2.2 as LG indicated during Google I/O.

That said, something could be brewing in October to deflect whatever Apple, Amazon and Microsoft plans to release in that time frame. There's a good chance Google's supposed Android gaming console will also hit the scene to combat rivals like Gamestick and M.O.J.O.

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